The Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu / Prep Schedule

The big day is in 1 week and we’re all almost prepared with an arsenal of recipes that will get rave reviews from everyone! So, let’s pull everything together for the most epic Thanksgiving Menu and then talk prep and making things ahead of time!

Thanksgiving Menu + Prep Schedule from (@Whatsgabycookin)

Here’s the full Thanksgiving Menu:

Thanksgiving Cheese Board

Herb Roasted Turkey

Homemade Gravy

Zesty Cranberry Sauce

Fall Farmers Market Salad

Wild Mushroom Stuffing

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

Spicy Garlic Green Beans

Charred Carrots with Herbs

Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes

Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese

Creamed Kale

Apple Crisp

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Marshmallow Meringue

I mean, is that not the most glorious Thanksgiving menus you’ve ever seen!! Gobble Gobble! Thomas and I are going to have leftovers for DAYS.

Thanksgiving Menu + Prep Schedule from (@Whatsgabycookin)


Here’s my basic schedule / prep plan for my Thanksgiving Menu:


  • Clean out the fridge
  • Stock up on beer and wine
  • Make a grocery list
  • Shop for all the ingredients
  • If you buy a frozen turkey – make sure to put it in the fridge to start thawing out
  • Reorganize fridge with all the ingredients



Thanksgiving Menu + Prep Schedule from (@Whatsgabycookin)Wednesday:


Early Morning / 8am-ish

Before the Feast

Thanksgiving Menu + Prep Schedule from (@Whatsgabycookin)

Have any last minute questions about Thanksgiving, the prep schedule, my Thanksgiving Menu or prep timing…?? Shout them out in the comments below and I’ll respond ASAP!

PS – are you thinking of putting this on your Thanksgiving menu? Check out the full What’s Gaby Cooking menu here along with the master prep schedule to keep things organized and on track!
And if you need more Thanksgiving Ideas check out this roundup of 80+ Thanksgiving Recipes and Ideas

Photography by Matt Armendariz / Styling by Adam Pearson / Prop styling by Stephanie Hanes / Light Fixture by Serena and Lily/  Recipes by What’s Gaby Cooking

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  1. Eleni

    Thank yo for this! All the recipes look delicious. I can’t wait to try! 🙂

  2. Sarah White

    Thank you! For the Mac and cheese that you assemble morning of – do you refrigerate until it goes in the oven? And with the mashed potatoes if you put them in a crockpot to rewarm from the fridge, do you add anything so they don’t get gummy? As you can tell I’m making basically everything on this menu.

    • Gaby

      i would just leave it on the counter for a few hours before making.

      and mashed potatoes in the crock pot, you should be good to go. Sometimes i add a little extra cream or stock to loosen it up if need be

  3. Janie Kidd

    Hello from Chicago! Can you make a shopping list for this menu? My daughters and I plan to make it all. We have a 30 day stay at home advisory starting Nov. 16th, so this gives us plenty to do. Everything sounds delish!

  4. Jennifer

    For the cheeseboard – where do you get candied walnuts & spiced cashews? Do you make them or are they are Trader Joe’s?

  5. Phyll

    You are amazing!! Thank you for your recipes and “to do” lists. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  6. Jessica Cassiano

    Thank you for this! I recently found you on Instagram and I’m in love with you since them hahaha

    I’m from Brazil and I’m living in Australia at the moment and neither Brazil nor Australia does Thanksgiving. But I have a friend from America here and she’s missing her family and I thought making a Friendsgiving will cheer her up! I’ll try to make some of your recipes! They look so amazing!!

  7. Ruby

    Wondering where the All Clad promotion is, the one you spoke about while cooking the stuffing? Thank you!

  8. Irene

    My question about kitchen torch, I find that it doesn’t do the trick all that well. Could you recommend
    a good one. I have been on the fence about buying one a small blow torch. Before you freak out I am
    capable of using but not sure if it is food safe. Thanks

    • Gaby

      I bought a heavy duty one from the hardware store! way cheaper, lasts longer and is stronger.

  9. Sarah

    Hi Gaby,

    I’m putting together my grocery list. I am making your green beans and roast turkey. The turkey calls for lemon zest and 2 lemons, the green beans also call for lemon zest. Could I be frugal and buy 2 lemons and get the zest from each one and set it aside or is the lemon zest on the lemon needed for in the turkey cavity?

  10. Isabella

    Hi Gaby,
    I am super excited to follow your Thanksgiving guide! I wanted to ask you, is it ok to make the top crust for the apple crisp dessert the day before and refrigerate it. Thank you!!

