The best ready-made foods for Thanksgiving to buy at the grocery store


“Purchased in stores is good. Those famous passive-aggressive words, repeated over and over by Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten, have been a meme since the meme was in its infancy. But you know what? After the few years of tearing your hair and crying, buying in-store is more than okay. Purchased in store is a godsend.

Thanksgiving is traditionally a home cooked meal, but honestly none of us are above ordering a some objects from the outside. As food inflation hits its highest levels since the 1970s and restaurants increase their prices as a result, many tired and struggling families are turning to more affordable solutions. With more Americans cooking at home – 91% of consumers, according to a recent GlobalData survey released in September – grocery stores are amplifying it even more with their reheat and eat meals and seasonal and baked goods.

We’re not just talking about Whole Foods and upscale neighborhood markets. The “regular” channels intensified it a lot, challenging business leaders to get creative or nostalgic. For example, Amy Fisher, PR manager for Home Chef, a Kroger offering, reveals, “Our casserole of green beans is actually a riff on one of our chef’s grandmother’s classic recipes! ”

Treats like these are what make the offerings in the chilled cases much tastier than in the olden days. So much so that even culinary writers, chefs and amazing hosts gratefully view the prepared foods from the grocery store to facilitate this year’s celebration.

Here are some of the most popular and recommended hacks to simplify your Thanksgiving this year, now that buying in-store is. manner more than just “good”.

Buy your bread; don’t cook it

Cooking was great as a locking activity, but the time consuming nature that made it a godsend is exactly why Thanksgiving is not the time to show off this new skill. There’s a lot of other prep work to be done, and pampering the dough is as inefficient as giving it the much-needed oven space. Fortunately, supermarket bakeries have taken the craft route in recent years and experienced hosts like Michelle Guacci can count on their quality.

“We tend to do everything from scratch, but I get my bread from ShopRite in Morris, New Jersey,” she reveals. “They are of very high quality and cooked daily. They make a delicious Italian round semolina bread that has a traditional homemade crispy crust with an airy crumb, while remaining moist. They also have a really awesome artisan raisin nut bread that you can pass off as homemade!

Alexandre Spatari via Getty Images

Save time for Thanksgiving and buy bread from your grocery store’s bakery.

Home cook Kerry Piraino switches to the big box for her bread side namely BJ’s Wellsley Farms Mini Cornbread Buns. “I love this slightly tacky top! She said, and her guests too.

Ariel knutson, Associate Editorial Director for Dotdash’s Food & Drink vertical, opts for a good, even more neutral solution. “I go for Martin’s Potato Rolls,” she says, referring to the chewy and smooth Pennsylvania favorite that has catapulted national attention as the Shake Shack Bun. They’re also available in dinner and slider sizes, and “you can find them in a number of grocery stores across the country or online.”

Don’t waste your energy on appetizers made from scratch

With hours between the big bird’s first and last watering, guests are bound to be hungry while you get ready. “Aperitifs are an important part of a celebration, in my opinion”, shares popular food and lifestyle writer Lia Picard, “but I also don’t have time to make them from scratch.” Costco has an incredible selection, with an entire wall dedicated to them, but Picard prefers to head to the frozen food section of Trader Joe’s for macaroni and cheese bites, spanakopita and camembert cheese bites, and phyllo sauce with cranberries.

Knutson confesses that when she feels rushed or stressed, she also rushes for Trader Joe’s to make a killer appetizer spread, picking up a caramelized onion dip, unexpected cheddar cheese, and rosemary Marcona almonds.

Much to the crowd pleasures, Costco has food and cultural writer Meghan De Maria covered. “I love their shrimp cocktail and they also have King Cheese Spirella Minis and many assortments of meats and cheeses!” She adds.

Side dishes worth buying

For some, the sides are more important than the main – and therefore, perhaps too important not to be left to the pros? Prepared sweet potatoes are a popular dish in supermarkets, especially Kroger’s Home Chef’s Sweet Potato Soufflé, which Fisher describes as “fresh whipped sweet potatoes mixed with the perfect amount of butter, then topped with a crisp and crisp topping. sweet ”.

