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Ultimate Thanksgiving Dinner Planner {printable checklist}

Thanksgiving is such a wonderful day to spend with friends and family…but it can also be a lot of work. Make sure you don’t miss anything with our printable Thanksgiving Dinner Checklist.

I’m also including a matching meal planner and grocery shopping list. Join our email list to download your free copy and then checkout our meal ideas below.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’ve split the recipes according to Appetizers, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, and Desserts. They’re also grouped into recipes for different size Thanksgiving Dinners. But feel free to check out all the recipes and double or half a recipe to make it feed the number of guests you expect.

Appetizers
For 2-4 people
For 4-8 people
For 8-12 people
For 12 or more people

Main Dishes
For 2-4 people
For 4-8 people
For 8-12 people
For 12 or more people

Sides
For 2-4 people
For 4-8 people
For 8-12 people
For 12 or more people

Desserts
For 2-4 people
For 4-8 people
For 8-12 people
For 12 or more people

Thanksgiving Appetizers

There’s no such thing as too much food on Thanksgiving. Give your guests something to snack on as they mix and mingle while you put the finishing touches on your Thanksgiving feast! Have a couple options but don’t let them fill up before the main course.

Thanksgiving appetizers
Pumpkin fluff dip * Thanksgiving Charcuterie Board * Pumpkin Cheese Ball

Appetizers for a small group (2-4 people)

Cranberry, Pecan, & Blue Cheese Salad (serves 4)

Appetizers for a medium group (4-8 people)

Pumpkin fluff dip (serves 6-8)
Thanksgiving Charcuterie Board (serves 4-8)
Butternut Squash Apple Bruschetta (serves 6-8)

Appetizers for a large group (8-12 people)

Savory Stuffed Mushrooms (serves 12, vegetarian)

Appetizers for a big group (12 plus people)

Pecan Crunch Grape Salad (serves 15+)
Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs (serves 16)
Pumpkin Cheese Ball (serves 16)

Main Dishes

Turkey is definitely the traditional and most popular main dish but there are lots of different ways to make a turkey! You can also do ham, cornish game hens, or even a vegetarian option for your main dish.

Thanksgiving main dish
Air Fryer turkey breast * Instant Pot Ham * Roast Turkey

Main dishes for a small group (2-4 people)

Air Fryer Turkey Breast (serves 2-4)
Slow Cooker Cornish Game Hens (serves 2-4)
Apple Herb Stuffed Turkey Breast (serves 2-4)
Italian Roast Chicken (serves 4)

Main dishes for a medium group (4-8 people)

Smoked Turkey Breast (serves 6)
Instant Pot Balsamic Dijon Ham (serves 8)
Roasted Chicken and Vegetables (serves 6)

Main dishes for a large group (8-12 people)

Instant Pot Maple Glazed Ham (serves 10)
Roast Turkey with Gravy (serves 10)
Delicious Beef Tenderloin (serves 12)

Main dishes for a big group (12 plus people)

Cajun Smoked Turkey (serves 16)
Roast Turkey in a bag (serves 12-16)

Thanksgiving Side Dish recipes

There are so many good sides you can serve at Thanksgiving it’s hard to choose just a few. Make a few that will serve all your guests or make lots of small portions to add more variety.

Thanksgiving sides
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes * Sweet Potato Casserole * Harvest Squash Casserole

Side dishes for a small group (2-4 people)

Stuffed Butternut Squash (vegan, serves 4)
Mixed Vegetable Casserole (serves 4)
Apple Maple Glazed Green Beans (serves 4)
Cranberry Sauce (serves 2)

Side dishes for a medium group (4-8 people)

Roasted Balsamic Brussel Sprouts (serves 8)
Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble (vegan, serves 8)
Homemade Green Bean Casserole (serves 6)
Candied Yams (serves 8)
Baked Chickpeas with Butternut Squash (serves 6)
Scalloped Potatoes (serves 6)
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes (serves 6-8)
Honey Roasted Carrots (serves 6)

Side dishes for a large group (8-12 people)

Old Fashioned Bread Stuffing (serves 10)
Harvest Squash Casserole (serves 8-10)
Creamed Spinach (serves 8-10)
Sweet Potato Casserole with pecans & marshmallows (serves 12)

Side dishes for a big group (12 plus people)

Soft dinner rolls (serves up to 20)
Cranberry Orange Sauce (serves 12+)
Slow Cooked Green Beans (serves 12)

Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

Thanksgiving Dinner isn’t complete without dessert! I like to have at least two options but more is never out of the cards if you have a larger group at your dinner party.

Thanksgiving desserts
Cinnamon Baked Pears * Pumpkin Spice ice cream * Pumpkin Pie

Dessert for a small group (2-4 people)

Apple Pie Trifle (made as single servings so can serve as many as you need)
Cinnamon Baked Pears (serves 4)
Small Batch Pecan Pie (serves 2)

Dessert for a medium group (4-8 people)

Pumpkin Crisp (vegan, serves 8)
Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream (serves 8)
Pumpkin Pie (serves 8)
Pumpkin Tiramisu (serves 6)
Apple Cranberry Crisp (gluten/dairy free, serves 8)

Dessert for a large group (8-12 people)

Caramel Apple Pecan Dump Cake (serves 10)
Pumpkin Flan (serves 12)
Plum Almond Tart (serves 8-10)
Pumpkin Pie Truffles (serves 10)

Dessert for a big group (12 plus people)

Apple Spice Cake (serves 12+)
Pumpkin Sheet Cake (dairy free, serves up to 16)

What are your favorite things to have at Thanksgiving dinner I hope this helps you plan your dinner menu whether it’s a small family affair or a large gathering. And if you missed it up top don’t forget to grab the Thanksgiving Dinner Planner.