Wrap these gifts quick!
Before you accidentally eat them.
No matter how carefully you unwrap then rewrap, someone’s going to find out.
It’s hard to beat homemade cookies! As we all know, something special happens when sugar and butter join forces.
These sturdy beauties ship well, so go ahead and send your second grade pen pal a big box of holiday joy. Fold in your favorite dried fruit, nuts, or chocolate for some extra pizzaz.
Perfect for all of those chocolate lovers out there. Recommended serving size = at least 5.
Healthy enough for breakfast. Kind of. Serve with tea or coffee… or hot chocolate because why the heck not.
Cookies are nice, but candy is slightly more impressive. If you’re the indecisive sort, no one’s stopping you from making both…
Float a couple of these bad boys in a rich cup of hot chocolate. Or whip up a festive wintertime s’more! The opportunities are nearly endless.
Impressive and delicious. Politely encourage chatty Aunt Phyllis to chew on a couple of these when you need a few moments of silence. You’ll both appreciate it.
Take out all of your holiday related stress on those candy canes when you smash them up real good before gently folding them into the melted white chocolate. Bonus: this recipe only requires three ingredients!
Stir a few ingredients together in a cute jar with some instructions and you’re good to go. If your giftee appreciates a good challenge, feel free to leave out the instructions.
Not everyone loves dessert, so save the cookies for yourself and wrap up some chai tea mix instead.
So much better than the stuff from the store. Include some marshmallows and candy canes if you’re feeling extra generous.
Some people need a little prodding. This cookie mix should do the trick.
Looking for more tasty gift ideas? We have plenty.
‘Tis the season for snacking and drinking.
Thanksgiving was just the warm-up, so you should know the drill by now.
Make room in your belly and grab a glass of cheer!
Bring on the small bites! These appetizers are perfect party material.
Crispy bacon, gooey cheese, and warm carbs all in one. In other words, a good way to get on that naughty list.
Serve with pita chips, carrots, bell peppers, or just spoon the stuff straight into your mouth when no one is looking.
It’s hard to stop after inhaling just one of these crispy, tropical bites. Yep, whip up a double batch.
You’re going to need something to wash down all that yummy food.
Not your typical margarita, but we’re definitely okay with it.
What exactly is buttered rum anyway? All you need to know is that it’s dangerously good.
This festive cocktail counts as a serving of fruit, so drink up!
These tasty drinks are alcohol-free. But you can always add a hefty splash of rum.
Serve this classic beverage in an extra large mug with a couple cinnamon sticks. The smell alone is enough to elicit drool.
Dunk your cookies right in there… and leave a glass out for Santa if you’re feeling especially generous.
Just another excuse to consume Nutella. Don’t forget the fresh whipped cream! And chocolate shavings if you’re trying to go all out, which you should.
Keep the party going with more holiday eats and sips.
Get creative in the kitchen and put those leftovers to work.
Because boring is never okay.
Don’t have any leftovers?
Or sad, take your pick.
Food, food, and more food! You’re on a roll, so why stop now?
Add some perfectly scrambled eggs plus toast to this equation and you’ve got yourself a complete breakfast. Enjoy a slice of pie for breakfast dessert. Yeah that’s a thing.
Not your average Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich. You know what they say… when in doubt, put an egg on it. And cheese, lots of cheese.
Would you believe us if we said these zesty muffins are better than cupcakes? Well they are. (It’s that magical glaze!)
Lunch & Dinner:
Perhaps breakfast doesn’t sound too appealing. Just work up an appetite and go straight for lunch (or dinner if you really overdid it the night before).
Creamy, flavorful filling. Buttery, flaky crust. Are you convinced yet?
Cheese makes life better. This creative (and utterly delicious) dish takes advantage of leftover turkey and gravy… plus creamy avocado and polenta, gooey cheese, lots of spices, and black beans for an extra protein kick.
