Football and Thanksgiving often go together like turkey and cranberry sauce. If you’re thinking you could use some offensive coaching for how to plan Thanksgiving, the experts at Las Vegas Appliance Repair put together a Thanksgiving planning timeline. With a little preparation, our game plan’s meal not only scores a touchdown but also gets you to the end zone without feeling exhausted.

From First Down to Touchdown: A Thanksgiving Planning Timeline

Our Thanksgiving planning timeline begins a week ahead to include shopping trips, prepping ingredients and a cooking schedule. And if you’re thinking of cleaning your oven before the big day, we suggest heeding our self-cleaning oven warning and using natural methods well in advance of putting your turkey in the oven.

One Week Before Thanksgiving

The first step in our Thanksgiving planning timeline starts seven days ahead of the big day. While a Thanksgiving cooking schedule is still days ahead, there’s some planning and shopping to be done:

  • Plan your menu
  • Clean out the refrigerator to make space for ingredients and leftovers
  • Make two shopping lists, one for fresh ingredients and the second for non-perishables
  • Shop for non-perishable items and stockpile your basics (salt, flour, baking powder, etc.)
  • Stock up on beverages

thanksgiving planning timeline

Weekend Before Thanksgiving

Wondering, “How far in advance can I cook for Thanksgiving?” Now’s the time to prepare and freeze what you can:

  • Make freezable side dishes and pie and cookie dough for later use
  • If you have a frozen turkey, begin defrosting in the refrigerator.

thanksgiving dinner meal prep

Two Days Before Thanksgiving

Our Thanksgiving planning timeline continues with one more shopping trip and a whole lot of meal prep to smooth the way later:

  • Shop for fresh ingredients
  • Chop vegetables, measure spices, toast nuts
  • Defrost side dishes and dough

One Day Before Thanksgiving

With 24 hours left, today is the day to do as much advance work as possible. If something can be cooked today to be reheated tomorrow, all the better:

  • Bake desserts
  • Prepare stuffing
  • Cook any casseroles or baked side dishes that can be reheated
  • Clean and trim all other vegetables
  • Set the table

Thanksgiving Day

You made it! At this point we hope our Thanksgiving planning guide has taken care of all the prep work and you can focus on getting the turkey and side dishes to the table:

  • Chill beverages in the morning
  • Put the turkey in the oven at least 4 hours before dinner (longer if your turkey is over 15lbs)
  • Plate appetizers and set up cocktails 1-2 hours before guests arrive
  • Allow turkey 30 minutes to 1 hour to rest, reheating side dishes and baking stuffing during that time
  • Carve turkey and ask for guests’ help with filling water glasses and setting out side dishes

With a little game day luck, our Thanksgiving planning guide has you doing an end-zone dance after your last bite of pumpkin pie. If your oven isn’t so lucky and looks like it needs an oven repair, don’t fall victim to Monday morning quarterbacking: give us a call to get your oven back up and running to heat up those leftovers. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Las Vegas Appliance Repair!