Tomorrow is the day. Do you have a game plan?

5 Recipes
Roast turkey and sides.
(Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times)

We’ll help you get that turkey on the table with all the fixings and dessert.


Thanksgiving eve, 2020. You usually finagle an invitation for yourself and your family, but with California’s spike in COVID-19 cases, the rules have suddenly changed, again. So you have good reasons for not having a plan, but that still leaves you without a plan. You are not alone.

In a 2014 special to The Times, food writer Regina Schrambling relates how she once found herself not having grocery shopped and without a plan at 4 p.m. the day before Thanksgiving (sound familiar?).

Of course, you could always order in and support the restaurants providing Thanksgiving meals while struggling to stay alive in the midst of the pandemic. But it is Thanksgiving, our most American of American holidays, and with the acrimony of the recent election still in the air, it might be nice to make a simple, traditional holiday dinner and reflect on happier times.

“Whole cookbooks and even movies have been devoted to the notion of Thanksgiving as an all-day ordeal,” Schrambling writes in her article, “Procrastinators, Rejoice,” “but it’s really the easiest meal of the year. If you shop smart tonight you can still turn out a great turkey and trimmings tomorrow with not much more time and energy than it takes to roast a chicken and wash and dry lettuce.”

How can that be, you wonder?

“The turkey is only an oversized chicken, when you think about it,” Schrambling writes. “All you have to do is stick it in the oven, with or without stuffing, and take it back out a few hours later. While it roasts unmolested, you can put together side dishes and even dessert.”

Feeling inspired? Here are 29 Thanksgiving recipes you still have time to pull off.

Not sure how to get it all done? Schrambling lays out a full game plan of how to get from Point A (Wednesday, no menu, empty refrigerator, 24 hours until guests arrive) to Point B (Thursday, graciously serving a full Thanksgiving: Turkey. Stuffing. Sweet potatoes. Pie) using the recipes here.

Need I say more?

Jeremiah Tower's Pumpkin gingerbread with rum cream

Time50 minutes
YieldsServes 6 to 8

Salt-cured turkey with focaccia stuffing

Time3 hours
YieldsServes 4 to 6 with ample leftovers

Focaccia stuffing

Time15 minutes
YieldsServes 6 to 8

Broccoli salad with roasted peppers and cashews

Time20 minutes
YieldsServes 4 to 6

Sweet potato souffle

Time45 minutes
YieldsServes 4 to 6