5 Savory dishes for a sumptuous Thanksgiving Dinner. Easy, delicious side items, and a free printable crockpot stuffing recipe.

5 Savory dishes for a sumptuous Thanksgiving Dinner {with free crock pot stuffing printable recipe}

Ruthie Regrouping 10 Comments

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5 Savory dishes for a sumptuous Thanksgiving Dinner. Easy, delicious side items, and a free printable crockpot stuffing recipe.All set for that sumptuous Thanksgiving Dinner?  The time draweth nigh, as they say…

If you didn’t see the post, How to {simply} host Thanksgiving Dinner for 20, you might want to head there first.  Even if you aren’t cooking for that many, it has helpful tips, including choosing a table scape, how to select the right size turkey, and whether or not it’s ok to use paper turkey plates instead of your fine china.

By the way, I actually acquired a new reader searching Google with that very question.  “Are paper plates a bad idea if hosting Thanksgiving dinner.”


Hey, I’ll take readers however I can get them, even if I am known as “the lady that serves Thanksgiving dinner on paper turkey plates”.

I’m not going for Martha Stewart here, people.

It’s “Team Erma” all the way.


“Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes.

Half-times take twelve minutes.

This is not coincidence.”  ~Erma Bombeck


Just so we’re clear:  I’m a mother of four, Gigi to two, and caregiver for my parents on the other side of the wall (literally).  I don’t have a lot of time here.  That’s why I go for simple.

I don’t know if I’m doing the turkey plates or not this year (because I do like the 12 piece china setting my grandmother purchased for my wedding 28 years ago), but I do have my Thanksgiving menu down pat.

And today, I share some of my tried and true recipes with you, my lucky, lucky reader.


5 {tried and true} savory dishes for a sumptuous Thanksgiving dinner! Click To Tweet


I’ll bet you didn’t know I have a food blog, too

It’s true.  Its been in existence for five years.  Nothing fancy, don’t spend a lot of time on it, but it contains all my faves in one place.  I regularly use these recipes and most of them are super simple.

You can find my complete menu for Thanksgiving dinner in last week’s post, so I’m just going to guide you through how I prepare a few things and then list the recipes.

All you have to do is click on the link in orange underneath the desired dish listed and BAM!  You’re all hooked up!

A sumptuous Thanksgiving Dinner


Already covered this.  go here for a simple chart that will help you decide how large your turkey should be for the size crowd you’ll have.


I’m not even discussing it.  Turkey gravy can be so finicky.  Each year I go about the process a bit differently, but it usually turns out ok.  (I’ll let you in on a little secret:  you can buy turkey gravy in a can from Heinz at Walmart.  But you didn’t hear it from me.)  However, my favorite go-to is Ree Drummond’s Turkey Gravy.  Such a rich, bold flavor!

Mashed pots

Self explanatory.  And doesn’t everyone abbreviate that way?  My kids always laugh at my mashed pots.

But seriously.  Use evaporated milk instead of regular milk when whipping these up, and all your dreams will come true.  (Oh, and a stick of butter, just after you drain them.)

Holiday mashed pots

Not your ordinary mashed pots – oh no.  Mix these with sour cream, cream cheese, and butter, and refrigerate overnight.  One of my absolute favorites for a sumptuous Thanksgiving dinner.

5 Savory dishes for a sumptuous Thanksgiving Dinner. Easy, delicious side items, and a free printable crockpot stuffing recipe.Rolls

Perfectly Easy Dinner Rolls are what made me believe in myself years ago.  These babies say, “Oh yes you CAN make large, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth rolls, girlfriend”!

Baked Beans

Easiest Baked Beans ever and I do mean that.  Also the best you’ve ever tasted.

7-layer salad

People get mad if I don’t make two versions of this:  one with onion, and one without.  Onion haters gonna hate.

Pumpkin roll

Go here for all that delicious cream cheese and pumpkin goodness.


1.  Begin prep on Monday

5 Savory dishes for a sumptuous Thanksgiving Dinner. Easy, delicious side items, and a free printable crockpot stuffing recipe.If you’re like me, the Sumptuous Thanksgiving Dinner isn’t the only thing you have on your schedule this week.

That would be nice, but life is happening in copious amounts around these parts, and I’ll bet it also is in your neck of the woods.

Because on Monday, I get to babysit the Tiny Tornado again.  (See Monday’s misadventures of the “Sawyer and Gigi Show”).  And everyone knows you can’t leave the two-year-old alone to his own devices for extended amounts of time.

Lucky for me, Aunt Ky-Ky’s college is on break all week, so she can help field TT while I begin a few dinner preparations.

Set turkey in ‘fridge

If you’re feeding a large crowd like me, hopefully you already did this two days ago because it takes roughly 5 days to defrost that sucker.  But if you’ve got a smaller bird, today will probably be fine.

Finalize tablescape

(I will be washing my leaf table cloth and scouting the premises for a couple candlesticks or other some such thing.  Last week’s readers know I’m not a stupendous decorator, by any means.)