Home cook and travel expert Heather Hendrix heads to the Fresh Market for her chunky holiday sweet potatoes. “There’s a surprise explosion of dried cranberries” that she loves. This healthy market’s competitor, Sprouts Farmers Market, meanwhile, offers a vegan casserole of sweet potatoes that is flying off the refrigerated shelves.

Knutson, however, opts for a less traditional preparation of the beans. It’s not her favorite ingredient to make, so her pick is Whole Foods Hot Bass. “I’m looking for something crunchy and citrusy rather than mushy,” she says.

“I’m not above taking frozen veggies and spicing them up with fresh seasonings,” Picard admits. “I love visiting the vegetarian section of Trader Joe’s to see what seasonal kits they have over the holidays.”

Head to the hot bar for some cooked green beans and other simple items you hate making from scratch.
Head to the hot bar for some cooked green beans and other simple items you hate making from scratch.

Former food blogger Lauren Ruth also visits this store for her salad class. “The salad bags are really good, and I regularly use the kale and broccoli salad for parties, potlucks and vacations,” she discloses. “The ease / flavor ratio is excellent. I toss the coleslaw with the dressing the night before to allow the kale to soften, then the other ingredients from the package just before serving. It takes five minutes or less and feels like an upgrade and is extremely versatile.

The chef-owner of the Underground Dining Club, María Mercedes Grubb nods: “It’s so good!” But his most recent side dish hack is from Costco. “Last year I had their mashed potatoes. Warming them up, I whipped them with good butter and cream for that mashed apples atmosphere, ”she adds.

Another cult favorite is Publix’s Orange Cranberry Relish. “I love making it at home, but in a pinch, for a group meal, I’m going to have a pot,” says Grubb. It’s a ringtone to start from scratch, and Publix’s communications director, Maria Brous, told us why.

“The Cranberry Orange Relish was developed by our own chefs and is made at our Deli Kitchen in Lakeland, Florida. We wanted to revisit the traditional cranberry sauce, and what could be better than giving it a Florida touch with a hint of citrus? Said Brous. This sauce is the key to the success of Publix’s famous Cranberry Turkey Holiday Sub, which is a customer favorite in demand this June. “We dare not change that! She laughs.

And when it comes to the all-important stuffing, lifestyle writer Meg St. Esprit says, “Giant Eagle, a large grocery chain around Ohio and Pennsylvania, has the best stuffing. It’s very tasty and perfectly chewy, and rivals my mother’s… which makes excellent jokes.

The best desserts on the market

There is nothing more Thanksgiving than a pie for dessert, but surprise! – the way most food and restaurant experts choose to simplify their preparation is to leave the pies to someone else. VSBook author Nandita Godbole always gets her Pumpkin Pie from Whole Foods. “The pumpkin is scented just right. It’s creamy and slightly sweet, with a perfect hint of nutmeg and cinnamon, the crust is well cooked and excellent at room temperature or even slightly reheated, ”says Godbole. Dressing it up with a dollop of cream, she says, makes it perfect.

De Maria favors efficiency, citing Costco’s pumpkin pie as a “staple” for her table: “It’s baked fresh in the warehouse and can feed the whole family! In contrast, small portions are as essential to Picard as nostalgia, which holds its own from Publix. “It tastes like childhood; it’s the pie I grew up on in Florida, ”she notes.

On the West Coast, home cook James Kareka cheats with Safeway’s crumbles and Dutch apple pies. “Their bakery is above average they taste fresh out of the oven, don’t have an artificial taste like fruit comes from a box and their cakes are super chewy. My favorite cake is their Colossal Carrot Cake, which is super moist. I love drizzling with bourbon and topping it with whipped cream, ”Kareka says.

And he’s not the only one to offer an alternative to this season’s most popular water bottle. Newsday food critic Erica Marcus admit: “I to hate Pumpkin Pie. ”Instead, she goes for Lime Pie and Lemon Bars from Trader Joe’s.“ Both are tangy and clean, not rocky, but better than a lot of what you find and pay for. the full price in bakeries. And personally I think that citrus dessert – since they don’t make opera cake anymore! – is a nice finish to a Thanksgiving meal, “Marcus says.

And we have to agree because like all other pro-approved dishes, if it doesn’t have to be home-made and tastes like it was, it’s a nice finish for a treat. fabulously simplified.



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