Pull off an amazing Thanksgiving feast with these 12 Android apps

From finding recipes to shopping, cooking, and planning décor, we've got you covered.

thanksgiving dinner lead
Give thanks—to apps!

The payoff of an expertly executed Thanksgiving gathering is immense. Picture it: you’re surrounded by family and loved ones, with a spectacular homemade feast on the table—and before long, everyone is filled with warmth, love, and more than their fair share of turkey and stuffing. And surely some appreciation for you for pulling it all together.

Of course, getting to that point is the hard part, whether it’s planning the menu, preparing the feast, or seeing it all through to completion. But that’s where your Android phone comes in handy, as it can help with nearly every aspect of your Thanksgiving dinner. Got a big meal to deliver this week? Grab these apps and stifle the stress.

thanksgiving dinner foodnetwork
Food Network: In the Kitchen

Food Network’s In the Kitchen app is a handy resource all year long, as it’s packed with thousands of diverse recipes—but it’s especially helpful this time of year. As anyone who watches the cable network knows, its roster is packed with an array of chefs who all have different personalities, tastes, and cooking techniques. 

That translates perfectly into the app, which has a themed Thanksgiving section primed to set you off in all sorts of directions. Looking for classics? No problem. Need something a bit more refined or even untraditional? Sure thing. Hoping to emulate a holiday meal like one you’d find from Bobby Flay or Giada De Laurentiis? Seriously, it’s all there.

Food Network: In the Kitchen (Free)

thanksgiving dinner bonappetit
Thanksgiving by Bon Appetít

On the other hand, maybe you don’t want to be overwhelmed with options. Planning a Thanksgiving meal is hard enough as it is: why not let the experts decide? That’s exactly the task you can assign to Thanksgiving by Bon Appetít, a dedicated app inspired by the long-running cooking magazine. It’s attractively built, but more importantly, it makes your job very straightforward.

Sure, you can browse through the various recipes, as the app offers more than 100 dish options. But you can also hit the Menu tab and choose which kind of meal you want. Classic, Modern, Southern? How about the super-fancy meal featured in last year’s Bon Appetít issue? It’s all here, including a special cocktail for each menu option.

Thanksgiving by Bon Appetít (Free)

thanksgiving dinner allthecooks
Allthecooks Recipes

There’s real comfort in trusting your Thanksgiving menu to the experts, or picking through recipes that have been verified by notable gatekeepers. But what if you want something more adventurous or outside the box? Or what if you put more stock in crowdsourcing your options? Well, that’s where Allthecooks Recipes can play a role. 

Allthecooks is a community of amateur chefs and foodies who share their home creations—and you won’t find the polished, photo-shoot-perfect renditions of meals here. Instead, users post actual snapshots of how their meals turned out so you get a real sense of what’s possible here. Navigation is a bit haphazard, but with 200,000+ recipes, it might be worth digging around.

Allthecooks Recipes (Free)

thanksgiving dinner paprika
Paprika Recipe Manager

Maybe you already have a meal mapped out comprised of family recipes and past favorites. But chances are that all your instructions are spread out between written cards, ratty books, and an array of browser bookmarks. It’s time to bring the old stuff into the digital era and keep everything in one spot. That’s what Paprika is for.

Paprika lets you download and clip web recipes or manually enter your own, and then save and sort them as needed so everything is easily accessible when it’s time to hit the kitchen. Better yet, Paprika’s cloud sync service puts your recipe library on every device, so you can study the lineup on your PC or Mac at work, for example, or your Android tablet or iPad in bed. 

Paprika Recipe Manager ($5)

thanksgiving dinner butterball
Butterball Cookbook Plus

An official Butterball turkey app? You probably won’t need this for any other time of the year—although the Avocado Lime Ice Cream recipe looks pretty appealing—but it’s sure to be helpful when planning your Thanksgiving feast. It has a variety of recipes for both turkey and sides, but the bigger perks come from the tools and how-to videos.

Included tools help you figure out how large of a turkey you’ll need based on how many people are attending (and other variables), plus it offers ingredient substitutes if you need a swap or find yourself in a bind. And the quick video tutorials show exactly how to choose, thaw, roast, and finally carve your bird. If it’s your first time hosting or you just need a refresher, don’t miss those. 

