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8 Hour Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner Guide: Click, Shop, and Cook

With so little time left until Thanksgiving Day, better leave all the dinner planning to experts. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to make Thanksgiving Dinner in 8 hours. Menu, grocery list, and hourly timeline included!
8 Hour Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner Guide: Click, Shop, and Cook
8 Hour Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner Guide: Click, Shop, and Cook
Anna at SideChef
Content Specialist. Bitten by curiosity bug. Obsessed with words. Fuelled by coffee. Powered by Google. Love cheese, chocolate, and cherries. Don’t judge your taco by its price.
Love This Recipe?
Anna at SideChef
Content Specialist. Bitten by curiosity bug. Obsessed with words. Fuelled by coffee. Powered by Google. Love cheese, chocolate, and cherries. Don’t judge your taco by its price.

If you need a full-on last-minute Thanksgiving dinner plan B, you found it! With only a couple of days before Thanksgiving day, there’s no time left to wait.

We planned a full-course Thanksgiving dinner menu that you can make in 8 hours or less, two grocery shopping options (a printable shopping list and a one-click online grocery delivery option).

We have also planned your Thanksgiving Day cooking schedule, so you can relax and just follow this step-by-step manual.

Your Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

You will be making a fantastic NINE-COURSE THANKSGIVING DINNER for 6-8 people* and you will be making all the nine dishes ON THANKSGIVING DAY. Even better, we have planned your cooking timeline so meticulously; you will have time to take several breaks to chill and have a glass of wine!

All the dishes on this Thanksgiving menu are super quick, easy to make, and impossible to mess up - guaranteed crowd-pleasers!

We made you a PRINTABLE THANKSGIVING MENU as well.

Last-MinuteThanksgiving: Phase One:

First things first, with a bit over 36 hours left until Thanksgiving, getting your groceries should be your top priority.

Ready-Made Grocery List for Your Thanksgiving Dinner

You have two options:

#Option 1: Take a trip to a grocery store

If you’d like to do your grocery shopping the old-fashioned way, then we have prepared a PRINTABLE THANKSGIVING GROCERIES LIST for you. Just grab it and adjust the quantities you will need depending on the number of guests you plan to have at your Thanksgiving table.

#Option 2: Shop for groceries online

If you want to make your Thanksgiving week even more effortless, then you can shop for all the ingredients needed to cook every dish from this Thanksgiving menu in just a few clicks.
Just go to this Full Course Thanksgiving Dinner Page, click the “Add to Cart” button, and you will have a shoppable grocery list for Thanksgiving dinner added directly to your cart.

All you have to do now is:

1. Go to cart and easily adjust the number of servings if needed.

2. Check the list for the ingredients you might already have and tick them off.

3. Replace any brand you like with the one you like better.

4. Continue to checkout and shop for all the ingredients on Walmart.

You can either get your purchased groceries delivered or choose to pick them up at the store.
Quick, easy, and 100% stress-free way to do your last-minute Thanksgiving grocery shopping.

Last-Minute Thanksgiving: Phase Two (Thanksgiving Eve)

You got all the groceries ready, and now it’s the night before Thanksgiving Day. There’re only a couple of things you need to do today:

1. If you have any ingredients that can be defrosted quickly in the freezer, move them to the fridge.

2. If your chicken is frozen, take it out and leave it to thaw overnight.

3. Prepare all the cooking tools and cookware you will need to execute the 8 hour Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.

Kitchen Tools You Will Need:


  • Baking tray

  • Roasting tray

  • Mini muffin tin (any muffin tin will do)

  • Saucepan

  • Mixing bowl

  • Pie dish

  • Cooking pot

  • Casserole dish

  • Cast iron skillet (in case you don’t have one, the berry crumble can be baked in the oven)

  • Grater

  • Kitchen Shears (optional)

  • Parchment paper

  • Aluminum foil

  • Serving bowls and trays

Last-Minute Thanksgiving: Phase Three

It’s Thursday! Thanksgiving Day! Time to cook the festive dinner. We broke down the menu for you hour by hour, so you don’t have to plan anything or rush.

8-9 am Rise and shine.

Make some coffee and take a minute to enjoy this lovely Thanksgiving morning.

9-10 am Pumpkin Pie Time.

Start with the traditional Thanksgiving dish number one - pumpkin pie.
We are using a pre-made pie crust, so you can put the pie crust into your pie dish and skip directly to step 6 in the recipe - preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

1. Make the pumpkin pie filling, and pour it into the pie crust. - 15 min.

2. Transfer the pumpkin pie into the oven and bake. - 45 min.

While the pie is baking, you have time to:

3. Rinse all your greens for other dishes. - 5-10 min.

4. Prep the Brussels sprouts (take the stalk off if needed, half or quarter the brussels sprouts, make sure they are all similar in size). - 10 min.

