The Biggest Thanksgiving Mistake You're Making, According To Al Roker

Preparing Thanksgiving dinner is to a home cook as finishing a marathon is to a runner — it takes a lot of preparation, a lot of work, and a lot of patience. The turkey alone is a monumental task, between choosing the right size to roasting it properly so that it turns out juicy instead of dried-out. Add to that the side dishes, the bread, the desserts, and the drinks, and you have nothing short of a miracle to pull off before your guests arrive.

If you're feeling stressed about Thanksgiving, you aren't alone. A OnePoll survey revealed that 52% of people feel pressure to make the perfect meal on Thanksgiving, and 61% of people even experience "second-hand stress" on the big day. To help make the holiday easier, Al Roker recently shared some of his top tips in an interview with Thrillist. Here's what he says is the biggest mistake people make when preparing for Turkey Day and how you can avoid it.

Don't overcomplicate the menu

Most Thanksgiving hosts feel a lot of pressure to whip up some elaborate spread that looks like it came straight off a Pinterest board, complete with the fanciest side dishes and desserts, and maybe even Etsy-inspired place settings for every guest! But attempting to put together such a photo-worthy feast can end up backfiring, Al Roker warns. In his opinion, it's best to keep it simple when cooking Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, he says most people are guilty of "getting overly ambitious" on Turkey Day. "Suddenly, you're running out of time and or oven real estate and stove real estate to get everything prepped, and then it's hard to get everything out at the same time," he told Thrillist.

But how can you pare down your menu without missing out on crowd-pleasing favorites or, worse, ending up with too little food? According to Food & Wine, a good rule of thumb to follow is one main dish (likely your turkey), five sides, and two pies — that's all.