20 Last-Minute Thanksgiving Recipes | Eat This Not That



It happens to the best of us. You had everything planned out for a lavish Thanksgiving dinner, sparing no time-consuming dish from the menu. But life got in the way—and now it’s almost go-time, and you don’t have a full Thanksgiving table ready to go. Don’t worry: These last-minute Thanksgiving recipes will save the day.


Start your meal off right with this sangria recipe. You don’t have to head to a chain restaurant to get a tasty, berry-flavored drink—and your Thanksgiving guests will be impressed.

Get our recipe for Copycat Carrabba’s Blackberry Sangria. 

This Mexican classic is perfect anytime, including Thanksgiving. Start the meal off right by serving these to your guests.

Get our recipe for a Classic Margarita. 

If your dinner guest list includes children or guests who aren’t drinking, make them feel at home with this simple mocktail recipe, courtesy of The Purple Pig in Chicago. All you have to do is stir a few ingredients together, add some mint leaves, and voila—you’ve got a beautiful drink on your hands.

Get the recipe for a Carrot Mocktail. 

Appetizers and Snacks

Trail mix isn’t a traditional Thanksgiving food. But you can make it one! This snack will give your Thanksgiving guests a bit of fiber and protein to fill them up until the main event. And it couldn’t be easier to put together.

Get our recipe for Trail Mix Popcorn. 

Get your Thanksgiving guests in the mood for food with this savory dip recipe. The best part is that it all cooks in one skillet, including the bacon, so there’s minimal cleanup.

Get our recipe for Creamy Spinach-Bacon Dip. 

Don’t toss out those pumpkin seeds! They make a nutritious snack or appetizer for the rest of the pumpkin-filled meal.

Get our recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. 

Sure, cheese crisps are delicious atop a salad—but they’re great on their own, too. Liven up your cheese board with these crunchy bites for an appetizer that’s sure to wow everyone.

Get our recipe for Pecorino-Romano Crisps. 

What are chips without dip? Whether you’re dunking sliced veggies or tortilla chips, you can’t go wrong with this guacamole recipe.

Get our recipe for the Best-Ever Guacamole. 

What’s guacamole without its partner in crime? This pico de gallo recipe is so easy to put together, and it’s vegan-friendly, too.

Get our recipe for Classic Pico de Gallo. 

With all of the pie and cookies that might be on your dessert table, some fresh fruit is the perfect Thanksgiving appetizer. Give your oven a break and try these grilled apricots for a tasty, fresh bite.

Get our recipe for Grilled Apricots. 

Side Dishes

Thanks to pre-cooked brown rice, these muffin tin cups are pretty easy to make. And they’re a filling side dish (or appetizer!) to go alongside the rest of your meal. Your guests will be asking you for the recipe, and you don’t even have to tell them the rice was pre-cooked.

Get our recipe for Fried Rice Cups. 

Another muffin tin recipe, these mac and cheese cups take baked macaroni to a new level. Perfectly portioned, these are an easy, crowd-pleasing side to add to your dinner table.

Get our recipe for Crispy Crumb-Topped Mac and Cheese Cups. 

Salads are an easy way to add more dishes to the dinner table without sweating over the stove all day. (Plus, your guests will probably appreciate the lighter option.) This pasta salad combines fresh greens with seasonal butternut squash for a satiating, flavorful side dish.

Get our recipe for Butternut Squash Pasta Salad. 

Mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving classic. But if you want to switch things up this year, why not try this pumpkin mashup instead? With Russet potatoes and some canned pumpkin, it’s the best of both worlds (and another great way to use up the rest of that canned pumpkin).

Get our recipe for Pumpkin-Potato Mash. 

Add some more fresh veggies to your table with this easy recipe. If you have tomatoes and fresh cheese in your kitchen, you likely have the rest of the ingredients on hand and can whip this dish up to serve with your turkey.

Get our recipe for Stuffed Tomatoes. 


So, you bought a can of pumpkin, but you forgot to grab a pre-made pie crust. Or, you had every intention of rolling out the dough, but now it’s Thanksgiving morning and you have other things going on. Never fear! This pumpkin bread pudding is just as delicious as a pie, and there’s no crust required.

Get our recipe for Pumpkin Bread Pudding. 

Forgot to buy the ingredients for a fall-themed dessert? These chocolate chip cookies are a crowd-pleaser, and you probably have all of the ingredients you need to make them. Plus, they only have to bake for 10 to 12 minutes, so you can focus on the rest of your Thanksgiving spread.

Get our recipe for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. 

You’ll need an hour to freeze this treat, plus another 20 minutes in the refrigerator. But if you’re cooking most of the other Thanksgiving dishes in the oven, this is a great way to make a homemade dessert that doesn’t require baking.

Get our recipe for Dark Chocolate-Dipped Bananas. 

RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

Looking to add a lighter option to the holiday dessert table? These cookies are light and crispy (and the perfect accompaniment to a slice of pie, if you’re heading back for seconds). With just six ingredients, these cookies aren’t too difficult to put together—and your guests will be super impressed.

Get our recipe for Coffee and Chocolate Meringue Cookies. 

Have some leftover canned pumpkin from your pie-making? Put it to good use in these perfectly portioned brownie bites.

Get our recipe for Fudgy Pumpkin Brownie Bites. 

Whatever you choose to serve with your Thanksgiving dinner, these dishes will make things a little easier (and more delicious).

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