A classic strategy to use up all that turkey. You can’t go wrong with comforting noodle soup! Make a big batch and freeze the leftovers to enjoy later on. If you’re going the freezing route, leave out the noodles to avoid the whole mush factor. Simply add fresh noodles after you thaw and reheat the soup.
In our minds, dessert is hardly optional. Your dessert (and drink) stomach will appreciate these sweet recipes.
This fall rita is the perfect combo of sweet and tart. Not a fan of tequila? Use vodka instead.
That’s right. Throw a fat slice of pie in the blender with a generous scoop of ice cream and get ready to experience an epic brain freeze… it’s near impossible to stop drinking this shake. Don’t forget to top the whole thing off with whipped cream!
Hide some mashed sweet potato in chocolatey brownies for a healthy(ish) treat. We promise you won’t even know the difference.
Hardly make a dent in those leftovers? See more Thanksgiving leftover ideas.
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Thanks and Happy Cooking!
If “cooking” is a foreign term to you, and you rarely set foot in the kitchen, contributing a dish or two for Thanksgiving is probably the last thing you want to do.
Before you resort to canned crans and store-bought pie, let us share a handful of super simple recipes and tips to make your life much easier and cooking very possible.
At the end of the day, it’s the thought that counts.
“A” for effort, you know?
Then you can always whip out that can… and bring some booze.
Cooking up a big hunk of meat may seem a little intimidating at first, but we believe in you! As long as you remember to thaw the turkey (if frozen) and don’t completely forget about your meat in the oven, there’s not much else that can go wrong. (Just keep telling yourself that.)
Embrace everything basic! Including your turkey. Remember to test the turkey temp (165 F) in the innermost part of the thigh, then let the thing rest (tented in foil) for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. (The temp will continue to rise a bit after you pull it out of the oven.) Need some help choosing which size turkey to purchase, figuring out how long it needs to thaw (if frozen), or how long to cook the thing? Hop on over to our handy turkey calculator.
Not feeding a crowd? A simple turkey breast will do. Unless you want turkey leftovers for a month… all to yourself. Hey that’s not a bad idea.
Turkey isn’t everything. If you’re not feeling the bird, try your hand at prime rib instead. All you really need is patience.
Although this lighter baked sweet potato casserole with maple toasted marshmallow sounds pretty amazing, some of us don’t have the time (or experience) to make that edible masterpiece reality. These simple sides are still tasty and a bit more manageable. (If you love a challenge, go ahead and make the casserole… you won’t be disappointed.)
Butter makes everything better. True fact.
Don’t bother with traditional green bean casserole. Cook green beans until crisp-tender then season, season, season and serve.
Make mama proud! Not quite as simple as mashed potatoes, but you got this. You can always dump on the gravy…
Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. What more do you want?
Sugar, water, cranberries, done! Almost as easy as cracking open that can.
What’s Thanksgiving without gravy? If you can follow instructions, you can whip up a smooth, rich gravy in no time. Just try not to get too creative.
There’s always room for dessert!
If you buy the crust, pumpkin pie is actually quite doable. Just mix up the filling, pour it in the crust, then bake! Cool your pie on a wire rack so it doesn’t get soggy.
No one has to know that this dessert requires minimal effort. Bake until golden and bubbly, then serve warm. You can make the crisp ahead of time and simply reheat it in a 325 degree oven for 10 minutes right before serving… with vanilla ice cream.
A homemade dessert with only 3-ingredients?! Dreams do come true. Serve warm with whipped cream for a real treat.
Looking for more easy Thanksgiving recipes? Here you go.
Want to actually plan ahead? Schedule your recipes in Menu Planner.
Time to shop? Add ingredients to your Grocery List.
Expecting a heated discussion at the dinner table this year?
We’ve chosen a handful of popular Thanksgiving recipes that are ideal for chucking across the room… or smooshing directly into Uncle Alan’s face.
So warm up that arm of yours and strategically survey your options before the food fight begins.
