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Thanksgiving Essentials: Everything You Need for an Incredible Holiday

4 weeks ago

Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for many people. After all, it’s a wonderful time to get together with friends and family and enjoy a delicious meal. However, it can also be a lot of work! As a result, it’s important to be prepared! Whether it’s your first time or your thirtieth time hosting, you need to get your Thanksgiving essentials in order.

Thankfully (no pun intended), we’ve made a list of all the essential Thanksgiving foods you need to put together an incredible Thanksgiving meal for your family and friends! Of course, in addition to the food, you need other items to create the perfect meal. These include:

We’ll highlight some of these essentials as well. 

Must-Have Menu Items for Thanksgiving

To throw an extraordinary Thanksgiving party, you need to ensure you have the mainstays for your meal. For this reason, when you put together your shopping list, take the time to include these Thanksgiving dinner essentials:

Turkey and Gravy 

Food

  • A turkey suitable for the number of guests you’re having over 
  • Rosemary, sage, and thyme to season the bird

Prep/Serving

Stuffing and Mashed Potatoes 

Food

  • Five pounds of potatoes (plenty of butter, too!) 
  • Breading 
  • Onions, carrots, celery

Prep/Serving

Cranberry Sauce 

Food

  • Two cans of canned cranberries 
  • White sugar

Prep/serving

Pumpkin Pie 

Food

  • Canned pumpkins
  • Cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg
  • Pie crust 
  • Condensed milk 
  • Whipped cream 

Prep/serving

Additional Thanksgiving Necessities

Food/drink 

  • Bread rolls 
  • Coffee and tea for after the meal
  • Red and white wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages

Prep/serving

What are Thanksgiving Essentials for the Dinner Table?

Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving without some of the classics on the table. We’re talking essential Thanksgiving dishes:

Turkey

Without the turkey, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be, well, Thanksgiving. The turkey is generally cooked whole, with fruit, vegetables, or other dressing stuffed within. The stuffing is also typically seasoned, which means it’s flavored and scented with herbs.

After that, the turkey is roasted, which means it is cooked in an oven or over an open fire. Roasting a turkey takes talent, but the most incredible roasted turkeys are moist and delectable. 

If you bought your turkey frozen, let it thaw for at least one day in the fridge. Larger birds may take up to two days to thaw entirely. Place the turkey in a large container, tray, or thick plastic bag to prevent liquid from spilling into your fridge.

Gravy 

Gravy is one of the fundamental Thanksgiving essentials since it’s needed to keep the turkey, potatoes, and stuffing moist. But don’t stress over whipping up a batch on Turkey Day. In fact, you can get the gravy out of the way by making it up to five days ahead of time. If you want to give your bird an additional oomph, add the turkey pan drippings for more flavor while it’s preheating. 

Potatoes

While there’s nothing like traditional mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving, experimenting with different potato dishes this autumn can add something new to the table. Whether you want to go with the tried-and-true mashed variety or venture off into scalloped, baked, or au gratin, potatoes are among the top things needed for Thanksgiving dinner.

The Stuffing 

When one thinks of the original Thanksgiving feast,  a classic bread stuffing is almost certainly one of the Thanksgiving basics.

Whether it’s cornbread stuffing flecked with luscious pears or gluten-free stuffing enhanced with fennel and green apples, Americans are bringing diversity back to their stuffings by adopting various recipes with origins all over the country. 

What could be more American than introducing diversity to your stuffing?

Starches

Yams, sweet potatoes, and squash have a magical way of transporting us back to when Thanksgiving was a harvest festival. The warm colors of these essential Thanksgiving dishes are needed to enhance the visual appeal of the turkey, placing it right at center stage. Add some style to your basic Thanksgiving menu with a stunning mix of roasted squash and red onions with a sprinkling of fresh green herbs. It may seem out of the ordinary for Thanksgiving, but it’s a winner.

Veggies 

Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing may receive all the attention, but the holiday’s true unsung heroes are the veggies. To create the ideal balance, serve your Thanksgiving feast with caramelized onion, salted green beans or green bean casserole, a hefty serving of peas, roasted brussels sprouts, and lots of squash.

Cranberries

Cranberries are often considered part of a basic Thanksgiving meal, but only because it’s obligatory. While you’ll typically end up cutting the jelly cylinder into rounds and arranging them on a plate, as is, it doesn’t have to be left untouched. To add a bit of flourish, include a garnish like candied ginger to take it a step further. Alternatively, for a zesty twist on a Thanksgiving classic, cook the canned sauce with orange juice! Of course, homemade cranberry sauce is also delicious and fairly easy to make. 

Bread Rolls

When you’re attempting to squeeze turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and dozens of other side dishes into your belly, bread can feel like an unnecessary filler. However, bread is an essential component of the dinner; otherwise, how would you soak up every last drop of gravy or make sandwiches with the leftovers?

Drinks

Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc are popular white wine choices for a basic Thanksgiving dinner. While wine is the traditional Thanksgiving drink, we have some other suggestions. Cider, hot punch, and even sangria are all welcome at Thanksgiving. Don’t forget to grab something non-alcoholic to round out the options.

Pumpkin Pie

When it comes to Thanksgiving, we immediately look for a handmade Pumpkin Pie on the dessert table. What is there not to love about this sweet treat? It has a crispy crust, a creamy pumpkin filling, and everyone’s favorite, whipped cream. Unless you want to deal with a bunch of unhappy, overstuffed guests, it’s best to ensure pumpkin pie is on the menu.

Pecan Pie

Did you think we’d only have one pie on this list? Pecan pie is a classic dessert that’s the ideal partner paired with pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and salty! Plus, it’s so simple to create that the kids can assist with every step of the process.

The Table Setting 

Now that you have an overview of the delicious food to serve on Thanksgiving, let’s take a look at table settings. After all, you want to create a festive yet functional atmosphere for your dinner guests. 

The first thing you’ll want to select is your centerpiece. Harvest-themed centerpieces with pumpkins, pine cones, and sunflowers are sure to make your table pop. Add a stylish buffalo check table runner to enhance the look. Then, set the table with your dinnerware. For special holidays like Thanksgiving, we recommend using your fine china—or at least your festive china. Good options include the Mikasa Bone China Set and Pfaltzgraff Autumn Berry collection.  

How to Shop & Save on a Basic Thanksgiving Menu 

Now that you have all of the basic Thanksgiving essentials out of the way, you don’t want to forget to spruce up your place before dinner.

Whether you’re looking for decorations, cookbooks, or cookware, Price.com is the place you want to start. Check out our Target coupons or Macy’s coupons for deals on home decor.

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