Here it comes, Thanksgiving. The American tradition of getting up early, watching the Macy’s Day Parade, making sure you get the best part of the turkey and then falling asleep around seven at night before the three day weekend. It’s also about family, togetherness and reflecting on all of the things we have to be grateful for, and football for some people. And while the holiday is a treasured memory for so many, preparing the feast can cause a little anxiety. The first way to alleviate this is to remember one thing: Everything doesn’t need to be perfect! The togetherness is what makes Thanksgiving special, not the perfectly placed marshmallows on your sweet potatoes. So start by giving yourself a break. If you’re someone who loves spending all day in the kitchen preparing a feast, have at it, there is no shame in that. But if you want to take a little of the pressure off so that you have more time to spend with friends and family start mapping out your recipes now. Here’s a few to get you inspired (I’ve tried them all and standby each!). 

Greenbean Casserole

This is a family favorite, and always my mother’s contribution to dinner when we went potluck at grandma’s. It’s so easy to make, and a total crowd pleaser. This recipe calls for a crockpot that makes it even simpler to make!

  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 2.5 Hours
  • Ingredients:
    • 2 10.75 oz cans cream of mushroom soup
    • A bushel of green beans (washed with stems removed)
    • 1/3 cup milk
    • 6 oz can French Onions
  • Blend all of your ingredients together, except for the French Onions
  • Pour ingredients into your greased crockpot (a standard casserole dish will work as well)
  • Top with a layer of French Onions
  • Place lid on crockpot and cook for 2.5 hours on medium-high
    • If using a conventional oven, cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. 

Sweet Potato Au Gratin

I made this recipe a few years ago for friends and it is requested every single dinner I’ve attended since. It’s a great take on classic sweet potatoes with a bit of a twist that will have your guests asking for the recipe for years to come!

  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 Hour
  • Ingredients:
    • Three large sweet potatoes, uncooked, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch discs
    • Two cups of heavy whipping cream
    • Cup of grated parmesan cheese
    • Two large eggs
    • 1/4 of a teaspoon of nutmeg
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
    • Twelve-inch baking dish
  • Put sweet potatoes in a greased baking dish
  • Hand beat eggs in a medium bowl
  • Add cream, nutmeg, a dash of salt and pepper to egg mixture – do not overwhip
  • Pour mixture over sweet potatoes
  • Cover with cheese
  • Bake in the oven, uncovered, at 400 degrees for one hour until potatoes are soft
  • Add salt and pepper to taste

Cheesy Monkey Bread

Oof, this one I treat myself to a few times a year. It’s so gooey and delicious and easy to make. I got the recipe a few years back and have been a happier woman for it.

  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 Minutes
  • Ingredients:
    • Two cans of refrigerated biscuit
    • Half-stick of butter (melted)
    • Teaspoon of Salt
    • Half cup of shredded cheddar
    • Half cup of parmesan
    • Bundt Pan
  • Cut each biscuit in half and roll into a ball’
  • Add salt to melted butter and dip each biscuit ball into butter mixture
  • Add buttery biscuits into the greased bundt pan
  • Pour shredded cheddar on half of the rolls, and the parmesan on the other half
  • Bake in the oven, uncovered, for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees or until cheese is fully melted and tops of biscuits aree golden brown
  • Place on a cooling rack for a two to three minutes

And with just a few recipes you already have half the meal covered! Focus the rest of your energy on that turkey and spending quality time with your loved ones.