Dinner won’t be for another hour. You’re already starting to sweat. Cousin Ruby won’t stop babbling nonsense, and unfortunately the wine isn’t enough to drown out her incessant chatter. Oh but that platter of shiny, goopy deviled eggs is thankfully within arm’s reach. Simply grab an egg, casually wind up, then send that thing flying across the room towards your target. Success! At this point if you’re feeling confident, make eye contact and own up to your stunt or blame it on someone else. Just remember to stash a second egg in your front pocket. Ammunition you know. (You’ll probably need it later.)
Snowball forming and throwing techniques can be applied here. Your mountain man brother definitely has an advantage, so you’re going to want to coerce him into taking your side before complete mayhem breaks out.
One word… marshmallows. Those gooey buggers are guaranteed to stick to your target. Send a wad of mallow covered sweet taters into the culprit’s hair (beards are best) then proceed to offer up a jar of peanut butter to help get the stickiness out because you’re so dang thoughtful. (Yes, peanut butter is sometimes used to get gum out of hair so why not marshmallows?)
Canned Cranberries (in can form, duh)
Clearly we don’t have a recipe for this one. But all you have to do is slink into the kitchen when the dining area begins to feel even tenser than normal, crack open a can or two of crans, then carefully squeeze the contents out into your ready hands. Reenter the danger zone, aim, and fire. Did we mention that cranberries stain? Well they do. Wear all black to dinner like a boss. At least you will be covered in case others follow your canned cran lead.
Stinky Brussels sprouts are hardly worth eating anyway. As soon as the squabbles commence, grab a handful of those suckers and make quick work of the room. Then quietly go back to enjoying your meal like nothing happened because you’re the only sane person around.
Do we really need to spell it out for you. Dinner rolls are the perfect size and shape for chucking, and they’re the best option for long distance lobs. Seeking a freshman P.E. dodge ball redemption? This might be your best opportunity to do so.
Forget throwing when you can smoosh food right into someone’s face. Pie is a traditional option, so why not keep it simple? Extra credit if you manage to pile on the whipped cream before taking action. We’re all about maximum impact, but we do recommend reserving pecan pie for actual consumption… can’t let those expensive pecans go to waste.
You thought you’d make it through the feast without any bumps, but then your sister-in-law Carole had to start something after everyone finished up their last bites of pie. Of all the leftovers lying about, cold, gelatinous gravy is your best bet. Simply dip your cupped hand in there and expertly sling that stuff into Carole’s curls. Gravy is a fantastic conditioner, so she shouldn’t be too upset.
All jokes aside, we do hope everyone remains civil… unless someone nabs the last slice of Grandma Ethel’s famous all-butter crust deep dish heirloom apple pie before you manage to get a taste. (But that’s a whole other matter.)
And if you really cannot resist the urge to throw something, toss Fido a stray piece of turkey (or five) under the table. He’ll appreciate your generosity.
Looking for more Thanksgiving inspo? We have loads of delicious recipes to share with family and friends.
Need some help choosing which size turkey to purchase, figuring out how long it needs to thaw (if frozen), or how long to cook the thing? Hop on over to our handy turkey calculator.
Want to actually plan ahead? Schedule your recipes in Menu Planner.
Time to shop? Add ingredients to your Grocery List.
It’s that time of year again… time for eating, potentially socializing, and definitely more eating. But when is the optimal time to pick up your Thanksgiving groceries? And when should you actually start breaking a sweat (or hopefully keeping your chill) in the kitchen? We can help! Read on to learn how far in advance you can pick up those fresh cranberries and when to start prepping your stuffing.
Time to Shop
You’re going to want to buy your grocery items as far in advance as possible to:
A) Avoid navigating a super packed store and super long lines… and potentially super stressed, cranky people
B) Avoid forgetting a crucial ingredient when it’s actually too late
C) Avoid facing the fact that a crucial ingredient is sold out
So make sure you have all the pantry items, frozen goods, and beverages you’ll be needing a month ahead of time and pick up more ingredients during your routine weekly grocery store stop if necessary.
