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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.
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 four restaurants that offer prepared Thanksgiving dinners.
If a Southern Thanksgiving feast sounds like music to your ears, head to this spot which specializes in dishes just like they make down South. The Premium Farmhouse Feast serves up to 10 people and costs $115. 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.
There's another Farmhouse Feast option that serves eight people and offers a choice of either turkey ($85) or ham ($80). The rest of the meal includes the dressing, corn, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry relish, rolls, pumpkin bread and one pumpkin pie.
For those hosting an intimate gathering, the Farmhouse Feast meal that serves four people is a good bet. It includes a choice of turkey ($55) or ham ($50), dressing, corn, mashed potatoes, green beans with ham, cranberry relish and rolls. It also comes with one pumpkin pie, which likely means that there will be enough for each person to take seconds.
It may be best known for its rotisserie chicken, but the chain has a way with turkey, too. People can opt to just order a turkey, get turkey with some sides or have a whole prepared meal from appetizers to dessert.
This year, there are two Thanksgiving meal options that serve 12 people, one simply has more sides and an extra dessert. The Complete Whole Roasted Turkey meal costs $120 and includes a whole turkey that weighs about 11 pounds, spinach and artichoke dip with crackers, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetable stuffing, cranberry walnut relish, rolls, a pumpkin pie and an apple pie. There's also a less expensive option for 12 people that costs $100 and has fewer sides. It's called the Essential Whole Roasted Turkey meal and includes a whole turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy and dinner rolls.
There are also two options for parties 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. Don't need dessert? Consider the Essential Boneless Roasted Turkey Breast meal. It 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 $50 or just a breast for $43.
The Heat n’ Serve Holiday Family Meal To-Go will serve up to 10 people and costs $110, which comes out to a little more than $10 per person. That’s kind of a bargain for Thanksgiving dinner, because it would probably cost more money if someone bought all those ingredients and cooked them themselves … not to mention all the time and energy spent sweating over a kitchen stove.
The meal includes two turkey breasts, cornbread dressing, turkey gravy, cranberry relish, sweet yeast rolls, plus 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 a whole pecan pie.
For anyone feeding a smaller group, there’s also a Homestyle Turkey n’ Dressing Family meal which comes with many of the same items as the larger meal, but this one serves six people and and costs $68.
Going to a chain restaurant isn't the only way to get a prepared Thanksgiving meal. This national supermarket chain has loads of options for heat-and-serve meals on turkey day. People can choose to order just the cooked bird or go all out and get a turkey meal that includes fancy appetizers like shrimp cocktail, tons of sides, a big ham and dessert galore. Prices vary by location, so it's best to check with the store nearest you.
For example, the Hennepin location of Whole Foods in Minneapolis has whole roast turkey meals for parties of four, eight and 12 people that are $80, $120 and $270, respectively. Each includes side dishes, but the meal for 12 includes a ham and two pies for dessert.
Locations in very large cities, like New York City, offer the same three meals listed above at the same price. But they also have several additional prepared meal options for people who want an organic bird or a meal that's even more elaborate. For example, at the Bowery location of Whole Foods in New York City, there's an over-the-top meal being offered that serves 12 to 14 people, costs $450 and includes shrimp cocktail, a big cheese plate, turkey, sides and desserts. There's also a meal for eight people with sides and an organic turkey that costs $160.
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 Thanksgiving doing more eating and less time-consuming cooking. Whether you choose to admit to your guests that dinner wasn't actually made by your own hands is up to you.