A few weeks ago, I wrote a column suggesting some alternative ideas for Thanksgiving, both places to dine out and restaurants that were offering entire meals to go. If you prefer not to cook, there’s another option; prepared holiday meals from grocery stores. Most chains now offer entire Thanksgiving meals which can be picked up fully-cooked and merely heated up before serving. Here’s a run-down on what’s available locally. Most require little more than 24-hours-notice. If you snoozed and didn’t order in time for Thanksgiving, they’re also available for Christmas or New Year’s Day. The prices indicated are for packages that serve 6-8, unless otherwise noted.
The ubiquitous chain’s turkey dinners start at $44.99. That basic package includes; a 10 to 12 lb. fully cooked Butterball turkey, 2½ lbs. each of mashed potatoes and holiday dressing, a quart of gravy, a pint of Publix cranberry orange relish and 28 oz. of Publix marshmallow delight. Larger packages are available containing more products and greater quantities.
While it’s priced a bit higher than other chains, Whole Foods’ package offers slightly larger portions. In addition to a classic 10 lb. roasted turkey, the meal also includes; four lbs. each of mashed potatoes and herb stuffing, three pints of gravy and two lbs. each of cranberry orange sauce and green beans with crispy onions, all for $119.99.
The upscale chain’s traditional dinner for eight includes; a 10-12 lb. fully cooked turkey, three lbs. of Yukon gold whipped potatoes, three lbs. herb stuffing, 30 oz. of gravy, a pint of cranberry relish with walnuts and a dozen yeast rolls for $79.99. It also has a smaller roast turkey breast dinner for smaller groups (serves 3-5) for $49.99.
The chain recently opened a store on Oakland Park Blvd. and offers a package for $69.99 which includes turkey, mashed potatoes, herb stuffing, green beans almandine, cranberry relish, gravy and a dozen potato rolls.
For its classic dinner, the southern chain includes a 10-12 lb. Butterball turkey, two lbs. of cornbread dressing, one pint of giblet gravy and dinner rolls and a choice of an 8-inch pumpkin or apple pie with caramel drizzle. No pesky vegetables here, but you can order additional side dishes a la carte or for an additional $5 you can order a turkey breast or the same size turkey and get your choice of two additional sides.
If you’d prefer a little variety in your meal, the prepared-food chain offers a complete meal to go for $119.99, which serve 10-12 and includes both a roast turkey breast and one half of a boneless honey-glazed ham. Side dishes include vegetable stuffing, cranberry walnut relish, spinach-artichoke dip and crackers, cinnamon apples, mashed potatoes, gravy, dinner rolls and apple and pumpkin pies. If going out to pick up the meal is too much bother, they will ship it to you frozen, all you have to do is thaw and re-heat.