Beyond the Meal

Your job is not done once the desserts have been devoured. Depending on how long people may stay and the space you have in your fridge, you'll also need a post-meal game plan. Make sure to have some extra rolls on hand for Thanksgiving night leftover sandwiches, or other lighter dinner options for when people are ready for round two, and stock up on some inexpensive storage containers to send guests home with leftovers as well. Explore the table below for more essential hosting tips.


Set the table the night before and don’t forget to dress it up with a touch of cranberry. Click on the icons below to learn how to make some of our festive favorites.

Place Settings

Setting the table has become a bit of a lost art. It’s easy to forget which fork goes where, how many plates and utensils you may need, or what side they belong on. Click on the icon on the plate below for a how-to video to help you properly set your Holiday table.


Baking  |   Chocolate  |   Dairy  |   Spices  |   Thickeners


Ingredient: Substitute:
1 cup Ocean Spray® Fresh OR Frozen Cranberries 3/4 cup Ocean Spray® Craisins® Dried Cranberries
1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda + 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup bread crumbs 1 cup cracker crumbs OR 1 cup matzo meal OR 1 cup ground oats ground in a food processor or blender
1 cup packed brown sugar 1 cup white sugar + 1/4 cup molasses and decrease the liquid in recipe by 1/4 cup OR 1 cup white sugar OR 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup white sugar 1 cup brown sugar OR 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar OR 3/4 cup honey OR 3/4 cup corn syrup
1 cup corn syrup 1 1/4 cup white sugar plus 1/3 cup water OR 1 cup honey
1 cup honey 1 1/4 cup white sugar plus 1/3 cup water OR 1 cup corn syrup
1 cup molasses Mix together 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup butter 1 cup margarine OR 1 cup shortening plus 1/2 teaspoon salt OR 7/8 cup vegetable oil plus 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or oil for baking 1 cup applesauce OR 1 cup fruit puree
1 cup margarine 1 cup butter OR 1 cup shortening plus 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening 1 cup butter OR 1 cup margarine minus 1/2 teaspoon salt from recipe
1 cup bread flour 1 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 teaspoon wheat gluten
1 cup cake flour 1 cup all-purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons
1 cup self rising flour 1 cup all-purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons 7/8 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (.25-oz.) pkg. yeast 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast OR 2 1/2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast

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Ingredient: Substitute:
1 oz. (1 square) semisweet chocolate 1 (1 oz.) square of unsweetened chocolate + 4 teaspoons sugar OR 1 oz. semisweet chocolate chips + 1 teaspoon shortening
1 oz. (1 square) unsweetened chocolate 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa + 1 tablespoon shortening or vegetable oil
1/4 cup cocoa 1 (1 oz.) square unsweetened chocolate

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Ingredient: Substitute:
1 cup buttermilk 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar + enough milk to make 1 cup OR 1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup half-and-half 7/8 cup milk + 1 tablespoon butter
1 cup whipped cream 1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup whole milk 2/3 cup evaporated milk + 1/3 cup water OR 1/4 cup dry milk powder + 1 cup water
1 cup sour cream 1 cup plain yogurt OR 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar + enough cream to make 1 cup OR 3/4 cup buttermilk mixed with 1/3 cup butter
1 cup yogurt 1 cup sour cream OR 1 cup buttermilk
1 whole egg (3 tablespoons) Liquid or powdered egg substitute products may be used; note directions on package

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Ingredient: Substitute:
1 tablespoon snipped fresh herbs 1 teaspoon same herb, dried OR 1/4 teaspoon powdered or ground
1 teaspoon allspice 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger and 1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon ginger (dry) 2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced 1/2 teaspoon ground dried ginger
1 teaspoon mace 1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning 1/4 teaspoon thyme + 1/4 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped 1 tablespoon dried mint leaves
1 tablespoon prepared mustard Mix together 1 tablespoon dried mustard, 1 teaspoon water, 1 teaspoon vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar
1 medium lemon 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
1 teaspoon lemon zest 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract OR 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 medium orange 1/4 to 1/3 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest 1/2 teaspoon orange extract OR 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil OR 1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 clove garlic 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder OR 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic OR 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt (reduce salt in recipe)
1 medium onion 2 tablespoons instant chopped or minced or onion flakes OR 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
White wine Equal amount of apple juice or cider
Red Wine Equal amount of beef broth

