Thanksgiving Menu Timing and Cooking Schedule

Thanksgiving Menu Timing and Cooking Schedule

One of the most common questions that I get regarding Thanksgiving is….”How do I get everything to be done at the same time”? This question has a lot to do with the menu that you have selected. It also has a lot to do with proper planning and preparation.  Below I have laid out a sample menu and how I would prepare for it. Using this sample menu I have planned out a cooking schedule for my Thanksgiving feast.

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Homemade Stove Top Stuffing

Homemade Stove Top Stuffing

I love stove top stuffing.  There is something about the easy directions and great flavor that keeps me going back for more.  I love it! However, when you have a food blog, everyone wants you to make everything from scratch.  Who knew that it was a faux pas to serve boxed stuffing to your friends and family when you write about food. Well, you don’t need to tell me again.  I make my stuffing from scratch from now on.  Even though I base my flavors on boxed stuffing, haha.

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Thanksgiving (Pasty) Hand Pie

Thanksgiving (Pasty) Hand Pie

When I used to live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the Pasty (pronounced “Past – eee”) was king. It is a meat filled hand pie that was usually topped with gravy or ketchup. The pie was all meat and potatoes and lacked the gravy or liquid inside of a pot pie. I though this would be the perfect meal for all of my Thanksgiving leftovers.

Thanksgiving (Pasty) Hand Pie – makes 2 hand pies

  • 2 pie crust – (Easy Pie Crust)
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 cup leftover stuffing
  • 1 cup leftover turkey
  • 1 cup leftover gravy
  • 1 cup leftover vegetable – (corn, green bean casserole, etc..)
  • 4 tbs butter melted

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Peel the potatoes and place them into a large pan.  Bring to a boil and partially cook the potatoes for 15 minutes.  We want the potatoes to be softened, but still hold together. Remove the potatoes from the boiling water and rinse with cold water.   When cool to the touch, dice the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes.

Dice up the ingredients

Roll the dough out into 14 inch rounds.

Place 1/2 of the potatoes, turkey, stuffing and vegetable into the center of the pie dough.

Place the ingredients on the pie crust

Fold the pie dough over the filling and form a half-moon shaped hand pie.  Place on a greased cookie sheet or a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Cut a few vent holes in the top of the pies and then brush the tops with the melted butter.

Brush with Butter

Bake in the oven for 18-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Cook till golden brown

Let cool for a minute and then plate.  Cover with warm gravy and serve.

Plated and ready to eat

These pies were delicious and amazing.  The diced potatoes added a nice texture to the pies.  Then topping them with gravy was amazing.  You need to try these with your leftovers.

Roasted Chestnut and Corn Bread Dressing

Roasted Chestnut and Corn Bread Dressing

Is it dressing or stuffing. While the ingredients can be the same, the difference is in how it is cooked. If it is stuffed and cooked inside of the bird, well then it is stuffing. If it assembled and baked outside of the bird in a casserole dish, then it is dressing. However, the two words are used interchangeably based on locale and region. In this case I am making dressing. It utilizes roasted chestnuts and cornbread. It is super tasty and I hope you try it this year.

Roasted Chestnut and Corn Bread Dressing – (adapted from Williams-Sonoma)

  • 8 cups cubed day-old corn bread
  • 2 cups cubed day-old white bread
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chestnuts
  • 1 stalk rosemary, chopped
  • 4-6 sage leaves, chopped
  • handful of thyme, chopped
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth/stock
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Roasting the Chestnuts

The first step is to roast the chestnuts.  Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Next wipe down the chestnuts and then place them flat side down on a cutting board.  Then using a paring knife score a small x onto each chestnut.  This will help the steam release and give you a peeling point once the chestnuts cool.

Score the chestnuts

Place the chestnuts in a rimmed cookie sheet and roast in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes.  When fully cooked, the shells will be burst open and the chestnut will be golden.  Remove from the oven and let cool.

Chestnuts burst open

Once cool you can peel the shell and the inner skin of the chestnut away.  Then dice the chestnuts into bite size pieces and set aside.  I cut mine into quarters and they were a little big for everyone in the dressing.  I would recommend cutting the chestnuts into 8 pieces.

Making the Dressing

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spread the cubed cornbread and white bread out on a baking sheet.  Then bake for 20 minutes until the bread is dry and golden brown.  Then set aside for later use.

Place a saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil.  Then add the chopped celery and onion to the pan.  Saute for 5-8 minutes or until the onions and celery are soft and translucent.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place the onions, celery, toasted bread, chestnuts, herbs and stock into a bowl and combine.  Then season with salt and pepper and transfer to a greased casserole pan.


Cover the pan with a lid or foil and bake for 40 minutes.  Remove the cover and then bake for another 35-40 minutes until brown and crispy on top.

Roasted Chestnut and Cornbread Stuffing

Serve hot with your favorite meal.

Serve with your favorite meal

Vegetable Herb Stuffing

This week I have been writing about the upcoming Turkey Day. Monday was Herb Roasted Turkey, Tuesday was whipped red skin potatoes, Wednesday we took a break to honor the troops and today is a twist on classic herb stuffing. I find that most blogs don’t tackle Thanksgiving till the day before or even the day of. I know when I plan a meal, that is too late. I like to have all of my recipes and ideas for the dinner done at least three days before the big day if not a week in advance. So I decided to start posting about Thanksgiving recipes a little early. Not that everyone would plan their meals around mine (that would be cool), but that at least the recipes are out there ahead of time so people can prepare some ideas. So here is my take on stuffing.

Vegetable Herb Stuffing
Vegetable Herb Stuffing

I loaded this stuffing with vegetables and fresh herbs.

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