Every November, leaves burst into bright explosions of red and orange, the balmy fall air turns crisp, and collegiettes begin to don their knit hats, scarves and gloves. All of these seasonal signs lead to one of the greatest holidays of the year: Thanksgiving. Some students rush home eagerly to spend the holiday with their families while others choose to stay on campus and celebrate with their friends. No matter where you will be on November 22 this year, thanks will be given and a feast is sure to be had.
So whether you stay at school or are spending the holiday at home, why not whip up some seasonal fare? We did some recipe research and found quick and easy Thanksgiving recipes. While some require an oven, others are no-bake—a great option if you will be staying in the dorm. Put on your apron, collect those ingredients, and start cooking!
Appetizer: Creamy Pumpkin Pie Dip (Courtesy of Kitchen Simplicity)
Nothing screams Thanksgiving like good ole pumpkin-flavored treats. This appetizer dip is sure to be the crowd pleaser at any Thanksgiving celebration. It doesn’t require any baking and can easily be stored in the refrigerator until it is ready to be served. What might you dip in this delectable treat? Anything from graham crackers, ginger snaps, and cinnamon cookies to fresh apple and pear slices will do. Stacy’s Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips might be fun to try, too!
- 1 package (8 oz.) spreadable cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- ¾ cup confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup sour cream
Cream together cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice until smooth. Stir in cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, and sour cream. Refrigerate at least two hours before serving.
Drink: The Poinsettia (Courtesy of The Kitchn)
This cocktail is easy to make, tastes delicious, and, most importantly, is seasonally festive! The sparkling wine-based cocktail has light touches of cranberry and orange, two great fall flavors. If you want to make a non-alcoholic version, all you have to do is swap out the sparkling wine for ginger ale and sub in orange juice for the liqueur. It’s as simple as that!
- 2 ounces cranberry juice
- 4 ounces champagne, prosecco, cava, or other dry, sparkling white wine
- ½ ounce orange liqueur
- Cranberry and orange peel for optional garnish
Pour cranberry juice into a champagne flute and top with sparkling wine. Then top with a final layer of orange liqueur. Garnish with an optional twist of orange peel and a single fresh cranberry.
Side Dish: Parmesan Crescent Rolls (Courtesy of Pillsbury)
Crescent rolls might just be one of the most delicious Pillsbury products out there, so why not share the yummy rolls with family and friends? Adding Parmesan cheese gives the rolls a little extra kick that will have your guests oohing and ahhing over your genius culinary creation. And the best part is that you only need three ingredients and an oven!
- 1 can Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
Heat oven (or microwave oven) to 375°F. Separate dough into eight triangles. Sprinkle each triangle with 1 teaspoon parmesan cheese. Roll up each triangle, starting at the shortest side of the triangle and rolling to the opposite point.
Place the rolls point side down on an ungreased cookie sheet. Brush the top of each roll with beaten egg and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.
Bake the rolls for 10-12 minutes, or until they look golden brown on top. Serve warm.
Side Dish: Cranberry Sauce (Courtesy of Martha Stewart)
No Thanksgiving is complete without a side of sweetly tart cranberry sauce. The deep burgundy of the fruit adds a touch of fall festivity to the table and the fragrant aroma will bring a smile to everyone’s face. This recipe only requires two ingredients, and the best part is that it can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to three days before serving.
- 1 bag (12 ounces) frozen cranberries
- 1 jar (12 ounces) red currant jelly
In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries and the jelly. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have burst and the liquid has reduced to syrup (about 20 to 30 minutes). And don’t worry if it’s chunky—cranberry sauce isn’t supposed to be complete liquid! Transfer to a serving dish, let cool, and enjoy.