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Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving is a special time that allows family members to gather around and catch up on the things in life while enjoying a home cooked meal. Having the same recipes year after year, however, can become bland and no one likes seeing the generic mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce on the table one too many times. So how can we vamp up the recipe ideas to leave the family members in awe? Try these five recipes that are trendy enough to put on your Facebook or Instagram post. These recipes vary from appetizers, main courses, and desserts so feel free to skim over all of them and try it out on Thanksgiving day!


Recipe 1: Turkey Berries

Recipe 1 is a fan favorite to anyone who has been on Tik Tok. This recipe has been made so many times on Tik Tok that I just had to give it a try. It’s cute and pretty easy to make and will definitely be the perfect dish for this holiday. All you need for this recipe is pretzel sticks, mini marshmallows, chocolate (milk or dark depending on which one you like more), and strawberries.


  • Wash strawberries and remove the leaves. 

  • Cut two mini marshmallows diagonally (we’ll be using these for the turkey legs).

  • Split a pretzel stick in quarters. 

  • Melt the chocolate. 

  • Dip the end of the pretzel stick with chocolate and then insert the mini marshmallow on top of it (do that with the other three pretzel sticks & marshmallows).

  • Push the pretzel with the marshmallow into the strawberry to replicate a turkey.

  • Dip the whole strawberry into the melted chocolate and let the excess drip.

  • Place it on a plate and let the chocolate set.


Recipe 2: Crab Rangoon

Recipe 2 is for anyone that likes seafood, but also likes a little crunch in their food. Fried food isn’t exactly healthy, but it doesn’t hurt to treat yourself once in a while, especially during Thanksgiving. Instead of frying these crab rangoons in a pot of oil, I’ll be giving you a step by step process on how to air fry these delicious appetizers. You can pair this dish with sweet and sour sauce or just eat it as it is. What you’ll need is an air fryer, food processor, tablespoon, cooking spray, wonton wrappers, cream cheese, imitation crab, green onion, worcestershire sauce, water, and sweet and sour sauce (optional).


  • Take 2 ounces of imitation crab and place it into the food processor and break it until the crab is in pieces. 

  • Add 2 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature, 1 and ½ tablespoons of chopped green onions, and  ½ tablespoons of worcestershire sauce.

  • Mix all of the ingredients together.

  • Lay out 16 wonton wrappers and place 1-1 and ½ teaspoon of the crab filling into the wonton wrapper. 

  • Dab some water near the filling and start folding the crab rangoon into a star shape.

  • Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees fahrenheit for about 10 minutes.

  • Spray the basket with cooking spray and place 8 crab rangoons into the basket and spray the top of the rangoons once again.

  • Set the air fryer to 300 degrees fahrenheit and timer to 10 minutes.

  • Once the air fryer hits the 5 minute mark, pull the basket out and lay the crab rangoons on their side so that they can cook evenly.

  • Remove the crab rangoons from the basket after 10 minutes have passed and dip the crab rangoons into sweet and sour sauce or eat it as it is.


Recipe 3: Five Cheese Macaroni and Cheese 

Mac and cheese is usually seen on the dinner table during Thanksgiving, but it’s usually from boxed macaroni and cheese. Here’s an alternative way of making scrumptious macaroni and cheese with a crunchy cheese crust. All you need for this recipe is elbow macaroni, sharp cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, monterey jack cheese, grated parmesan cheese, pecorino romano cheese, salted butter, whole milk, salt, dried basil, paprika, and olive oil. 


  • Grate all of the cheeses listed above (there should be at least one pound of each cheese), but keep them separated.

  • Boil 1-2 pounds of macaroni and add a pinch of salt as well as a drizzle of olive oil.

  • Drain the macaroni and add ¾ stick of butter as well as 3 cups of whole milk, and mix it until it’s melted.

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit and coat the glass dish with butter.

  • Add a layer of macaroni before each layer of cheese.

  • After all the layers are completed, sprinkle some dried basil and paprika. 

  • Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes or until melted.


Recipe 4: Oreo Turkey 

Recipe 4 is mainly for the kids who play with their food and want to be creative while the parents are cooking the main dishes in the kitchen. Here’s a fun and simple way to make oreos look like turkeys with oreo cookies and candy. All you need for this recipe is oreos, candy corn, brown m&ms, reese’s cups, and frosting. 


  • Place one oreo cookie on a flat surface and pipe a little bit of frosting on the edge of the cookie while putting another oreo cookie standing up.

  • Stick five candy corns into the oreo filling.

  • Cut half of a reese's cup and place it on the center of the first orea sitting on a flat surface.

  • Add a bit of frosting to a brown m and m and stick the m &m on top of the reese's cup.

  • Stick a candy corn with frosting onto the front of the m&m. 

  • Frost some eyes and feet and you’re done!


Recipe 5: Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites 

If you like pumpkin pie and you like cheesecake, you’ll definitely like recipe 5. Recipe 5 doesn’t require baking so it can be made in minutes and it’ll taste like you got it fresh out of a bakery. Here’s what you need for the recipe: graham crackers, cupcake liners, butter, cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, teaspoons/tablespoons, sugar, pumpkin spice, salt, pumpkin puree, cups, cooking spray, food processor, and whipped cream.

Steps for crust: 

  • Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners and spray them with cooking spray.

  • Place 15 sheets of graham crackers into the food processor and start blending them until they have a sand-like consistency. 

  • Add 7-8 teaspoons of melted butter and mix well.

  • Add a spoon full of the crust mixture into the cupcake liners and press it firmly to the bottom with a spoon.

Steps for filling:

  • Mix 2-8 ounces of whipped cream cheese, 1 cup of pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and ½ cup of sweetened condensed milk, ½ teaspoon of salt, 2-4 tablespoons of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of pumpkin spice.

  • Place the filling into a piping bag and pipe it onto the crust.

  • Cover the mini pumpkin cheesecakes with plastic wrap and freeze it overnight.

  • You can eat these pumpkin cheesecakes once they thaw for about 5-15 minutes and add some whipped cream on top before eating .


At the end of the day, the most important thing about Thanksgiving is spending time with family you haven’t seen in a while. If you don’t want to try these recipes and prefer to stick with your family’s recipes, that’s completely fine. These recipes are just some options to consider if you want to try something new. If you want to try any of these, put on an apron and let's get cooking on this joyous holiday!

Hi! My name is Joyce and I'm a Freshman advertising major at Temple University I will be writing for the Arts and Entertainment section for the 2020-2021 school year :)
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