Finally sharing our 2020 Thanksgiving Menu with you guys! This year I’m focusing in on old and new classics. The ones we all want to see the most on the Thanksgiving table. We’ve got everything from buttery mashed potatoes, to extra crispy brussels sprouts, only the best homemade crescent rolls, my favorite sweet potato casserole, plenty of desserts, cocktails, and so much more.
Happy Monday guys! Very excited to be sharing our 2020 Thanksgiving menu! At this point I’ve lost count on how many Thanksgiving menus I’ve shared with you all. It’s safe to say I’ve roasted a lot of turkeys and made plenty of mashed potatoes over the years. I’ve loved sharing my menus with you all, it’s always so much fun!
But this year? Well, I think this might be my favorite menu yet. It feels extra special and is just the menu my family will be most excited over. This Thanksgiving I’m focusing on the old classics we love, with a few new recipes sprinkled into the mix. I’ve shared some of our favorite recipes over the years, so I wanted to highlights those oldies but goodies too! The “theme” I’ve had in my head since September is A Traditional, Cozy, Family Thanksgiving, but with all the fixings.
It’s no secret that our Thanksgivings will be looking a little different this year. Therefore, I wanted to be sure to share only the best recipes with you guys. My thought is that we really just need simple, easy, and delicious this year. We want the recipes we know and love the most. Creamy mashed potatoes? Yes, please. Sweet and savory sweet potatoes? YUM. And buttery, flaky rolls? Without a doubt. I want the classics I know my family will all love. And that’s what we’ve got here today!
I pulled some older recipes from the HBH achieves and added some new ones that I’ll be sharing soon. I’ve got old and new tips. And simple ways to help you downsize your meal for those having smaller gatherings. That said I’m encouraging you guys to make the full meal, roasted turkey and all the sides! It’s been a long year and Thanksgiving is such a fun holiday. We should make it just the way we want it and not skimp on a thing. The beauty of a smaller crowd is that there are more leftovers to enjoy!
Hope you all love this year’s menu as much as I do. and please remember, these are just my suggestions. You don’t NEED to make every item on my menu. For example, I have two salads and two potato dishes listed, pick your personal favorite. I just want to provide you all with a couple of options since we all have different wants/needs. I have a lot Thanksgiving recipes both on HBH and to come this month!
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. Always happy to help!!
half baked harvest 2020 thanksgiving menu
Tip: this is not the year to skip on breakfast. With everyone’s meals looking different, many of us are planning to eat later in the day. So, don’t skip out on breakfast, it’s nice to have something in your stomach so you don’t end up snacking all day long.
Tip: make these a day or two ahead of time. EASY.
Spiced Cranberry Punch (pitcher style for easy entertaining)
Note: each of these are individually portioned to avoid multiple hands touching everyone’s appetizer!
Sweet and Savory Bacon Wrapped Puff Pastry Twist (new and coming soon)
Special Bonus (I can’t resist a holiday cheese board): How to Make an Easy Holiday Cheese Board
Tip: Always include at least one vegetarian main course. It’s nice to have a main course that’s just as hearty and exciting as the turkey for any vegetarian eaters.
Herb and Butter Roasted Turkey (I make this every year…it never fails me)
Tip: make everything but the salad ahead of time and don’t stress about a thing.
Brussels Sprout Bacon Salad (no-cook!)
Pomegranate Persimmon Salad (swapping the walnuts for pumpkin seeds this year!)
Tip: make an extra pie or an additional cookie. You can never have too many desserts, plus it’s always nice to give guests something to snack on throughout the night…or to take home!
Molten Chocolate Crackle Pie – put this in the oven just as you sit down to eat, then eat it warm after dinner.
Glazed Brown Sugar Maple Cookies – bake these into pumpkins and turkeys for a festive cookie!
Bonus: Creamy Coconut Hot Chocolate – something warm to end the night with…add a splash of bourbon and make it the perfect nightcap.