Dash to the store for all the stuff you forgot to buy last week

You know you’ll do it.  May as well be ready.

5 Savory dishes for a sumptuous Thanksgiving Dinner. Easy, delicious side items, and a free printable crockpot stuffing recipe.

2.  Prepare your mind

I know we are so busy and caught up in all the tasks of the holiday, but then –  we are always busy.

In the past few weeks, I’ve realized more than ever that

I will always have something else to do.


Don't forget to spend a few minutes each day with the Lord during Thanksgiving week. Click To Tweet


Get up a few minutes earlier, or take some time to jot down your day in one hour increments and determine when you will spend time with the Lord.

Thank God for three benefits as you rise each morning.

Give thanks for 3 blessings as you lay your head to rest each night.  This is a simple idea of how to do that.

Girlfriend, you can’t afford not to seek the Lord.  You just can’t do life well without Him.

But with Him – you can do ALL things!

Here is a post to help with your thankfulness challenge in the busy-ness of the coming week!


3.  Plan a simple list for remaining food prep

I always make a list – I have several from years past in a drawer so I’ll not forget all the old faves!

I sit down and schedule when I’m preparing the rest of the food, right down to coordinating oven times.


1 Turkey  7:00 AM

2 Stuffing in crock pot  8:00

3 Peel pots 8:30 

4 Mix fruit salad 9:00

5 Put together corn pudding and sweet pot casserole 10:00

6 Bake corn pudding, set rolls to rise, slice cranberry sauce and refrigerate 11:30

7 Set corn and pots cooking, remove turkey from oven, bake holiday mashed pots and baked beans 12:00

8 Sweet pot casserole in oven 12:15

9 Bake rolls 12:30

10 Toss refrigerated salads, set out deviled eggs 12:50

A few more tricks for a sumptuous Thanksgiving Dinner

5 Savory dishes for a sumptuous Thanksgiving Dinner. Easy, delicious side items, and a free printable crockpot stuffing recipe.My range has two ovens and my microwave also bakes.  My mom’s oven next door is also available if need be.

But if you don’t have that many ovens on hand, you’ll need to figure out how to coordinate the cooking of the bird around everything else.

Because that giant bird takes up a LOT of oven space!

If you have to cook some dishes earlier in the morning, I suggest purchasing a couple insulated food carriers. You can check the link out on Amazon – I am not an affiliate, that’s just FYI.  You’re welcome.


However you choose to organize your Thanksgiving dinner, you can plan it to run smoothly and enjoyably!  You can do this, mom.

And just in case I piqued your interest about the crock pot stuffing, I do stuff the turkey, but my people are so crazy about my homemade stuffing that I prepare this for extra servings, and it tastes just as good as the dressing from the bird!

I created a  free printable of my Crock pot stuffing recipe as my holiday gift to you (just click on the orange link)!

If you use it, I’d love to hear your comments.  You can contact me here – I can’t wait to see what you think!

And mama, from my kitchen to yours – have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday with your family and friends.

Sumptuous Thanksgiving Dinner, anyone? 🙂

Comments 10

  1. Loved this post, Ruthie. I’m like you, always have to make a list for the day before and the day off. I also do lots of prep in advance. Usually in Turkey, I’m the main cook for a group of 20 or so of mixed national backgrounds who don’t k now how to cook our traditional dishes. So I get creative with what I ask them for, and end up doing lots myself. I buy turkey wings a few weeks in advance and make my gravy ahead of time. Freezes beautifully and it’s fool proof just to heat up. This girl just can’t handle the stress of doing the gravy last minute with a house full of people! (And thanks for the mention. :-))

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      Thanks, girl! Yes, I imagine you do have to get creative there! A couple years ago, I cooked turkey breasts in advance in order to save the drippings and that worked out great, because I never have enough drippings from the actual turkey. But last year whatever I did was wonderful too, I just can’t seem to remember what it was…LOL. I can make gravy, I just really dislike making turkey gravy. And you’re welcome. I kept thinking, “I’ve got to tell Betsy, I’ve got to tell Betsy!” 😉

  2. My one tip to add to your list? Oven bags. Use them for the turkey. I learned this last year and now I’m know around these parts as the best vegetarian turkey roaster. I think that’s a compliment. I’m a vegetarian, not the turkey. My carniverous students vy for invitations to Thanksgiving Dinner. I have no idea what I do right, but I’m sure it’s the oven bag.

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      I’ve never used an oven bag, Anita! Hmm. I may have to investigate. “I’m a vegetarian, not the turkey” LOL! I’m recalling the turkey story you told about you and your daughter and how she delivered your turkey along with all the others and you got so mad. I would have gotten mad too!
      I’ve got to catch up on your series, I’m way behind! Thanks for stopping by, friend, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your students!

  3. Everything sounds delicious and well-organized. My solution is that we don’t do anything fancy and I’m actually have turkey with my dad at the retirement home this year. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

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      Ah Mary, I hope you enjoy the time with your dad. It’s hard when parents age and circumstances change. I’m in the midst of that also. Learning to roll with it! Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!

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