Thanksgiving may be the Super Bowl of family dinners, but due to the CDC's recommendations for scaled-down celebrations this year, things are going to be looking a little bit different.
Large gatherings and unnecessary travel are both to be avoided this Thanksgiving, and that means those who are used to going to their parents' or in-laws' for the big feast will be left to prepare it on their own.
If the idea of preparing a Thanksgiving meal on your own is already stressing you out, we're here to remind you that the whole thing — from turkey to sides to pie — can be picked up from restaurants around the country.
So, we've rounded up some spots with dinner waiting to be picked up or delivered this Thanksgiving. These meals can be picked up ahead of time, placed in the fridge and then just heated up on Turkey Day. Some locations will also deliver the food, so it's a good idea to call the location closest to you.
No one does homespun family dinners like the South, and with that in mind, Bob Evans is sure to deliver. Its Premium Farmhouse Feast, which is packed cold and serves up to 10 people, includes slow-roasted turkey, hickory-smoked ham, bread and celery dressing, corn, mashed potatoes with gravy, rolls, green beans with ham, cranberry relish, macaroni and cheese, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie and apple pie — all for $125. For those who have a smaller group this year, there are also feasts available as small as groups of four.
No-Boil Mac and Cheese with Ham and Greens by Lazarus Lynch
Buca di Beppo
This chain is giving Thanksgiving an Italian spin by offering a feast that includes sliced turkey, gravy, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, spicy Italian sausage stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. This meal comes in various sizes, with a serving for three people running $69, and a feast for six going for $138. There are also options available for gatherings of as many as 20 people.
Italian Sausage and Rice Stuffing by Anthony Scotto
Boston Market is offering several different ways to celebrate this year, for various gathering sizes. There are holiday dinners that can be shipped right to your front door, for groups ranging from as little as 4-6 people to as many as 12. There are both turkey and ham dinners available, complete with sides ranging from mashed potatoes and stuffing to apple pie. The chain also continues to offer Heat & Serve complete dinners available for pre-order and pickup at restaurant locations, as well as a la carte entrees, ideal for those celebrating solo this year. The Complete Whole Roasted Turkey Meal for 12 is $129.99 and the Complete Boneless Roasted Turkey Breast meal will start at $89.99. There is also an individual Thanksgiving dinner available on Turkey Day itself, too — Sliced Roasted Turkey Breast or Half Signature Rotisserie Chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetable stuffing, a dinner roll and a slice of apple or pumpkin pie for $13.99.
You are probably hitting up Costco for paper goods and random ingredients this Thanksgiving, but while there, why not buy the whole feast? The big-box store is selling the whole meal (frozen) currently on sale for just under $100, which includes everything a dinner could need, from turkey breast to piles of mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and green beans. There's even dessert, which includes pumpkin pie, apple pie and ice cream. Keep in mind that Costco is closed on Thanksgiving Day, so this is one you'll need to pick up the day before, throw in the fridge and reheat in time for dinner.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
The Heat n’ Serve Holiday Family Meal To-Go is back, which feeds up to 10 people and costs $145 — actually quite the value when you discover this meal includes a ton of food. We're talking two turkey breasts, cornbread dressing, turkey gravy, cranberry relish, sweet yeast rolls and three sides. The sides selection includes green beans, fried apples, hash browns, sweet potato casserole, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, carrots and corn.
Green bean casserole is also an option but it will cost a little extra. The dish is a Thanksgiving must-have for a lot of Americans, so it's probably worth it. The meal also comes with a whole pumpkin pie and pecan pie.
Denny's will again be offering its Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner Pack, which serves four and includes turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and choice of side. This pack goes for just under $40 in most markets, and a whole pie (which runs around $10) can be added to the order to round out the meal. Their Turkey & Dressing Dinner will also be available in mid-November. The meal includes tender carved turkey breast, savory stuffing, turkey gravy and cranberry sauce.
Harry & David
This online retailer may be best known for their fruit-of-the-month clubs and cheese plates, but it now offers a Gourmet Turkey Feast for $215 that includes a 10-pound ready-to-heat, oven-roasted turkey, apple sausage stuffing, creamy Brussels sprouts with bacon, brown sugar sweet potatoes and New York-style pumpkin cheesecake. It even comes with classic turkey gravy and spiced cranberry chutney.
It's not exactly a restaurant chain, but Omaha Steaks is offering a great build-your-own Thanksgiving Feast option, with a choice of a ham or turkey, customizable potato and vegetable sides and a dessert. This dinner goes for $160 total, and comes frozen and ready to be reheated.
Popeyes may be the spot one would go to for a spicy chicken sandwich, but it's not often it's considered for Thanksgiving dinner. However, its Cajun Turkey, which is ready to be heated-and-served, is marinated with the Popeye's signature blend of Louisiana seasonings, slow-roasted and then flash-fried for a crispy coating. They can be pre-ordered at participating locations with a scheduled pickup, and, while prices vary per location, it starts at around $40.
Of course, for anyone who doesn’t feel like cooking or cleaning at all, several restaurants are open on Thanksgiving. However, ever-shifting indoor dining guidelines mean that this year will be different from other years in that regard, too, so we recommending calling ahead.
We're just thankful for having the option to spend more time on Thanksgiving eating rather than cooking, especially after a year of cooking at home nonstop. Whether you choose to admit to your guests that dinner wasn't actually made by your own hands is up to you.