Thanksgiving. Duh.

By Antara Sinha
Updated November 16, 2018
mr-Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
Credit: Caitlin Bensel Food Styling: Tina Stamos and Gordon Sawyer Prop Styling: Kay Clark
  • Let’s just cut to the chase—the only thing on our minds this whole week is Thanksgiving prep, so let’s roll right into it. Everything from traveling for the holiday (heads up, that pie needs its own separate bin at the TSA line), to getting down to the perfect tunes while your turkey is baking, it’s the little things that make your holiday run as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible.
  • When it comes to the actual menu though, we’re feeling a more laid-back, stress-free, and less time-consuming process this year. Instead of standing over the hot stove for way too long simmering away at a sauce, here’s how to make jarred gravy just as luscious and tasty as homemade. Instead of roasting a whole turkey in a day-long endeavor, your family will enjoy a couple roast chickens, or a smaller bird just as much, we promise. Store-bought pumpkin pie will feed a crowd just fine and is less pressure on you to perfect a custard filling while guests pour into your house.These store-bought mashed potatoes—they will carry you through the holidays. And if you’re really looking to not sweat over Thanksgiving this year, here’s where you can pick up a ready-made Thanksgiving dinner. Or, hey, just go all-in and eat at these restaurants that’ll actually be open on Thursday.
  • If you feel at all guilty using these quick hacks and purchases for Thanksgiving dinner: Don’t. Just remember that less time shopping and stress-cooking in the kitchen the whole week means more quality time with your loved ones—and that’s what will make the holiday memorable.
  • If you’re steadfastly committed to cooking up a flawless Thanksgiving feast from scratch, we commend you, and we’ve got tons of tips and advice to help every step of the way to making your sides and mains shine. Oh, and don’t forget the sauce… and definitely don’t forget the one mistake most people make, but you’re going to avoid, when cooking gravy this year. We’ve already touted the miracles of the Instant Pot, capable of producing everything from beautifully jammy cranberry sauce to a whole Salted Caramel-Pecan Cheesecake that may just steal the spotlight on the dessert table.

If you’re looking to bake the chewiest cookies of your life (seems like a nice thing to do for company, right?), you need this secret ingredient. Stumped on what pie to make as a showstopper? Look to the stars—here’s what pie you should cook up based on your astrological sign. After all, it’s up to us to take fate into our own hands, so here’s a complete list of our best tips to avoid any unfortunate Turkey Day mishaps in the kitchen, or while entertaining your family and guests.

The bottom line: We hope you have a beautiful Thanksgiving, whether you’re spending the day bustling around in the kitchen perfecting your menu or lounging around in PJs with loved ones and some Costco pumpkin pie. They’ll both be just as lovely.