Don't Wanna Cook? Get Yourself a Ready-Made Thanksgiving

Ditch the messy kitchen in favor of a pre-made family meal.


You won't find me slaving over a hot stove tomorrow.

In my world, it's family tradition to ditch the 10-course Thanksgiving meal – and all the stress, mess and fighting that surrounds it – in favor of reservations at a nearby buffet.

Hate to cook? (Or, just hate to cook for all 25 members of your family?) Join me.

Sonoma Market: For $99.99, pick up 's 'Harvest Supreme Lovash,' which serves 8 - 10, and includes turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, a dozen dinner rolls, choice of veggie side and pie. You call also pick up a pre-made turkey, which comes with stuffing and cranberry sauce for $17.99.

Safeway: Unfortunately, ’s sold out of their family dinners, but you can pick up all the components of a meal to-go at their deli counter: including mashed potatoes, stuffing, cream of spinach and pumpkin pie. If you spend $25, you can pick up a 10 - 12 lb. turkey for $5, but, alas, it's uncooked.

Whole Foods: For $99.99, Whole Foods will prepare you a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for eight people. The feast includes a 10-12 pound oven roasted turkey, herb stuffing, four pounds of mashed potatoes, cranberry relish and two pumpkin pies. If you have less guests, the store also offers the “intimate dinner” option for $79.99 with the same items, but aimed at satisfying four hungry people. For more info call 938-8500, #711.

Epicurean Connection: The (relatively) new shop on 122 West Napa Street has ready-made cheese plates, desserts, wine, appetisers and cranberry clove relish – basically, everything but the actual bird. They're open until 8 p.m. Wednesday, so pick up your goods now. No reservations necessary.  

Eat Out: Make a reservation for a sit-down Thanksgiving meal at one of the many restaurants around Sonoma offering a special menu. Options range from fancy (, ) to family friendly (, ). Here's a roundup of your options

Kick Back at the Community Center: Everyone's welcome at the 's annual Thanksgiving feast – which features largely locally sourced food, prepared with love by a dedicated set of volunteers. They fed over 400 guests last year. Dinner is served from 3 - 5:30 p.m., guests start lining up at 2:30 p.m., to get in before the food runs out. Questions: call 938-4626.

Additionally, seniors can attend a special Thanksgiving dinner at , which, aided by the Kiwanis Club of Sonoma, delivers about 100 meals to people who are home-bound. Reservations are necessary for both the dinner and delivered meals: call 996-0311.

Have a favorite place to pick up your Thanksgiving dinner? Or a tip on how to keep your kitchen sane during baking madness? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Elora November 24, 2011 at 02:51 PM
Thanks for the guide of where to get what. I am afraid that I like shortcuts for Thanksgiving and other holiday dinners.
Irene Morgan November 28, 2011 at 03:42 PM
I'm afraid that the only way I survive these big family "feasts" is by buying some of the foods pre-made. This list was very helpful this year.
Albert David November 28, 2011 at 05:19 PM
I got the Whole Foods dinner for 8. I added brussel sprouts for a green vegetable but everyone just loves stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce....i guess it is high carbs time.
Ron Johnson February 10, 2014 at 09:16 PM
This seems like it defeats the point of the holiday. Being with loved ones while preparing the food is a big part of the tradition. Plus, you can get much better food for much cheaper if you do it yourself. Ron Johnson | http://www.opustattoogloves.com/products
Celine April 30, 2014 at 06:23 PM
I've never heard of half of these Thanksgiving ideas! I always love going to my grandmas for Thanksgiving. These are such cheap ways to have a nice dinner. I'm so impressed with these ideas, thanks! Celine | http://www.robertexelbertchiropractic.com/Spinal_Adjustment_Hyde_Park_NY.html


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