Because this Thanksgiving is going to look quite a bit different for lots of folks, I thought it would be a good time to try to doctor up the meal. Slaving away for hours in a kitchen is just not as fun when the food is only for you and one or two more people. So this week, I made an entire Thanksgiving dinner using doctored up / shortcut sides. The best part – I made this on a week night and the prep, actual baking, and clean up only took me 90 minutes. To make it as efficient as possible, there was a method to the madness.
Start with your 3 lb turkey. This will cook for about 90 minutes, so once it is in the oven, you can prep your sides. I started by prepping my sweet potato soufflé, dressing, and green bean casserole. These three sides will cook for forty minutes. Once you have those ready for the oven, prepare cornbread and cranberry sauce. Finally, about ten minutes before the turkey comes out, make your gravy. Pro tip: use the same sauce pan to brown onions for the dressing and to make gravy, it will add a nice flavor to the gravy!
I bought a 3-lbButterball turkey breast. This was the perfect size for my husband and I for two meals. Butterball comes with a gravy packet, as well. Let your turkey thaw in the fridge for two days.
3 lb turkey
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp sage
1/4 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Soften butter in microwave. Mix in spices, then use the back of a spoon to rub the butter mixture all over your turkey. Roast at 325F for 50 minutes. Then, turn oven to 350F and roast for 40 more minutes. Ensure your turkey reaches an internal temperature of 170F.
Sweet Potato Soufflé
One of my least favorite things to do is peel potatoes. I will skip out making mashed potatoes specifically so I do not have to peel them. To avoid that and expedite the cooking process, I started from Hormel mashed sweet potatoes. They already have brown sugar and cinnamon added in, so this really is the way to go!
1 package Hormel mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
Place mashed potatoes in oven safe dish. Mix the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, and add to top of potatoes. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes.
Green Bean Casserole
This is the recipe on the back of the French’s crispy onion container, but I think it works out better without the milk, as written out below.
2 cans green beans
1 2-3 oz package French’s crispy onions
1 can cream of mushroom
Black pepper, black pepper
Drain your green beans. In a baking dish, combine green beans, cream of mushroom, and black pepper. Bake for 30 minutes at 350F. For the last 10 minutes, sprinkle the crispy onions on top.
I’m going to be honest with you. I do not know the difference of dressing and stuffing. But this is the boxed stuff, so I don’t think it matters.
1 6 oz box premade stuffing
1/2 large yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp butter
1 cup chicken broth
In a small sauce pan, add butter, onions, and garlic. Cook on medium-high heat until onions are caramelized. In a medium bowl, add onions, chicken broth, and stuffing. Mix until combined. Transfer to baking dish. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes.
Y’all. This is my husband’s new favorite thing. I think he will be upset if I ever make cornbread another way.
1 package Jiffy corn muffin mix
Milk and egg according to mix
2 small jalapenos
1/2 can drained corn
Slice your jalapeno into rings and cut in half. Combine the mix with milk and egg according to the package. Mix in jalapenos and corn. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes.
Okay another confession. I have never had cranberry sauce. But after trying this, I can confidently say I will reach for it if it is on any table!
1 can whole cranberries
1 can jellied cranberries
1/3 cup orange juice (1 whole orange)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp giner
Combine all ingredients in serving bowl and mix until well combined. Refrigerate until served.
This can go one of two ways. I used a powdered package of gravy as well as what came with my butterball turkey. I will give ingredients and directions as if you are only using a powdered package. If you have both, just add water according to both packages and increase your spices.
1 packet of McCormick Brown or Turkey Gravy
Water according to packet
1/4 tsp sage, thyme, rosemary, black pepper
Using the same pan you browned onions in, combine packet of gravy with water and bring to boil, according to directions on package. Bring gravy to medium-low heat and mix in spices.
Well, there you have it! A whole Thanksgiving dinner in just 90 minutes.