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How to Use Shortcuts for Easy Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes

It's turkey time! Get Thanksgiving dinner on the table with less stress using these shortcuts.


  • Step 1: Create a vegetable rack Cook your turkey on a layer of root vegetables instead of a rack. You won't have a rack to clean, plus the veggies flavor the pan drippings for tastier gravy. You can even use them later for stock or soup.
  • TIP: Cut the vegetables into approximately the same size so they'll cook uniformly.
  • Step 2: Use instant stuffing Use instant stuffing. If you make it with chicken stock instead of water, it'll taste great. Toss in fresh herbs, and you may even be able to pass it off as homemade.
  • TIP: Add sautéed chopped apples and sausage for a sweet and savory kick.
  • Step 3: Make it dirty Make dirty mashed potatoes, also known as smashed potatoes. They're the same as regular ones, except you leave the skin on, saving you tons of time. They're healthier, too, because they provide more fiber.
  • Step 4: Improve ready-made gravy Improve ready-made gravy by adding your pan drippings to it. Punch it up further with chopped, sautéed onion and 1 tablespoon of dry sherry, Madeira wine, or Cognac for every 2 cups of gravy.
  • Step 5: Slow cook the bean casserole Turn the classic green bean casserole into an easy Thanksgiving dinner recipe by tossing all the ingredients into a slow cooker and setting on low for about 7 hours.
  • TIP: Serve the green bean casserole straight from the pot.
  • Step 6: Serve no-bake pie For an easy twist on the classic Thanksgiving dinner pumpkin pie, combine 1 quart softened vanilla ice cream, 1 can of pumpkin, and 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Spread into a pie plate, cover with graham cracker crumbs, and freeze. Better save room for a midnight snack!
  • FACT: 40% of professional chefs interviewed say boxed stuffing at Thanksgiving dinner is better than no stuffing at all.

You Will Need

  • Root vegetables
  • Instant stuffing
  • Chicken stock
  • Fresh herbs
  • Sherry
  • Madeira
  • or Cognac
  • Slow cooker
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Canned pumpkin
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Graham crackers
  • Apples (optional)
  • Sausage (optional)

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