Two weeks out purchase your dairy items and “sturdy” produce along with that evening’s frozen pizza and six pack.
Two to three days before Thanksgiving brave the potentially aggressive crowds and grab your protein of choice, delicate produce, and bakery items, then get the heck out of there asap.
Buy These Items One Month Ahead:
Frozen: Green beans, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, squash, cranberries, turkey, bread, ice cream, pie crust, etc.
Canned: Pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie filling, soup, broth/stock, green beans, cranberries, gravy, etc.
Baking: Flour, sugar, honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, salt, spices, leaveners, cornstarch, oil, dried fruit, dried onions, nuts, vanilla, marshmallows, vinegar, etc.
Beverages: Wine, beer, hard alcohol, soda, juice, etc.
Two Weeks Ahead:
Dairy: Butter, milk, cream, whipped cream, eggs, cheese, sour cream, etc. (check dates)
Sturdy Produce: Potatoes, sweet potatoes/yams, squash, carrots, turnips, beets, onions, garlic, cranberries if preparing one week in advance, apples, etc.
Two to Three Days Ahead:
Protein: Turkey, beef, pork, lamb, fish, etc.
Delicate produce: Herbs, greens, fruit (besides apples), mushrooms, green beans, celery, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, etc.
Bakery: Bread (for stuffing)
Let’s Get Cooking!
The goal here is to get as much done as possible before Thanksgiving day actually rolls around. That way, you can actually enjoy your meal and company without running around the kitchen like a crazed person… well we can’t really help you with the company bit, but we have the food part down. And if all else fails, just pour yourself a glass or three of wine and spray canned whipped cream straight into your mouth like a real adult. If you own four ovens and eight burners and somehow remain cool as a cucumber during potentially hectic situations, feel free to disregard the below.
Begin Preparing One Week Ahead:
You can whip up a batch of cranberry sauce a week ahead of time! Store your cooled, sweet-tart sauce in a sealed glass container in the fridge, then transfer it to a serving dish for your feast.
Keep it super simple: Buy canned sauce. No one will know… unless you leave it in can form.
One to Two Days Ahead:
Soup actually tastes better the day after you make it when all the flavors have had time to meld. Stir up a pot of hot soup a day or two in advance. Store your cooled soup in a sealed glass container in the fridge. Gently heat the soup on the stove before serving.
Keep it super simple: Pick up a few cans (or cartons) of creamy squash soup from the store. There are actually some tasty options out there. You can always get creative with the garnishes. Toasted pumpkin seeds, fresh herbs, and a swirl of plain yogurt are all delicious toppings.
Roasted squash, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are all winners. You can roast your veggies one day in advance, then store the cooled vegetables in a sealed glass container in the fridge. Either bring them up to room temp before serving or pop them in a hot oven for about 10 minutes, until warmed through.
If you’re going the casserole route, you can prepare your dish one to two days in advance. Simply cover your unbaked casserole with foil and store it in the fridge. Thanksgiving day, set the casserole out on the counter 30 minutes before you pop it in the oven. For mashed sweet potatoes, boil or bake your taters one to two days prior to Thanksgiving, store your cooled sweet potatoes in the fridge in a sealed glass container or wrapped in foil, then simply mash them up on the stove with some butter (and milk or cream, if you like) before serving. You can roast sweet potatoes too, similarly to veggies.
Keep it super simple: The easiest methods involve either boiling or baking your sweet potatoes, then drizzling with butter or coconut oil before serving. Want to avoid taking up more oven and stove top space? Make a sweet potato salad one to two days in advance and served chilled or room temp.
Stuffing has casserole potential (these days health experts are saying to leave your stuffing out of the bird) so go ahead and prepare your stuffing one to two days ahead of time, cool, then cover with foil or spoon into a sealed glass container and store in the fridge. Thanksgiving day, set your stuffing out on the counter 30 minutes prior to reheating. Depending on your recipe, you’ll want to heat your foil covered stuffing in the oven, adding more stock if necessary to prevent dryness, or heat it up on the stove right before serving.
