Chef Shares How to Make Thanksgiving Dinner, With One Pot and One Pan, in 3 Hours

If you’ve ever cooked an entire Thanksgiving feast before, you know how overwhelming it can be. And if you haven’t ever cooked Thanksgiving dinner, you can probably STILL tell what a job it is.

From an entire roast turkey with all the trimmings to sides like mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and more, we’re exhausted just thinking about it (and hungry!). If only there was a way to make the entire meal in just a few short hours without dirtying all the dishes…

That’s where Chef Melissa Clark of NYT Cooking comes in. She was—somehow—able to make our Turkey Day dreams come true by trimming (get it?) down the entire meal into just one medium pot and on one sheet pan. Not only that, but the whole dinner takes just three hours to complete.

We know—how in the world is that possible?

Well, there are a few sacrifices here. The truth is, this year, many people won’t even need to make a huge meal for their extended family. In fact, you may even opt to host a virtual Thanksgiving. With the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, many families are finding that they’ll be cooking Thanksgiving dinner for a smaller group, if not just themselves.

In Melissa’s rendition, you’re not roasting a large turkey, but a smaller turkey breast. But don’t you worry, it’s wrapped in bacon in order to compensate. We think that’s a pretty good compromise! She also cooks a make-ahead gravy to compensate for the loss of the pan drippings you get from a larger turkey (which looks and tastes just like the real thing!).

It might sound like there are fewer foods, but Melissa really comes through: She also makes baked stuffed sweet potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce, a delicious sage and onion stuffing, and roasted Brussels sprouts. And yes: All that food only needs one pot and one pan.

It’s truly an art to create that much food in such a short period of time with very little cleanup at the end. If you do decide to have guests over, they’ll be super impressed (and super full when they leave!).

Watch her video below. She has a lot of cooking tips thrown in there as well, plus she explains why she’s able to use just one pot and pan (hint: it’s all about the timing!).

How are you celebrating Thanksgiving this year? Do you usually do the cooking or leave it up to someone else? Do you think you’d try this 3-hour Thanksgiving meal?