5 Thanksgiving Shortcut Recipes

When Thanksgiving is just a few days away and you’re finding yourself stressed out because you don’t know how to get it all done, let me help you with these last minute Thanksgiving shortcuts recipes. I promise you, even if it is a holiday, it is perfectly okay to take shortcuts in the kitchen.

Want to check out ALL of my Thanksgiving recipes? Go to the Thanksgiving Headquarters!

Just remember, if you decide to take a few recipe shortcuts, make sure that to use quality substitutes for the best outcome.


While cranberry sauce is very easy to make (just cook fresh cranberries, sugar, and water), sometimes it is just one more thing to do for the big meal. Instead of skipping this antioxidant-rich dish altogether, pick up a can of whole berry cranberry sauce then stir in toasted pecans, orange zest, cinnamon, and Grande Marnier or black-cherry bourbon (or orange juice) to make Shortcut Pecan Cranberry Sauce.

Shortcut Pecan Cranberry Sauce from Holley Grainger



What’s Thanksgiving without Turkey Gravy right? Well, people who avoid gluten may have to skip the gravy because it’s usually made with flour. Thankfully, McCormick’s has a gluten-free gravy mix that allows you to whip up an almost homemade gravy in five minutes. The benefit, you get that same great gravy flavor without the gluten. If you want to dial up the flavor, try adding ¼ teaspoon of thyme or sage or stir in caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms.



Dress up refrigerated mashed potatoes with creative and tasty stir-ins. I heat the potatoes as directed and then stir-in plain Greek yogurt for a creamier texture, shredded Cheddar cheese, chives, and bacon pieces. This dish tastes just like a homemade loaded baked potato and your guests will never know that you started with a premade potatoes. (NOTE: Buy the real mashed potatoes in the refrigerated section versus the boxed instant mashed potatoes.)

Shortcut Loaded Mashed Potatoes from Holley Grainger


Homemade Whipped Cream

You can totally make a store-bought pie your own when you top it with a dollop of homemade whipped cream in a jar! Heavy whipping cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of sugar are all you need. Now bring in the kiddos and getting shaking!

DIY Whipped Cream in a Jar from Holley Grainger


Bring the kids into the kitchen to help you make this funny but oh-so-tasty appetizer featuring tart Granny Smith apples, sweet Honeycrisp apples and cheddar cheese. Check out Mr. Cheddar & Apple Turkey to get all of the details. Love the idea of making “turkeys” with your food? Check out these 21 Healthy and Fun Thanksgiving Turkey Ideas.

Kid-Friendly Cheddar and Apple Turkey Appetizer



If you have other last-minute tips, please share them in the comments section. I’m always looking for a new trick! Happy Thanksgiving!


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5 Clever Thanksgiving Shortcuts from Holley Grainger