    • Gaby

      yes but don’t slice the apples until the day of! they will brown!! but crisp topping can def be prepped ahead

  11. Tracy

    What is your philosophy about leaving food at room temp while preparing the rest of a meal. Lots of Thanksgiving & general entertaining guides I see online suggest prepping lots of dishes, veggies, appetizers etc. in the am – long before they’ll be served. I’m always conscious of keeping things out for only 2 hours. Is this too hyper? Only applicable to dairy? Meat? Help…

    • Gaby

      dairy and meat – I won’t leave out for more than 2-3 hours. Vegetables – fair game to leave out for much longer

  12. Cari

    All your recipes look amazing! What’s the best way to reheat the cheesy creamed kale if I make it on Wednesday?

  13. Rocio Patton

    First timer as far as cooking thanksgiving dinner…eeek! I just bought a 6 pound turkey breast(not frozen) and I’m wondering if I should leave it in the fridge until Thursday or freeze it and then thaw it out

    • Gaby

      Put it in the fridge today, start brining it on Monday and then cook Thursday

  14. Lisa

    Can’t wait to try some of these delicious things! Thanks for sharing them‼️

  15. mary

    This schedule is seriously a life-saver, thank you! What are your thoughts on par-baking/roasting the carrots the day before?

  16. Sarah

    Hey Gaby! I remember you saying your man did thanksgiving recommendations for wine…. can you point me to them. Thank you!

  17. Mitali

    Thank you for this! If I’m making a butternut squash risotto, do I make it earlier in the day and reheat before serving or make it before and sit down to eat immediately? I know you said something about par-boiling it but I can’t remember what that means oops.

  18. Cheryl

    Your recipes are amazing! You mentioned a while back a couple of meat thermometers that you liked…I meant to right them down! Could you let me know your recommendations again. Thanks!

  19. Kristin

    Hi! Can I make the brussel sprouts the day before and reheat? Also, would you suggest sautee them in a cast iron skillet or non-stick?

  20. Marti Rock Trevillian

    Tuesday 12:30p. It is going to be a Gaby Thanksgiving here. I have made the dry brine and. plan to cook the turkey beginning about 9:00 on Thursday. When should I brine the bird? Wednesday morning? Tuesday night?

    I love everything you do!

    • Gaby

      if you’re doing a wet brine – start now. dry brine, you could start tomorrow morning.

  21. Kimber

    The guide, the recipes, THE TURKEY! They were all a hit tonight!! And the guide made it a stress-free day (until I realized I left the turkey butter at home and had to fight with an ancient blender to make a second batch)!! On our menu- the brined turkey, marscapone potatoes, garlicy spicy green beans, charred carrots with basil mint sauce, and zesty cranberry sauce. Aaannnnndddd it was my 1st turkey to ever cook- Gaby made it so easy and delicious!

  22. Brit brown

    This guide is the best, so helpful. Thanks for taking the time to make it. Will def save it for years to come.

  23. Garrison

    Love your cooking style and all your recipes are a hit. Just a ? I’m making a 20 lb prime rib for dinner tonight. I’ll have to cut it in half as some like very rare some like med. thoughts ? Help!

  24. Connie

    I cook and carve my Turkey the day before and cover it with a bit of stock and the skin then foil. Carving the Turkey is time consuming and messy. Also I cook a large Turkey so there’s room in my oven to cook anything else while roasting Turkey. I also make my gravy the day before.

  25. Suzanne

    Wow wow wow!!! Awesome job with the recipes, timeline and suggestions! You have made everything very easy follow. Thanks for all your hard work!

  26. Allison B

    Can you make the stuffing and Mac and cheese the day before? If yes, do You cook it all the way through and then reheat on Thursday or assemble it refrigerate and cook on Thursday?

    • Gaby

      stuffing – you could do the day before and par bake. finish baking day of. Mac and cheese – technically yes but it wont be as creamy and gooey

  27. joanie

    does the cornbread/sausage stuffing hold up well to be prepped in advance? Even early morning prep would be great. thanks!

  28. Karyn Brake

    Your Prep/Schedule is brilliant!!! A hostess’ lifeline. Every year I struggle with the task of planning and how much time to allow for each task. The struggle is very real! And you include relax time. I’m so impressed!!!
    Thank you.

  29. Kim Wright

    love everything – can’t wait to get started – so here is my question
    My 21 lb turkey is frozen, do i take out on Saturday and brine on Tuesday for roasting on Thursday???? Please advise. Happy Thanksgiving!

  30. Laura L Synan

    I need to cook and carve my turkey the day before. What is the best way to keep it moist and reheat on thanksgiving??

    • Gaby

      once you carve and place it on a serving platter, drizzle some extra stock on top and then wrap tight and refridgerate. Day of… reheat in a low heat oven until warm (Add extra stock to keep it moist) and douse with gravy to serve.

  31. Jenny

    If you make the compound butter ahead a couple days ahead, do you just store in fridge and then take out Thursday morning and let it come to room temp to soften?