You already know we’ve got stellar Thanksgiving recipes on Bon Appétit, from classic green bean casserole, to pillowy dinner rolls, to foolproof cranberry sauce. They’ve been meticulously tested and have graced innumerable Thanksgiving tables—including our own—year after year.
But here’s the not-so-secret secret: There’s absolutely zero shame in skipping the recipe and reaching for pre-made instead. Just as your bedroom might have a beloved found-on-the-curb nightstand next to equally beloved splurge-of-the-year linen sheets, it’s ok to mix and match.
Consider this your permission to relieve at least a little of the pressure that comes with hosting one of the most hyped meals of the year. It doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing marathon.
If boxed stuffing makes for more time catching the parade on TV with your family, or premade pie crust means you can make the morning Turkey Trot with your neighbors, or that carton of cornbread mix lets you channel all your energy into a showstopping Spatchcock Turkey With Anise and Orange, it’s a no brainer: The store-bought swap is worth it.
And remember, using a shortcut doesn’t mean lowering your standards. That’s why we put popular brands to the test—as we do every month—to make sure only the best of the bunch makes it to your Thanksgiving table. Here are our BA-staff-approved recommendations for the shortcuts that can hold their own.