Your Holiday Game Plan

A truly successful meal starts with a solid plan. Here’s what we recommend making ahead.

2 to 3 months ahead:

3 weeks ahead:

  • Purchase all nonperishable ingredients
  • Order a turkey

1 week ahead: 

3 days ahead:

2 days ahead:

  • Season turkey and keep covered in fridge 
  • Wash and prep all vegetables; store separately in containers
  • Make cauliflower ricotta and béchamel for Butternut Squash Lasagna 

The day before:

The morning of:

The day of:

  • Roast turkey, prepare jus and assemble/finish remaining dishes

Accommodate Nearly Any Restriction

Throwing multiple dietary restrictions into Thanksgiving planning can send even the best cooks into a tailspin. Choose the right mix of dishes and you can make anyone feel comfortable and satiated at your holiday table.

Vegan

No need to add a faux turkey substitute for vegan guests as long as there’s a hearty dish filling enough to be an entrée. Our Butternut Squash Lasagna with Cashew Cauliflower Béchamel and Harvest Salad with Roasted Grapes & Pistachios provide options, or try making your own appetizer platter using plant-based nut cheeses.

Dairy-Free

All the recipes in this section are dairy-free (that makes it easy!). Vegan butter, like Miyoko’s Creamery, is a great option to have on hand for spreading onto rolls (if serving bread). In general, cashew or hemp milk can replace whole milk in savory dishes, while almond or oat milk works well with sweets. To replace heavy cream, try coconut milk.

Gluten-Free / Grain-Free / Paleo

We've avoided using grains in this meal, so all the recipes are entirely gluten-free, grain-free and Paleo. Most supermarkets stock a variety of gluten-free and grain-free specialty breads for making turkey stuffing or serving at the table, if you wish. And if you're still looking for sides that fit the picky-eater bill, visit cleaneating.com/holidaysides.

The Recipes