It’s Thanksgiving week, parents! I’m thinking ahead to Thursday (smaller though it may be), but also realizing that my family needs to eat on the other days this week too. And since it also happens to be a week where strict quarantines and crowd limits have been implemented here in Nashville — and kids are out of school — I’m thinking EASY.
Now for me, easy doesn’t just mean few ingredients and short cook time; it also means my kids will actually eat what I’m serving. If an extra step or two gets everyone loving dinner more, that’s totally worth it to me.
So grab your pen and get your grocery list ready, because we’ve got this!
Monday night: Chicken Tenders with veggies and fruit
Is there any more universal truth than kids like chicken tenders? These baked chicken tenders at Midwest Foodie include both pretzels and Cheez-Its in the breading and take just 30 minutes to cook. While they’re in the oven, clean up the dishes and let your kids pick which veggies they want on the side. If you want to upgrade it a bit for yourself, use the veggies as a topping for a hearty fall salad.
Tuesday night: Pasta in the Instant Pot (or stove top, or slow cooker)
I made this incredible, garlicky penne pasta dish as soon as I saw Tieghan posted the recipe at Halfbaked Harvest, and my family has consistently asked for it all year long. To make it even easier, I use store-bought sausage. (Actually, I use Gardein’s vegan sausage, but don’t tell my kids!) It takes just 20 minutes in the Instant Pot, but she includes instructions for other cooking methods too, and I always am sure to cook up enough for lunch leftovers later in the week.
Wednesday night: Pizza night, while you prep Thanksgiving dinner
Get some frozen pizzas from the grocery—we’re obsessed with Aldi’s pizza, lately—or let your kids make their own, if you don’t mind a little cleanup. We pick up ready-made pizza dough from the bakery section of our local grocery (or grab one from a local pizza joint), then let the kids roll it out and add all their favorite toppings. If you want to use a recipe, this cast-iron pizza recipe at The Food Cafe is a big favorite of ours.
Thursday night: Thanksgiving!
What are your Thanksgiving plans this year? I’m leaning toward a Sidesgiving dinner with no turkey, since we’re not getting together with the whole family this year. Christina’s ideas to do an out-of-the-box Thanksgiving meal, like stuffed lobster, is pretty tempting too. Or, maybe you’ll be cooking a turkey for the first time! (This Rosemary & Orange Glazed Roast Turkey at Zestful Kitchen is stunning, if you’re going full-traditional.)
If you still need some ideas of what to put on your dinner table, just search our six years of Thanksgiving recipe archives and you’ll find something amazing, guaranteed.
Friday night: Thanksgiving Leftovers (maybe the best part of Thanksgiving)
We have dozens of ideas for ways to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers, from turkey enchiladas to cobb salads and soups to pot pies. And of course, the classic turkey-stuffing-cranberry sauce sandwich. I love this version that includes melty brie cheese at Just a Little Bit of Bacon. Just print out this post Liz curated, and get your family to pick the leftover upgrade they want this year. Even if turkey wasn’t on the menu at all.