Despite all your best intentions, life can most definitely get in the way of Thanksgiving planning. The first few weeks of November flew by as they always do, and now the big dinner is almost here. If you haven't had time to plan out what you're making or prep some things ahead of time, don't worry. These last-minute recipes are here to save the day.
They range from appetizers through dessert, with even a few quick turkey solutions. So whether you're simply looking for a quick side to bring to your parents' house or are hosting yourself and need a whole menu, you've got options.
Quick Appetizers and a Cocktail
You might not think you have time to think about appetizers when you haven't even considered the main event, but these easy bites prove otherwise. Also, a pitcher cocktail is important: It will keep family and friends happy while it buys you a little extra time in the kitchen.
- Thanksgiving Deviled Eggs
- Bacon-Wrapped Potato Bites with Spicy Sour Cream Dipping Sauce
- How to Make Puff Pastry Cheese Straws
- Cranberry Pitcher Margaritas
Easy Side Dishes
I'd argue that the sides are even more important than the turkey on Thanksgiving. These classics are tailored to your last-minute needs; some take shortcuts like opting for the Instant Pot, while others come together fast on the stovetop.
- Sour Cream Smashed Potatoes with Fried Shallots
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Everything Bagel Thanksgiving Stuffing
- Stovetop Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Maple Pecan Drizzle
- How To Make the Absolute Easiest 5-Ingredient Sweet Potato Casserole
- 15-Minute Parmesan-Thyme Mushrooms
- Stovetop Steam-Fried Green Beans and Mushrooms
- Stovetop Brussels Sprouts Hash with Crispy Sage and Walnuts
- Thanksgiving Slaw
- How To Make Cranberry Sauce: The Simplest, Easiest Method
- How To Make 2-Ingredient Yogurt Drop Biscuits
- How To Make Skillet Cornbread
If you're too late to buy a whole turkey and defrost it or brine it, you still have options. Since a turkey breast is smaller, it takes less time to defrost (if frozen) and also cooks faster — and if your crowd is large, you can roast two. Or opt for turkey drumsticks and thighs to make a one-pot braise.
- Sheet Pan Roasted Garlic Turkey Breast
- Apple, Pecan & Brie Stuffed Turkey Breast
- How To Cook Turkey Breast
- Dutch Oven Braised Turkey
It's totally acceptable to skip out on homemade dessert and pick up something at your neighborhood bakery or the grocery store. However, these desserts are so simple, they might be even easier than fighting the crowds.