4-Step Dinner Party Countdown

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

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


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


Check Your Pantry
7-10 Days Before Dinner


See what ingredients you have on hand in your pantry, freezer, and fridge

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


Visit the Store
1 Week Out & 2 Days Before Dinner

Shopping Trip #1: One 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.

Buy frozen turkey.

Shopping Trip #2: Two 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


Get Cooking
Start the Day Before


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.


Prep any make-ahead sides; cover and chill. 

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

Make plenty of ice; chill drinks.


If serving turkey: start cooking per directions.

Get turkey thawing tips


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.


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.


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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