Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Menu

If you find yourself more worried than excited about Thanksgiving dinner, it's time to take back control of this holiday meal. Your favorite recipes don't have to be time-consuming. In fact, you can make simple, fast dishes that are just as tasty as the classics.

Yes, you can serve a delicious Thanksgiving dinner without spending all week (or even all day) in the kitchen. Keep this quick and easy Thanksgiving menu handy so you can enjoy simple yet flavorful fare—and enjoy time with your guests as well. 

So go ahead: Sleep in, watch the Thanksgiving parade, and take your time getting ready. This streamlined yet scrumptious menu will come together quicker than you ever imagined it could!

Cut down on Thanksgiving day stress by starting early. Follow our Thanksgiving Countdown Planner for a totally no-sweat holiday. 

Salad: Toasted Couscous and Chard Salad

Start to Finish: 20 minutes

This Toasted Couscous and Chard Salad is the perfect starter for your quick and easy Thanksgiving menu. The layers of flavor from chard, beets, parsley, pomegranate seeds, walnuts, mint leaves, and more make it taste like it came from a gourmet restaurant!

Picky eaters will be a lot less likely to pass on the "green stuff" the next time it comes around when it's in this colorful blend.

Prep Tip: Stack similar-size leaves of chard in a neat pile so you can trim the stems at the same time.

Get the recipe: Toasted Couscous and Chard Salad

Soup: Gingered Carrot-Sweet Potato Soup

Start to Finish: 30 minutes

Whip up this gluten-free Gingered Carrot-Sweet Potato Soup with Chive Cream for a quick-fix starter. Instead of fussing with a vegetable masher, this low-fat creamy soup reaches its velvety consistency after just a few spins in the blender. 

With an orange hue and dollop of sour cream-chive topping, this soup will be a pretty addition to your Thanksgiving table. 

Ingredient Info: Either sour cream or crème fraîche work well as a topper. Opt for sour cream if you're aiming for a tangy, low-fat addition. Choose crème fraîche for a rich, smooth stir-in.

Get the recipe: Gingered Carrot-Sweet Potato Soup with Chive Cream

Fruit Side Dish: Cranberry-Fig Relish

Start to Finish: 10 minutes

This Cranberry-Fig Relish can be made in less time than it takes to listen to three of your favorite dinner party songs. Chill for a few hours until your guests arrive, and your relish is ready to serve.

If you think a cranberry recipe can't be that quick AND delicious, think again. With cranberries, figs, fresh mint leaves, and orange marmalade, this relish is both a classic and one-of-a-kind.

Time-Saving Tip: Don't want to make your relish on Thanksgiving Day? No problem! This relish can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the fridge in an airtight container. Want to prep even earlier? Freeze for up to 6 months, then thaw overnight in the fridge.

Get the recipe: Cranberry-Fig Relish

Potato Side Dish: Garlic and Herb Mashed Potatoes

Start to Finish: 10 minutes

Start with some instant or refrigerated mashed potatoes, then add cheese with garlic and herbs, some fresh parsley, and french-fried onions (if you wish). No one will guess you didn't start by boiling a batch of potatoes and mashing from scratch. You get all the goodness of mashed potatoes without all the work.

Don't forget to melt a pat of butter on top of the finished product.

Get the recipe: Garlic and Herb Mashed Potatoes

Entrée: Hazelnut-Crusted Turkey Breast

Start to Finish: 2 hours 5 minutes

If you're on board for a quick and easy Thanksgiving menu, but are unconvinced that you can short-cut turkey, you haven't seen this Hazelnut-Crusted Turkey Breast recipe. It roasts for an hour and a half, but only 20 minutes of prep are needed to get this turkey ready to go!

Select a bone-in turkey breast for all of the traditional flavor of the whole bird without the roasting time. Then dress it up with a hazelnut crust and plate with oranges, kumquats, and bay leaves. Your whole table will think that absolutely nothing is missing.

Moist Turkey Trick: Allow the roasted meat to rest for 15 minutes before carving so the juices can redistribute (rather than flow out onto the serving platter).

Get the recipe: Hazelnut-Crusted Turkey Breast

Dessert: Easy Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

Star to Finish: 60 minutes

Combine two of your favorite desserts—cupcakes and pie—and serve these Easy Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes instead of fussing over pie. With plenty of pumpkin and cinnamon flavor, fall dessert cravings will be cured. There's even graham crackers on top so you get a crunch, just like with a piecrust! Orange frosting topped with a dollop of white frosting mimics the look of pumpkin pie with whipped cream.

You might be starting a new tradition with these sweet treats.

Get the recipe: Easy Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

More Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Tips

Don't spend all November sweating about Thanksgiving decor or meals. Sit back and relax this holiday season with our successful shortcuts. These easy crafts and recipes will be ready in a snap, leaving you with more time and energy to enjoy your company. We know what you'll be thankful for this season!


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