Prepping for Thanksgiving is a lot. There are few things worse than spending a small fortune on Thanksgiving dinner ingredients and hours at the grocery store before realizing you still have to feed everyone actual dinner for the next few days. That’s why you need an arsenal of easy meal recipes for Thanksgiving week. Unfortunately, your kids probably won’t be satisfied with a handful of mashed potatoes from your Thanksgiving prep or a bowl of cranberries.
There’s also nothing wrong with boxed macaroni and cheese, takeout, chicken nuggets, or a bowl of cereal for dinner during Thanksgiving week. Your family is happy and fed, that’s really all that matters. But I like to think of this list of easy dinners for Thanksgiving week as a must for you, the one doing all the work. You deserve a warm, comforting, delicious meal that has zero to do with the big meal you’re serving everyone in a few days. This list has everything from soups and one-pot pastas to sheet pan dinners, so they’re all incredibly easy to throw together and can turn into leftovers beautifully for those busy days you need lunch.
So get your kitchen ready for all the prep work you need to do this week, and then pick an easy meal for Thanksgiving week from this list and throw it in the slow cooker. You’ll thank yourself when 6 p.m. hits and dinner’s ready.
Sheet Pan Sausage & Vegetables
Sheet pans for the win, always. This Yummly recipe for sheet pan sausage and vegetables is a literal breeze to pull together, and you can even use some extra veggies for Thanksgiving dinner, like a bag of broccoli or leftover sweet potatoes. Feel free to customize with whatever you have to make it as easy as possible.
One-Pot Cheeseburger Pasta
Another one-pot dish that’s easy on the wallet and perfect for the tastebuds is this incredible cheeseburger pasta. It also makes for great leftovers, especially if you know your picky kids aren’t going to eat any of the Thanksgiving feast you’re actually making.
Don’t be intimidated — this lasagna soup recipe featured on Yummly is a great option for Thanksgiving week. You can even prep this early in the day and have it all ready for dinner, and it’ll give you time to make the pies you need for Thanksgiving Day, too.
Sheet Pan Italian Chicken
Hear me out: this sheet pan Italian chicken recipe is obviously a super easy win during a busy holiday week, but you could even make it do double the work for you by making twice as much so you have an extra easy dinner ready to go or a lunch you don’t have to think about.
Five ingredients, y’all. This tortellini bake literally only has five ingredients. You probably have most of them in your pantry and fridge already, so keep this recipe handy for the night before Thanksgiving when everyone’s starving and you still have four pies to bake.
5-Ingredient Tomato Soup
There are few things more comforting than a big bowl of soup, and this recipe for tomato soup from Pinch of Yum is the absolute best. It only has five ingredients — and two of them are cans of tomatoes — and is such a nice, stick-to-your-ribs dinner that’s cheap and easy during Thanksgiving week.
Quinoa Red Bean Chili
I’m obsessed with this delicious quinoa red bean chili from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe — especially because you can make it in either the slow cooker or the Instant Pot. Truly, a dinner you can just set aside and let cook while you take care of other things is the best kind of Thanksgiving gift.
Slow Cooker Crack Chicken
Another great slow cooker recipe, this slow cooker crack chicken is a family favorite in my house. Throw everything together — there are just five ingredients excluding seasonings (and you can replace those with a ranch packet if you like) — first thing in the morning and there is a crowd-pleasing dinner waiting for everyone without you having to deal with the oven.
One-Pot Spaghetti Carbonara
Spaghetti carbonara is always one of my favorites, especially when you can make it in one-pot. This pasta dish from A Spicy Perspective is literally so easy, and it’s one of those super filling dinners that makes for great leftovers and keeps you satisfied. I feel like when you’re making Thanksgiving dinner, you need at least one night where your dinner is going to stick to your ribs for a while.
Instant Pot Chicken Pad Thai
If you want something that’s completely left field from what you’ll be cooking for your holiday feast, then you want this recipe for Instant Pot chicken pad thai featured on Yummly. Lots of bright flavors and made in no time, this is the perfect dinner for a busy holiday Thanksgiving week.
Thanksgiving week has a lot going on — it’s totally OK if you just want to serve frozen pizza every night leading up to the big holiday. But if you want something homemade that takes little effort, this list has plenty of easy dinner ideas for you.