11 Shortcut Thanksgiving Recipes from Sara Foster

Apricot-Sweet Potato Hand Pies
From easy appetizers to beautiful desserts, these Thanksgiving recipes from Sara Foster are filled with make-ahead tips and timesaving ideas.

Sara's Silky Pumpkin Pie

Sweetened condensed milk and melted butter are the keys to making this nutmeg-, cinnamon-, and ginger-spiced pumpkin pie extra luxurious.

Timesaving Tip: This pie can be made up to two days ahead and refrigerated until it's time to serve.

Sara Foster's Herb-Roasted Turkey

Several cups of white wine and apple juice in the bottom of the roasting pan keep this apple- and onion-stuffed turkey succulent.

Timesaving Tip: Don't overcook; fresh turkeys cook faster than frozen, and the meat will be pinkish in color rather than brown.

Buttermilk Mashed Creamers

With this recipe, simple is truly best. All that's needed are potatoes, butter, buttermilk, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper.

Timesaving Tip: Cook, cover, and refrigerate potatoes up to one day. To proceed with the recipe, drain off most of the water. Reheat the covered potatoes over medium heat, drain again, then follow recipe.

Beet, Carrot & Apple Salad

Toss Granny Smith apple, turnip, beet, and carrot matchsticks with a light citrus vinaigrette that can be made up to three days in advance.

Timesaving Tip: Prepare, cover, and refrigerate the dressing for up to three days. Cut vegetables, then cover and store each vegetable separately, up to a day.

Sweet and Spicy Pecans

Rosemary, cayenne pepper, and vanilla make this quick and easy Thanksgiving appetizer memorable and delectable.

Timesaving Tip: Store cooled pecans in an airtight container up to one week.

Holiday Corn Bread Dressing

The corn bread that's the base of this dressing recipe is baked in a skillet. Classic stuffing ingredients, such as celery, onion, and sage give it traditional Thanksgiving flavor.

Timesaving Tip: The challah bread may be cubed and stored in an airtight container one day before assembling dressing. The corn bread recipe can be made ahead and frozen.

Buttermilk-Sage Dinner Rolls

Nestle balls of dough into muffin tins and then brush with melted butter before baking for warm, feathery-sweet rolls your crowd will love.

Timesaving Tip: The baked rolls can be frozen. Before serving, thaw first, and then wrap rolls in foil. Warm rolls in a 350°F oven about 15 minutes or until heated through.

Sweet Potato Spoon Bread

This soufflé-like side dish is an irresistible combination of sweet potatoes, cornmeal, eggs, and brown sugar.

Timesaving Tip: This recipe can also be made in a 9X13 baking dish.

Aunt June's Boiled Custard

Hot milk and cream are infused with vanilla bean, combined with sugar and eggs, and then chilled in this tasty twist on eggnog.

Timesaving Tip: To cool custard quickly, place the pan with custard into a sink of ice water for one to two minutes, stirring constantly.

Creamy Green Beans with Crispy Shallots

This modern spin on the classic Thanksgiving casserole features fresh button mushrooms, a hint of nutmeg, and fried shallot rings.

Timesaving Tip: Bake and refrigerate the un-topped green bean mixture one day ahead. Fry shallots up to two days ahead; store in an airtight container at room temperature. Reheat the green beans, covered, until heated through, and then top with crispy shallots in the last five minutes.

Apricot-Sweet Potato Hand Pies

A sweet mixture of apricots, bourbon, sweet potatoes, and spices fill these delightful fall turnovers.

Timesaving Tip: After cooling, wrap and refrigerate pies up to three days. Or wrap, label, and freeze pies up to one month. Unwrap and thaw the frozen pies at room temperature before serving.

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