There’s a lot to get ready when you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner! Even though a perfectly dressed turkey is the centerpiece of this holiday feast, the bird shares the spotlight with a wide selection of side dishes, drinks and desserts. If you’re facing a long prep list to make sure that all your family’s favorites make an appearance on the table, you’ll love these ideas for timesaving, easy Thanksgiving foods!
Cooking shortcuts can take different shapes: some are as simple as buying pre-cubed stuffing instead of cutting up a loaf of bread, while others are about simplifying the ingredient list on a recipe or using a helpful appliance, like an air fryer or slow cooker, to free up oven space. Thanksgiving is really about the cozy memories made gathered with family and friends, not spending hours and hours in the kitchen! Here are some of our best tips, tricks and hacks to try this year:
Break out the Pressure Cooker and Slow Cooker
Pressure cookers can be super helpful when it comes to making easy Thanksgiving foods. They can be used for all sorts of cooking methods, and the technology of using pressure tenderizes and cooks food in no time compared to traditional stove-top cooking!
Try Sweet Instant Pot Baked Ham for a sweet and savory side dish, or Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake for a crowd-pleasing dessert that takes about 40 minutes in the pressure cooker and a few hours to cool and set in the fridge!
Slow cookers also stay out of the way and work quietly, freeing you up to do other things. Because they use low heat over a longer period, slow cookers are amazing for making soups, stews and braises. If you don’t need to roast a whole turkey this year, why not try a Slow Cooker Turkey Breast? It only requires 10 minutes of prep time and yields perfectly juicy meat! Did you know that you can also use your slow cooker to make Pumpkin Pie? These handy gadgets are a home cook’s best friend during the holidays.
Choose Simple, Homey Recipes
Sometimes, when it comes to home-cooked food, less is more. A recipe doesn’t need to have dozens of ingredients to turn out completely delicious!
Maple Bacon Baked Brie is an impressive addition to a happy hour or snack plate, but only requires five ingredients and 25 minutes in the oven! For side dishes that come together in a snap, try Six-Ingredient Potato Casserole, Easy 10-Minute Mac and Cheese or Bacon Wrapped Stuffing Bites. If your family loves all the fixings on the table, make a batch of Easy Cranberry Sauce (just six ingredients!) and 15-Minute Sage Turkey Gravy.
Even a busy home cook can lean on clever shortcuts! Use prepared filling in this Easy Apple Pie, or jazz up take-and-bake rolls with cheese and spices in these Easy Parmesan Garlic Dinner Rolls. Even something like a homemade frozen treat, which may seem like too involved of a dessert to tackle on such a big cooking day, is actually a breeze when you rely on this 4 Ingredient Pumpkin Pie Frozen Yogurt recipe!
Cut Down on Dishes with Sheet Pan and No-Bake Recipes
Sheet pan recipes are convenient, straightforward and help keep the pile of dishes in the sink to a minimum! And “no-bake” recipes free up oven space and save you precious time!
An Easy Sheet Pan Turkey Dinner is an all-in-one solution to Thanksgiving dinner, with turkey loins, vegetables, stuffing and cranberries all roasted together on two pans! The whole meal comes together in under an hour — that seems like magic, right?
If you’re looking for a quick, tasty bread to add to the table, Last-Minute Sheet Pan Biscuits come together in just 15 minutes and compliment the savory, hearty flavors of Thanksgiving dinner with a topping of herb butter and Parmesan.
No-bake recipes really shine at dessert! For instance, this No-Bake Maple Pecan Cream Pie is decadent and delicious, but only takes 15 minutes. A graham cracker crust holds an oh-so-creamy cheesecake-inspired filling dotted with toasty pecans. It only needs an hour or so to firm up in the fridge, or you can make it the night before. No-Bake Apple Caramel Cheesecake Dip is a fun, dippable autumnal dessert that comes together in just 10 minutes.
Whether you’re looking for super-easy solutions for all of your Thanksgiving dishes, or just need to add one or two dishes to the menu — and fast — your neighborhood Food Lion is ready with all of the easy, fresh and affordable ingredients that you need this holiday season. Stop by to see all the ways that you can holiday the Food Lion way!