Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Meal Ideas

The key to quick and easy Thanksgiving meal ideas is to be creative and to consider all of your options before deciding on a meal.

It is key to know that Thanksgiving side dishes are your friend. For example, you can make a great big lot of buttered corn by using two cans of corn niblets and some butter. All you have to do is drain the water from the corn, put the corn into a saucepan, add butter, and warm it up. It'll taste like a million bucks and won't take hours to make.

Pumpkin pie is another staple of Thanksgiving meals, but don't think you have to make it from scratch or heat up a store bought pie; you can bake your own pie in less than an hour if you're creative. Invest in a pie shell and one can of pumpkin pie filling. Prep the filling, pour it into the shell and bake for 40 minutes. Once the center is solid and the edges are golden, serve with some vanilla ice cream. The result? A delicious pie made with little time and energy.

Gravy is another staple of the Thanksgiving meal. And yep, there's a quick and easy gravy recipe, too. Take the juices from the turkey and strain the fat. Heat up 4 cups of turkey broth and 1 cup of the turkey juice. Then, in a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of cornstarch and 1/4 cup of cold water until smooth. Whisk this with the broth and cook all ingredients for one minute. Season with salt and pepper, strain, and you now have gravy.

When it comes to the turkey, realize that you don't have to do all of the cooking on the day of Thanksgiving. For example, you can make the brine days in advance. Think about how many people you will be having for dinner and choose a turkey that isn't so huge you'll be eating leftovers for days. A smaller turkey takes less time to thaw, prep and cook.

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