We're in the final stretch, people.
mr-Lemony Chicken and Spinach Soup image
Credit: Kelsey Hansen; Prop Styling: Kashara Johnson; Food Styling: Mark Driskill

Admit it—a majority of the month of November is spent meticulously planning and organizing your Thanksgiving menu. A whole turkey, a plethora of sides, and a bangin’ dessert spread is not something that happens overnight, and it’s safe to say that we’ve been working diligently to make sure everything goes over as smoothly as possible. However, in the mess of all this pre-programming, you probably forget one tiny thing—what the HECK are you going to eat for dinner tonight?! Not to mention, you’ve probably got some hungry guests in town, too. Oh and one last thing—your fridge is definitely stocked to the brim. AH!

Those pre-prepared pie dough discs and your make-ahead stuffing is not going to help you, so let’s get some other options lined up for this hectic food week. Here, we’ve compiled our favorite tricks and simple meal solutions to hold you over until Thanksgiving.

Embrace the Rotisserie Chicken

We preach about it a lot, but we really mean it this week, okay? For a lean protein that you can serve for dinner and effortlessly repurpose for lunches, this hot bar purchase is a no-brainer. Toss it into salads, bake it into casseroles, stuff it into wraps and sandwiches, or eat it straight off the bone like the carnivore who’s getting ready for T-giving that you are. If you’re tight on space in the refrigerator, transfer all of the meat to a gallon size zip-top bag. Use the bones to make stock or keep them in your freezer to make stock on some other day that you’re not running around to every grocery store in town to find one that isn’t sold out of canned cranberry sauce.

Eat Veggies—Buy Bagged Salads

If you don’t have the time to wash, chop, and mise out all your favorite veggies to build your favorite salad this week, well, that’s understandable. But finding a way to still get some greens in is crucial, and that’s exactly where bagged salads come in. Not to mention, they are a great bed for that rotisserie chicken you just picked up at the store. Congratulations, all that pie is going to taste a lot better knowing that you pre-gamed it with a week of fibrous, leafy greens.

Smoothie It UP

If salads aren’t your game, sneak an extra handful of fruits and veggies into your day with a quick, portable smoothie. Since your freezer is already busting at the seams, you might as well put all that frozen fruit living there to good use. Throw in a scoop of protein powder or peanut butter and a handful of greens, and BOOM. You’re heading into Turkey Day absolutely GLOWING.

Watch Now: How to Make Lemony Chicken and Spinach Soup

Make a Big Batch of Soup

You know what we don’t talk about enough? SOUP. It’s quick and easy to make, low-cost, tastes better as a leftover, and is best consumed wrapped in a blanket in front of the TV. If that is not a superfood, then I don’t know what is. Get a batch of lemony chicken and rice, beef and beer chili or chicken tortilla soup going on the stove, and you’re on your merry way to soup greatness. If you’re working with a smaller crowd, transfer some of it to the freezer to enjoy next month, when the holiday madness returns.

Eggs, Lots of Eggs

When time is of the essence and your options are far from nutritious, there’s one food that you can rely on time and time again to save the day. And that, of course, is eggs. Hard boil a dozen in the beginning of the week for high protein snacking, easy breakfasts on-the-go, or egg salads. If you’re up to it, prep an entire quiche or frittata in the beginning of the week so that you’ve got something hearty and healthy to fall back on when it gets to crunch time. Or if you just need something the morning of Thanksgiving to give you some energy for a day of kitchen work, fry a couple eggs and go to town on some runny yolks and toast. You made it, friend. Today is the day.

By Sara Tane and Sara Tane