There’s less than two days until Thanksgiving, and if you’re the organized or food obsessive sort, you have probably already been planning for weeks. However, for those of you who have found yourselves pressed into hosting duties at the last minute, and those who are simply the spontaneous sort who don’t believe any meal should take more than two days to plan, it’s still possible to pull off a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Here are some tips:
- First of all, forget the frills. Thanksgiving is a meal for traditionalists, so stick to the basics, like a beautiful roasted turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. It’s better to cook a few dishes well than attempt to make twenty different dishes, and limiting the menu will also be key to keeping your sanity.
- Think about taking some smart shortcuts. Everything from cranberry sauce to dinner rolls to pumpkin pies can be purchased already assembled. And our turkey gravy base is a lifesaver when you don’t want to deal with making the gravy from scratch.
- Don’t be afraid to delegate. Ask friends and family to bring their favorite dish so you’re not on the hook for the whole meal. But keep close track of who is bringing what so you don’t end up with three pecan pies and no vegetables. Or, even worse, the other way around.
Here are some of favorite time-saving recipes for a memorable Thanksgiving feast, along with some alternative options to make meal prep even easier.
|Butternut Squash Soup with Pepitas
This soup can be made today, refrigerated until Thursday, then rewarmed just before serving. When shopping, look for cubes of butternut squash that have already been peeled and chopped, which will save you some time in assembling the simple soup that begins the meal. (Alternatively, for an even easier dish, use our butternut squash puree and follow the directions on the label for a soup you can make in about 20 minutes.)
|Focaccia Stuffing with Apple, Sausage and Kale
This recipe gets a pop of fresh color and flavor from slivered kale, and using our focaccia stuffing mix makes it easy, but if you’re really pressed for time, simply assemble the basic focaccia stuffing recipe according to the directions on the box. It will still be delicious.
|Buttery Mashed Potatoes
For many people, it’s not Thanksgiving without this comfort food favorite, and here’s an easy way to prepare them. If you want to take them up a notch, add some of our truffled mashed potato seasoning and no one will know how easy they were to make.
|Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Olive Oil and Lemon Peel
Easier to assemble than the green bean casserole that appears on many Thanksgiving tables, and fresher-tasting too, this simple yet delicious Brussels sprout dish requires little more than sautéing the sliced vegetable in olive oil and brightening the flavor with a little lemon zest and juice.
|Classic Roast Turkey
When roasting your turkey, there’s no need to spend time brining it or glazing it. Just follow our instructions for a classic roast turkey the way your mother may have made it. But if you want to make your tastiest, juiciest turkey yet, it will take only a few minutes to rub it with a quick dry brine a few hours before roasting.
One of Thanksgiving’s most iconic desserts is the pecan pie. For icnredible pie in less time, consider using pecan pie-in-a-jar: Simply blend the filling with butter and eggs, then pour into two pie shells and bake.