The Ultimate Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet – All the Recipes, Videos, and Timelines You Need to Totally Nail Your Thanksgiving Dinner

November 24, 2019

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You’re going to want to save this post, because there’s some good stuff here. 

The great thing about the Internet (and also why it sucks) is that it never forgets. I’m saying it’s great right now, because I can pull together all the posts I’ve done over the years for Thanksgiving, and put them right here. We have the turkey, sides, condiments, and even a minute-by-minute schedule for how to cook an entire Thanksgiving meal when you only have one oven. Let’s start with the star, the Turkey.


Choosing, Prepping, Roasting and Carving a Thanksgiving Turkey
I’m often asked, “How do I know what size of turkey to get for my family?” But I prefer the question, “How many 10-15lb turkeys do I need for my family?” Any turkey bigger than 15 lbs is gonna be tough to keep moist, so multiple smaller turkeys will end up better for you. A 10lb turkey is good for 8-10 people. 15 lbs is good for 10-12. If you’re feeding 20 adults, two 15lb turkeys. If you’re feeding 10 adults and 10 kids, two 10lb turkeys. There’s really no magic formula, but I use this general guideline and err on the side of leftovers.

Your Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet

When it comes to cooking, roasting is my go-to (though I enjoy all techniques). When done correctly, it’s just so juicy and makes the entire house smell like Heaven. That’s the smell of Thanksgiving. You can read the entire break down of prepping and roasting the turkey here and watch the video below.

And for this year, we’ve refreshed our carving video to make it simpler to follow. Check it out.

Chris Cooks: Cornbread & Sausage Dressing

The Best Dressing (stuffing) Recipes For Everyone 
I make cornbread dressing, because it’s superior to those made with regular bread. Sorry, just is. But I’ve adjusted my cornbread dressing recipe into an allergy-friendly version as well.

Please note, there is almond flour and sausage in the allergy-friendly version, so for nut allergies or to make it vegan, these ingredients are optional.

The Perfect Homestyle Mashed Potatoes
I posted my mashed potato recipe years ago, and haven’t updated it at all. Why? Because it doesn’t need it. The photography, however, could use a refresh. I’ll work on that, but you just look past the outdated camera work and make these amazing country-style herbed mashed potatoes. They’re dynamite, especially with my dijon gravy. And for anyone with dairy sensitivities, I’ll share a dairy-free version before Christmas.

Your Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet

Sweet Potatoes People Will Actually Eat
The sweet potatoes you normally see at Thanksgiving have never been my thing. Eating it meant giving up space in my stomach for other things (like my mom’s homemade rolls) and the math never made sense. But my roasted sweet potatoes with kale and prosciutto changed all that. As did my roasted sweet potatoes with maple and bacon vinaigrette.

Your Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet

Green Bean-less Casserole (Asparagus instead, because it’s better) 
I love green beans, but I love mixing things up even more. So I took the classic green bean casserole, amped up the sauce, and swapped in asparagus. This one is devour-worthy.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake is Way Better Than Pumpkin Pie
One of my recipes that I’m most proud of is my pumpkin cheesecake. It uses Ricotta as opposed to all cream cheese, so it’s light and fluffy (think soufflé), while staying true to all the pumpkin pie flavor you love. Make up to 48 hours in advance and that’s one less thing to take up oven space on the big day.

How to Cook an Entire Thanksgiving Dinner in One Oven
In case you’re thinking you need to cut back on your menu selections because you only have one oven, think again. Of course every person may need to adjust based on their specific menu, but this schedule I drafted sure is a good place to start.

Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet

So there it is. Everything I do the years I host Thanksgiving, recipes and all. I hope some of this is useful for you, and I encourage you to try some of the recipes if you don’t have your own. Sharing these with y’all is the next best thing to having you in our home for dinner, which we often wish was possible. We hope you have a happy Thanksgiving, friends. You’ve earned it.

Psst! Don’t forget the cranberry sauce

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What do you think?

  1. Debbie says:

    Thanks Chris. Your Thanksgiving recipes were a hit. Especially the cornbread dressing!!

  2. Eva says:

    Thanks for the great recipes. We don’t usually celebrate thanksgiving (I come from and live in Germany but spend a couple of years in California for my work) but your post inspired us to host a thanksgiving dinner this year. We tried a bunch of the recipes from this post and they all worked out great! Happy (belated) thanksgiving!

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