thanksgiving prep ideas
Entertaining Winter Holidays

10 Kitchen Must-Haves For Thanksgiving

Stock up on these 10 Thanksgiving kitchen must-haves to avoid a last-minute meltdown.

You’ve made your grocery list, planned your tablescape, and fine-tuned your guest list for Thanksgiving. You think you’re ready, but are you? Aside from all the fun stuff, now is the time to take inventory of your kitchen and make sure you have everything you need to pull off the meal you wait a full year for.

Don’t set yourself up for a full-blown freak out when it’s Thanksgiving morning and you realize you don’t have enough plates for all your guests. And will you actually remember that your go-to casserole dish broke last year and you’ve been meaning to replace it? Run through this quick list and physically touch each item in your kitchen to make sure you’re 100% ready to go.

prepare your kitchen for thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Kitchen Checklist

Enough dishware and utensils for all place settings plus three

Go through your whole list of RSVPs and make sure you have enough water glasses, wine glasses, dining plates, bread plates, dessert plates, forks, knives, spoons, dessert utensils, and coasters for everyone. It’s a good idea to have at least three extra place settings put aside in case a few surprise guests or tag-alongs show up.

thanksgiving planning for the kitchen

Enough serveware for all food dishes plus three

Again, go through your serveware and your menu in tandem and make sure you have exactly what you need to serve the meal. Look for serving platters, bowls, large serving utensils, gravy boats, and pot holders to put all your dishes on to protect your table and counters. And have at least three extras of each category for anything a guest brings or you forget about.

Bonus tip: I like to take out all my serving dishes and put a post-it note inside each one for what will go inside. Then I do a dry run to set up the buffet to make sure they’ll all fit. Finally, I take a photo of the setup so I can quickly recreate it on serving day.

prepare kitchen for thanksgiving

Bakeware, pots, and pans

Go through your menu and decide exactly what you will use to cook each dish. Write that next to the dish on your menu. Then count how many of each type of baking dish, pot, pan, lid, sheet pan, and cutting board you’ll need. You may realize you’re one pot short and it’ll be a lot easier to get one now versus the day before T-Day.

thanksgiving tips for prepping supplies

Table linens and decor

Go ahead and pull out the table cloth, placemats, chargers, napkins, and decor you plan on using and make sure they’re clean. Wash the linens and press them, and make sure decor isn’t dusty or smudgy.

thanksgiving kitchen prep

Cleaning supplies

When it starts getting super close to a holiday, I’ve noticed that sometimes my stores are out of the cleaning supplies I need. To save myself from store-hopping, I go ahead and stock up on these a couple of weeks in advance. I grab a big box of trash bags, extra aluminum foil (your turkey needs a TON of it), parchment paper, wood polish, toilet paper, to-go containers for guests, and dish soap.

My Top 10 Thanksgiving Must-Haves:

  1. Melamine Dish Sets Melamine won’t break or chip so it’s perfect for all ages
  2. Stove To Table Baking Dishes sturdy enough for the oven, pretty enough for the table
  3. A Really Good Roasting Pan cheap ones won’t last more than two years
  4. A Large Carving Board this one’s my fave because it has little spikes to keep the meat from sliding while cutting
  5. A Dutch Oven great for potatoes, ham, and green bean casserole
  6. Gold Flatware Set gold utensils always feel extra special
  7. A Pretty Pie Pan go with white so your pie is the star of the show
  8. Wine Glass Pens because stemware is impossible to tell apart
  9. Silicone Trivets perfect nonslip potholder alternative
  10. Kraft Paper great to line the table, and kids can doodle on it

Read More About Thanksgiving Prep:

How To Host A Virtual Thanksgiving
How To Cram A Large Family In A Small House
5 Thanksgiving Centerpiece Alternatives
10 Tips For A Less-Stressed Thanksgiving

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