Yes, you can serve a delicious Thanksgiving dinner without spending all week (or even all day) in the kitchen. This quick and easy Thanksgiving menu allows you to 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. With this set of easy recipes, planning your Thanksgiving meal is a snap whether you’re planning a meal for two or for a crowd.
Editor’s Tip: Cut down on Thanksgiving day stress by starting early. Follow our Thanksgiving Countdown Planner for a totally no-sweat holiday.
Make quick work of preparing your holiday meal with these easy Thanksgiving recipes:
See photos and learn more about each dish below.
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!
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Get the recipe: Garlic and Herb Mashed Potatoes
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.
Get the recipe: Easy Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
Don't spend all November sweating about your Thanksgiving meal. Sit back and relax this holiday season with our successful shortcuts.
Get more Thanksgiving planning tips in our Thanksgiving Countdown Checklist.