Celebrate Thanksgiving With These Quick And Easy Meal Ideas 

While Thanksgiving is often the time of year you finally get to catch up with friends and loved ones, you may also feel the pressure of preparing an impressive meal for everyone to enjoy. Luckily, there are a few easy entrees and sides that don’t require you to be in the kitchen all day. Here are some you can try this Thanksgiving.

Quick-Roast Turkey

Chances are most of your dinner guests are going to want turkey. To make sure you’re not babysitting the bird all day, cut the turkey into pieces and slow roast it with fresh herbs like thyme and marjoram. You can also add a simple butter sauce by mixing melted butter, salt, pepper, olive oil, cayenne pepper and cumin and pouring it over the chicken. It only takes two hours to make, and your family will love it.

Smashed Potatoes

If you’ve ever spent hours in the kitchen trying to get your mashed potatoes perfectly creamy, smashed potatoes are a time-saving alternative. Use fingerling potatoes for this recipe, since they boil faster. After the potatoes have softened, leave the skins on, and smash the potatoes while adding your favorite seasonings. Butter, cream, salt, cracked pepper and a little garlic powder will make this side dish a hit. You can also add Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs to make the smashed potatoes even more flavorful.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Again, don’t spend hours in the kitchen whipping sweet potatoes when you can roast them. Cut the sweet potatoes in half and add a little olive oil and salt before placing them on a cookie sheet. Cook the potatoes for about 20 minutes, then take them from the oven to add sweet or savory toppings. If you want the potatoes to have a sweet element to them, add honey, butter, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and walnuts. For savory sweet potatoes, top the potato halves with shredded Asiago cheese, parsley and peppercorns. Either way, your friends are sure to be impressed with this side dish, which goes great with turkey.

Wilted Spinach or Kale

This wilted vegetable dish may have your kids coming back for more vegetables. So, you may need to make it all throughout the year after your family tries it this Thanksgiving. Sautee fresh spinach or kale with olive oil and a garlic clove, and season the vegetables with cumin, sea salt and white pepper. Once you remove the veggies from the saucepan, add a few shavings of Parmesan cheese and walnuts to make the dish complete. You can also add a few pieces of dried apricots for a bit of a sweet taste to balance the bitterness of the green veggies.

Baked Apples

Instead of making apple pie, try this tasty fall dessert to finish off your Thanksgiving meal. Slice your favorite variety of apples and grease a casserole dish with olive oil. Place the apples inside and drizzle with lime juice and a little sea salt. Add brown sugar, butter, raisins, shredded coconuts, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg. Bake the apples until they’re soft and serve with Greek yogurt or ice cream. You won’t spend more than an hour in the kitchen making this dish, and it’s low-carb, which is suitable or family members who are still watching their waistlines during the holidays.

Picture by Betty Crocker Recipes

By Shondell Varcianna

October 09, 2015