1. Don't peel your potatoes. Boil them with the skin on. Then put them straight into an ice bath. The skins will slide right off. (Here's a video.)
2. Don't make a whole turkey. A turkey breast is faster and easier to make. One feeds up to four people, and two feeds up to eight. So that's a good one if you're not having a ton of people over.
3. Preheat your roasting pans. Leave them in the oven while you're preheating it, and things will cook faster. It's especially good for roasting vegetables
4. Make gravy in a blender. Instead of stirring and simmering, you can thicken it and get all the lumps out with a blender. Just google "gravy blender recipe."
5. Use store-bought ingredients to your advantage. For example, most people expect green bean casserole to be made with cream of mushroom soup. So making the sauce from scratch probably isn't worth it. And do your guests actually WANT homemade cranberry sauce? Or would they be happier with a can of the jelly stuff?
6. Use a Slow Cooker
You can use your slow cooker for your mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, or even your turkey. This allows you to prep these items ahead of time and frees up your oven or stovetop for preparing other dishes.
7. Make Your Thanksgiving Dinner a Potluck
Take some of the pressure off yourself as the host! Take your guests up on any offers to prepare a side dish or dessert. Or discuss the potluck idea ahead of time and hand out assignments for all the Thanksgiving must-haves to your guests. This will save you tons of time on preparation and saves money as well.
8. Tape Recipes on the Cabinets in Plain Sight
Instead of spreading your recipes out all over your counter to get buried under ingredients or spilled on, tape them all up on your cabinets. With the recipes in plain sight, you can zip through them quickly without pausing for “where did I put the recipe?” searches.
9. Use Your Microwave
You can speed up your mashed potatoes by microwaving them instead of boiling them. You can also warm rolls and anything else in need of little heat by popping it into the microwave.
10. Cook Your Turkey While You Sleep
Do a quick search online for an overnight turkey recipe and you’ll find several great options for cooking your turkey overnight while you sleep. Here is one I like. This Thanksgiving food hack will save you tons of time and oven space while producing a perfectly done turkey for your family dinner.