Last Minute Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas: 4 Sides that Save the Day

Thanksgiving Dinner Why is that Thanksgiving, even if you feel prepared, always seems to be a rush-event that comes right down to the wire? "It's the day before Thanksgiving? How did that happen?" Or a few days beforehand you...

Thanksgiving Dinner
Thanksgiving Dinner

Why is that Thanksgiving, even if you feel prepared, always seems to be a rush-event that comes right down to the wire? "It's the day before Thanksgiving? How did that happen?" Or a few days beforehand you get the phone call that you're hosting the family this year... "Excuse me?" you say. "But I... well... fine. I can do that."

Well don't worry, we got you covered for all of those last minute Thanksgiving dinner ideas. These tips and tricks will make even store bought products seem like you put a lot of time and energy into them (just don't forget the main dish -- there's no faking a ham or turkey).

Mashed Potatoes

Got a box of instant potatoes laying around? Spice it up by:

  • Adding a spoonful of sour cream and some chives.
  • Dump in some cheese.
  • Cook up some bacon and crumble it into it while it's cooking.
  • Or add garlic. Garlic and potatoes are good friends.

Gravy

No matter where the gravy comes from (as in, from a packet or your Aunt Matilda's secret recipe), here are some sure fire ways of adding flair. Add all of the following:

  • Saute garlic (or use garlic powder for a less powerful taste).
  • Cook up some turkey bits -- you can even use turkey lunch meat, just chop it up and cook it in a skillet.
  • Cream up your gravy by adding some half and half or whipping cream.

Boom! No one will know the difference.

Stuffing

From a box, of course (see a trend here?). But this time, instead of just adding water to the mix in a pot, get out a skillet and sauté some vegetables in butter (onion, carrots, garlic, celery). Add a bit of salt and pepper. Stir in the stuffing seasoning packet and 1 3/4 cup water, simmer 5 minutes, then add bread crumbs. Voila! "Did you make this from scratch?" Define "scratch..."

Green Beans
Green Beans

Green Beans

Frozen or canned, it doesn't matter because what you add to them will make people think they're fresh. Add any or all of the following:

  • Parmesan cheese.
  • Almonds (toasted).
  • Red pepper strips. Sauté them in garlic butter and add.
  • Caramelize some onions and toss them in.

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