Butterball Cookbook Plus (Free)

thanksgiving dinner hellovino
Hello Vino

Your family may vary, but if you’re preparing a large feast full of meat, carbs, and desserts, chances are that many folks will want a nice wine to help wash all of that delicious food down. But which one(s)? If you’re not an amateur sommelier yourself, you might need a little help in that department. So grab Hello Vino and let the app point you in the right direction. 

Hello Vino has a section dedicated to food pairings, and even has a holiday-centric theme that’ll suggest the right type of wine based on the type of turkey dish you’re preparing. The app will offer a few ideas, but if you find something at the store and you’re curious, simply scan the UPC with your phone camera: Hello Vino will quickly tell you all about it. 

Hello Vino (Free)

thanksgiving dinner outofmilk
Out of Milk

Once you have your Turkey Day menu plotted out, it's highly likely that you'll need to hit the store to pick up a wealth of ingredients. While it's true that any note-taking app can hold your digital list, consider a free app like Out of Milk, which smartly sorts your items and lets you compare against your stockpile at home. 

As you add items to the shopping list—either manually or by scanning a UPC code—the app automatically disperses them into categories (produce, bakery, etc), plus you can check them off the list as you make your way through the store. And the separate Pantry listing is handy, as well, since you can list frequently-used items and give yourself a reminder when running low.

Out of Milk Shopping List (Free)

thanksgiving dinner instacart

Even with our best intentions—and a handy app like the prior one—it’s easy to overlook items needed to execute your meal. It’s OK. Even if you can’t get back to the store before the big day, you can enlist some help. Instacart is a hugely beneficial app for times like these, as you can order an item from a nearby grocery store and have it delivered in as little as an hour. 

It’ll cost you a little more in fees, and we can’t promise what drivers' availability will be like on Thanksgiving day, but the convenience is tremendous. Better yet, save the entire grocery trip: make your list on the app and Instacart’s driver will grab your entire order from the store and bring it right to your door. Now that’s something to be thankful for.

Instacart: Grocery Delivery (Free)

thanksgiving dinner pinterest

Setting the right atmosphere is an important part of any successful Thanksgiving gathering. Granted, an excellent meal and a handful (or more) of loved ones may be all you really need, but why not go the extra step and decorate? You don’t have to spend a lot of money: many of the images seen on Pinterest are dominated by charming, homemade decorations.

Pinterest is essentially the Internet’s idea board, and its contents are wide and varied—but they’re especially voluminous with regards to holidays. So load up the free app, search around a bit, and surely you’ll find compelling ideas for setting the table and sprucing up your space. Oh, and play a little music: surely Spotify, Google Play Music, or Apple Music can help with that. 

Pinterest (Free)

thanksgiving dinner kitchenstories
Kitchen Stories

Designed around the thoughtful premise that anyone can excel at cooking, Kitchen Stories is more than just another recipe app: it helps you through the whole process. Instead of just a listing of ingredients and steps, you’ll find step-by-step preparation images and even video clips that help bridge the gap between what you need to do and actually doing it

Better yet, while Kitchen Stories can help you roast a turkey, it’s also focused on upgrading your general kitchen proficiency. You’ll find easy-to-understand video tutorials on knife skills, basic preparation abilities, and the fine art of baking, all of which will help you become more capable and comfortable with cooking in the long run. 

Kitchen Stories (Free)

thanksgiving dinner thyme

There’s nothing like a good food pun. But besides the fun title, there’s real benefit to having Thyme on your phone this Thanksgiving. No doubt, you’re already equipped with a means to set a few timers on your device, but Thyme goes a step further in letting you assign each to an image of a stovetop range and oven.

It’s minimal and simplistic, but when you need an at-a-glance way of knowing exactly how much longer everything will take to complete, it can be a crucial part of your cooking routine. You’ll get an alert as each component finishes cooking, and setting timers couldn’t be easier: simply swipe around the circle like you’re winding a dial. Easy as pie. Or turkey. Or stuffing…

Thyme – Kitchen Timer (Free)

thanksgiving dinner charliebrown
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Got young kids to entertain? How about nostalgic parents and other adults? Perfect: grab the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving app and draw everyone’s attention for a sweet, festive story. The app delivers an interactive storybook experience based directly on the classic 1973 animated special, using the same imagery and voice-over work throughout. 

Kids will enjoy pulling the digital tabs, tapping bowls of food, and shaking the device to interact with the story. And adults who grew up with the tale may have fun thinking back to their own childhood holidays—back before we all had screens to stare into, right? Really, though, it’s a charming little app, and a good note to end your great gathering on.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving ($6)