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Renee Nicole's Kitchen - Everyday Gourmet » Seasonal and Holiday Recipes » Thanksgiving Recipes » 7 Tips for a Traditional Thanksgiving Menu

7 Tips for a Traditional Thanksgiving Menu

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Safeway. All opinions are 100% mine.

Planning a Thanksgiving menu can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! Before you panic, let me help. Together we will break down the most important elements so that you can create the perfect traditional Thanksgiving menu for your gathering, whether you are hosting for just yourself or for the whole family.

Thank you Safeway for sponsoring today’s post. To learn more, check out their website at Safeway.com.

Square image of a traditional thanksgiving dinner with cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, dressing, rolls, green beans, gravy, and turkey.

Creating a Thanksgiving Menu with Safeway

Putting together a Thanksgiving menu can be overwhelming in normal years. While we all know that 2020 is anything but normal, that doesn’t mean we have to skip it all together.

Maybe you are hosting a socially distanced outdoor pot-luck. Maybe you are planning a DIY zoom gathering with friends. Perhaps you are keeping it small with dinner just for your immediate family.

However you are choosing to approach this holiday, if you’ve never been the one to plan the Thanksgiving menu it can be scary. With a little bit of planning and some help from your local Safeway, you can do it and make it look easy too!

Overhead image of a traditional thanksgiving dinner with cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, dressing, rolls, green beans, gravy, and turkey next to a laid place setting.

1. The main entree

The first thing to consider is your main entree aka the shining star of your Thanksgiving feast: The Thanksgiving Turkey. Here are some things to consider as you make your plan.

Do you want to make a whole turkey, like this buttermilk-brined turkey, or are you looking for options with just white or dark meat, like this hazelnut crusted turkey breast?

How many people do you have to feed and do you want leftovers? Some quick turkey math: A whole turkey is going to yield about 40% meat after it’s cooked. So, a 12 lb bird will give you just under 5 lbs of cooked meat and at about 8 ounces per serving, a 12 lb bird will feed around 10 people.

Figure out how much you need for the big (or small) event and the type of meat most people will want to eat and plan accordingly. Check with your local Safeway for sales and specials at your local store to get the best price on your bird.

2. Turkey dressing or stuffing

The turkey dressing is an important one, so it gets a section all it’s own. It’s always been my favorite part of the meal. Loaded with carbs and packed with flavor, what’s not to love?!

First question: are you on team dressing or team stuffing? To be fair, the only difference is how you cook it. Any dressing can be a stuffing if you put it inside the bird and any stuffing can be a dressing if you cook it in a casserole dish.

My personal favorite is this cranberry apple stuffing made with homemade turkey stock and dried stuffing base from the bakery department at Safeway. Bake it in a casserole dish or stuff it in the bird, it’s up to you!

3. Traditional side dishes

It’s not a traditional Thanksgiving unless it has some level of gluttony involved and that means having multiple side dishes. Hit up the produce section and aim for a balance of savory and sweet sides to keep everyone happy. A few of my favorites:

Square image with a plate loaded with traditional thanksgiving dinner items: cranberry sauce, dressing, green beans, gravy, and turkey.

4. Bread

At the Thanksgiving table bread is the best way to get those extra drops of gravy from your plate into your mouth.

While these brioche dinner rolls would be a no brainer, they aren’t your only options. You can also serve cornbread, biscuits, or even grab dinner rolls from your Safeway bakery.

The best thing about all of these bread options is that they freeze really well, so you could offer them all and keep the rest in the freezer for later.

5. Desserts

When I think Thanksgiving dessert I think of pies and when I think of pies I think of my it-hasn’t-failed-me-yet Millie’s Perfect Pie Crust. It is an all butter crust that makes for the best sweet or savory pies. You can make it into apple pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie or even a blackberry crumble pie.

If pie from scratch is too intimidating to try this year, try this butterscotch apple crisp instead. It’s kind of like a Dutch apple pie 3w1sqabut without the bottom crust.

Want something even easier? Check out the bakery at Safeway and let them do the work!

6. Drinks

No matter how many people are involved in your celebration, you will need drinks! Stock up with the non-alcoholic and alcoholic options. Specialty sodas and juices make for excellent mocktails. Plan for at least 3 drinks per person and don’t forget you’ll need drinks to go with the leftovers too!

Vertical image of a traditional thanksgiving dinner with cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, dressing, rolls, green beans, gravy, and turkey with a laid place setting in the front.

7. Ask for help!

Considering all that 2020 has given us, the most important tip I can leave you with it to ask for help and accept it when it’s offered. If you simply don’t have the time or energy to get it all done on your own, these are a few ways that Safeway can be of help this holiday season.

Choose your favorites to make half of the meal from scratch, then rely on the Safeway for the rest. Between the deli, bakery, and freezer section they have you covered.

Perhaps you only want to make the pies. Did you know you can Order Ahead your entire Thanksgiving dinner through your local Safeway so that all you have to do is reheat and eat? If you like their rotisserie chickens, you’ll love their prepared in-store roasted turkey!

Maybe a full Thanksgiving meal isn’t what you are looking for this year. You can also Order Ahead for freshly crafted appetizer trays that help make Thanksgiving as delicious and easy as possible.

If you want to get it all done, but are strapped for time you can opt for online shopping with Grocery Delivery or DriveUp & Go™ for a more convenient way to shop!

I shopped at Safeway in my local area, but you can also find convenient and delicious ingredients for all your tailgating needs at the Albertsons Companies family of stores, including Albertsons, ACME Markets, Jewel-Osco, Vons, Randalls, Shaw’s Supermarket, Star Market, and Tom Thumb. Safeway also offers

 
Square overhead image of sliced turkey breast and whole turkey legs on a bed of herbs.
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