By KELLY MCCARTHY, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — Shopping, prepping and cooking all the ingredients needed to make Thanksgiving dinner can already feel like a daunting undertaking, and now even more so amid the pandemic.
This year, more companies, grocery stores and even restaurants have created meal kits and bundles to make the holiday more convenient for gatherings of all sizes.
Mailed meal kit companies like Blue Apron, HelloFresh and Home Chef can be delivered right to your doorstep with pre-measured and prepared turkey day essentials with easy-to-follow cooking instructions.
Meal kit delivery options
Blue Apron’s first Thanksgiving feast features a chef-designed Southern-style menu with options for parties up to eight people for $135, complete with a step-by-step guide on how to organize, prepare, and cook the meal.
“Thanksgiving is going to be different for many families this year, and we’re happy to join them in the kitchen by creating a one-stop shop to make their entire holiday feast a little easier,” John Adler, vice president of culinary at Blue Apron said in a statement. “Building upon positive reactions to our dessert offering last year, we wanted to give our home cooks more Thanksgiving options, especially as some people may find themselves playing different roles, either as a first-time host or just cooking for themselves.”
Customers can choose a complete Thanksgiving feast that includes a boneless, easy-to-carve turkey breast with side dishes and dessert or add Thanksgiving recipes to their signature menu.
HelloFresh, which also debuted its first limited-time Thanksgiving party-in-a-box this year, comes complete with a whole turkey, easy-to-follow recipes and ingredients to make holiday classics.
Dishes include: roasted turkey with a garlic herb butter and pan gravy; cranberry sauce with orange, ginger and cinnamon; garlic mashed potatoes with fried sage; cranberry and chicken sausage stuffing; green beans with shallots and crispy topping; and an apple ginger crisp with cinnamon crumble.
Claudia Sidoti, head chef and head recipe developer at HelloFresh said that their menu creates a “foolproof” action plan for success in the kitchen.
“We know Thanksgiving can be one of the most important gatherings of the year, but also the most stressful, and we want to help home cooks across the country conquer it with confidence,” she said in a statement.
Pricing starts at $14.90 per serving, plus shipping, and the box serves eight to 10 people.
Home Chef offers an a la carte option with a turkey that serves six and costs $44.98, just over $7 per person. It can be ordered alone or combined with the sides and dessert to create a full Thanksgiving feast.
Even other online purveyors have tapped into the poultry game, like Omaha Steaks, which created a build-your-own family Thanksgiving that lets customers choose their protein, a potato option, veggies, another classic side and desserts.
Grocery stores with precooked meals
Local supermarkets and larger chains like Whole Foods are offering fully precooked meals this year too.
T-minus 27 days 'til Thanksgiving. Get excited! https://t.co/odGYVmcpi5
— Whole Foods Market (@WholeFoods) October 30, 2020
The Austin-based grocery store chain offers a meal for four people that costs $70 and includes turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, cornbread and sausage stuffing.
Whole Foods lets customers reserve their Thanksgiving dinner online for easy in-store pickup and in some cases for Amazon Prime members, delivery. All orders must be placed 48 hours before the intended pickup time.
Plus, Whole Foods has another added element to eliminate stress for first time cooks taking on the centerpiece dish with a “Turkey Protection Plan” for shoppers who purchase their bird between Nov. 11-22.
“If your Thanksgiving turkey turns out overcooked, undercooked, burnt, dry or just doesn’t end up cooking like you thought it would, don’t worry,” the company said in a statement. “Whole Foods Market and Progressive have you covered this year, offering a $35 Whole Foods Market gift card in case you commit a turkey cooking fail.”
Kroger also offers order ahead meal bundles this Thanksgiving that range from $55 to $80 and can feed up to eight people.
Wegmans has various options including a turkey day meal with sides to feed 10 people that costs $130.
Costco also offered an all-inclusive feast for eight people this year that costs just $90. The fully prepared meal that cooks from frozen includes turkey breast, mashed potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, green beans, sweet corn, biscuits, pumpkin pie, apple pie and ice cream.
Thanksgiving feasts from restaurants
For families that prefer to dine out but need to shuffle holiday plans due to the pandemic, many restaurants around the country are offering their dining experiences as a complete family dinner for takeout and to-go orders.
Whether it’s picking up the full feast or just sides and desserts, check out options from local restaurants looking to serve their best holiday fare, like New York City chef Andrew Carmellini who curated a to-go option for $85 per person. The Dutch Thanksgiving meal includes a roast turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, Brussels sprouts, stuffing, squash, cranberry-orange chutney and apple pie with cinnamon ice cream.
Plus, more restaurant quality meals are available from afar through Goldbelly with a wide range of nationwide delivery options for Thanksgiving fare from some of the top restaurants around the U.S. like dinner for four from famed New Orleans hotspot Commander’s Palace.
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