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Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner Without Stress

Easy Thanksgiving Turkey DinnerIf you find yourself hosting your first family Thanksgiving meal this year, no doubt you’re feeling under pressure. No need to worry: a quick look at our Thanksgiving dinner recipes, and you’ll start decompressing.

Why? Because they’re full of time-tested tricks that enable you to accomplish the most with minimal effort – including three Thanksgiving casserole ideas you’re sure to be thankful for. You’re welcome!

Cooking a Thanksgiving Turkey

Let’s face it, come dinner time, all eyes will be on one focal point – the turkey. That sounds intimidating, but it need not be if you follow this one simple trick: instead of spending the afternoon glued to the oven constantly basting the beasty, use a roasting bag! Your turkey will be just as crispy, moist and tasty – and you’ll be cool as a cucumber!

Utensils needed:
Roasting bag
Roasting pan

Ingredients:
1 thawed turkey
1-2 tablespoons flour
Salt
Pepper
Thyme, sage, rosemary to taste

Directions:

Remove neck and giblets from the turkey and wash the turkey under cold running water. Pat dry. Place the flour inside the roasting bag and give it a good shake, coating the inside of the bag. Season turkey with salt, pepper and your choice of spices. Place the turkey inside your roasting bag and tie it closed.

Bake according to roasting bag instructions – no need to baste.

Remove your turkey when the internal temperature has reached a minimum of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Let it rest for about 15 minutes which allows it to cool down and makes it easier to carve.

Cut open the roasting bag and place the turkey on a serving platter.

… AND a Thanksgiving Ham!

True, cooking a ham is not a necessity, but it’s like the cherry on the cake: it sort of completes the typical Thanksgiving dinner menu – and a much prettier picture it makes with all the pineapple gilding! Plus you’re left with more handy leftovers which means very little cooking for a while.

Utensils needed:
Roasting bag
Roasting pan

Ingredients:
1 ham
1-2 tablespoons flour
Brown sugar (optional)
Pineapple slices (optional)

Directions:

Place 1-2 tablespoons of flour in the roasting bag and shake well. The flour coating the bag will prevent sticking.

Optional: spread a few spoonfuls of brown sugar on top of the ham and place several slices of pineapple on top of the ham, secured with wooden toothpicks.

Place the ham inside the roasting bag, secured with a tie. Bake at the temperature recommended from the roasting bag instructions. Remove ham from the oven when the internal temperature is a minimum of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Allow the ham to rest for about 15 minutes as it will continue baking when removed from the oven.

Cut open the roasting bag and place the ham on a serving platter.

Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing

Homemade turkey stuffing does not need to be labour intensive if you simply forego stuffing the bird. Here’s where our first Thanksgiving casserole comes into play. This simple recipe allows you to prepare the stuffing ahead of time and bake it at the last minute. It also beats the boxed variety by a country mile!

Ingredients:
Yield: 6 servings
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup onion (chopped to desired consistency)
1/2 cup celery (chopped to desired consistency)
3 cups dried bread cubes
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Melt butter over medium heat in a skillet. Add onion and sauté until soft. Add celery and cook until soft.

Add remaining ingredients and mix. Transfer to a baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes.

Easy Turkey Gravy

This gravy complements not only the turkey but adds rich flavor to Thanksgiving sides as well.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup turkey drippings
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups water*
Salt and pepper to taste
* Add a little Knorr chicken bouillon concentrate for extra flavor if you wish.

Directions

Pour your turkey drippings into a large measuring cup, then return 1/4 cup of the drippings to the pan. Stir in all-purpose flour.

Cook over medium heat while constantly stirring. Keep stirring while adding water until gravy boils.

Add salt (less if you use Knorr) and pepper to taste.

Easy Sweet Potatoes

The second of our quick and easy casseroles features sweet potatoes, since they complement both turkey and ham so wonderfully. No need to be intimidated if you have never cooked with them before. Super easy to prepare with even easier cleanup, this dish is a must!

Ingredients:
6 sweet potatoes, washed and peeled
1/2 cup of brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups hot water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cut the sweet potatoes in 1/2″-thick slices. Place in a baking dish.

Combine the remaining ingredients and add to the baking dish.

Cover and bake for about 40 minutes.

Uncover and bake for another 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender.

Easy Mashed Potatoes

Another one of our easy Thanksgiving side dishes that can quickly be dispatched: simply use an electric hand mixer to beat and whip the potatoes until they are smooth and creamy.

Ingredients:
8 cups peeled, cubed potatoes
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup butter
Salt
Pepper
Yield: 6 servings

Directions:

Place potatoes in a large pan and cover with water. Bring to a full boil over medium heat. Cover the pan, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until tender.

Drain and transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Add milk and butter. Whip potatoes with an electric hand mixer till smooth and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Easy Green Bean Casserole

The third of our simple, easy one-dish casseroles is reserved for green beans, another Thanksgiving dinner classic. Be prepared for second servings – no one will guess you didn’t spend hours making it!

Ingredients:
1 10oz can Cream of Mushroom soup
4 cups cut green beans, already cooked (or 2 16oz cans)
1 1/3 cups French-fried onions
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Yield: 6 servings

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine Cream of Mushroom soup, green beans, milk, soy sauce, pepper and 2/3 cup of the onions in a casserole dish. Stir well.

Bake the mixture for about 25 minutes or until it is bubbling and hot. Remove from oven, stir and sprinkle the remaining onions on top.

Bake for about 5 more minutes or until the onions are golden brown.

Easy Cranberry Sauce

No Thanksgiving meal is complete without yummy cranberry sauce? Making cranberry sauce seems like such a chore, but it doesn’t have to be, and it can also be made ahead of time.

Ingredients:
12 ounces fresh cranberries
3/4 cup orange juice
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup white, granulated sugar
2 ounces gold rum (optional)
Yield: 2 cups

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan. On medium-high heat, cook for about 20 minutes or until most of the liquid is gone. Stir occasionally. Remove from the heat. Transfer the sauce into a bowl and serve.

Easy Thanksgiving Rolls

Dinner rolls are not a necessity, but they round up the meal so well – and absolutely no kneading required! You might just want to make an extra batch or two…

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (about 120 degrees Fahrenheit)
2 tablespoons shortening
1 large egg
Yield: 12 dinner rolls

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease 12 muffin cups.

Mix sugar, salt, yeast and 1 1/4 cups of flour together in a bowl. Add warm water, shortening and egg to the mix. Stir vigorously with a spoon until mixture is smooth. Add the rest of the flour and stir until smooth.

Use your spoon to scrape all of the batter away from the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size (a warm area works best).

Once doubled in size, stir the batter again about 25 times. Spoon into prepared muffin cups. Let rise for about 30 minutes or until batter is rounded on top.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.

Easy Pumpkin Pie

A pumpkin pie dessert is the perfect dish to end a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, and this too can be ready in record time.

Ingredients:
1 9″ unbaked pastry crust
1 15oz can pumpkin
1 14oz can sweetened, condensed milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
Yield: 8 servings

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until blended. Pour batter into unbaked crust and bake for about 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for about 40 minutes.

Remove from oven. Cool and serve.

Click here to find more easy fall recipes and ideas to explore.

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