Thanksgiving is all about spending time with family and enjoying it! Follow these easy Thanksgiving entertaining tips for hosting a fun and relaxing day!
Prepare Ahead of Time
A few days before Thanksgiving, start your prep work. Look over your recipes and determine what you can make ahead of time, like an easy cranberry sauce, versus what items must be cooked on Thanksgiving day. Make a list of cooking temperatures and cook multiple dishes at once. Double check to ensure you have plenty of take home containers for your guests to package their leftovers! The day before is the best time to season your turkey. Keep reading for my simple turkey seasonings below.
Gather all of your serving dishes and utensils, silverware, plates, and bowls ahead of time. You don’t want to run out of dishes on Thanksgiving day! Label serving dishes if it helps you to remember what goes where. Decide which items will on the food buffet and which items will be placed on the table.
Roast an Amazing Turkey
Select an appropriately sized turkey to ensure there are leftovers for your guests to take home. A good rule of thumb is to allow for 1 1/2 – 2 pounds of turkey per person. Tender and juicy Butterball whole turkeys are all natural, giving you the highest quality turkey at the center of your Thanksgiving celebration.
Keep your turkey seasonings simple on Thanksgiving. I like to use salt, pepper, garlic, dried thyme, and cayenne pepper. I sprinkle the spice mixture inside the cavity of the turkey as well as between the breast meat and skin. Tip: Take care to gently separate the skin from the breast meat using your fingers before seasoning.
If you run into any issues while cooking your turkey, call 1-800-BUTTERBALL or text 844-877-3456 on Thanksgiving day and your questions will be answered!
Self-Service Beverage Station
Hosting Thanksgiving means you have a lot going on. Make the day a little easier on yourself by setting up a self-service beverage station. I set up our beverage station away from the kitchen and ensure it is stocked with a small selection of beverages everyone will enjoy.
For Thanksgiving, I like to serve Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Red Blend or Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet. These classic wines are balanced and smooth, making them ideal for Thanksgiving food pairings and sharing with family and friends.
The Thanksgiving meal is an abundant one. You’ve roasted a beautiful turkey, cooked everyone’s favorite side dishes, and even made a few new items hoping to create your own traditions. Having all of those items on your dining table leaves little room for dinner plates.
Set up your hot foods buffet style in the kitchen or a side table close to the kitchen. On your buffet station, stack dinner plates at the beginning and the utensils at the end. This will help to direct the traffic flow through the kitchen.
On the dining table, set napkins and a water glass at each place setting, add cranberry sauce, gravy boat, rolls with butter, a few veggie side dishes, and a pitcher of water. I avoid tall centerpieces because I want to be able to see and speak with all of my guests.
What’s great about buffet style Thanksgiving entertaining is that it allows everyone to eat what they like, enjoy that extra serving of mashed potatoes, and customize their plate to meet their personal needs. It also means that I don’t have to eat the green bean casserole.
Around here, buffet style isn’t reserved just for the meal! Setting up a dessert station is another easy way to take the stress off of your day. When you set up a dessert station for Thanksgiving, you are giving your guests permission to enjoy dessert when they are ready.
Our dessert station often features classic items like Marie Callender’s Dessert Pie Dutch Apple and this year I am excited to add the new Marie Callender’s Loaf Cake Double Chocolate. The loaf cakes are made from scratch with real ingredients and no preservatives or artificial colors.
You worked hard to cook a beautiful Butterball whole turkey and several delicious side dishes. Now it is time to serve your friends and family a warm, delicious dessert that’s easy to make so you can give thanks for homemade taste. Taking a little help from the store is a good thing. Serving Marie Callender’s Dessert Pie and Loaf Cake gives my guests a pie that tastes like homemade and gives me a break from the kitchen. These desserts are so easy to make and the clean up is quick!
The best tip for a Thanksgiving entertaining is to have fun. Stay relaxed, have fun, and follow your plan!
Before you go, be sure to print this Thanksgiving Entertaining guide to keep you organized this Thanksgiving!
You can save on your Thanksgiving entertaining purchases by downloading the free Shopkick app here. Earn points for shopping in-store and online. Walk in and scan products, visit online stores and view products, and make purchases. Redeem points for a variety of digital gift cards.