Thanksgiving dinner is arguably the most anticipated meal of the year. What have you done to prepare? If your answer is "nothing," don't stress. You've still got (a little) time to pull together an impressive feast. Start by browsing the recipes below, craft a well-organized shopping list, and then make a mad dash to your local grocery store to grab the necessities before they're gone!
Let's face it, the turkey is the star of the day. But with so many options for this famed-fowl, which direction should you go? Beginners might choose to start with this Class Roast Turkey recipe from Chef Emeril Lagasse. If you're a seasoned veteran of turkey preparation, try using this turkey brine recipe to bring a little unique flavor to your bird. Finally, for those feeling especially adventurous this holiday season, give the fried turkey a try. You can't go wrong with a little deep-fried goodness (don't forget the safety goggles!)!
From apples and cornbread to pecans and sweet sausage, it seems everyone has their own Thanksgiving stuffing style, but which best fits your feast? There's no right answer – just go with your gut. If you're looking for something a little different this year, check out Country Living's 21 Recipes for Thanksgiving Stuffing. Or, for those that stick with tradition, use this tried-and-true Classic Bread Turkey Stuffing from Betty Crocker. Whichever recipe you choose, don't stress - stuffing is used to playing second fiddle to turkey!
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
You're either a lumps or no lumps kind of family, there is no in between. Admit it – you're probably only truly safe at the Thanksgiving table if you stick with tradition on this one. But if you're willing to risk it, try Giada De Laurentiis' Baked Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese and Bread Crumbs or Paula Deen's Garlic Mashed Potatoes. You won't be disappointed!
As for the gravy, your best bet is to stick with simple. The potato (and anything else that ends up getting smothered) should take center stage, so don't overdo it! Check out this No-Fail Make Anytime Turkey Gravy if you're up for the challenge of making it from scratch. If not, Heinz has a great option in a jar – we won't tell!
Green Bean Casserole
No Thanksgiving spread is complete without a green bean casserole. While each family's rendition might look a little different, that undisputable taste is the same. Whether you use the traditional Campbell's Classic Green Bean Casserole Recipe or took yours from Betty Crocker, this one's a crowd-pleaser at any gathering.
It's the classic cranberry conundrum – whole or jellied? Here's a tip for Thanksgiving table harmony – include both! Now that you've got that settled, consult the designated cranberry experts for canned options and a fresh recipe – Ocean Spray. If you're looking to save time, pick up a few cans at your local grocery store. Up for the fresh and from scratch route? This Fresh Cranberry Sauce recipe is sure to satisfy even the most critical cranberry fan.
A piece of pie – no matter the flavor – is the perfect ending to your Thanksgiving feast. While every family has their favorites, there's no denying the classic pumpkin pie is a must-have. Once you've made sure to include pumpkin, feel free to go wild! From pecan to sweet potato and apple, The Food Network's collection of the Best Thanksgiving Pie and Tart Recipes is sure to inspire. Not in to baking? Pick up a few flavors at your local grocery store and pop them in the oven for a few minutes before serving to get that homemade taste.