When to Start Prepping and Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner

Planning, prepping and cooking thanksgiving dinner can definitely be overwhelming. Use our Holiday Dinner Game Planner tool to get it right and get dinner ready just in time!

Whether you’re preparing Thanksgiving dinner for the first time or have made this feast a tradition at your table, prepping and cooking Thanksgiving dinner requires planning. Use our Holiday Dinner Game Planner tool below to get the timing right for your entire menu. From when to start the stuffing to how long it will take to cook your turkey, our tool will guide you through each step of the cooking process.

Here’s how it works:
Step 1: When’s Thanksgiving dinner? Pick the time you’d like to serve your dinner using the up and down arrows located above and below the time slot.

Step 2: What’s for dinner? First choose a dish, then choose the desired amount for each item and click “add.” 

Step 3: Getting your game plan! Once you’ve added all the items you’d like for your menu, click on “Calculate.” This will give you the start time for each item and prepping and cooking time.

For more thanksgiving ideas, take a peek at these Thanksgiving Recipes: 
-- Easy Turkey Recipes 
-- Delicious Side Dishes
-- Tasty Potato Side Dishes
-- Cranberry Sauce Recipes 
-- Easy Stuffing Recipes 
-- Delectable Thanksgiving Desserts


Sign up for the iVillage Get Organized for the Holidays Community Challenge to get daily tips on cooking, decorating and shopping and expert advice to help organize your holiday to-dos and schedule and take the stress out of the holiday season this year!






holiday dinner game planner

Take the hassle out of holiday meal planning with our quick and easy Game Planner. Input your menu and our quick and easy tool will give you a schedule to prep, cook and serve up your meal like a pro.

When's Dinner?

Input the time you plan to serve dinner.

  • :

Whats' forDinner?

Build your Thanksgiving menu

Stuffed? This affects cooking time.
Choose a dish Turkey
turkey pie stuffing (side-dish) salad roasted squash sweet potato casserole mashed potatoes whipped cream creamed Spinach sauteed Brussels sprouts gravy biscuits green beans sauteed corn sauteed peas
Amount 10 Lbs
10 Lbs 11 Lbs 12 Lbs 13 Lbs 14 Lbs 15 Lbs 16 Lbs 17 Lbs 18 Lbs 19 Lbs 20 Lbs 21 Lbs 22 Lbs 23 Lbs 24 Lbs 25 Lbs 26 Lbs 27 Lbs 28 Lbs 29 Lbs 30 Lbs
Amount 1 Pie
Amount 4 Cups
Amount 8 cups
Amount 6 cups
Amount 6 cups
Amount 6 cups
Amount 4 cups
Amount 4 cups
Amount 6 cups
Amount 2 cups
Amount 1 dozen
Amount 6 cups
Amount 4 cups
Amount 4 cups

When's Dinner?

Thanksgiving Game Plan

Oops! you forgot the turkey!

Start time Step prep/cook time  
... Prep turkey (stuffed) (unstuffed) 30 min. X
... Cook turkey (stuffed) (unstuffed) min. X
... Prep pie 45 min. X
... Cook pie 60 min. X
... Prep stuffing (cooked outside of turkey) 30 min. X
... Cook stuffing (cooked outside of turkey) 45 min. X
... Prep sweet potato casserole 45 min. X
... Prep mashed potatoes 20 min. X
... Prep roasted squash 15 min. X
... Prep green beans 15 min. X
... Prep sauteed corn 10 min. X
... Prep sauteed peas 5 min. X
... Prep salad 15 min. X
... Prep biscuits 20 min. X
... Cook roasted squash 45 min. X
... Cook sweet potato casserole 45 min. X
... Cook mashed potatoes 40 min. X
... take Turkey out to Rest 30 min. X
... Prep whipped cream 10 min. X
... Cook creamed Spinach 20 min. X
... Cook sauteed Brussels sprouts 20 min. X
... Cook gravy 15 min. X
... Cook biscuits 15 min. X
... Cook green beans 15 min. X
... Cook sauteed corn 10 min. X
... Cook sauteed peas 10 min. X
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