Looking for some super easy Thanksgiving recipes? If you're officially in panic mode in regards to prepping (confession, we are) about the impending day of the turkey (that's Thanksgiving) and what you're going to cook without A) completely burning down your kitchen or B) panicking up until the last minute, filled with indecisiveness or C) making a dish that everyone politely picks away at, without actually consuming because it's, ahem, not a crowd-pleaser, then we've got some ideas for you!
Bringing a dish to a Thanksgiving dinner that you aren't hosting is a careful, delicate dance. A dance in which you want to make sure that you show up with something that seems as though it actually took a good amount effort (since, you know, your hosts are making a dang turkey and dealing with a large amount of people, presumably) even if it didn't, some thought as to who will be there (read the room!) and not doubling down on a staple that will already be provided (we've seen it happen, it's not pretty).
An alcoholic beverage
For those who prefer to deviate from the safe "I'll just bring a bottle of wine" trope.
It's not exactly a dish, but if you're looking for a real crowd pleaser, you can usually count on alcohol to save the day. The key is to choose a punch or other batch cocktail—although the idea of individual style cocktails may seem like a glamorous/good idea in your head, in reality shaking and mixing a cocktail every time someone gets low will get old, fast. Since you'll be bringing this to someone else's place, we suggest mixing all the ingredients in a pitcher (except the soda water) and then bringing the soda water and garnishes on the side. This recipe comes from our friends at Bar Lab:
- 1.5 quarts vodka
- 1.5 quarts lemon juice
- 0.5 quart muddled blackberries
- 1 quart lavender reduction
- soda water Place all ingredients into a punch bowl, and mix thoroughly. Top with soda water, and add a large ice cube. Garnish with sage bouquet, Marigold flowers, lemon wheels, and blackberries.
A killer dip
When you want to do something other than artichoke dip.
Bring this bad-boy of a dip and you can be sure it'll be not only loved by all, but you'll get lots of "Can you send me this recipe?" Come on...beets and walnuts? In dip form? Count us wayyyy in. This comes from Bon Appétit:
Roasted Beet and Walnut Dip
- 1 pound roasted beets, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup walnuts, toasted, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped dill, plus sprigs for serving
- 2 tablespoons crème fraîche, plus more for serving
- 1 teaspoon Sherry vinegar
- ½ teaspoon caraway seeds, toasted, plus more for serving
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil (for serving)
Process beets, walnuts, dill, crème fraîche, vinegar, and caraway seeds in a food processor until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Top with crème fraîche, caraway seeds, and dill sprigs and drizzle with olive oil.
An unexpected app
For those that appreciate the amazingness of a sweet and savory combo.
Sure, maybe a little unexpected, but aren't some of the best things in life unexpected? Pears, bacon, mustard?? Although we never would have thought to put these three together, the results are delish. This comes from Bon Appétit:
Sautéed Pears with Bacon and Mustard Dressing
- 6 ounces slab bacon, sliced ¼ inch thick, slices cut into ¼ inch pieces
- 4 ripe but firm Bosc pears, quartered, seeds removed
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons walnut oil or olive oil
- ½ cup unsalted, roasted walnuts
- Sliced chives (for serving)
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp around edges, 10–12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp. bacon fat from skillet.
Season pears with salt and pepper and cook in skillet with bacon fat over medium-high, turning occasionally, until golden brown and starting to soften (they should be slightly firm at cores), 5–7 minutes. Transfer to a platter; let cool. Meanwhile, whisk vinegar, mustard, and 3 Tbsp. oil in a small bowl to combine; season dressing with salt and pepper. Toss walnuts with remaining 2 tsp. oil in another small bowl; season with salt. Drizzle dressing over pears and scatter walnuts and bacon on top. Just before serving, top with chives.
Do Ahead: Dish (without chives) can be made 3 hours ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.
A cool casserole
For a twist on the classic corn.Now, this one takes a little bit of planning ahead—but literally the only arduous part of this process is buying one of the ingredients (the dried sweet corn) on Amazon. We have faith in you. Now go forth and impress! This come from Epicurious.
Creamed Dried Sweet Corn With Onion and Chives
- 2 (7 1/2-ounce) packages John Cope's dried sweet corn (about 4 cups)
- 5 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion (about 1/2 small onion)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Sliced chives (for serving)
Stir corn, milk, and cream in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent and just starting to turn golden, about 6 minutes. Add corn mixture, sugar, and 1 Tbsp. salt. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until creamed corn is thick, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with chives.
Baked brie's younger, cooler brother (we still love you, big bro).
Name one person you know who doesn't love an everything bagel. Go on, try. We dare you. Right, so, since you can't come up with anyone we think it's probably the right move to bring this decadent cheese ball of delight that will be gone before the first bottle of wine is consumed. This is a good one to make a day or two ahead of time (since you have to let it chill anyway). This comes from Bon Appétit:
Everything Spice Coated Cheddar Cheese Ball
- 2 ounces pancetta, finely chopped
- 1⅓ cups finely grated extra sharp cheddar
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- Kosher salt
- 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon poppy seed
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted
- Crackers (for serving)
Cook pancetta in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until browned and crisp, 5–8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain; let cool. Process cheddar, cream cheese, and butter in a food processor until smooth. Pulse in scallion, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and pancetta; season with salt. Scrape mixture into a small plastic wrap–lined bowl; gather plastic around cheese, using your hands to shape into a ball. Chill until firm, 3–12 hours. Just before serving, cook garlic in oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Add shallots to saucepan and cook, stirring often, until golden brown and crisp, 5–8 minutes. Drain on paper towels; let cool. Discard oil. Mix garlic and shallots in a medium bowl. Roll cheese ball in mixture to coat. Sprinkle with poppy seed and sesame seeds, pressing lightly to adhere. Serve with crackers.