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17 Last-Minute Thanksgiving Recipes for When Life Gets in the Way

Here are 17 Thanksgiving recipes—from the creamiest, most garlicky mashed potatoes ever to chewy-soft pumpkin cookies that'll make you forget about pie—you can throw together at the eleventh hour. Trust us, no one at your dinner table will ever be the wiser; you might even fool yourself.

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17 Last-Minute Thanksgiving Recipes for When Life Gets in the Way
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17 stories in this Storyboard
    Extra-Cheesy Spinach-Artichoke Dip

    Extra-Cheesy Spinach-Artichoke Dip

    • Prep time 20 minutes • Cook time 25 minutes • Makes 1 batch Author Notes How to make classic spinach-artichoke dip even better? Use just as much cheddar as cream cheese, add a dollop of tangy Dijon, and broil right before serving for a bubbly, blistered crust. Oh, and crackers are a must—but you knew that …

    Ina Garten’s Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli

    Ina Garten’s Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli

    • Prep time 5 minutes • Cook time 25 minutes • Serves 6 Author Notes In November 2008, Adam Roberts published a blog post with the headline “The Best Broccoli of Your Life”, about a recipe from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics. He promised that at least one person liked the broccoli more than steak. This …

    Instant Pot Buttermilk & Leek Mashed Potatoes

    Instant Pot Buttermilk & Leek Mashed Potatoes

    • Cook time 20 minutes • Serves 8 Author Notes Nora Ephron wrote in Heartburn, "In the end, I always want potatoes. Mashed potatoes. Nothing like mashed potatoes when you’re feeling blue. Nothing like getting into bed with a bowl of hot mashed potatoes already loaded with butter, and methodically adding a …

    Tater Tots & Cheese Sauce

    Tater Tots & Cheese Sauce

    • Serves 6 to 8 Author Notes Macaroni, make way for tater tots. Baked until crispy, smothered in cheese sauce, and then broiled until bubbly and colorful, this sheet-pan-style casserole was made to be served alongside a mustard-dressed salad. A cold beer wouldn't hurt, either. —Emma Laperruque Test …

    Crisp & Tender Roasted Root Vegetables

    Crisp & Tender Roasted Root Vegetables

    • Prep time 15 minutes • Cook time 40 minutes • Serves 4 Author Notes Use any combination of root vegetables you like for an easy, versatile side that works with pretty much any main dish. —Merrill Stubbs 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots (3/4 inch) • 1 1/2 cups chopped parsnips (3/4 inch) • 1 1/2 cups chopped sweet …

    Brown Butter Stuffing

    Brown Butter Stuffing

    • Prep time 12 hours • Cook time 40 minutes • Serves 8 to 12 Author Notes This stuffing skips all the usual ingredients and steps. No sausage-browning, onion and celery–sautéeing, nut-toasting, or dried fruit–chopping. Just bread, lots of brown butter, and fresh sage, bound together with vegetable stock and …

    Kale & Anchovy Salad

    Kale & Anchovy Salad

    • Prep time 40 minutes • Serves 4 Author Notes I know you need another kale salad recipe like you need another artisanal pickle, but I swear you'll love this one. And even if you don't, I have a mixing technique to offer that you can apply to the other 37 kale salads in your repertory. —Amanda Hesser 1 …

    Pork Tenderloin With Kimchi & Apples

    Pork Tenderloin With Kimchi & Apples

    • Prep time 2 hours 30 minutes • Cook time 22 minutes • Serves 3 to 4 Author Notes Tenderloin is the most-searched for pork cut, probably because it’s the leanest pork cut. But this also means it’s difficult to cook. While pork shoulder can stay in the oven for an hour longer than intended and still be …

    Sheet-Pan Mac & Cheese With Pumpkin & Brown Butter

    Sheet-Pan Mac & Cheese With Pumpkin & Brown Butter

    • Prep time 5 minutes • Cook time 35 minutes • Makes 1 11x17-inch sheet-pan of mac and cheese Author Notes There's nothing cozier—or easier to pull off—than sheet-pan mac and cheese. It's perfectly creamy and crunchy, lacking in any superfluous bits. And when pumpkin and brown butter join the party, well, …

    Barbara Kafka's Simplest Roast Chicken

    Barbara Kafka's Simplest Roast Chicken

    • Prep time 15 minutes • Cook time 50 minutes • Serves 2 to 4 Author Notes Barbara Kafka's basic formula for roasting chickens in the high-heat method is about ten minutes to the pound for a chicken at room temperature, untrussed. Feel free to adapt this recipe up or down for larger or smaller birds using …

    Cabbage Bake

    Cabbage Bake

    • Prep time 15 minutes • Cook time 45 minutes • Serves 3 to 4 Author Notes When my parents first moved to Indianapolis, they—like the many people who also immigrated here from India—didn't have much of a community. As time passed, we built our own little Indian community, one that is as close-knit as ever …

    Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

    • Prep time 15 minutes • Cook time 15 minutes • Makes about 3 dozen cookies Author Notes Clara hasn't had much in the way of sweets yet. Yes, I put maple syrup in her yogurt, and she's hooked on clementines and pear slices, but until a few weeks ago, she hadn't tasted cake or a cookie or anything you might …

    Sheet-Pan Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake

    Sheet-Pan Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake

    • Prep time 10 minutes • Cook time 30 minutes • Serves 16 to 20 Author Notes Loosely adapted from Nigella Lawson's Sticky Toffee Pudding dessert from her cookbook, Nigella Bites, this sheet-pan version is one of my favorite things to make for guests during the colder months. I love this cake because it's one …

    Miso Caramel

    Miso Caramel

    • Cook time 15 minutes • Makes 1 pint Author Notes Salted caramel is so in these days. I had recently purchased a tub of white miso and was looking for ways to use it and figured it would be a simple way to add not only salt, but also umami to a caramel sauce. —theminx Test Kitchen Notes This recipe is …

    Fudgy Bourbon Balls

    Fudgy Bourbon Balls

    • Makes about 48 balls Author Notes I never had a rum ball until I met Merrill. And Merrill knows a good rum ball when she tastes one; she has taught me the finer points of rum ball-dom. A proper rum ball must be dense but moist, and ideally a little gooey. It must sing with booze but shouldn't be too …

    Lindsey Shere's Baked Caramel Pears

    Lindsey Shere's Baked Caramel Pears

    • Serves 6 Author Notes With 5 ingredients and about 20 minutes, you'll have a pure, joyful dessert that looks festive as all get out, which you will have casually winged together as others clear the table or between rounds of after-dinner charades. Recipe adapted slightly from Chez Panisse Desserts …

    Last-Minute Fall Hand Pies

    Last-Minute Fall Hand Pies

    • Prep time 1 hour • Cook time 20 minutes • Makes about 1 dozen hand pies Author Notes Around the holidays, love to make hand pies in lieu of big pies. They're perfect for a casual Friendsgiving, for drop-in guests, or for day-after-the-party breakfasts. Each recipe for filling is enough to fill a double …

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