Ultimate Thanksgiving Planner: Time-Saving Tips

Five strategies and 17 mix-and-match dishes for a delicious, stress-free and beautifully organized holiday, with recipes from the F&W Test Kitchen.

A Thanksgiving turkey can monopolize the oven for hours. You can choose to wait, or you can leave that bird alone and use other appliances to keep cooking—baking the stuffing on the grill, say. When the bird is ready, the rest of the meal will be, too.

Use the freezer
Dishes can be made ahead and frozen for up to a week.

Use the refrigerator
Prepare dips and salads at least one day in advance.

Use the grill
It can serve as a second oven or stovetop.

Use the stovetop
Make side dishes that don’t compete with the turkey for oven space.

Use the oven
Since the turkey cools for 45 minutes, there’s time to make sides and dessert in the oven.

Menu 1

Grilled Butterflied Turkey

Ham-and-Cheddar Sourdough Stuffing

Smoky Seafood Cocktails

Creamed Spinach and Parsnips

Grill-Roasted Vegetables with Pine Nut Pesto

Pumpkin-Gingersnap Tiramisù

Wine: 2006 Bogle Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel

Menu 2

Apricot-Glazed Turkey

Fennel, Red Onion and Focaccia Stuffing

Cauliflower Soup with Chorizo Bread Crumbs

Celery Salad with Walnuts, Dates and Pecorino

Cranberry-Pomegranate Sauce

Pear Tart with Pecan Crust

Wine: 2006 Handley Cellars Anderson Valley Chardonnay

Menu 3

Turkey from Menu 1 or 2

Corn Bread Dressing with Brussels Sprouts

Goat Cheese–Edamame Dip with Spiced Pepitas

Mashed Potatoes with Crème Fraîche and Chives

Crunchy Baked Fennel

Caramel Cream Pie with Crispy Rice

Wine: 2007 Simi Roseto


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