Food Life

Easy Thanksgiving Hacks: What To Bring To Thanksgiving Dinner If You Are A Lazy Slacker

Your days of freeloading are over.  Someone expects you to bring a dish to Thanksgiving.  You can’t cook, hate cooking or don’t have time to cook because you are busy. Here are 10 recipes (and a few rules of thumb) to help you pass Potluck.


  1. Bring something you like.  Tell yourself you will be the only person eating this dish.  That way, you know at least there will be one thing you like.
  2. When in doubt, add more butter.
  3. Wanna be a real hero?  Bring what the chef always needs more of, like whipped cream or gravy.  Or butter.
  4. Remember:  You can buy most of this shit.
  5. If you can’t bring a pumpkin pie, bring a pumpkin pie candle.


THE TRADITION: Scrub, boil, peel, mash, mix.  Peeling hot potatoes alone is enough to send me running for the dry goods.

THE HACK:  Buy ’em.  Boxed mashed potatoes are literally the most deliciousness for the least amount of effort.  Spring for the pricey stuff.  Trader Joe’s garlic mashed potatoes are exquisite, and The Idahoan has an excellent line of classics.  Substitute milk for water, use REAL butter and REAL milk or cream when called for, and bring a cup of extra milk for last- minute moistenings.  WANNA GET FANCY? Sautee 5 cloves chopped garlic in 4 tablespoons butter and mix into the spuds.  Top with a rosemary sprig.


THE TRADITION:  Make the pie crust, refrigerate overnight, roll onto your counter, get flour everywhere.  Back in the day, our forefathers boiled, peeled and mashed ACTUAL PUMPKINS.

THE HACK:  Crust is the least memorable part of the pie.  Buy that shit.  You can get 2 crusts in tins for $2.65 at Smart & Final.  That’s a pumpkin pie and a pecan pie, yo.

From here, the phrase “easy as pie” begins to make sense.  Pumpkin and pecan pies are two of the easiest pies in the history of the world.  Check out Emeril Lagasse’s pecan pie.  He’s from the south, so you know the recipe rocks.

For pumpkin pie, you can’t beat the recipe printed on the label.  WANNA GET FANCY? Spice your pumpkin pie with cardamon, a light spice similar to ginger.  Beat the eggs until pale yellow and fluffy for a lighter, more custardy pie; blend your ingredients in a blender for that silky- smooth texture; or mix in thinly sliced apples for an apple pumpkin pie.  Don’t overdo it with the the pumpkin spice.

Karlie Kloss’ Apple Krisp is also stupidly easy, vegan, and delicious.

Sick of the classics?  Blue Apron has a delectable, no- bake, idiot-proof chocolate tart recipe.  When boiling the milk, swirl the pan- don’t use a spoon.  Not feeling the shortbread crust?  Sub a store- bought graham cracker crust instead.


THE TRADITION:  Dessert masquerading as a side dish.  Sweet potatoes take many forms.  Mashed.  Casserole.  Baked.  This sweet potato recipe has the best of all worlds.

THE HACK: Maple Baked Sweet Potatoes

  1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice 5 sweet potatoes into 2- inch long rounds.
  2. Toss raw sweet potato slices in 1 stick melted butter and 3 tablespoons maple syrup.  Sprinkle with brown sugar, salt, or both.
  3. Bake in a ceramic dish, aluminum baking sheet or cake pan for 45 minutes.

Got vegans?  Sub coconut oil for butter.


Vegetables are necessary to avoid heart attacks.  Luckily, salads are easy.  You wash some fresh shit and put it in a bowl.  Dress the salad right before eating.  This salad is no- wash, mix- and- go, and vegan.  Like most salads.

  1.  Mix 1 bag spring mix or spinach (pre- washed), dried cranberries, and candied walnuts in a salad bowl.
  2. Mix 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon  olive oil, and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar in another, much smaller, bowl.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Right before serving, mix the contents of the two bowls together.


If you have time/ feel like washing and chopping shit, add any of these to the mix:

  • Belgian Endive
  • Apples
  • Chopped pears
  • Chopped persimmon (show up with one of these and you are automatically the Hipster God of Thanksgiving)
  • Radiccio
  • Tangerine slices
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Grilled & chilled asparagus
  • Thinly sliced scallions
  • Goat Cheese
  • Grapes
  • Sliced or slivered almonds
  • Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)


THE TRADITION: I literally have no idea how people made this before it came in cans.  You can buy tons of fancy versions in the salsa section of your local supermarket, or you can issue a giant “F*ck you” to the establishment and roll out a tube.


  • Fresh orange juice or orange zest
  • Sliced almonds
  • Fresh mint
  • Freshly peeled ginger root
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Chopped apple


Somebody hates you.  Buy this pre- made.  Or show up with cold cuts.

These movies will put you in the Thanksgiving spirit.

SIDE NOTE:  I stole most of these photos from Bon Appetit.  Real photos coming after actual Thanksgiving.


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