If you’ve ever cooked Thanksgiving dinner before, you probably know how intense it can be.
The prep, the cooking, the cleanup, and more than anything else, all the damn expectations. We get only one Thanksgiving Day a year, after all. And if you’re in charge of the food, you’re in charge of the most important part.
~*~Thankfully~*~ there’s an easier way.
If you’re up for cooking the whole feast by yourself, PROPS TO YOU (and check out how to host for under $100, from scratch, here). But if you’d rather spend the day drinking, inhaling appetizers, and watching the big football game instead of brining a turkey, these meal-delivery solutions are the ultimate key to holiday freedom.
Here are a few delicious options for full meals that require various amounts of cooking and come at a variety of price points.
1. HoneyBaked Ham Company, for people who want the ~most traditional~ version of all the traditional Thanksgiving dishes.
Deadline to order: The last day for ground shipping for your holiday meal to arrive the day prior to Thanksgiving is Nov. 19. If you have a HoneyBaked Ham store near your home, you can also reserve your ham in advance to pick up there on Thanksgiving Day.
What you get: Varies depending on the package you order; most come with a turkey, a few sides, and a pie.
Your turkey will arrive: Frozen, and require 24–48 hours in the
refrigerator to thaw ahead of when you want to serve it.
Other cooking involved: Defrosting the sides and pie in the oven, and heating up your turkey or ham according to the instructions.
Cost: It varies depending on what you get; the meal pictured above is called The Harvester and serves 10 to 12 people for $119.99. You can also order “a la carte,” if you want to customize which turkey, ham, sides, and desserts you get.
Order it here.
2. Omaha Steaks Thanksgiving Dinner, for slightly fancier but still super-traditional meals.
Deadline to order: Nov. 14 for standard shipping.
What you get: A turkey, gravy, two trays each of three sides, and a pie.
Your turkey will arrive: Raw and frozen, in vacuum-sealed packaging that doubles as a spot to roast it. It will take a few days to thaw, then around three hours to roast.
Other cooking involved: The gravy’s made with the drippings from the turkey, so you have to put that together. Some of the sides thaw in the oven, some in the microwave.
Cost: $160 for a meal serving 8 to 10 people.
3. Martha Stewart’s Thanksgiving Box from Marley Spoon, for the cook who wants it easy but not too easy.
Deadline to order: Nov. 16.
What you get: The turkey, three sides, and a pie.
Your turkey will arrive: Raw and frozen, but in plenty of time for you to defrost before roasting. (It arrives a couple of days before the rest of your ingredients do, so everything is as fresh as possible.)
Other cooking involved: More than any other prepared Thanksgiving dinner on this list — this box does require you to cook everything meal-delivery-box style. That is, it brings you the recipes and all of the premeasured ingredients you need, and gives you detailed, illustrated instructions to help you turn all of those ingredients into a meal. So it’s a good compromise between fresh-as-possible from-scratch cooking and a frozen meal that you defrost.
Cost: $179 for a turkey, your choice of three sides, and a pie; $119 for everything except the turkey.
4. Whole Foods Catering Thanksgiving Dinner, for the family who want lots and lots of side options and the ability to pick up at their local Whole Foods.
Deadline to order: Nov. 22.
What you get: Varies depending on your local Whole Foods.
Your turkey will arrive: You’ll actually pick it up at your local store, fully cooked and possibly warm.
Cooking involved: Heating it all up, which will vary depending on what you order. The selection, menu, and price varies by location, so you have to select your local store.
Cost: As mentioned, varies by location. Get a national coupon for $10 off your order here. At the location I grew up near in Texas, a turkey and sides for 6 to 8 people is $119.99. In New York City, a turkey and sides for 8 is $174.99. And that may or may not include dessert, depending on the package your store is doing.
5. Williams-Sonoma Complete Turkey Dinner, for the times when you want your table to look extra impressive.
Deadline to order: 8 p.m. on Nov. 18.
What you get: A turkey, two sides, and a pie.
