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The Ultimate Thanksgiving Shopping List: Everything You Need For A Perfect Celebration

Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner or planning it for someone else, having a Thanksgiving shopping list is the key to a flawless dinner. Your list helps you prepare and organize your kitchen and the big meal, making it one less thing to worry about. From planning your meal to prepping your home, we’ve got your basic list for a classic Thanksgiving feast.

Before we talk about dinner, let’s ensure we have all our bases covered.

Getting Prepared

Prepping the refrigerator is key to Thanksgiving setup. Empty it and give it a good clean. Leave that bottom shelf for the turkey – you’ll need the room. Put the turkey in the tray with the vegetables you’ll use. Having all that together will make everything that much smoother.

Plan Your Menu

If you’re keeping it simple or going all out, here’s the scoop on the dishes to remember. No matter what you do, write it down on your thanksgiving dinner shopping list so you’ll be prepared and ready to go.

Below you’ll find items and ingredients for your Thanksgiving shopping list. Draw a line through what you don’t want or won’t need, and check off what you already have. The rest comes home from the store. It’s that easy.

1. Appetizers and Relish Trays

Here’s a list of appetizers for those who graze at the table all day.

  • deviled eggs
  • mixed nuts
  • olives
  • pickles
  • veggie trays
  • spinach dip
  • stuffed mushrooms

2. Roast Turkey

Before you buy that turkey, get your guest list straight. Make sure you know if uncle Joe will be there and if cousin Carly is coming with the kids. Because whether you’re just hoping for a month of leftovers or to beat a house full of guests, you stop to decide what size turkey you want. Put these items on your Thanksgiving groceries list.

  • turkey roasting pan
  • baster
  • roasting bags (instead of the baster)
  • meat thermometer
  • turkey (don’t forget this one!)
  • butter
  • salt and pepper
  • herbs (optional)

Not sure where to buy your turkey from? Read why you should start supporting local businesses.

3. Stuffing

If you’re buying the box or making it from scratch, stuffing is a must. Traditionally it’s made with onions and celery, but whatever recipe you use, make sure you bring it out to check the ingredients list and if you don’t have them add them to your Thanksgiving shopping list.

  • baked/dried bread cubes
  • chicken broth
  • onion
  • celery
  • herbs
  • spices
  • butter

4. Mashed Potatoes

This heartwarming comfort food warms up any cold weather day. Don’t forget the butter. Have you tried using a mix of potatoes? Cut them up and steam them. See how your flavor turns out! You’ll want these items on your shopping list for Thanksgiving.

  • potatoes
  • butter
  • milk
  • garlic (optional)
  • salt & pepper
  • cream cheese (for extra creamy)
  • chives (for an optional topping)

6. Gravy

However you prepare your gravy, set the stage with a gravy boat. Presentation is half the appeal.

  • turkey drippings for a recipe
  • flour
  • butter (if desired)
  • broth (to thin it out – or make it stretch!)
  • herbs and spices/ salt & pepper
  • gravy boat or bowl and ladle

Here’s a thought. Add turkey drippings to make your store-bought or packet gravy taste more like home.

7. Dinner Rolls

Whether you buy premade, ready-to-bake, or make them yourself from scratch, dinner rolls are a necessity at the holiday table. Oven-warmed and lightly browned, they’re piled high in the bowl with the rich scent of grandma’s kitchen and holiday comforts.

  • Bakery rolls – order ahead of time! (option 1)
  • Refrigerated section – take and bake (option 2)
  • yeast for a recipe (option 3)
  • milk
  • flour
  • sugar
  • egg
  • butter
  • salt

8. Corn

No matter how you eat it, corn belongs on the Thanksgiving table. Everyone loves this holiday staple, whether it’s corn on the cob or creamed in a bowl.

How are you eating it? Fresh or frozen?

  • on the cob
  • by the kernel
  • creamed

Related: The Ultimate Vegan Shopping List: Every Plant-Based Product You Need

9. Green Beans

Grandma’s favorite dish is a must-have at the table. Put this on your Thanksgiving shopping list to turn those frowns upside-down.

  • green beans
  • French-fried onions
  • cream of mushroom soup
  • milk
  • soy sauce

10. Cranberry Sauce

Although it’s an acquired taste for some and a must-have for others, the table doesn’t look right without cranberries. A lot of people just get a can of cranberry jelly.

  • cranberries
  • orange zest
  • sugar
  • water

11. Candied Yams

These are another table staple that everyone needs. Add this to your Thanksgiving dinner shopping list for an unforgettable meal.

  • canned sweet potatoes
  • brown sugar
  • butter
  • miniature marshmallows


Maybe the most essential part of the meal. At least, it is for some. Desserts are necessary and delicious and make the meal feel complete… if you have any room left after dinner. So play a game, go for a walk, pull out the Christmas decorations, and let that food settle for the star of the show: pie.

  • pumpkin pie
  • apple pie
  • sweet potato pie
  • jello with mandarin oranges
  • cookies
  • brownies
  • ice cream


There’s nothing like a hot drink on a cold day unless it’s a nice cold glass of eggnog. Add these drinks to your Thanksgiving shopping list to sip the day away.

  • tea
  • milk
  • soda
  • brewed chocolate
  • hot chocolate
  • apple or sparkling cider
  • mulled cider
  • eggnog
  • coffee

The Final (Turkey) Leg [+ A Free Extension To Help Organize Your Thanksgiving Groceries List]

No matter what you do -or don’t- have for your holiday meal, relax. You prepared everything. Your home is clean, the tables and chairs are accounted for, and your Thanksgiving shopping list is ready. So sit down, put your feet up, and have a drink. All the hard stuff is done. The most important part? Family time. Joy. Gratitude. Togetherness. Love. And have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Want to make your shopping easy? Use Carrot!

With this extension, you can organize your grocery list and your recipes in neat shoppable collections, compare prices, share the list with your fam for easy shopping, and even get notified with inventory alerts and price drops. The best part? It’s Freee! Get the Carrot App today!