Thanksgiving Guide: Menu Plan, Family Activities & More
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We’ve created a one-stop shop for all of your thanksgiving needs. Includes simple, no-fuss recipes, fun activities for the whole family, ideas for leftovers, and more.
It never hurts to have some activities set out around the house. Here are a few that your family might enjoy!
- Make a Thanksgiving Tree – A family activity that all can participate in. Free printable included.
- Table Talk Cards – Great conversation starters at the table! Have each person draw a card to ask the group.
- 30+ Thanksgiving Crafts – Want to keep those little hands busy? Here are some great ideas.
- Set out a puzzle. I personally love Ravensburger Puzzles. They are high quality and don’t fall apart!
Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas
We’ll pulled together a few very doable recipes for each portion of the meal for you. Pick one or two from each section and enjoy a homemade meal!
- Hummus & Veggie Sticks – Tasty and not too filling. Need to save room for that turkey!
- Homemade Chex Mix – My grandma would have bowls of this out everywhere when we celebrated Thanksgiving at her house. Be warned, it’s addictive!
- Easy Bruschetta with Balsamic Glaze – My mother-in-law makes a version of this every year.
- Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese – A holiday favorite.
- Festive Charcuterie Board – Our team member, Whitney, shows you how to style a beautiful charcuterie board for a holiday gathering.
- Roast Turkey Breast with Pan Gravy – Cheaper and easier to manage for a smaller group. Serves up to 8.
- Whole Roast Turkey – I have used this detailed guide by The Yummy Life a few times now.
- Smoked Turkey – Takes a bit of time but totally worth it! A smoker is necessary.
- Holiday Ham with Cranberry-Orange Glaze – An easy alternative to have for anyone who doesn’t love turkey.
- Ham and Cheese Sliders – Everyone loves these! Make ahead of time and freeze before the big day.
- Autumn Chopped Salad – Trust me. This one is a WINNER.
- Simple Homemade Stuffing – So easy. You’ll never go back to store bought after this.
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes – Made in the Instant Pot to save time!
- Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans – Who wants a green bean casserole when you can wrap them in bacon??
- Sweet and Savory Roasted Baby Carrots – Easy and delicious.
- 10-Minute Cranberry Sauce – Gorgeous color and amazing flavor in just minutes. Make ahead and freeze! (You could also try out our Apple Cranberry Sauce if Cranberry sauce is a bit too tart for you.)
Dessert and Drinks
- Pumpkin Dump Cake – Easier and tastier than pumpkin pie, in our humble opinion.
- Snickerdoodle Cookies – These are SO good. Fun to have kids help with the prep, too.
- Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Latte – Such a treat to have before or after a Thanksgiving meal!
- Apple Pie Bars – Made with a delicious green apple filling and a buttery sugar cookie crust.
- Pie in a Jar – These personal-sized pies are made in little mason jars that can go straight from your freezer to your oven to your mouth.
How to Use Up Leftovers
- 4 Layer Turkey Stuffing Casserole – Use up leftover turkey, gravy, and stuffing in this amazing casserole. Make it and freeze for later if you want.
- Turkey Broth – Don’t throw away your turkey carcass! Make simple broth to freeze for later using either your slow cooker, Instant Pot, or on the stove. I freeze it in mason jars to use in soups.
- Turkey Pesto Paninis – A Thriving Home fave! Make these sandwiches in bulk and freeze for later.
- Ham and Cheese Sliders – If you have leftover ham, slice it up to use in these freezable sammies.
- Leftover Ham and Bean Soup – A healthy, comforting soup to use up leftover ham (or smoked turkey) in.
Bonus Tips & Tricks for Hosting
- Top 10 Hospitality Tips & Tricks – Practical ideas to use if you are hosting!
- 10 Thanksgiving Tips Our Readers Swear By – Great advice for making T-Day less stressful.
- 20+ Easy Meal Ideas for Groups of People – Need more meal ideas? Check out this roundup.
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