Thanksgiving Recipes and Leftovers

Streamlined Thanksgiving Menu

Don't think of it as Thanksgiving. Think of it as an extra-large Thursday-night dinner. Here's how to deconstruct (and de-stress) the whole event.

Thanksgiving dinner plateJohn Kernick

For your family and guests, Thanksgiving is a day to spend time together, talking or sinking into the couch and watching some games on TV. For you? It's a day to slave over a hot stove and give thanks if nothing ends up charred or curdled. Maybe it's time to adjust these assumptions.


Start by thinking of the big meal not as a feast but as a good old meat-and-potatoes, Thursday-night family dinner. Then use the recipes and make-ahead strategies here to streamline your day. Follow the instructions, then go find a spot on the couch.


The Day Before

Cranberry Sauce 
Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Makes: 8 to 10 servings (2 cups)

Dried-Cherry and Italian Sausage Stuffing 
Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Makes: 8 to 10 servings


Thanksgiving Morning

Thanksgiving Turkey and Gravy

Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Total time: 4 1/2 hours
Makes: 8 to 10 servings


While the Turkey's Cooking

Brussels Sprouts With Brown Butter and Sage
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Makes: 8 to 10 servings

Roasted Acorn Squash
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

Green Bean Salad With Walnuts, Fennel, and Goat Cheese
Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Makes: 8 to 10 servings

Mashed Potatoes
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Makes: 8 to 10 servings


Ask a Friend to Bring

Cranberry-Pear Pie 


Serving Tips

  • In the heat of the moment, it's hard to direct eager friends. Make a list of simple things you can delegate, such as opening wine, lighting candles, and tossing the salad at the last minute.
  • Chill the cranberry sauce in a serving dish so it can go straight from the fridge to the table.
  • Serve the Brussels sprouts and the squash on the same platter to cut down on washing up.
  • Keep the potatoes warm in a double boiler. Transfer them to a serving dish just before dinner.
  • Dress up the turkey with whatever leftover herbs you have.


More Thanksgiving Ideas

Read More About:Seasonal

Related Content

Oversalted fish

How to Fix Oversalted Food

If a heavy hand of salt marred your meal, try these easy fixes to make the food edible again.

Share your Thanksgiving time-saving tips.

View Earlier Comments
Advertisement

Quick Tip

Parmesan

If you don’t have a Parmesan rind on hand, try stirring in ¼ cup grated Parmesan just before serving.