Are you hosting Thanksgiving lunch or dinner this year? Planning to host a big family feast can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. If you plan your Thanksgiving feast with these top 6 dependable hosting tips, your guests will be impressed… and stuffed just like your turkey!

Top 6 Dependable Hosting Tips for Thanksgiving

Set a Schedule

You can’t get all your Thanksgiving preparations done in one day. Don’t leave your food shopping list for the day before!

Schedule each day for a specific task; for example, Tuesday iron table linens. Wednesday, wash serving dishes and fine china; Thursday, clean house and go grocery shopping. Friday, brine the turkey, bake the pies. Saturday, set the table etc.

Pre-plan the Menu

Set a menu, and stick to it. You can’t go wrong with the basics like turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and vegetables. Decide whether you’ll buy or bake desserts. Make your checklist and buy the essentials you need such as groceries, wine, and flowers or other decorative items a few days before so you’re not rushing around last minute.

Make Ahead

The most stressful part of a meal is the last-minute rush.  When you’re planning your menu, look for dishes that can be made ahead such as pies or casseroles. There are many dishes you can prepare several days before and reheat the day of Thanksgiving.

Bake your apple pie and prepare cranberry sauce two days before. Wash and chop vegetables the day before in order to save valuable time. Scalloped potatoes, for example, can be prepared and put in the refrigerator before baking. If you want a juicy turkey, make sure to brine for 24-48 hours before cooking the day of.

Make a Cooking Schedule

If you have a double oven, or two ovens, then holidays are a snap! But most of us don’t, so you’ll have to plan what goes in the oven, and what cooks on the stovetop, and when.

The timing of your Thanksgiving dishes can be tricky since the turkey is in the oven for several hours leading up to the meal. You can use a slow cooker to make mashed potatoes, leaving room on the stovetop to prepare other side dishes, such as butter-glazed carrots, brussel sprouts and gravy.

While your turkey needs a half hour to cool down once cooked, you can then reheat any prepared dishes in the oven.

Keep it Simple

Thanksgiving isn’t the time to try out new recipes; it’s a time for your tried and true dishes to shine. Your Thanksgiving feast will be better if you stick with what you know. If guests ask to bring something, accept their help – delegate side dishes or desserts. In a big time crunch, host a Thanksgiving pot luck – host should prepare the turkey, gravy and stuffing.

Dependable Appliances

Entertaining is definitely easier when you have appliances that were built with dependability and power in mind, such as Maytag ranges and cooktops that have Power Preheat which allows home chefs to cook faster – so guests can eat sooner.

And once your family feast is over, the Maytag Top Control dishwasher with the Power Blast cycle can help remove stuck-on food with high pressure spray jets, and hot stream to finish the job.

Fingerprint-resistant stainless steel on all Maytag kitchen appliances means you don’t have to worry about fingerprints from little – or messy cooking hands.


By following these 6 dependable hosting tips for Thanksgiving, I can assure your special day will run smoothly. If you plan ahead and are super organized, your Thanksgiving feast will be a success!

Top 6 Dependable Hosting Tips for Thanksgiving |

Disclosure: Whirlpool has compensated me for my services and my posts, but as always the opinions expressed herein are my own.


Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, and publisher of, a leading lifestyle blog for women.


  1. Pam Wattenbarger Reply

    We always host Thanksgiving at our house for our whole extended family. These are great tips for Thanksgiving hosts.

  2. This year will be my first year having people over for Thanksgiving, and I’m really nervous about it but super excited! These are some great and helpful tips!

  3. This is definitely good advice and it’s probably about time to start thinking about our Thanksgiving plans. It’s always easier when we have an outline and have a few things prepared ahead of time.

  4. Great tips! We have been hosting Thanksgiving the last few years, and we have learned a lot in just the few we have hosted. New recipes are definitely not a good idea ha ha. It is so important to be prepared and have a plan!

  5. Awesome tips for party/dinner hosts this season! It’s been a while since I hosted a dinner party and I could totally use these tips for the next time!

  6. Making dishes ahead will definitely lighten your load especially if you’re the only one cooking! It’s important to plan everything, including the cooking time!

  7. These are all amazing tips! It’s not rocket science but planning a Thanksgiving dinner can be a little stressful if you don’t have a good plan. I usually write everything that needs to be done and come up with a good schedule!

  8. I used to have a double oven and it really was nice during holidays. These days we just have a hoopla telling everyone to bring something and I make the main dish.

  9. Great tips which I hope to apply this year! I have a problem with “keeping it simple” and always end up with a ton of leftovers.

  10. We occasionally host Thanksgiving dinner and these are some great tips we can use, whether we are expecting guests or not. I love the strategy of doing one major task per day instead of trying to do it all in one day.

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