Download, save, and stock up on these pantry, produce, and dairy staples.
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Thanksgiving produce
Credit: Louise Hagger

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means it's time to start planning your dinner menu. As you begin to decide what to make for Thanksgiving, be sure to start a shopping list of all the ingredients you'll need to purchase. Otherwise, you run the risk of having to make a last-minute trip to the grocery store on Thanksgiving day. Not sure where to begin? Review and download our handy Thanksgiving shopping list, take note of what pantry staples you already have at home, and figure out which items you still need to purchase.

Download our Thanksgiving Shopping List PDF

Pantry Supplies

You may already have these pantry staples on hand, but before you head to the store, make sure the ingredients in your pantry are still good as you may need to replace them. Check the spices in your cabinet to make sure you can still smell their warm aroma—if they're dull, that means they're no longer usable and it's time to purchase new. Take a close look at your brown sugar and salt as well—if they have clumped up or dried out, it will be difficult to measure them properly for recipes, so it's worth restocking.

If you're making Pecan Pie, you'll probably need corn syrup, and that might not be an ingredient you always have in your kitchen. Ditto marshmallows: If the ones in your pantry are left over from last year's Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole, it's definitely time to buy some more.

  • All-purpose flour
  • Yellow cornmeal
  • Granulated sugar
  • Light brown sugar
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Corn syrup
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt (kosher and flaky salt)
  • Black peppercorns
  • Spices (especially ground cinnamon and whole nutmeg)
  • Canned pumpkin purée
  • Nuts (pecans, slivered almonds, hazelnuts)
  • Boxed chicken stock (or make your own)
  • Marshmallows
  • Breadcrumbs (or sourdough or country bread)

Dairy

Most of these ingredients are ones you may keep in the refrigerator on the regular, but you'll likely need larger amounts of them than you usually have on hand. Depending on the recipes you use, you may need buttermilk for homemade biscuits or cornbread. Our shopping list calls for cheese, but you may need several cheeses; different ones for casseroles and also perhaps a selection of soft, semi-hard, and hard cheeses for a cheese board.

  • Large eggs
  • Unsalted butter
  • Heavy cream
  • Whole milk
  • Buttermilk
  • Cheese

Meat and Poultry

We probably don't need to remind you that you need to buy a turkey, but it's never too early to plan for what size bird you need this year, and whether you'll be using fresh or frozen. Or maybe you're planning to roast a turkey breast instead? If your stuffing recipe call for sausage, or your favorite stuffing or Brussels sprouts side requires bacon, be sure to include it on your list.

  • Turkey
  • Sausage
  • Bacon

Produce

While you can stock up on long-lasting produce, like root vegetables, citrus, cranberries, and even Brussels sprouts when you do a big Thanksgiving shop, more delicate items, like fresh herbs and salad greens, should be purchased a day or two before your Thanksgiving dinner.

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley, sage)
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Green beans
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Apples

Beverages

  • White wine
  • Light to medium bodied red wine
  • Beer
  • Hard cider
  • Sparkling water
  • Juice
  • Soda
  • Liquor (vodka, gin, whiskey)
  • Coffee
  • Tea

Kitchen Equipment

Just as you check your pantry ingredients as part of your Thanksgiving dinner prep, check over your baking pans, casserole dishes, and other cooking and serving equipment. It's especially important to make sure you have infrequently used items, like a gravy boat and a carving set, before it's time to set the table.

  • Roasting pan
  • Casserole dish(es)
  • Platters
  • Pie dishes
  • Gravy boat
  • Carving set
  • Potato ricer
  • Sheet pans

Last-Minute Purchases

It's very Martha to make your own dinner rolls, but buying fresh rolls on the morning of Thanksgiving is more manageable for most hosts. Just be sure to delegate a family member or friend to pick them up along with bags of ice, so that you don't head out on errands when there is a turkey dinner to be made.

  • Dinner rolls
  • Bags of ice

Comments (1)

Martha Stewart Member
November 25, 2015
Thank. You. I always forget something.