Even if you’re just cooking for your own household, a Thanksgiving dinner can still be a lot to prepare! With these time-saving tips, you can make Thanksgiving cooking much easier and less stressful!
Plan Your Shopping
About a week in advance, before you go grocery shopping for the holiday, make a plan that covers all the dishes you’re going to make. List out all of the ingredients for each dish, then make a shopping list to cover what you don’t have or need more of from the store. It might be a good idea to plan out your shopping trip by aisle to save time at the store in the holiday rush!
Plan Your Cooking
You’ll also want to list out the cooking methods (stovetop, oven, no-bake, etc.) and times so that you can make a plan of when you’ll prepare and cook each dish. It would be a good idea to mise en place (French for “everything in place”) your ingredients as much as possible. Things like mushrooms, carrots, celery, potatoes, and most other vegetables can be chopped and stored in portions a few days ahead of time. It’s best to just prepare fresh herbs and aromatics like ginger, garlic, and onions the day of for the best potency.
Prep the Pie Crusts
Pie crusts can be totally prepared and frozen up to a week ahead of time. If you go this route, you can store the pie crusts in disposable pans in the freezer for the week. If you don’t want to have the crusts in pans for that long, or don’t want to use disposable pans, you can prepare the crust now and freeze it tightly wrapped until you need it.
Skip Elaborate Apps
Everyone loves a good appetizer, but it doesn’t need to be another stressful or involved dish to prepare! Take the easy route and set out a charcuterie board, cheese ball, chips and salsa, or another similarly easy dish!
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A lot of dishes for Thanksgiving can be made a day or more ahead of time, saving you lots of time and stress the day of. Cranberry sauce, pies, stuffing, salads (dressing on the side), and some veggies can be made early and reheated if necessary just before dinner.
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