Keep it super simple: Grab a box or five of stove top stuffing from the store and get to it.
Mix up your ingredients (minus the fried onions) and pour into a casserole dish one to two days in advance. Store your foil covered dish in the fridge. Thanksgiving day, set the casserole out on the counter 30 minutes before you bake it, adding the fried onions last minute to reduce the sog factor. Serve hot.
Keep it super simple: There are five ingredients involved in this recipe. Don’t get greedy.
The main event definitely requires at least a little planning. Did you purchase a frozen bird? Pull that thing out of the freezer and let it thaw in your fridge a few days in advance. If you’re brining or marinading, start preparing your protein the day before (marinade more delicate seafood the day of). Be sure to keep it in the fridge! Once Thanksgiving rolls around, start cooking your protein early enough in the day so you won’t be dining at 11:37 pm (unless that’s what you’re going for). Whether you’re roasting, frying, grilling, or smoking your main dish, be sure to keep an eye on it and test the internal temp. The temp will rise a few degrees after you remove it from heat, so don’t overdo it! If you’re cooking meat, let it rest for 10 to 20 minutes (tented with foil) before carving.
Keep it simple: Roast a turkey breast. Easy. Or skip the main course altogether…. just kidding!
Tip: Need some help choosing which size turkey to purchase, figuring out how long it needs to thaw (if frozen), or how long to cook the thing? Hop on over to our handy turkey calculator.
One Day Ahead:
If possible bake your pie (or pies plural for you over-achievers) the morning of Thanksgiving. But no one will complain if you make your dessert the day before. Cool your pie on a wire rack completely, then store at room temp with a piece of parchment or wax paper loosely placed on top.
Keep it super simple: Buy your pie from a grocery store or bakery. Dessert is dessert people. Or skip the pie altogether and just serve (store-bought) fancy schmancy chocolates or pumpkin pie flavored ice cream.
You can wash and chop or slice most of your ingredients the day before, then store them in a sealed glass container in the fridge. You’ll want to add produce that browns, like apples, pears, and avocados, last minute, as well as croutons, cheese, nuts, and seeds… items that can get soggy. Toss your salad right before serving, or have your guests dress their own portion.
Keep it super simple: It’s salad. You can’t get much simpler than that. Just choose a recipe that has minimal ingredients and steps.
There are a few strategies when it comes to mashed taters. You can make some room on your stove by cooking them in a slow cooker the day of, or boil and mash right before serving. If you really want to make them the day before, simply reheat your mashed potatoes on the stove adding a bit of extra butter and cream until they get nice and smooth.
Keep it super simple: No no, don’t even think about buying gluey (or dry) mashed potatoes from the store. Roasted potatoes are an alternative solution, although they do require your oven.
Keep it super simple: Buy your bread the day before Thanksgiving. Simply sprinkle your bread with a bit of water then pop it in a hot oven for a few minutes to bring that thing back to life, if necessary. You could always purchase premade crescent or biscuit dough, or even skip the bread because turkey and pie deserve as much space in your stomach as possible.
Gravy is meant to be cooked up last minute, or else the texture tends to get a little funky.
Keep it super simple: We don’t recommend this option, but when desperate times call for desperate measures, buy your gravy from the store. Some options are a lot more appetizing than others… so choose wisely. We recommend going for gravy made in your grocery store’s deli over canned or packet stuff. Simply heat your gravy on the stove before serving.
The perfect topping for any pie. Whip your cream right before serving dessert, or it will deflate and look a little sad.
Tip: Whip cream in a chilled bowl with chilled beaters. Just do it. Granulated sugar works, but powdered sugar is another tasty option.
Keep it super simple: If you really have to (like really have to) go ahead and buy the can. Or, opt for vanilla ice cream instead.
Looking for more inspiration? See a variety of Thanksgiving recipes over here.
Want to actually plan ahead? Schedule your recipes in Menu Planner.
Time to shop? Add ingredients to your Grocery List.