thanksgiving week prep
– organize, make your list, get prepared
– set the table
– grocery shop
– buy wine and alcohol
– prepare the stuffing, chill until ready to bake
– make white wine pan gravy
– prepare the sweet potato casserole
– prep the crescent rolls, chill until ready to bake
– bake the chai pumpkin latte cupcakes
– prepare the cranberry sauce
– make the lasagna, chill until ready to bake
– make the slow cooker mashed potatoes
– prepare the cranberry bourbon sour
– make the brussels sprout salad
– make the Hasselback butternut squash
– prep the pumpkin waffle batter for the morning
– make the sweet and savory bacon wrapped puff pastry twists
– final grocery trip for last-minute items
In the Morning…
– remove the turkey from the fridge and start prepping
– begin roasting the turkey
– make the goat cheese stuffed bacon wrapped dates
In the Afternoon…
– begin baking off the sweet potato casserole, butternut lasagna, and stuffing
– start warming the mashed potatoes in the slow cooker and the spaghetti squash in the instant pot or on the stove
– toss the pomegranate salad together, but don’t add the dressing until just before serving
Before Guests Arrive…
– make/bake the mini cranberry brie
– set out goat cheese bacon wrapped dates and cocktails
– remove the turkey and let it rest, then carve
– bake off the rolls
– set out the sides
– serve up the turkey, gravy, and all the sides!
Of course, enjoy the night with family and friends. You deserve it!!
Question: what recipes are you looking forward to serving up most this Thanksgiving? Can’t wait to see what you all make!
finally, some tips
Tip 1: Think About Your Menu
A few things to be thinking about when creating your Thanksgiving menu. How much oven space do you have, how many people are you serving, and does anyone have any dietary restrictions.
Depending on how many leftovers you’d like, plan on anywhere from a pound to a pound and a half per person. If everyone is heading out the door at the end of the day, I would go closer to a pound per person. If your guests are staying through the weekend go for a pound and a half. Bone-in breasts are a nice option if you don’t want to cook more than one turkey. And lastly, keep in mind, that if you’ve got a lot of sides, guests will probably eat less turkey.
Tip 2: Make an Oven/Food Schedule
This is certainly my number one tip to easily getting dinner on the table…and at a reasonable hour. An oven schedule is essential for staying on track on Thanksgiving Day, especially if you’re working with limited oven space.
Tip 3: Test Your Recipes
If you’re trying new recipes, make sure you test them out before Thanksgiving Day. Certainly no one wants to be disappointed on Thanksgiving with a bad batch of mashed potatoes. Test your recipes out now so they’re perfect for Thanksgiving.
If you’re working with limited oven space, I highly recommend using your slow cooker and instant pot. They can cook mashed potatoes from start to finish, or just keep your dishes warm without taking up any oven space.
Tip 5: Make a To-Do List TODAY
About a week or so before Thanksgiving, I sit down and make a checklist of everything that needs to be done before we sit down to eat. I make my list by the days leading up to Thanksgiving.
Tip 6: Use A Meat Thermometer
This might be a no brainer, but don’t try cooking your turkey based solely on time…no one wants to cut into a beautiful looking turkey only to find that it’s still raw inside. Using a thermometer is the best way to know when your turkey is cooked to perfection. This one is my favorite.
Tip 7: Roast Your Turkey in a Butter Soaked Cheesecloth.
My number 1 tip for the best turkey. Grab my favorite herb butter roasted turkey recipe here.
Tip 8: Don’t Cook the Stuffing Inside the Turkey
If you cook the stuffing inside the turkey, you’ll have to overcook the turkey in order to actually cook the stuffing to a temperature that’s safe to eat. And even then you end up with soggy stuffing…and dry turkey. Not good. Instead, bake the stuffing separately and get soft on the inside and crisp on top stuffing that actually tastes good.
Tip 9: Set the Table Way Ahead of Time
This is something my Nonnie taught me, and it’s probably my favorite entertaining trick. I like to set my dinner table ideally a week ahead. If that’s not possible, at least the night before. It’s one more thing you can cross off your checklist early. Plus you’ll be guaranteed to have the table set and looking pretty when guests arrive.
Tip 10: Create a Seasonal Tablescape
When setting your table, don’t stress too much about making it perfect. I love the imperfect, perfect look. My best budget tip for creating an elegant tablescape is to incorporate the food onto the table. My favorite thing to do is to use fresh produce around my table to add pops of color. I certainly love a bouquet of flowers, but food can be equally beautiful, if not prettier. In addition, I like to surround the table with candles, use fresh herbs for greenery, and seasonal fruit for color.
Above all, make the table cozy and inviting…everyone will have the best night.
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Tip 11: Make the House Smell Like the Holidays
With my crazy easy, holiday potpourri that simmers on the stove all day long. You can use whatever you have on hand. The must-haves, in my opinion, are cinnamon, citrus, ginger, and vanilla. Trust me, if you’re having guests over this is the perfect thing to have simmering away on the stove. Try it at Thanksgiving. It’s a great easy fix that certainly makes people feel welcomed!
Question: What are your best Thanksgiving tips/tricks? Leave any that you have in the comments so that we can all learn something new today!
Happy Thanksgiving planning! Can’t wait to see what you all make!