Thanksgiving may be something of the Super Bowl of family dinners, a really busy day (or week, if you love to meal prep) of cooking and meal prep, but there's lots of ways to save time. One is to not do all the cooking yourself!
It's perfectly acceptable to serve a pre-made turkey, sides or pie. In fact, if cooking anything at all for the holiday is just too much, there's no reason not to just order the whole Thanksgiving meal from a beloved restaurant or store, making these a great option either as a back-up plan or for those people who just don't feel like cooking. (We've been there.)
Looking for the best place to order Thanksgiving dinner? A few restaurants have come up with inventive ways of making a grandiose family dinner a lot less work. The meals can be picked up ahead of time, placed in the fridge and then just heated up on Thanksgiving Day. Some locations will also deliver the food, so it's a good idea to call the location closest to you.
Here are seven spots with dinner waiting to be picked up (or delivered!) this Thanksgiving.
No one does homespun family dinners like the South, and with that in mind, Bob Evans is sure to deliver. The Premium Farmhouse Feast serves up to 10 people and while prices may vary depending on location, costs around $125. The meal includes turkey, ham, corn, bread and celery dressing, mashed potatoes with gravy, rolls, green beans with ham, cranberry relish, pumpkin bread and mac and cheese. For dessert, it also comes with a pumpkin pie and an apple pie.
This chain is best known for its rotisserie chicken, but they have a way with turkey, too. This Thanksgiving, opt to just order a turkey, get turkey with some sides or have a whole prepared meal from appetizers to dessert.
This year, there's six different Heat & Serve Thanksgiving Meal options that serve either 12 or 4-6 people, perfect for customizing based on the size of the group. The Complete Whole Roasted Turkey Meal for 12 people, which starts at around $130, includes whole-roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetable stuffing, spinach artichoke dip and crackers, cranberry walnut relish, dinner rolls, one apple pie and one pumpkin pie. There are also options for groups of four to six people. The $85 Complete Boneless Roasted Turkey Breast meal comes with a turkey breast that weighs about 3 pounds, plus the dip, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberries, rolls and a choice of pumpkin or apple pie. There's also the Essential Boneless Roasted Turkey Breast meal that costs $70 and comes with the turkey breast, potatoes, stuffing, gravy and rolls.
People who only need a cooked turkey can pick up a whole bird for $55 or just a turkey breast for $46.
You are probably hitting up Costco for paper goods and random ingredients this Thanksgiving, but while there, why not buy the whole feast? They are selling the whole meal (frozen) for just over $100 that includes everything a dinner could need, from turkey breast to piles of mashed potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, Brussels spouts, sweet corn and baguettes. There's even dessert, which includes pumpkin pie, apple pie and ice cream. Keep in mind that Costco is closed on Thanksgiving Day, so this is one you'll need to pick up the day before, throw in the fridge and reheat in time for dinner.
The Heat n’ Serve Holiday Family Meal To-Go will serve up to 10 people and costs $125, which comes out to a little more than $10 per person. The meal includes a ton of food. We're talking two turkey breasts, cornbread dressing, turkey gravy, cranberry relish, sweet yeast rolls and three sides. The side selection includes green beans, fried apples, hash browns, sweet potato casserole, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, carrots and corn.
Green bean casserole is also an option but it will cost a little extra. The dish is a Thanksgiving must-have for a lot of Americans, so it's probably worth it. The meal also comes with a whole pumpkin pie and pecan pie.
New for this season, Denny's has a family-style Turkey & Dressing Dinner Pack, prepared ready to heat and serve. The meal includes carved turkey breast, stuffing, turkey gravy, cranberry sauce, red-skinned mashed potatoes and one additional side. Beginning Friday, November 22, and concluding at 6 p.m. EST on Wednesday, November 27, customers will have the option to order the dinner pack online at Dennys.com for pickup by Thanksgiving, which comfortably feeds four guests.
Popeyes may be the spot one would go to for a spicy chicken sandwich, but it's not often they are considered for Thanksgiving dinner. However, their Cajun Turkey, which is ready to be heated-and-served, is a 10-to-14 pound turkey marinated with the Popeye's signature blend of Louisiana seasonings, slow-roasted and then flash-fried for a crispy coating. They can be pre-ordered at participating locations with a scheduled pickup, and, while prices vary per location, usually go for around $50.
This national supermarket chain has loads of options for heat-and-serve meals on turkey day. Prices vary by location, so it's best to check with the store nearest you.
For example, at the Park Slope, Brooklyn Whole Foods, a Classic Roast Turkey Dinner, which can serve eight people, runs for $130 and includes a roasted turkey, green beans with roasted shallots, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy and cranberry-orange sauce. There are also dinners available that include a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey (great for a smaller group) and feasts for larger group sizes as well. There is also always the opportunity to buy just the turkey or just the sides if someone wants to make any part of the meal on their own. (Perhaps Grandma has a really special stuffing you don't want to miss out on?)
Of course, for anyone who doesn’t feel like cooking or cleaning at all, several restaurants, like Applebee's and Golden Corral, are open on Thanksgiving. However, it’s a pretty busy day for the restaurant industry (a lot of people don't like to cook big meals!), so it's a good idea to plan ahead and make reservations.
We're just thankful for having the option to spend more time on Thanksgiving eating rather than cooking. Whether you choose to admit to your guests that dinner wasn't actually made by your own hands is up to you.