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Dinner Party Countdown

Whether you're a first-time host or a seasoned pro, a little pre-planning helps.

Wegmans Executive Chef John Steinhoff shares his 4-part process for organizing your holiday celebration dinner. 

One

Start Planning
7-10 Days Before Dinner

Plan your main course, sides, desserts, breads.

Consider sides that can be served at room temperature to help avoid traffic jams in your oven.  

Need help figuring how much food you'll need? Feel free to consult with our in-store Catering team—we're happy to help.

Let Us Make It! Our chefs and catering teams are here to help with the cooking so you can relax and enjoy! Order & Pay Online

Two

Check Your Pantry
7-10 Days Before Dinner

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See what ingredients you have in your pantry, freezer, and fridge (spices, canned goods, etc.)

Now is a good time to clean out the fridge, making room to defrost a turkey & store make-aheads. 

Make sure you have the right sized pan that fits your oven and is sized to accommodate the entrée, plus pots for larger recipe veggie sides, like mashed potatoes.

Ensure that you have enough dishes, cutlery, stemware, & serveware for the number of guests.

Three

Visit the Store
1 Week Out & 2 Days Before Dinner

Shopping Trip #1: 1 week before dinner

Shop for non-perishables on your list—partyware, canned or frozen veggies, beverages, jarred gravy/sauces, snacks, baking needs, wine, beer, and liquors.

Shopping Trip #2: 2 days before dinner

Shop for perishables on your list, including cheese, appetizers, desserts, breads, meats, and veggies.

Time-Saver Tip: Create 2 shopping lists using the "My Products" feature to make sure you remember everything you purchased this time last year. View My Products

Four

Get Cooking
Start the Day Before

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Cook veggie sides; cover and chill until cook time.

Keep-it-Simple Tip: Save time and oven/stove space with our Market Café sides; easy to reheat at the last minute in the microwave.

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Prep any make-ahead sides; cover and chill. 

Set table or buffet; leave space for platters/bowls.  

Make plenty of ice; chill drinks.

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If serving turkey: start cooking per directions.

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If serving rib roast: start cooking per directions.

If serving ham: warm in preheated 275° oven per directions.

Set up bar. Plate appetizers, keep chilled.

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Serve sparking wine and appetizers. Open wines.

Transfer meat or poultry to carving board when done; let rest.

Carve about 30 min before dinner; cover with foil to keep warm. 

Bring sides to room temp. Warm sides in 350° oven 10-15 min as meat rests.

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Plate foods on platters and set.

If serving pies, place in warm oven (make sure it’s turned off). They'll be at the perfect temperature when guests are ready to eat dessert.

Welcome and celebrate with family & friends! 

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