Thanksgiving Dishes That Will Earn You the Chair at the Head of the Table

Posted by Kelly Holck on Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 at 10:54am.

Who doesn't love an enormous Thanksgiving feast?

Thanksgiving is one of the few (if not the only) days of the year that you should only feel guilty if you don't have at least three heaping plates of food. However, can you imagine being the host of Thanksgiving and having to provide a meal, like the one below that Flickr user st.steele made for her family, for your entire group of loved ones?

In my family, we each try to bring one food item. This is so the hostest (with the mostest) doesn't have to worry about making fifteen different dishes when she's already in charge of preparing the turkey, cleaning the entire house, breaking out the good china and napkins, and washing a week's worth of dishes at the end of it all.

I usually have a few different places to go on the day of Thanksgiving so I typically don't have a lot of time to spend making a dish. That's why I've put together a list of some easy, fairly quick dishes that I love to make. You can find all of the ingredients for each recipe at Pick 'n Save so you don't have to worry about running around too much! Just a forewarning: you will not have leftovers.


Sweet Fall Salad

Feeds: between 10 and 12 Thanksgiving feasters

Takes about 10 minutes


2 X 16 oz tubs of baby spinach
Blush wine vinaigrette 
8 oz praline pecans, chopped - I buy the whole pecans and chop them myself
2 X 4 oz honey goat cheese OR natural goat cheese
1 red onion, chopped
1 lb strawberries, cut up

  1. Chop up the pecans, cut up the strawberries, and chop the red onion then put each in a separate, small plastic container. I do this so the salad doesn't get soggy or too infused with any of the separate components beforehand. 
  2. Throw all of the spinach into one large bowl or glass container with a lid . Make sure this container is big enough to mix in the other ingredients.
  3. Once you get to your destination, throw the pecans, strawberries, and red onion in and mix.
  4. Crumble the goat cheese with your (clean) fingers and throw on top. Mix that in, lightly, as to not completely disintegrate the cheese. 
  5. You can either mix in dressing to taste, or leave it out and let guests add it in themselves. And, you're done!

This recipe is my favorite because it requires such little prep time and it's always a hit at parties.



Classic Green Bean Casserole 

Feeds: 8-10 Thanksgiving face stuffers 

Takes about 40 minutes 


2 1/2 lbs fresh green beans OR 6 cans
2 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/3 cups fried onions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. For fresh green beans: chop off ends of throw them into a bowl with a tablespoon of water. Cover with a paper towel and microwave for about 6 minutes. Drain them and pat them dry. For canned green beans: drain and you're set!
  3. In a decent sized bowl, mix the green beans of your choice, cream of mushroom soup, cheese, and 1/3 cup of the fried onions. 
  4. Put into a baking dish, throw it in the oven, and set your kitchen timer for 28 minutes. 
  5. Once the timer goes off, top the dish off with the rest of the fried onions and cook for 5 more minutes. 
  6. Remove from oven, throw a lid on the dish, and you're golden! 

Though this one takes a little more time than the previous recipe, it's a classic Thanksgiving dish and is mouth-watering. It also requires less ingredients which means it's cost effective AND delicious! 



Cheesy Mashed

Feeds: 8-10 Thanksgiving goers, or half of that if your family is like mine: cheese lovers

Takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes


5 lbs potatoes, diced
4 tbsp unsalted butter
16 oz sour cream
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

  1. Dice potatoes and throw into large, covered pot filled with water. Bring these to a boil. 
  2. In about 35 minutes, or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, remove the pot from the stove and drain the potatoes. 
  3. Meanwhile, you'll want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Throw the potatoes back into the pot because now it's time to mix in the good stuff! Add the butter, 8 oz of sour cream, and half of the milk; whip this up.  
  5. Once it's pretty well blended, add the rest of the sour cream and milk. Blend these together. 
  6. Add salt and 1 cup of cheese and blend again. 
  7. Grab a 9X13 baking dish and spray it down with cooking spray. Pull out the spatula and scrape the mashed mixture into the dish. 
  8. Spread the rest of the cheese on top, put a piece of foil over that, and then throw it in the oven.
  9. 20-25 minutes later, or until the cheese is delicious, baked goodness, remove the dish from the oven and VOILA! You have cheesy mashed. 

Cheesy mashed are my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal. Seeing as this is a staple at our Thanksgiving table, my aunt (the cheesy mashed potato master, or as we like to call her: the cheesy mash-ter) makes sure to provide these every. single. year. Without cheesy mashed, Thanksgiving just wouldn't be the same. 

PS - the more sour cream and cheese you add, the better.

PSS - the most difficult part of this process is letting the delectable deliciousness cool a bit before shoveling it all into your mouth.



And now, for my favorite part (other than the cheesy mashed of course): DESSERT.


Caramel Krispie Treats

Feeds: A LOT of Thanksgiving diners 

Takes about 20 minutes


3 cups Rice Krispies - I go generic
4 X 2.05 oz (classic size) Milky Way bars
1 cup butter
1 bag milk chocolate chips 

  1. Unwrap the Milky Way bars and throw them into a microwave safe bowl with 1/2 cup of butter. Throw it in the microwave, mixing occasionally, until it's melted and well blended.
  2. Pour the mixture over one cup of Rice Krispies in a large mixing bowl. Mix together with a spoon. Continuously add Rice Krispies until all are mixed in. 
  3. Spread Rice Krispie concoction into an 11 X 7 dish with a lid. 
  4. Combine the other 1/2 cup of butter and the bag of milk chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and put in microwave. Again, mix occasionally and microwave until it's melted.
  5. Pour chocolate chip mixture over the top of the Rice Krispie/Milky Way medley. 
  6. Put the cover on and refrigerate until it's time to go to Thanksgiving dinner!

This is what I make for virtually every holiday and any occasion that involves eating. It's incredibly quick, inexpensive, and, nowadays, expected at my family gatherings. 




Cranberry Sauce

Feeds: As many people as you want it to feed

Takes about 1 minute in the grocery store


Cranberry sauce

  1. Go to the grocery store.
  2. Buy cranberry sauce. 
  3. Leave grocery store.

This one's for those of you who are literally going straight to dinner from work or from a long day of sleep after last night's activities OR for those who are talented enough to burn rice. Yes, it's a simple dish but it's easy to forget. You can't have Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce so be a hero and buy some on your way over!  

If you have any delicious recipes you'd like to share with me, please do. I'm always looking for new dishes to bring with to blow my family's minds. 

Have a delightful and filling Thanksgiving meal, everyone! - K



PS - In regards to real estate, despite what people may tell you, this is a great time of the year to list and buy a home! Please, feel free to reach out if you're interested in learning more.

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