5. Prepare the Green Bean Casserole mixture (we’re using frozen green beans, so just mix all the ingredients in one bowl) and transfer it into a casserole dish. - 15 min.

6. Take the pumpkin pie out of the oven.

7. Put the Green Bean Casserole into the oven and bake. - 30 min.

10 - 11:30 am Chill and relax.

While the Green Bean Casserole is in the oven, you can have a well-earned break and even get a glass of wine (It’s a holiday, so who cares if it’s still early, live a little).

Don’t forget to take the casserole out of the oven, though.

11:30 am - 12:30 pm Time to make the appetizers.

1. Make the Spinach Artichoke Dip first; transfer to the serving dish and set aside. - 15 min.

2. Cube the brie cheese and cut the puff pastry for the Cranberry Brie Puff Bites. - 5 min.

3. Spray the muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and assemble the Cran-Brie Bites. - 10 min.

4. Transfer it into the oven and bake. - 15 min.

12:30 - 1 pm Regroup and revere.

Set aside all the dishes that are ready and take another break.

By now, you should have 4 out of 9 dishes completely ready for your Thanksgiving dinner. Well done! Time to have another glass of wine.

1 - 3 pm - Chicken, mash, and second dessert prep.

1. Chop carrots and onions, peel and crush the garlic, and slice the lemon. - 10 min.

2. Stuff the chicken with lemon, garlic, and rosemary, and transfer it onto the roasting tray together with the vegetables. - 5 min.

3. Season generously with olive oil, salt, pepper, and any other seasonings that you like. - 5 min.

4. Transfer into the oven and set the timer for approximately an hour and a half, depending on the size of your chicken.

* the general rule when roasting chicken is giving it 20 minutes per pound of meat and
an extra 10-20 minutes to be sure. So if you’re roasting a 5-pound bird, it should take a bit under 2 hours.

While the chicken is roasting, you have time to:

5. Make the mashed potatoes or the Pomme Puree. - 30 min.

Mixed Berry Crumble prep time!

6. Mix all the ingredients for the filling in a large bowl, and stir until the sugar is mostly dissolved. - 10 min.

7. In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients, then grate in the butter, stir in the egg yolks, and crumble it all together with your hands. - 15 min.

8. Cover both bowls with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge for later.

Your chicken should be done roughly around 3 pm.
Treat yourself to another glass of wine while you wait.
When the chicken is ready, take it out of the oven, cover it with aluminum foil and let it rest.

3 - 4 pm Last sides to make.

You are making good time, and everything is under control! Amazing! Just a couple more things to do before the Thanksgiving feast.

1. Set the table. - 30 min.

Time to get back to the prepped Brussels sprouts and finish up

2. Use kitchen shears (or a knife is also fine) and dice the bacon. - 5 min.

3. Pile it all up onto a baking tray, sprinkle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper; toss it around and spread it out into a single layer. - 5 min.
(balsamic vinegar is added after the roasting)

4. Transfer the Brussels sprouts into the oven and roast. - 30 min.

5. Start transferring some of your ready dishes onto the dinner table.

Around 4 pm Salad and final touches.

You will have your table set up and most of your dishes placed around this time. If your guests are starting to arrive, it’s an excellent time to offer them the Cranberry Brie Bites and the Artichoke Dip before you begin the festive dinner. Last dish to make now, salad:

1. Toss the kale and cut the apples. -5 min.

2. Mix all the ingredients for the sesame dressing (or use store-bought if you’d like). - 5 min.

3. Drizzle the dressing over the kale and the apples and toss in nuts and cranberries. Serve.

5 pm Thanksgiving dinner time.

Congratulations! You did it! Everything is ready, and it’s time to eat and enjoy!

But you still haven’t finished the Mixed Berry Crumble? It’s all a part of a plan!

6ish - 7ish Reset for dessert.

After you and your guests are done with the savory part of dinner, it’s time to reset for desserts.
Your pumpkin pie is ready—time for the Mixed Berry Crumble.

1. Get help from your guests resetting the table and getting coffee or tea ready.

2. Meanwhile, take the two bowls with berry mix and crumble out of the fridge and quickly assemble it in a skillet. - 5 min.

3. Transfer into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes.

The Mixed Berry Crumble will be ready right when everyone is back at the table for desserts! You can serve it with some ice cream if you’d like.

That’s it! You have successfully pulled off an incredible Thanksgiving feast with a minimum amount of preparation and zero amount of stress!

If that’s not something to be thankful for, we don’t know what is!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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