One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions from my childhood was getting up early to help my mom prepare all the food.  We’d spend hours in the kitchen chopping vegetables, assembling casseroles, prepping the turkey (one in the oven and one on the grill), and baking pies.  We would clean up and get ready for the day while everything was baking in the oven, then we’d wait for company to arrive.  It was the best!

This year, I’m thinking of changing the plan.  Why not do something a little simpler and less time consuming so we can enjoy each other’s company and spend the day with family?  The holidays are busy enough without spending hours in the kitchen, so I want to create a menu that is delicious but also fairly quick to put together.  At least that’s what I want my thought process to be going into the holiday season!  (Just wait for Christmas and I’ll be singing a different tune 🙂 )

This is the menu I plan to serve:


The reason I want to make these items in particular is they all come together pretty quickly and easily.  That means less time in the kitchen and more time with family.  That’s what I’m thankful for this year – the ability to enjoy a wonderful home-cooked meal with the people I love most.

First up is Creamed Corn Casserole.  When I say “easy to make” this recipe really takes the cake!

You combine creamed corn, whole kernel corn, corn muffin mix, sour cream, and butter in a mixing bowl.  Then pour it into a 9×13 pan and bake for 45 minutes.

Once done, sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on the top and bake until melted.  It’s an inexpensive and yummy side!

The recipe can be found here.

Next up is Garlic Parmesan Sweet Potatoes.  The potatoes are tender and incredibly flavorful.  I love adding a few sprigs of thyme to the top before baking because I think it adds a great savory flavor.

I have to admit, I was a little concerned the first time I made this dish because I bought white sweet potatoes.  I thought I picked the wrong item but I in fact, picked the correct item.  There are 2 different kinds of sweet potatoes – one with a golden skin and white inside and one with a copper skin and orange inside.  You can use either option in this dish – both potatoes are delicious!

Start by washing and peeling the potatoes.  You can thinly slice the potatoes by hand if you want but I like to use a mandolin to slice the potatoes.  I think it creates a more consistent thickness and takes a lot less time.  Add the potatoes to a large Ziploc bag.

Combine the oil, butter, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, and parmesan cheese in a small bowl.  Pour the mixture into the Ziploc bag, seal, and shake to coat.  Make sure to toss, turn, and shake the bag very well so all potatoes are coated.

Spray a small baking dish with cooking spray and arrange the potatoes in lagers in the baking dish.  I like to work in a circular motion with the first layer and build up.  You can fill in the center of the baking dish as well – the main point is to make the layers as consistent as possible for even baking.

Sprinkle additional parmesan cheese on top, add a few sprigs of fresh thyme, and bake for 30 minutes.

The recipe can be found here.

Next is Instant Pot Sausage Herb Stuffing.  Stuffing is a Thanksgiving staple in my house…. I don’t think we could enjoy a Thanksgiving meal without it!  This recipe definitely keeps you out of the kitchen because the Instant Pot is doing all the work and only takes about 15 min from start to finish.

I love the soft pieces of stuffing, the variety of herbs, and the addition of spicy sausage.  The flavor works really well together.

Start by turning the Instant Pot on to the sauté setting.  Add the olive oil, onion, and celery.  Then cook until tender, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the sausage and heat through, about 2-3 minutes.  I like to use pre-cooked turkey sausage, but you can use any sausage of your choosing.  Just make sure to cook the sausage through if you are not using pre-cooked sausage.

Pour in the chicken stock, melted butter, and herbs.  Stir to combine.

Add the bag of stuffing mix but do not stir.

Close the Instant Pot, make sure to lock the lid, and close the vent.  Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, then naturally release pressure for 5 minutes.

Stir the stuffing and remove to a serving bowl.

**If you have trouble with the stuffing sticking to the bottom of the Instant Pot and the “burning” warning comes on, pour the stuffing into a pan that fits inside the Instant Pot and set it on the trivet to cook.  You’ll need to clean the Instant Pot first, to remove any reside from the bottom that is preventing the Instant Pot from pressurizing. **

The recipe can be found here.

Lastly, is Instant Pot Fresh Herb Turkey Breast.  Who ever thought of a turkey in an Instant Pot?  I would have thought you were crazy if I hadn’t tried it for myself.  One thing to keep in mind is the size of your Instant Pot.  Mine will only fit about 6-7 lbs. worth of turkey.

The turkey cooks in about an hour and almost falls off the bone when done.  It’s juicy, tender, and has the perfect amount of herb flavor.

Make sure the turkey is thawed.  Then remove from the packaging and give it a good rinse.  Pat dry with paper towels and set aside.  I discard the gravy packet but if you want to make homemade gravy with the packet and drippings from the Instant Pot, feel free to do so!

In a small bowl, combine butter, sage, thyme, rosemary, parsley, salt, and pepper.  Use your hands to rub the mixture all over the turkey and under the skin.  Make sure to rub inside the cavity as well.

Place the trivet inside the Instant Pot.  Place the turkey, cavity side up, on top of the trivet.

Pour the chicken broth into the Instant Pot, making sure to pour some inside the turkey.  Add the onion, carrots, and celery, making sure to put some inside the turkey as well as around the turkey.

Close the lid and confirm the vent is closed.  Cook on high pressure for 50 minutes (for a 5-6 lb. turkey) or 60 minutes (for a 7-8 lb. turkey).  All the pressure to naturally release for about 10 minutes.

Remove the turkey to a cutting board and allow to cool slightly.  Slice and serve!

If you are making homemade gravy, the juices and drippings in the Instant Pot are great to use!

The recipe can be found here.

I’m opting to serve store-bought gravy from Festival Foods.  You can view and/or order the turkey gravy here.

It’s turkey gravy that is thick and creamy and will pair well everything on your plate!

No Thanksgiving is complete without some type of bread and cranberry sauce.  Yes, cranberry sauce from a can.  It’s my absolute favorite and I should start buying one can for myself and one can for everyone else.

I like to buy bread from the Festival Foods bakery.  They have quite the selection of bread, rolls, breadsticks, croissants, etc.  All items are fresh and ready for your gathering!

Click here to view and order buns, rolls, and breads.

The Festival Foods bakery also have plenty of desserts for your get-together.  I like to purchase the Pumpkin Pie or Apple Pie but there are many other options…cookies, cake, bars, other pie varieties, etc.  Who can choose just one dessert?  I like to have a small slice of everything, with a side of everything else 🙂  Oh, and don’t forget whipped cream for the pumpkin pie or a nice scoop of cinnamon ice cream for either the pumpkin or apple pies.

Click here to view and order pastries and pies.

I hope you look forward to trying something new and enjoy these recipes!  What are you thankful for this year?

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Cooking!







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