Pre-Turkey Day Takeout

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A pizza on a marble surface

Photo by: Kana Okada

Kana Okada

‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving and the cook was stressing. How am I going to cook a 20-pound turkey and warm up four casseroles with one oven and promise to eat at a reasonable hour? Should I stuff the bird or not? How will I know when the potatoes are done? Don’t forget to make sure that Aunt Sally doesn’t sit near Aunt Mary — there’s tension.

Thanksgiving isn’t even here yet and there is still so much to think about. So it’s no wonder that for many families, the dinner before Thanksgiving involves one thing: ordering takeout. In fact, USA Today reports that the day before Thanksgiving is among the five most popular days of the year for pizza delivery. But there’s no need to spend extra money in the name of convenience. With our five pre-Turkey Day dinner recipes below, you can have a meal on the table in 20 minutes or fewer, less than the amount of time it would take to order and deliver takeout.

Food Network Magazine’s Pizza Margherita (pictured above) calls for simple ingredients: dough, tomatoes, mozzarella and herbs — and needs just 15 quick minutes in the oven. Save time by using store-bought pizza dough (it’s always a good idea to keep a few frozen ones on hand) and small “bocconcini” mozzarella balls that require less dicing. Best of all, you won’t dirty one pan prepping this recipe.

Skip salty Chinese delivery and opt for Sesame Noodles With Chicken, featuring egg noodles laced with a light peanut sauce and topped with shredded chicken and cool cucumber. This meal is filled with good-for-you protein and takes just 20 minutes to make from start to finish.

These Baja Fish Tacos from Food Network Magazine are filled with fresh, classic taco accompaniments, including avocado, salsa and a cabbage-cilantro slaw. This recipe is ready to eat in mere minutes, as a sliced halibut filet is the only ingredient that needs to be cooked.

In just 20 minutes, Rachael Ray combines chicken broth, crushed tomatoes and heavy cream to make a Quick Creamy Tomato Soup that is richly decadent and ideal for these chilly fall nights. Make a batch of Thanksgiving biscuits early to dunk into this perfectly smooth soup.

Giada’s Lemon Spaghetti is satisfying but light and won’t fill you up before tomorrow’s feast. She mixes fruity extra-virgin olive oil, nutty Parmesan cheese and fresh lemon juice and zest into just-drained pasta, so that the hot noodles can gently warm the sauce and melt the cheese.

For last-minute Thanksgiving tips and recipes, visit Food Network.

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