The only real downside to hosting Thanksgiving is that after it's all said and done, you end up spending more time with the turkey than with your friends and family. But it doesn't have to be this way. Whether you're hosting for your first time or your fortieth, you're always looking for easy ways to save a big chunk of time, while still serving up a delicious feast on T-day.
Turkeys normally require a bit of prep work before they go into the oven. Not true for JENNIE-O® OVEN READY™ Whole Turkeys, which require little prep and go straight from your freezer to your oven — no thawing needed — all in a cooking bag. The little pop-up timer tells you when it's done. The OVEN READY™ Whole Turkey is a lifesaver for hosts tackling their first Big Meal, and frankly, for those who've tackled enough in their day to know to take help where they can get it.
Of course, you'll still have to carve your turkey after it's cooked, which can be a bit daunting for first-timers. This two-minute video gives you easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions:
And now that you've checked off the turkey, let's talk sides and dessert. Jennie-O has easy make-ahead recipes that shave off so much of the day-of prep that often keeps both novice and expert guests in the kitchen. Pro tip: Don't get too relaxed on meal day; you don't want to forget to, you know, eat the meal...
- Make-Ahead Mushroom Gravy
Make this creamy gravy the night before; it gets richer as it stands overnight!
- Make-Ahead Mashed Sweet Potatoes
You can make these guys up to two days before eating them. Then on the day of, stir in the seasonings and bake until bubbly.
- Make-Ahead Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad
This crisp, autumnal salad assembles quickly. To make it even quicker, prepare the dressing up to one week ahead.
- Make-Ahead Cheesecake-Stuffed Baked Apples
Pre-assemble these individually-portioned tarts, and pop them in the oven just before dinner starts. Twenty-five minutes and so many pleasant aromas later, and dessert is ready!
For more inspiration, make-ahead recipes and time-saving turkey tips follow
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This post is sponsored by JENNIE-O Turkey Store.
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