We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing to use our site or clicking the "I understand" button, you agree to our use of cookies detailed in our cookie policy and our terms of use.

Search the Blog


Thanksgiving celebrations are likely to be a little smaller this year, and while you’re not feeding a crowd, you also don’t have Memaw bringing the mashed potatoes, Cousin Tiffany the corn casserole and Aunt Melba arriving with her famous peach cobbler. In other words, you are responsible for the entire meal.


Time to put some popular appliances to work.

Instant Pot Cheesecake

As many people have increasingly discovered, an Instant Pot is your new best kitchen buddy. Put yours to work a couple of days ahead with dessert duty. This Instant Pot cheesecake is an elegant touch to the Thanksgiving dessert table, but only takes 35 minutes to cook. And with a chilling time of four hours to overnight, it’s a perfect recipe to make early. The Instant Pot Blackberry-Peach Cobbler has only a 15-minute bake time, so it’s easy to do two desserts in one day.

Cranberry Sauce, Casserole & Mashed Potatoes

An Instant Pot’s quick cook times will also come in handy on Thanksgiving Day. Start your day making a homemade cranberry sauce, which only takes about 30 minutes (including the time it takes to build and release pressure) and can be refrigerated until mealtime. This sweet potato casserole is a Thanksgiving classic and you can flip it under a broiler for a crunchy top and then keep it warm in the oven during the 12 minutes it takes to cook these creamy mashed potatoes.

Turkey Breast & Stuffing Balls

With your Instant Pot busy with a variety of dishes, pull out the air fryer for your turkey. With a smaller gathering, you may not have to go full bird when it comes to the turkey. Try a turkey breast that gives you all the flavor of an oven-roasted turkey, but without all the time and effort. It only takes about 20 minutes to cook and while it’s resting, you can whip up this interesting take on traditional dressing — Air Fryer Stuffing Balls.

Texas Thanksgiving Traditions

It’s perfectly okay if you don’t make every dish yourself — especially when you have some never-fail online specialties at your fingertips. The Brazos Bottom Pecan Pie from Goode Co. is an award-winner and delivers a rich, gooey center topped with freshly harvested Texas pecans. If tamales are a holiday table staple (and you don’t have as many hands this year to help make them), consider ordering some from the highly-rated Texas Tamale Company or another local favorite.


Texans almost always find a reason to put sausage on the dinner table — probably because there are so many tasty choices available. New Braunfel’s Smokehouse offers a wide array of sausage and bratwurst and Opa’s Smoked Meats out of Fredericksburg offers German- and Texas-inspired sausages. Snow’s BBQ in Lexington doesn’t have as many choices when it comes to sausage, but you can’t go wrong trying any of their barbecue — they even have smoked turkey breast. A perennial Texas favorite, Snow’s was featured this year on Netflix’s Chef’s Table: BBQ.


Whether you are cooking up a storm, supplementing your Thanksgiving menu with a few online orders or just picking up dinner from a favorite restaurant or H-E-B (nothing wrong with that!), we wish you a wonder-full Thanksgiving.

Images courtesy of Whole Foods Market, The Spruce Eats, Betty Crocker, Goode Co., Gold Belly.


Get new home design and lifestyle stories delivered straight to your inbox and stay in the loop on all things Empire.