Skip main navigation

We are taking extended measures to ensure the safety and wellness of our team members and communities at this time. Learn more.

One Week to Go: Here's an Easy Thanksgiving Planning Primer

 

 

We’ve put together a Thanksgiving planning checklist starting from a month out, but now there’s just one week until the big day. Here are our top tips for getting ahead this upcoming week. Start now and reduce your stress later—you’ve got this! (Remember you don’t have to make it all!  Reserve your entrees, sides, holiday meals and more online or in-store by November 22. You’ll get a $10 off $75 coupon, which you can use to fill your basket from November 29 through December 31. Complete offer details here.

1 Week Ahead

  • Reserve your turkey (and more!) for easy pick up in store later. (The deadline for reserving online is November 22.)

  • Finalize your Thanksgiving menu.

  • Shop for non-perishables. This includes broth, wine, pumpkin puree, spices and crackers. Some dairy ingredients such as eggs, cream and butter can also be bought now.

  • Make a schedule for Thanksgiving Day based on what time guests are arriving and what time you’re planning to eat.

  • Make pie dough and bake rolls or breads, then freeze.

  • Start cleaning the house, including the fridge. Compost, toss, and rearrange to make space.

4 Days Ahead

  • Shop for perishables including fruits, vegetables, herbs and anything else you’ll need, with the exception of breads or baked goods.

  • You may need to start thawing the turkey now if it’s frozen. Get tips on defrosting a turkey.

3 Days Ahead

  • Make homemade stock if you’re making gravy.

  • Make dips. Many dips and spreads can be made up to three days in advance.

2 Days Ahead

  • Start preparing the stuffing. Cut and cube the bread to dry out.

  • Transfer any frozen items you prepared from the freezer to the fridge.

  • Make the cranberry sauce.

  • Prepare salad dressings and homemade soups.

1 Day Ahead

  • Shop for remaining perishables including baked goods, fresh flowers for décor, and pick up your fresh turkey and pre-ordered store-made entrées and sides.

  • Finish preparing the stuffing. Wait until Thanksgiving Day to bake it though.

  • Some sides can be made ahead—or at least ingredients can be chopped—then covered and refrigerated.

  • Make the gravy. This recipe for Easy Turkey Gravy shows you how.

  • Make pies and other desserts.

  • Brine the turkey. (Discover brining how-tos, tips and tricks.)

  • Set the dining table and buffet table.

Thanksgiving Morning

  • Cool beverages.

  • Make mashed potatoes.

  • Put your turkey in to roast.

  • Prepare vegetable dishes and salads.

  • Cook remaining sides and stuffing.

  • Bake bread, rolls or desserts, if still needed.

  • Prep and assemble appetizers.

  • Unload the dishwasher so it will be ready to receive dishes from the meal.

  • Whip cream for dessert, and store it in the fridge.

At the Last Minute

  • Put on music.

  • Set out your appetizers.

  • While the turkey rests, rewarm soups and sides.

  • Make gravy, if you haven’t yet. 

  • Prepare the salads.

  • Put pies in the warm (but turned-off) oven before the Thanksgiving meal begins.

For even more holiday inspiration, visit the Whole Foods Market holiday headquarters for recipes, menus, gift ideas and more to help you outdo yourself. 

Explore More