Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Guide

It’s possible to pull-off a great Thanksgiving by planning ahead and pacing yourself.

Most Thanksgiving dishes can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Follow my recipes for instructions on what to do to make prep easy. It’s important to just take it one day at a time. This calendar will help you visualize the process.

November 7-11: Print recipes and shopping list, plan shopping trip, clean out your fridge, shop, organize your groceries and take a rest.

November 14-18: Read and review recipes, make cranberry relish, prep and freeze dinner rolls, prep stuffing kit, prep pie pastry.

November 21-23: Prep sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, make and bake pies, prep Turkey on the evening of the 23rd.

Thanksgiving Day: Roast turkey, defrost and bake rolls, assemble stuffing in the crockpot,heat mashed potatoes, heat and top sweet potato casserole, make gravy, make fresh whipped cream for pies.

For the full calendar, more information, and my Thanksgiving recipes, join my Patreon group here:


Shannon Vavich has been working in the food industry since 1999 as a cake designer, pastry chef, recipe writer, caterer and cooking teacher. Originally a musician by education - she's also a classical vocalist. She is a military spouse of 26 years. Because of her husband's military career she has lived around the world and studied culinary arts in Morocco, England, Scotland, France, Switzerland, Greece, Italy, Spain, Germany, Japan, New Orleans, Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Boston and more. She currently lives in a small Medieval-era village in Baden-Württemberg, Germany with her husband and children. Shannon's two oldest children serve in the Marine Corps and the Air Force, respectively. She recently adopted a little rescue dog - a former street dog from Bursa, Turkey - and named her Nutmeg. Shannon and Nutmeg enjoy walks through the German countryside, creating seasonal dishes in her studio, and early bedtimes.