So excited to finally share our 2022 Thanksgiving menu and guide! This year I’m focusing on easy, make-ahead recipes, with tried and true classics…and a few new ones sprinkled in too. These are the recipes we all want to see most on our Thanksgiving table, along with a few new surprises. We’ve got everything from cocktails to desserts. We’ve included staples like buttery mashed potatoes and my favorite sweet potatoes. There are homemade croissants, no drippings gravy, my favorite kale and cranberry salad, balsamic brussels sprouts, molten chocolate pie, pecan cookies, a new Thanksgiving punch, and so much more.
I’m late with this year’s menu (what’s new), but the official countdown to Thanksgiving is on. With less than two weeks to prepare, I’m excited to be sharing my fun, EASY Thanksgiving menu. This year’s menu focuses on the no-stress Thanksgiving. I’m sharing tried and true favorites, with a handful of new, easy recipes to add to our menus to keep dinner exciting!
How beyond crazy is it that we are less than 2 weeks away from Thanksgiving? The holiday really snuck up on me this year. I’ve been traveling more than usual. And then, suddenly I came home from New York last week and Thanksgiving was in full swing. I’ve already started up my Thanksgiving tips series on Instagram. I love to share my best tips, my essentials for the meal, and more. But what I love even more is learning your tips. Over the years I’ve certainly adapted some genius ideas – hello to the table runner that doubles as a heating pad! Just place a microwaveable heating pad under your table runner.
I always learn so much each year! This year, I’m happy to share my easiest, simplest menu yet. But don’t worry, it’s not lacking in flavor or sides. We’re simply using recipes that can either be prepped ahead or mixed up quickly.
It was my tablescape that inspired my menu this year. I wanted to create the prettiest fall Pumpkin Patch to go with our Pumpkin Smash candle. I found these gorgeous velvet pumpkins and built out the recipe for my menu from there. It’s so much fun!
And easy too! My family is heading to Europe the day after Thanksgiving, so keeping the menu easy and cozy was an absolute must. I have lots of details below along with some tips and tricks too. I can’t wait for this year’s dinner!
And please remember that these are just my suggestions. You certainly don’t NEED to make every item on my menu. Pick and choose your favorites, create the menu that’s right for you and your family!
Let me know if you have any questions. I’m here to help as best I can!
(shop the Pumpkin Smash candle)
Tip: Never skip breakfast on Thanksgiving Day. We like to eat later, around 7 pm or so. Then we can enjoy a casual family day, cut our Christmas tree down, and settle in for a feast. In fact, planning breakfast is always a must around here.
Tip: I try to go lighter on appetizers every year, but in the end, we all love them, so I usually end up serving a few favorites. Have these out when guests arrive, especially the cheese board, it’s always so welcoming with a cocktail in hand.
Thanksgiving Turkey Cheeseboard – new and coming soon
Tip: Keep drinks simple, but make sure they’re special enough to get everyone excited for the night ahead. Most importantly? Make them all ahead of time…with the exception of the espresso martini, of course.
For after dinner: Chai Espresso Martini
Tip 1: 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.
Tip 2: don’t feel like you have to roast a whole turkey. This year I’m making my go-to herb butter roasted turkey, but instead of roasting the whole turkey, I’m doing chicken breast and thighs!
Herb and Butter Roasted Turkey
(I make this every year…it never fails me, so I’m not switching it up)
Tip: make these all ahead of time and don’t stress about a thing
(use your favorite recipe, I simply simmer cranberries with maple, orange juice, rosemary, or sage and a pinch of salt until thickened)
Tip: I bake the pumpkin cookies and use them as place settings for my table. It’s such an easy way to add a personal touch to your tablescape.
Molten Chocolate Crackle Pie (my favorite, I now make this every year)
Thanksgiving week prep
– organize, make your list, get prepared
– set the table
– prep the make-ahead mashed potatoes
– prep the sweet potatoes
– grocery shop
– buy wine and alcohol
– prepare the stuffing, chill until ready to bake
– prepare the make-ahead gravy
– make the potato stacks
– prepare the cocktails
– bake the desserts
– prepare the cranberry sauce
– prep the cinnamon rolls for the morning
– make the spaghetti squash
– prep the brie
– prep the dates
– final grocery trip for last-minute items
In the Morning…
– remove the turkey from the fridge and start prepping
– bake the cinnamon rolls
– begin roasting the turkey
– make the goat cheese stuffed bacon-wrapped dates
In the Afternoon…
– begin baking off the sweet potato casserole, stuffed shells, scalloped potatoes, and stuffing
– start warming the mashed potatoes (in the oven or slow cooker). Cook the spaghetti squash in the instant pot or on the stove
– toss the Kale Bacon Salad together, this can sit in the fridge for up to 6 hours.
Before Guests Arrive…
– bake off the brie
– lay out the bacon-wrapped dates
– lay out the turkey cheeseboard
– set out the cocktails
– remove the turkey and let it rest, then carve
– warm the gravy
– 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!
(shop the Pumpkin Smash candle)
My favorite tried and true tips
Tip 1: Think About Your Menu
A few things to be thinking about when creating your 2022 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, 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 for 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 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. You’ll 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. Of course, that’s not possible if it’s a table you use every day. 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.
Lastly, if you make a dish from our 2022 Thanksgiving Menu and Guide be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is certainly my favorite!