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Ingredient: Substitute:
1 tablespoon cornstarch 2 tablespoons flour or 1 1/3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1 tablespoon flour 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch or 2 teaspoons quick-cooking tapioca
1 tablespoon tapioca 1 1/2 tablespoons flour

Almost Homemade Hacks

You don’t have to make everything from scratch. Once you’ve set a menu, identify some items you can save time on by buying pre-made. Add a few special touches from Ocean Spray, and no one will even know you didn’t slave over these items in the kitchen. Click on the icon on the pumpkin pie below to learn more!


Click on the icons below to get the recipes in this Ocean Spray inspired Thanksgiving meal, or check out a few of our time-test Thanksgiving menus, complete with shopping lists, via the links below:

Main Dish

Not sure what to serve? There are plenty of options when it comes to the entrée, some serve a festive bird, others, roasted ham, a nice filet or fish – click the icons on the Turkey below to learn more about proper prep, carving techniques, and other holiday entrée recipe options.

Make Ahead

Here's a little secret: not everything needs to be made at once. You can make a good portion of the dishes prior to the big day. For example, mashed potatoes reheat well, and therefore, can be made the day before and warmed up right before the meal, saving you a lot of time, stovetop real estate and stress. Click the icon below on the mashed potatoes to find out more.

Thanksgiving Prep

Pre-planning makes all the difference. Plan your menu well ahead of time, noting the essentials – where recipes can be found, what ingredients, tools and serving pieces are needed, and when and how they should be prepared. Click the icons below for more planning tips!

Serving Calculator

Holidays bring lots of friends and family to the table, sometimes more than anticipated. A large holiday dinner takes a bit more planning, but with a few basics you can serve 2 or 20 with style. Use this handy serving calculator to estimate the right amounts for your guests and discover more of our time-tested tips for making your holiday meal a success for any size group by clicking the icons below.

  4 People 5 People 12 People 24 People
Appetizers 8 each of 2 kinds (bite-size) 12 each of 2 kinds (bite-size) 16 each of 3 kinds (bite-size) 24 each of 3 kinds (bite-size)
Turkey 8-10 lb. Turkey 8-10 lb. Turkey 10-12 lb. Turkey 18-24 lb. Turkey
(1/2 cup per serving)
2 cups 3 cups 6 cups 12 cups
Cranberry Sauce
(1/4 cup per serving)
1 cup 1 1/2 cup 3 cups 6 cups
Mashed Potatoes
(1/2 cup per serving)
1 to 1 1/2 lb. fresh potatoes (2 cups mashed) 1 1/2 to 2 lb. fresh potatoes (3 cups mashed) 3 to 4 lb. fresh potatoes (6 cups mashed) 6 to 8 lb. fresh potatoes (12 cups mashed)
(1/2 cup per serving of two kinds)
Two kinds - 2 cups each Two kinds - 3 cups of each Three kinds - 4 cups of each Three kinds - 8 cups of each
(2 per serving)
8 rolls 12 rolls 24 rolls 48 rolls
(1/8 per serving)
1 pie or 1 dessert 1 pie or 1 dessert 2 pies or 2 kinds of dessert 3 pies or 3 kinds of dessert

Make Ahead

When you were little, remember how important you felt when you were really able to help with a big family event? Kids of all ages can lend a hand, from setting the table to prepping veggies to making colorful treats for the special feast. Here are a few ideas to get your kids involved and help them feel like they're an important part of the celebration.

Ages 4 to 5

  • Give them a stool and a scrub brush. Set them up at the kitchen sink and have them wash the potatoes and carrots.
  • After the table's set, they can place the napkins around the table. Maybe even have them help pick out the napkins.
  • Have them put place cards at each table setting. They can even help make place cards with a little help from an older sibling.

Ages 6 to 7

  • Make place cards, print names and put them around the table.
  • Fold napkins and insert into napkin rings.
  • Help set the table.
  • Serve appetizers.

Ages 8 to 10

  • Help create the centerpiece.
  • Help chop some of the vegetables, carefully.
  • Take beverage orders.