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A Fast and Easy Thanksgiving Dinner

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Make a fabulous Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings in only the time it takes to roast the turkey.

This menu serves eight, though you'll need to double the green beans. The shopping list reflects the scaled-up amounts.

Whether it’s your first Thanksgiving dinner or you’re just pressed for time, this is the menu to choose when you want to keep things simple and delicious. The turkey is brushed with butter and roasted unstuffed, without any multi-day brining processes.

While the turkey roasts, you have plenty of time to pull together the classic sides: a hybrid spoonbread-cornbread dressing that bakes quickly; fluffy mashed potatoes with rustic bits of skin in the mash; a quick no-cook cranberry relish, and green beans with toasted almonds.

For dessert, skip the fussy pie crust and serve a sophisticated sage-pumpkin Bundt cake: if you have two ovens, you can bake it while the turkey roasts, or put it in the oven when the turkey and dressing come out.

Menu Timeline

4-1/2 hours ahead:

  • Heat the oven(s) and prepare the turkey for roasting.

4 hours ahead:

  • Put the turkey in the oven.
  • If you have two ovens, make and bake the bundt cake now.

3-1/2 hours ahead:

  • Make the giblet broth for the gravy.
  • Make the cranberry relish.
  • Prep the green beans and toast the almonds for the topping.

2 hours ahead:

  • Make the mashed potatoes; keep warm by setting the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (or in a slow cooker)

1 hour ahead:

  • Make the spoonbread dressing.

45 minutes ahead:

  • When turkey is done, remove it from the oven and tent it with foil to keep warm.
  • Bake the spoonbread dressing.
  • Make the gravy; keep warm.

15 minutes ahead:

  • If you haven’t already, make the bundt cake batter.
  • Cook the green beans and toss with the almonds.

Just before dinner:

  • If you haven’t already, put the bundt bake in the oven to bake.

The Menu


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