What can I say, I’m a planner. And this includes meals, especially when it comes to Thanksgiving.
Finally, after weeks of cleaning, painting and moving two homes into one, I somewhat have a space to host guests in. Along with a cold due to all the labor, but it’s fine. So instead of watching my 100th episode of Younger (which is excellent terrible TV if you’re interested) while I die on my couch, I thought I would share with you my grand game plan for Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving is a pain in the butt for anyone who has to deal with the cooking, so personally I choose to not subscribe to that and make things days ahead of time. But Lauren, food should be made fresh and delicious and warm- NO. That’s “I’m sitting on the couch watching football and not helping at all talk.” And besides, all of these things still end up being fresh and delicious and warm, just without the million hours of cooking and cleaning day of.
So to begin!
Two Days Before
French Silk Pie
Ooooooof people this pie. I know it’s not apple or pumpkin or all the other classics, but frankly, I don’t care. If people want pumpkin they’ll bring pumpkin. This pie takes a lot of beating if you don’t have a stand mixer, but other than that is fairly straightforward and can be served chilled with whipped cream, saving you valuable day of oven space.
Make ahead mashed potatoes? What is this witchcraft? Whalllllleeeee my friends, basically there’s so much butter and sour cream and cream in them, you’re able to make them up to two days ahead of time, toss in a little bit more dairy when you go to heat them and BAM POTATOES. I like to toss a teeny bit of roasted garlic and other spices into these while cooking just for some extra pizzaz.
One Day Before
Garlic and Brown Butter Vegetables
Roasted vegetables are a staple for me year round, but for Thanksgiving, I like to fancy these up a bit with browned butter. You don’t have to follow this recipe exactly, I usually just eyeball things, but for beginners/perfectionists this gives you a good place to start. Feel free to throw in other vegetables in here such as potatoes, parsnips, and turnips as well! I like to cut everything up the day before, stick in a plastic bag to soak in spices and oil overnight, then pop in the oven the day of Thanksgiving. Easy peasy.
Green Bean Casserole
This is my personal all-time favorite Thanksgiving dish. What can I say, I’m from the Midwest. We love a good casserole. I can eat just disgusting amounts of this stuff, so it’s a must-have at my Thanksgiving table. Fortunately, it’s also quite simple to throw together and does just fine if you prep everything the day before.
Macaroni and Cheese
Growing up, macaroni and cheese was not a staple at Thanksgiving. But I distinctly remember visiting a friends house for Thanksgiving one year where they served macaroni and boy did it change the game. As a vegetarian, macaroni is a staple meal. But also tastes amazing with rolls, green beans, mashed potatoes and especially my fake turkey I intend on eating. This is also a very easy meal to prep the day before, so that day of all you have to do is toss in the oven with the stuffing.
Perfect Roasted Chicken
Yes, yes, yes. I have not eaten meat in a many, many years. I am against it. But that does not mean that my guests don’t, and I try not to judge others dietary habits as that is very personal. Instead, I delve my wee little hands INSIDE A LITERAL BIRD. True love, I tell ya. And I know turkey is more of a Thanksgiving tradition, but apparently, none of my friends and family care for turkey as much as chicken. This recipe is super easy, but I hear comes out just right. It’s a perfect blend of classic, homey, comfort food chicken. Also, it can cook on top of those vegetables we talked about earlier if you’re so inclined to chicken juice.
Similar to the meats, stuffing is my least favorite cared for thing on this menu. But, it’s simple to do, especially if you deal with the breadcrumb issue a couple days ahead of time. I like this recipe because it cooks at the same temperature as many other things I have to heat that day, and it’s a classic, no fuss, grandma style stuffing.
Lastly, on the day of, I fling together a simple but delicious salad for some freshness and heat up some Rhode’s Rolls (the best of the frozen rolls) and call it a day! Let me know what is your favorite Thanksgiving dish and have happy holidays everyone!