How great to be a master chef with all of the time, space, tools and knowledge to put together the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. Now back to reality.

Here’s some Thanksgiving hacks to make things easier thanks to Yahoo readers that will save you from stressing the dressing and other things, but won’t give the impression that you’re cutting corners.


The tricks include putting a fresh spin on canned or boxed ingredients, choosing recipes that don’t require an oven, and judiciously outsourcing entire dishes. A dollop of homemade whipped cream mixed with caramel sauce truly goes a long way on a store-bought pie.


  1. Jazz up canned cranberry sauce

Breathe life into canned cranberry sauce with orange juice and spices, or fold it into a simple batter to make a tasty cranberry loaf. If all else fails, shape the jiggly stuff into cute forms with cookie cutters.


  1. Baked Brie is the easiest appetizer of all time

Pick up a wheel of Brie from the grocery store, top it with almonds and honey, and pop it in the oven for a few minutes. The result? A bubbly, sweet, and savory treat that’s so easy to make, it’s criminal. Here’s a recipe.


  1. A simple dessert for vegan guests

“Canned coconut cream + maple syrup + vanilla bean = vegan vanilla mousse for any diet-restricted guests, Just whip them up in a blender or counter mixer.”


  1. Upgrade a store-bought pie

Easy toppings like freshly whipped cream or cute pastry cutouts are a great way to impress guests at dessert time without actually having to bake a pie. Here’s how to make them. And if that’s not your style, “Throw a store-bought pie in the blender with almond milk for a new twist on dessert,”


  1. All hail store-bought graham cracker crust

Premade graham cracker crust for pumpkin pie is awesome and tastes the same as making your own.


  1. Don’t knock canned crescent rolls

You can do so many things with them! But even on their own, baked crescent rolls are a crowd pleaser.


  1. Skip the drippings when making gravy

More stressful than cooking the turkey itself is the gravy. You wait for hours for the bird to roast, and then when it’s go time, you have to struggle with hot turkey drippings and fuss with flour. Instead, make your gravy before the bird hits the oven. Here’s a drippings-free gravy recipe.


  1. Doctor boxed stuffing with fresh ingredients

Add sautéed mushrooms and sautéed crumbled sweet Italian turkey sausage to Stove Top Stuffing. Stuff it in the bird so it soaks up its juices. Delicious and easy!


  1. The Crock-Pot is your friend

Make mashed potatoes a day ahead and then, a few hours before Thanksgiving dinner, dump them into a Crock-Pot with two sticks of butter to reheat. You can also make mashed taters in the Crock-Pot from start to finish.


  1. Go the no-bake route

Oven space is precious on Thanksgiving Day, so choosing dishes that don’t require cooking will keep you sane and help get dinner on the table in a timely fashion. Looking for recipes? Try no-bake pumpkin cheesecake bars, a no-bake layered chocolate cakeno-bake Oreo tart, or no-bake pumpkin chiffon pie.


  1. Give yourself a head start

A little planning goes a long way. From make-ahead gratins to pie crusts whipped up way in advance. Roast a whole mess of root vegetables up to a week in advance, but not quite until they’re done. Then just stick ’em in the oven for about 20 minutes before they’re ready to serve. They’ll be perfect!


  1. On the subject of planning, set the Thanksgiving table the night before

Don’t save this task for the last minute. Setting the table the day before not only gives you more time to perfect your Thanksgiving feast — it also means you won’t be scrambling to arrange place settings last-minute before guests arrive.


Simple tips that produce great results to make Thanksgiving so much easier and BETTER!

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