The Ultimate Guide To Thanksgiving Dinner at Gelson’s Market
Whether you’re hosting your first or fiftieth Thanksgiving, the key to a successful and stress-free event is proper planning and preparation. Rather than finding yourself frustrated and frazzled on the big day, taking some time to get ready beforehand can ensure an enjoyable holiday with family and friends.
This helpful hosting guide will walk you through everything you need to do to make Thanksgiving dinner easier than ever, so you’ll be ready to wow your guests with delicious food, thoughtful décor, and unforgettable memories. And if Thanksgiving snuck up on you this year, don’t worry – we also included few handy tips for how to make the most of last-minute preparations.
Plan a Turkey Day Menu
Before you ever set foot in your local grocery store, you’ll need to have a game plan at the ready. This means creating a menu that breaks down your entrée, side dishes, and any desserts, so you can easily make a Thanksgiving shopping list that includes all the dinner necessities. You’ll be able to refer back to your menu throughout the preparation process and use it as a handy guide when you’re busy in the kitchen on the big day.
Here are a few quick tips for making your Thanksgiving menu planning easy and fuss-free:
Keep Your Guests in Mind
When you’re thinking about how to plan Thanksgiving dinner, it’s tempting to get caught up in choosing elements that speak to your personal tastes. But don’t forget that being an excellent holiday host is all about considering your guests’ wants and needs. There’s nothing worse than showing up to a holiday dinner and realizing that there’s almost nothing you can actually eat, so be sure to plan a menu that won’t leave anyone out of the delicious fun.
Here are a few suggestions for accommodating guests with special dietary needs and preferences:
If any of your guests keep Kosher, serve a few Kosher Thanksgiving dishes like dairy-free sweet potato pie, green beans sautéed in olive oil, and mashed potatoes creamed with soy milk and olive oil or margarine. Browse Kosher meal ideas for easy ingredient swaps that you can incorporate into your menu.
For vegan or vegetarian guests, consider a Thanksgiving meat alternative served in addition to the turkey or ham. Vegan Thanksgiving side dishes are among the easiest ways to make your meat-free guests feel included and can take full advantage of seasonal fall produce for fresh flavor.
Know How Much to Serve
One of the most common questions for first-time holiday hosts is, “How much food do I serve on Thanksgiving?" While it can vary depending on your guests, we usually use the following guidelines when creating a menu for Thanksgiving dinner:
1-2 main dishes; including the turkey
3-4 side dishes
You can either keep things simple by making larger quantities and less variety or get creative and try a wide range of recipes for a varied and unique spread. When you’re making your list of dishes, don’t forget to consider factors like kitchen space and heat sources – you won’t want to plan for six oven-baked dishes if you only have time and space for three!
Get a Head Start on Thanksgiving Day Prep
Once you have your menu ready to go, you can really dive into Thanksgiving preparations. You might be surprised to learn that there’s plenty you can do beforehand that will not only simplify the big day but will actually set you up for your best-ever holiday meal.
Put Together a Shopping Strategy
Instead of driving all over town to get your Thanksgiving ingredients, make a master shopping list and choose a store that will have everything you need. Divide your list according to sections of the store to make shopping easier, and don’t forget pantry basics like seasonings and oils. You may want to plan for a shopping trip a couple of weeks beforehand for all your non-perishables, as well as one a few days before Thanksgiving for fresh ingredients.
Don’t Forget the Drinks
Don’t forget to make a list of beverage options, including a variety of non-alcoholic and alcoholic options if desired. Choose holiday wines to complement the food you’ve selected. If you’re unsure about the best pairings, be sure to ask our in-store wine expert if you’re unsure about the best pairings.
Decide What You Can Make Ahead
Some components of Thanksgiving dinner can be made ahead of time, saving you serious time. In the week or two leading up to Thanksgiving, you can tackle certain elements of the meal and freeze them until the day of. Pies, rolls, soups, and many sides can either be completely cooked or partially prepared ahead of time.
Simplify the Holiday with a Prepared Thanksgiving Dinner
When it comes to undertaking the task of hosting Thanksgiving dinner, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Between assembling ingredients, finding the time to prepare food and decorate, and figuring out how to accommodate all your guests, being the holiday host is a big job. And for the holiday host that’s been caught off guard by how quickly Turkey Day arrived, the challenge is even more daunting.
Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone – what if you could enlist the help of a talented team of experts to prepare a delicious Thanksgiving meal that you could proudly serve to friends and family? With catered holiday meals from Gelson’s Supermarkets, you absolutely can. Our deli and catering team offers an extensive selection of options, including appetizers, platters, entrees, desserts, and more, so you can design the perfect Thanksgiving menu without ever spending a moment in the kitchen. You’ll be able to relax and enjoy the holiday with zero stress, knowing that a delicious, expertly-prepared dinner will be ready for your holiday table. Even if you have minimal time to get ready for the big event, a prepared holiday meal will set you up for hosting success.
If you have the roast turkey covered, let Gelson’s help by providing a few prepared sides for your guests to enjoy. You’ll still earn bragging rights for your perfectly-cooked turkey, and we’ll save you the time and hassle of putting together a well-rounded assortment of sides. Or, we can take care of the main entrée while you tackle the sides – it’s completely up to you. For the easiest holiday hack ever, let Gelson’s prepare your entire Thanksgiving dinner from start to finish, and all you’ll have to do is serve and enjoy! We can cook a full feast for 12 guests or create a dinner for two with all the trimmings; customizing your prepared holiday meal is simple with help from Gelson’s.
Get All Your Holiday Entertaining Essentials from Gelson’s Supermarkets
Whether you’re shopping for Thanksgiving ingredients, prepared meals, holiday treats, or decorative florals, you can find everything you need at Gelson’s Supermarket. Odds are, you’re already busy enough during the holidays, and making multiple stops at different grocery stores isn’t something you have time for. Instead, make just one visit to your neighborhood Gelson’s and check everything off your Turkey Day to-do list, leaving you more time to actually enjoy the season of celebration.
Start planning your Thanksgiving shopping list today and make Gelson’s Supermarket your one and only stop for all your holiday necessities.