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Free Thanksgiving Cooking Schedule Printable

Streamline your holiday meal prep with our Thanksgiving cooking schedule printable. Be ready for the big meal by staying organized and stress-free this Thanksgiving. 

As the holiday season approaches, planning and preparing a Thanksgiving feast can sometimes feel overwhelming. 

Our Thanksgiving cooking schedule printable is designed to make your holiday preparations a breeze. With a well-structured cooking timeline and tasks outlined, you’ll be able to navigate the kitchen with confidence, ensuring a delicious and stress-free Thanksgiving celebration.

Preparing a large meal involves multiple dishes, timing, and coordination. Our printable schedule takes the guesswork out of the equation and will make a huge difference.

From prepping the turkey to whipping up sides and desserts, our Thanksgiving cooking schedule breaks down the tasks into manageable steps over the course of a couple days. This way, you can allocate your time efficiently and ensure your entire Thanksgiving meal comes together seamlessly on the big day.

Starting days before Thanksgiving, you’ll find a detailed breakdown of when to defrost the turkey, prepare side dishes, bake pies, and more. No more last-minute rushes or forgotten ingredients – our schedule helps you stay on track.

Hosting Thanksgiving should be enjoyable for you and your guests. Our printable schedule allows you to remain present and engaged while ensuring everything is well-prepared.

Download our Thanksgiving cooking schedule printable and let us guide you through the preparations. 

Say goodbye to stress and hello to a memorable holiday celebration with this free planner! 

How Do You Plan a Thanksgiving Cooking Schedule?

Planning a Thanksgiving cooking schedule requires careful consideration of your menu, kitchen space, and available cooking equipment. Here’s a step-by-step Thanksgiving dinner checklist to help you create an efficient and stress-free cooking schedule. Keep in mind the following: 

  • Research and estimate the cooking times for each dish. Consider the oven temperature, preparation time, and any required resting periods.
  • Evaluate how many dishes you can cook or bake simultaneously based on your oven and stove top or appliances like the instant pot or slow cooker.
  • Start with the time you plan to serve the meal and work backward. Assign specific start times for each dish based on their cooking times.
  • Dishes that require oven space, like the turkey or casseroles, should be scheduled first. Plan to bake similar dishes together to maximize oven efficiency.
  • Allocate specific time slots for each dish, considering preheating time, cooking time, and resting time.
  • Account for unexpected delays by adding buffer time between dishes. This will provide flexibility if things take longer than expected.
  • Use this free printable thanksgiving checklist to keep your cooking schedule organized. 

Thanksgiving Cooking Schedule

One Week Before Thanksgiving:

Menu Planning:

  • Confirm your guest list.
  • Decide on which of your favorite Thanksgiving recipes you’ll be adding to your Thanksgiving dinner menu, including appetizers, main course, sides, desserts, and beverages.
  • Make a detailed Thanksgiving shopping list and to-do list based on your menu.
  • Purchase non-perishable items well in advance and any items that can be frozen in advance.
  • Purchase fresh items on your grocery list closer to the date.

Turkey Prep:

  • Buy a turkey of the appropriate size for your guest count.
  • Ensure you have a roasting pan, thermometer, and necessary ingredients for seasoning and basting.
  • Plan the turkey thawing schedule based on its weight (usually 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds).

Three Days Before Thanksgiving:

  • Purchase fresh ingredients, including vegetables, fruits, and herbs.
  • Make a pie crust dough and store it in the refrigerator.

Two Days Before Thanksgiving:

One Day Before Thanksgiving:

  • Finish grocery shopping for fresh items like produce and dairy.
  • Make cranberry sauce and refrigerate.
  • Assemble any make ahead dishes such as sweet potato casserole or side dishes that can be baked or reheated on Thanksgiving day.

Thanksgiving Day:

Early Morning:

  • On Thanksgiving morning, prepare the turkey and let it come to room temperature.
  • Set the dinner table and arrange serving dishes and utensils.


  • Begin cooking the turkey early in the morning, following the calculated cooking time based on its weight.
  • Prepare stuffing and bake.
  • Prep appetizers.

Late Morning:

  • While the turkey cooks, prepare side dishes, salads, and appetizers.
  • Bake desserts like your apple pie or pumpkin pie.
  • Make gravy.
close up mini pumpkin pies

Early Afternoon:

  •  Finish cooking side dishes.
  •  Warm rolls, crescent rolls or bread.
  •  Reheat any make-ahead dishes.
homemade crescent rolls

Just Before Serving:

  • Carve the turkey just before serving.
  • Warm gravy.
  • Serve the meal.

After Dinner:

  • Enjoy dessert and coffee.
  • Begin cleaning up and storing leftovers.
  • Relax and enjoy time with family and friends.

Day After Thanksgiving:

Don’t forget to do one of the most important things this time of year: Take a moment to express gratitude and give thanks for the meal and the company. Happy Thanksgiving! 

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