It is the day before Thanksgiving and for whatever reason, you haven’t yet figured out your menu or how you are going to get it made in time to eat at a reasonable hour Thursday. Stop. Take a deep breath and exhale slowly. We are here to help. Here are our easiest Thanksgiving recipes and a game plan for cooking everything in just a few hours on the big day. You’ll be looking like you’ve been at this for years — and there will be leftovers for the weekend. If I may offer a tip: Read each recipe thoroughly so you know what to expect (and can see how easy it is).
This Easy Thanksgiving Turkey is the ultimate no-fuss, no-muss way to roast a turkey. You will have your bird in and out of the oven in less than 2 hours, after which it will need a good 30 minutes to rest before carving. The turkey’s needs are a good point of reference for timing the other dishes.
Start early in the morning, with the Spiced Pumpkin Pie. To save time and keep it simple, use a store-bought crust so you need only to assemble the filling while you parbake it. Once the crust is out of the oven, adjust the temperature, pour the prepared pie filling into the crust and slide it into the oven to bake. It can cool and then chill in the refrigerator while you make the rest of the meal.
While the pie is baking — and no less than three hours before you want to eat — remove the turkey from the refrigerator to bring it to room temperature. Set the stock to simmer on the stove for the Turkey Gravy and Basic Bread Stuffing and continue preparing the ingredients for both.
When the pie comes out of the oven, adjust the temperature and put the turkey in.
Meantime, make the Cranberry-Tangerine Relish and set it in the fridge to chill. The stock should be ready so you can assemble the stuffing in its pan and stir together the gravy. Make the Mashed Potatoes and prepare the Roasted Green Beans.
When the turkey is done, remove it from the oven and tent it with foil. Adjust the oven temperature and bake the stuffing while the turkey rests. When the stuffing is ready, crank up the oven heat and roast the green beans.
Set the gravy and mashed potatoes to reheat on the stove while you carve the turkey (or delegate this task to a housemate or guest — and have someone set the table while you are busy in the kitchen). Once the turkey is carved, the rest of the meal will be ready as well. All that will be left to do is serve, eat and enjoy.