Kick back and relax.
Because laziness is acceptable.
Especially when the results taste so good.
Dry chicken is almost as bad as raw chicken. Your slow cooker knows how to do it best.
“Healthy” and “butter” normally aren’t seen together in public, but exceptions do exist. And dang is this exception delicious.
Can’t go wrong with carbs and saucy chicken. Oh, and there’s ranch involved.
Messy faces, hands, and clothing are expected. If you’re really on top of life, have those moist towelettes handy.
Getting tired of chicken? Of course not. But here are a few beefier recipes in case you change your mind.
Can you say tender? Don’t leave out the cheddar potato perogies!
This low-key classy dish is perfect for both weeknight meals and weekend dinner parties.
Pile this stroganoff on top of a big bowl of buttered noodles or rice. (Or both… we won’t tell.)
Hello carbs! Slow cookers aren’t meant for just meat.
If you love uber creamy mac and cheese, this one’s for you. Seconds are inevitable.
Comfort food to the max. Serve with a bottle (or two) of your fave red wine.
This hearty pasta dinner will fill you right up. No need for a side veg with all that spinach!
Did you slowly work your way through these recipes? Get more slow cooker ideas over here.
Don’t get tricked…
Into missing out on these treats.
Because they’re scary good.
Bring on the sugar!
This mouth-watering dip is meant for dessert… but we won’t judge if you serve it as an app. Try dunking apple slices, pretzels, graham crackers, or even cookies right in there.
Let your artsy side shine! Not the next Vincent van Gogh? Throw together a batch of Halloween Muddy Buddies Mix instead.
Any cake topped with caramel apples is a real winner. Brag-worthy? Definitely, so snap a few photos of your masterpiece before it gets demolished by the witches and goblins.
Let the sugar high continue.
Have some leftover sugar on your hands? Whip up a batch of Halloween bark to use up all the random candy bits floating around your house. (Do yourself a favor and leave out the Tootsie Rolls though.)
Perfect snackage material. And just another excuse to consume candy corn.
You might hate spiders a little less after biting into one of these tasty little guys. They’re on the healthy end of the spectrum, so eat up!
Time to mix it up with something savory. (And then you can have more sugar.)
Pizza is always a safe bet. Even when it’s covered with (black olive) spiders.
Holy moly! You just have to see these tasty little monsters for yourself.
Fill your belly with an actual meal before chowing down on sugar for the rest of the
Grab a big bowl and spoon!
And ladle up some comforting, hot soup.
Slurping is acceptable and dunking bread is required.
Creamy and ohh so dreamy.
Souper rich and decadent. We recommend serving this puppy as a first course before your main dish. Did we mention it’s rich? (But in the best way possible, of course.)
Not a huge fan of cauliflower? Try the veggie in soup form. Roasting is a must!
Well 6, if you count the optional (but not so optional) cilantro garnish.
Bring your best slurping skills to the table because these noodle soups are pretty hard to pass up.
Think you can’t impress someone with a bowl of soup? Think again. This epic ramen may require a hefty handful of ingredients but gosh darn, it’s worth it.
No need to take a trip to the store, you probably have all these ingredients on hand already. Score!
The remedy to any cough or cold. Feel free to toss in leftover veggies you have hanging out in your fridge… just maybe not beets, unless you want your soup to resemble Pepto-Bismol.
Pair well with cozy blankets, crackling fires, and a good read… or Netflix.
Pot pie crusts are flaky, buttery amazingness, but sometimes mixing up and rolling out the perfect dough is just not an option. So, why not simply drink the filling instead? Oh, and don’t even think about buying a subpar premade crust from the store…
This meatless soup is both healthy and filling, not to mention full of flavor. Don’t forget to top your bowl off with creamy avocado slices and a very large dose of shredded cheese!
Maybe not the best choice if you’re trying to stick to your Jennifer Aniston diet, but sometimes you deserve a bowl of cream flavored with bacon.
Ready to down even more soup? See our full collection of fall soup recipes.