Turkey Day On A Time Crunch: How To Cook Thanksgiving With All The Fixings In Half The Time

Turkey Day on a Time Crunch: How to Cook Thanksgiving with All the Fixings in Half the Time

Instead of making 20 dishes, settle on the core four or five that you need to make this special occasion a Thanksgiving meal, and don't be afraid of shortcuts. Opting for store-bought pie crust, stuffing, and gravy will allow you more time to mingle with your guests and enjoy the party.

Thanksgiving should be a time of celebration not a prison kitchen sentence for the cook. Follow this time-saving Thanksgiving menu guide for a simple, delicious, and enjoyable Thanksgiving dinner.

Corn Bread

Looking for a simple cornbread recipe that won't take time away from basting the turkey? Consider this simple recipe from Hungry Mother in Boston your new go-to cornbread. While the turkey is resting, crank up the oven to 500 degrees F and in 8 minutes you will have golden brown, delicious cornbread.

For the Hungry Mother's Cornbread recipe, click here.

Cranberry Sauce

You can hardly call it Thanksgiving dinner without cranberry sauce, and while you might be tempted to pull out the canned version, making your own won't take much more time. Try this Thanksgiving hero's guide to the perfect cranberry relish that only takes a mere 10 minutes to prepare. If you are looking for a cranberry sauce recipe that is a little outside the box, look no further than this recipe that incorporates frozen blueberries and cranberries for a sweeter sauce.

For the Blueberry-Cranberry Sauce recipe, click here.

Glazed Carrots

Stick with the classics when preparing a quick thanksgiving dinner. Simple sides like these glazed carrots and turnips add color to the table and everybody will welcome these sweet and buttery vegetables. You can parboil them the day before, then warm in a sauté pan with a couple tablespoons of butter, a splash of water, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Then season with salt and pepper and serve.

For the Glazed Carrots and Turnips recipe, click here.


What's the turkey without rich, warm gravy to pour on top? Gravy can seem like a daunting task for an inexperienced cook, but it doesn't have to be an unconquerable challenge. Follow The Daily Meal's simple tricks for perfect pan gravy you can make while your turkey rests. If you prefer to not mess with the giblets, this simple-to-make mushroom gravy won't disappoint guests looking for a rich sauce for their turkey dinner.

For the Mushroom Gravy recipe, click here.

Green Bean Casserole

Casseroles are easy to throw together, can be made ahead of time, and simplify holiday cooking. Try this classic green bean casserole when preparing Thanksgiving on a time crunch. It is as simple as mixing the ingredients together and baking in the oven, leaving you plenty of time to enjoy the party.

For the Easy Green Bean Casserole recipe, click here.

Mashed Potatoes

Want to impress your guests without laboring over a pot with a hand held masher for what feels like an eternity? Invest in a good quality food mill or use the paddle attachment on your stand mixer for smooth creamy mashed potatoes. The secret to mashed potatoes isn't more time and effort its using the right technique, and The Daily Meal has all the tips you need for creamy mashed potatoes.

For the Thanksgiving Garlic Mashed Potatoes recipe, click here.

Pecan Pie

You don't need two pies for the perfect Thanksgiving feast, but consider breaking from pumpkin pie tradition for a classic pecan pie. The Daily Meal has all the secrets for making a perfect pecan pie that will be gooey, sweet, and crisp. If you want to try a pecan pie that thinks outside the box, this maple bourbon bacon pecan pie incorporates the best rich, buttery, fall flavors.

For the Maple Bacon Pecan Pie recipe, click here.

Pumpkin Pie

You can't deny the power of a Thanksgiving classic. This super simple pumpkin pie recipe uses canned puree and tons of spices for a sensational pumpkin pie.

For the Quick and Easy Pumpkin Pie recipe, click here.


Whether you stuff your bird or serve it alongside the meal, stuffing is an essential part of the canon of Thanksgiving recipes. Unfortunately, on a time crunch we can't always cook everything from scratch, which is where The Daily Meal's store-bought stuffing taste test will be an invaluable guide to remember when shopping for your Thanksgiving dinner. If you happen to find some extra time between cleaning the house and baking the pies, try a classic cornbread stuffing recipe.

For the Classic Cornbread Stuffing recipe, click here.

Sweet Potatoes

Count your lucky marshmallows because we have the simplest mashed sweet potato casserole for the holidays. This simple sweet potato casserole uses Popeyes pecan pies, which might sound strange, but all your doubts will drift away with the first bite. Don't live near a Popeyes? No problem, this simple mashed sweet potato recipe is loaded with pecans, brown sugar, and bourbon.

For the Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Toasted Walnuts recipe, click here.


Finally, the star of the day — the bird. Would you believe you could cook a 12-pound turkey in three hours? Cooking the turkey whole might afford you that Norman Rockwell entrance with the platter in hand, but if we are being honest, roasting a turkey whole means that the legs are either slightly underdone or the breast is slightly overcooked. Have your butcher remove the backbone and separate the turkey breasts from the legs. All you have left to do is brine overnight and cook for three hours as directed on Turkey day for a perfectly cooked bird in half the time.

For the Brined and Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey recipe, click here.