Thirty Minute Thanksgiving Dinners

Thirty Minute Thanksgiving Dinners

Haven’t started cooking? Aren’t quite sure what to make? Don’t worry! Two thirty-minute Thanksgivings are here to save the day.

Due to the unfortunate long-cooking nature of many winter vegetables, meats, and baked goods, Thanksgiving can often take hours upon hours to prepare. I spent about eight hours myself on my final meal. However, all of that trial and area has taught me the best dishes for a fast, but sensationally delicious Thanksgiving dinner.

The requisite oven cooking time make it impossible to *cook* your whole meal, but here are two Thanksgiving menus and cooking plans which require thirty minutes of active time and no more than __ total hours of preparation.

Menu One
Hearty and full of fall flavors
Total time: 1:30 minutes

Starter: Hazelnut Leek Smoked Salmon Chowder
Cranberries: Maple Cranberries
Meat: Roasted Turkey Ballotine Wrapped in Bacon
Side Dish: Cheddar-Butternut Squash Bread Pudding
Dessert: Coffee Chocolate Gingerbread

Make sure to thoroughly read the recipes for all of the particulars, but here is a minute-by-minute guide for multi-tasking this meal. To make things faster, use pre-grated parmesan and pre-cooked squash for the bread pudding.

  • mins 1-5: Set over to 350. Cut bread for bread pudding and turkey ballottine and soak each in the described mixture.
  • mins 6-7: Chop leeks, garlic, and celery for soup and set saute.
  • mins 8-9: Peel and cube potatoes for soup.
  • min 10: Set-up cranberries on stovetop.
  • mins 11-12: Chop kale and shallots and set-up on stovetop.
  • mins 13-17: Prepare sausage log and freeze.
  • min 18: Flake the salmon for the soup.
  • mins 19-22: Prepare cake pan, mix cake batter and pop in the oven.
  • mins 23-28: Pound turkey breast and assemble turkey log.
  • mins 29-30: Assemble bread pudding and pop in the oven.

Menu Two
Non-traditional and extremely elegant

Starter: Butternut Squash Salad
Cranberries: Mediterranean Cranberries
Meat: Rosemary Steak with Pomegranate Glaze
Side Dish: Maple Yams with Brandied Raisins and Walnuts
Dessert: Brandied Semifreddo with Pomegranate Molasses and Honied OrangesBourbon Pecan Pie

Though this menu does not include the traditional turkey, there are yams, squash and plenty of brandy. The modern, trend of pomegranate runs through several dishes and creates a Mediterranean theme, while the lusciousness of each dish will impress even your most hard-to-please foodie guest. To save time, use a pre-purchase pie crust.

Preheat oven to 400 and boil two pots of water before starting.

  • mins 1-2: Set-up squash to roast in the oven and pie crust filled with beans.
  • min 3: Coat the steak thoroughly on both sides with salt and return to fridge.
  • min 4: Add the yams to the larger pot of boiling water and raisins to soak in brandy.
  • min 5-6: Set pomegranate glaze and yam glaze to reduce on the stove.
  • min 7-8: Start cooking pomegranate cranberries on the stove top.
  • mins 9-12: Cook egg mixture for semifreddo in double boiler.
  • mins 13-15: Mix pie filling.
  • min 16: Remove the yams from heat and run under cool water, reduce oven heat to 350.
  • mins 17-18: Beat cream and mix with egg mixture for semifreddo. Separate into portions and place in the freezer.
  • mins 19-20: Cut the yams into large chunks and assemble the yams and other ingredients in a casserole dish and pop in the oven.

Right before guests arrive

  • min 21-22: Assemble salad.

Right before serving your main course

  • min 23: Set up steak to cook on stovetop and raise oven temperature to 375.
  • mins 24-28: Slice oranges and mix with honey, pomegranate molasses and spices.
  • min 29: Add filling to pie crust and set to bake.
  • min 30: Slice steak, cover with glaze and serve

I hope you enjoy these meals!
Looking for more thanksgiving recipes? Check out the rest of the Thanksgiving Test Kitchen or our Holiday page for menus!