Last Minute Thanksgiving Recipes You Can Make In A Pinch

Not everything that your fellow diners will want to eat requires hours of legwork, preparation, and cooking.

a slice of pecan pie is ready to eat
Stu Spivack / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0 Cropped and Resized)

Not everything that your fellow diners will want to eat requires hours of legwork, preparation, and cooking.

If you’ve found yourself invited to a Thanksgiving party at the last minute, or if the day snuck up on you and you don’t have a dish to bring, don’t panic! Although many of the stalwart recipes served on Thanksgiving, such as turkey, require hours if not days of preparation, a handful can be knocked out in an hour or so.

Here are five last-minute Thanksgiving recipes you can make in a short time span.

Pecan Pie

a slice of pecan pie
  sharonang / Pixabay

Pecan pie is easy to make, although it is equally easy to screw it up. But don’t worry, there are only two real points of failure when making it, which will be detailed.

If you do a search for a “Pecan Pie” recipe, you’ll find dozens if not hundreds of different ways to make it, ranging in difficulty. The absolute easiest recipe comes from the Karo Corn Syrup website, Karo syrup being the principal ingredient in the dish (besides pecans, of course).

The first point of failure in this recipe is buying the wrong kind of pecans. Do not buy chopped pecans, but rather halved ones — pecans that were chopped up minutes before going into the oven taste leaps and bounds better than chopped, store-bought pecans. Fresh pecans from a farmer’s market, a neighbor who has pecan trees, or elsewhere will taste much better.

The second point of failure can come about when one cools the pie. Do not put a hot pie directly on your kitchen counter. Rather, put it on a wire cooling rack. Your guests will thank you.

Green Bean Casserole

green bean casserole
  Jason Pettis / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

If you’ve ever seen a bag of French’s Fried Onions, you’ve probably wondered if they’re ever used for anything other than green bean casserole. As it turns out, they’re popular mixed into a salad or placed strategically atop a burger. If you’re more into the traditional green bean casserole recipe, though, you can easily knock out a delicious meal topped with the mysterious fried onions — should you follow this recipe on McCormick‘s website.

Dill Dip In A Bread Bowl

dill dip and bread
  jeffreyw / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Having detailed a dessert and a side dish, now it’s time for an appetizer/amuse-bouche. All you need is some mayo, some sour cream, and a few spices that you shouldn’t have much trouble finding, even in the few grocery stores that are open on Thanksgiving Day. Use this recipe from Epicurious found on All Recipes, one which doesn’t recommend which type of bread to use. King’s Hawaiian Sweet Round comes highly recommended, if you can find it locally.

Pumpkin Pie

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pumpkin pie
  PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

Here’s another easy pie recipe. Unlike pecan pie, there’s only one point of failure here, and that’s the cooling. Like pecan pie, you must cool your pumpkin pie on a cooling rack. Once you know to do that, you really can’t mess up this recipe from Nestlé found on VeryBestBaking. Nestlé will most likely be the manufacturer of both the canned pumpkin and the evaporated milk that you’ll use.

Barefoot Contessa’s Sauteed Carrots

carrots
  congerdesign / Pixabay

If you want to impress your guests with a dish that is both visually appealing and vegetable-forward, clear 15 minutes from your schedule and whip up some sautéed carrots, via this recipe from The Food Network.