Planning and preparing an entire Thanksgiving meal is a LOT of work. Over the years, I’ve watched my mom and mother-in-law make elaborate feasts for holidays, and while I am a pretty decent cook, I have never had to prepare a full blown Thanksgiving meal by myself for my family. I’ve put together a few of my favorite quick and easy recipes that would be perfect for anyone who doesn’t have days to prepare an extensive meal or the cooking skills required to do so.
When I think of Thanksgiving, the first thing that naturally comes to mind is Turkey. While I like a traditional baked turkey or turducken, my husband is obsessed with fried turkey. I’ve never cooked either by myself and know it can be intimidating and time consuming. I recently tried out this #Butterball all natural Ready to Roast turkey. It was so good and really easy to cook! I literally had to bake it in the bag for a few hours and then add gravy that was included in the package! This is such a great option for smaller families who don’t need a ton of meat or anyone who doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of cleaning out and carving a huge turkey.
Green Bean Casserole
Next, I tried out an easy green bean casserole that only required 4 ingredients plus seasoning- 2 large cans green beans, 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup, 1 cup of shredded cheese and French Fried Onions. I combined all of the ingredients, baked it at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes and then topped it with more fried onions. Can’t get much simpler than that!
Another straightforward and pretty healthy recipe that is a tried and true favorite in our house is this creamed corn recipe by Holly Clegg. It’s a go to all year long because I always have the ingredients in my house, it can be made in about 15 minutes, and you don’t need the oven (which is great since you are already using your oven for lots of other dishes on Thanksgiving.) The ingredients you will need are:
- 1 TB butter
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 1/2 cups corn (frozen, fresh or in the can)
- 1 tsp flour
- 1/3 cup skim milk
- pinch of sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
To make the creamed corn you simply melt the butter and sauté the onion. Next, add the corn and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and add the milk and sugar. After the mixture comes to a boil, lower the heat and cook until it is a thick consistency…you may need to add a little more milk. Finally, add salt and pepper to season to your liking.
This recipe makes about 2 serving, so I usually double (or triple) it.
Holly Clegg’s Too Hot in the Kitchen is one of my favorite cookbooks for healthy and easy meals…I highly recommend checking it out here.
White Truffle Mac and Cheese
For the kids I often make baked mac and cheese, which super simple; however, I like to be a little fancier during the holidays and cook this white truffle mac and cheese from The Curvy Carrot. I have been making this recipe for years, and while it might not be the healthiest option, I promise you it is worth it! Also, don’t be afraid to substitute different cheeses if you can’t find the ones in the recipe…I usually use white cheddar and gouda. I often make this a few days ahead of time, and bake it the day of an event. In the rare occasion that you have leftovers, it also freezes really well!
It’s so good that my hubby got to it before I could snap a picture!
I tried out this butternut squash dish for the first time last week, and it was a huge success. It only took about 15 minutes to prep, was full of flavor and was the perfect healthy fall side dish. To prep it I simply peeled and cubed up one butternut squash. (I like to microwave mine for about 7 minutes to make it easier to cut.) Next, I drizzled it with olive oil, honey (you could also use maple syrup), cinnamon, salt and pepper. Finally, I baked it for 35-40 minutes at 400 degrees…super simple and super delicious!
Easy as Pie
No Thanksgiving meal is complete without dessert! You can be fancy and bake your own treat, or you can do like we do and buy a store bought pecan pie and some whip cream! Fast, easy and delicious! The best part is there is no clean up required.
No matter how big your family is, where you celebrate or what you eat, I hope you all have a #happythanksgiving filled with lots of family, food and fun!