Easiest Thanksgiving ever: Give yourself a break with easy and delicious comfort food ideas

Jessica Becker
·5 min read

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All the goodies, none of the stress. (Photo: Getty Images)
All the goodies, none of the stress. (Photo: Getty Images)

For obvious reasons, this is the perfect year to take it easy on yourself when it comes to the holidays—and that starts now, as you plan for Turkey Day. Contrary to popular opinion, Thanksgiving doesn’t have to stress you out. It can be a breeze to put together a delicious, comforting, old-school meal that’s ready in minutes—seriously!

All you need are the right ingredients. (Here’s a tip: Walmart’s new delivery service, Walmart+, makes it easy to get groceries same- or next-day. Sign up for a free trial here.) Grab the products below, and you’ll be poised to whip up the comfort foods of the season in a flash, so you can relax with your people, focus on your gratitude attitude—and toast to visions of a packed house in 2021.

Velveeta Original Loaf, 16-oz Box, $5

The easy, cheesy route to delicious dips and apps. (Photo: Walmart)
The easy, cheesy route to delicious dips and apps. (Photo: Walmart)

Start off right with an irresistible recipe for cheesy spinach and bacon dip, featuring Velveeta. It melts like nobody’s business and is the ideal comfort food with which to launch the day (and, in fact, it has 50 percent less fat than cheddar cheese). With toast rounds or crackers, this dip is an easy hit. And if you’re a fan, grab an extra box—only $5 at Walmart—so you can top off potatoes, green vegetables and more on the “main table.”

Kraft Stove Top Savory Herbs Stuffing Mix, 6-oz Box, $2

Tastes like you've been slow-cooking since dawn. (Photo: Walmart)
Tastes like you've been slow-cooking since dawn. (Photo: Walmart)

What do folks look forward to most? The stuffing. And it’s the easiest dish of the day, with Stove Top. In just five minutes you’ll have a fluffy batch of stuffing made with real herbs and spices—and an aroma that says comfort and love. Just add water and a pat of butter and voila! The perfect side to compliment your turkey, or a great mix for inspired appetizers, like spinach stuffed mushrooms. At $2 a box, it makes a great pantry staple. Want to make sure there’s plenty of leftovers? For only $1 more, get a twin pack.

Kraft Shake 'N Bake Extra Crispy Seasoned Coating Mix, 5-oz Box, $3

What's shaking? Wings and thighs and legs. (Photo: Walmart)
What's shaking? Wings and thighs and legs. (Photo: Walmart)

With gatherings restricted in size this year, a whole turkey may be too much. Why not rethink things? Turkey cutlets, legs, and wings, coated with an extra-crispy savory crust, take a lot less time to cook than a traditional bird. Plus, you’re guaranteed moist, delicious meat. Baked in the oven, your main course will have all the crispy crunch you want without the mess of frying. For $3 you get two pouches. If you don’t use both on Turkey Day, ring in December with this easy Shake ’N Bake coconut curry recipe the following week.

Heinz HomeStyle Roasted Turkey Gravy, 12-oz Jar, $2

Serve in your pretty gravy boat, and tell them it's homemade. (Photo: Walmart)
Serve in your pretty gravy boat, and tell them it's homemade. (Photo: Walmart)

Making the perfect gravy may be the most difficult move in that tensely timed Thanksgiving dance. It’s the last thing to handle—you can’t do it till the Turkey is done—and you’re at the mercy of those pan drippings. If you don’t have enough, you’re stressing out in the kitchen with a hungry mob clamoring for food. Not this year, with Heinz Homestyle Roasted Turkey Gravy in your corner. You can have creamy gravy made from real turkey broth in minutes. Just heat it up, and you’re there. Timed perfectly for the premiere of the turkey, whether you go with pieces or a whole bird. And even if you love making your own gravy, for less than $2 a jar, it pays to have backup—just in case you want to blend-and-extend.

Athenos Feta Cheese Crumbles, Traditional Feta Cheese, 6-oz Tub, $4

Steam veggies, add crumbled feta, and you're suddenly fancy. (Photo: Walmart)
Steam veggies, add crumbled feta, and you're suddenly fancy. (Photo: Walmart)

Something green on the table is always welcome—a salad, green beans, broccoli—and helps everyone pace themselves and avoid carb overload. Break with tradition to give those veggies some special treatment (and a shot at competing with the much-more-popular mashed potatoes), with some Athenos Feta Cheese Crumbles on top. They’re also great for jazzing up mixed greens—throw in cherry tomatoes and olives, and you’ve got a great salad with no chopping. Only $4 for a 6-ounce tub, these flavorful crumbles also make for great appetizers, like these spinach phyllo roll ups, which you can prepare ahead of time.

Ore-Ida Golden Fries French Fried Potatoes 32-oz Bag, $3

Taters gonna tate, but no haters here. (Photo: Walmart)
Taters gonna tate, but no haters here. (Photo: Walmart)

Mashed potatoes are an effort—the peeling, the chopping, the boiling, the mashing. Consider keeping it simple for 2020, with some crispy—and beloved—Ore-Ida Fries instead. Just open the bag and bake. These real russet potatoes make a great gluten-free side dish to accompany your traditional turkey—or nontraditional turkey too (crispy turkey tenders, turkey pot pie, a turkey hero—there are no rules this year!). Top with Heinz Turkey Gravy and Athenos Feta Cheese Crumbles and you have a fancy poutine to dress up your plate. At $3 a bag, these tasty taters are a winner.

Jell-O Chocolate Instant Pudding Mix, 5.9-oz Box, $1

The greatest pie filling of all time. (Photo: Walmart)
The greatest pie filling of all time. (Photo: Walmart)

Look, we know there are times when it’s gratifying to take the long route to dessert. And we bow to you home bakers. But this is the Year of Ease. And there’s nothing easier—or frankly, more delicious—than a chocolate pudding pie made with instant Jell-O chocolate pudding mix. For about $1 a pack, and quicker than you can say “refill my wine glass, dear,” you can have dessert ready and chilling. Instant jello pudding—made with real cocoa—takes just five minutes from packet to creamy goodness. Pour it into your favorite pie crust, pop in the fridge, and you’re done. Set it and forget it. Make it in advance, then top with whipped cream at the table. You’ll be the pie-d piper—they’ll all come running.

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