Your turkey will arrive: Raw, but otherwise prepared or brined. It requires time to defrost in the refrigerator if it arrives frozen, and then about three to four hours to roast.
Other cooking involved: The sides bake in the containers they come in. To make them look ~picture-perfect~ you’d have to scoop them into serving dishes before taking them to the table.
Cost: The medium-size meal (8 to10 people) costs between $229.95 and $269.95, depending on what kind of turkey you choose (they have organic, free-range, pre-brined, and pre-brined organic options).
6. Dean & Deluca Complete Turkey Dinner, for people who want everything on their table to be organic, or for people who want a concierge service to help them figure out what to order.
Deadline to order: The meal isn’t available to order just yet, but you can add it to your wish list. Then the sooner you order it, the better. At the moment, it says it’s next day shipping only.
What you get: A turkey, gravy, five sides, and a pie.
Your turkey will arrive: Frozen. It will take time to thaw depending on the size, and then five to seven hours to roast.
Other cooking involved: Unclear; it’s not listed.
Cost: $279 for a meal that will serve approximately 8 to 10 people.
7. Fresh Direct Thanksgiving Dinner, for the people who are lucky enough to live in one of their delivery zip codes.
Deadline to order: You should reserve yours as soon as possible, otherwise they may run out of stock.
What you get: Varies depending on the package you order.
Your turkey will arrive: Fully cooked; you’ll just need to heat it up in the oven.
Other cooking involved: The heating instructions make it clear that reheating everything still take between 2 hours, 15 minutes (for the smallest meal) and 2 hours, 55 minutes (for the largest) — but there are helpful instructions that will make sure you do things in the right order and right temperatures, and you don’t have to do any actual chopping or seasoning or anything like that.
Cost: The smallest dinner (2 to 4 people) is $89 for a turkey breast, gravy, and four sides; the medium-sized dinner (6 to 8 people) is $159 for a “medium” sized turkey, gravy, and five sides; the large dinner (10 to 12 people) is $219 for a “large” sized turkey, gravy, and five sides. You have to get dessert separately, or ask guests to bring it.
Here are four different turkeys you can order by themselves, and make the sides yourself:
8. Kreuz Market Holiday Whole Smoked Turkey, for the gourmet who wants to focus on making the sides from scratch.
Deadline to order: As soon as possible; they smoke only a few turkeys each year, and once they’re sold out, they’re sold out.
What you get: This is just the turkey, no sides.
Your turkey will arrive: Cold if not frozen, and you have to warm it in the oven for some time to warm it up. If you happen to live near the restaurant (lol), you can pick it up hot.
Cost: $40.95 + $17.99 shipping (if you don’t live within pick-up distance).
9. Greenberg’s Smoked Turkeys, for the person who needs to order a very specific-sized turkey for their party.
Deadline to order: You can order at almost any time, but the size turkey you want may be out of stock if you wait too long.
What you get: One smoked turkey, no sides or dessert.
Your turkey will arrive: Ready to eat; you eat it either chilled (at refrigerator) temperature, or at room temperature, according to their website. If you’re not going to eat it within six to eight days, you should freeze it.
Cost: $33.40–$84.80, depending on the size that you get.
10. Uncle Ray’s Cajun Fried Turkey, for the family that likes it hot (or at least well-seasoned).
Deadline to order: The sooner, the better.
What you get: One fried turkey, no sides or dessert.
Your turkey will arrive: Frozen. It will take for 24 hours to thaw in the fridge, then about an hour in the oven to heat up.
Cost: $99.95 for 8 to 10 people
11. Costco Turducken With Chicken Apple Sausage Stuffing, for the family who just can’t get enough poultry.
Deadline to order: There’s a $15 discount if you order before Nov. 20.
What you get: This is just the turkey-duck-chicken mashup with its stuffing, no sides.
Your turkey will arrive: Frozen. It will need either five days to thaw completely in the fridge or you’ll need a giant tub to do the 24-hour rapid-defrost option. It will take five to seven hours to cook after that, too.
Cost: $114.99 (assuming you order before Nov. 20) and feeds up to 15 people.