For Thanksgiving break some students have the luxury of going home (or receiving an invite to crash at someone else’s place) and enjoying a delicious home-cooked meal with their family. Others, unfortunately, are stuck on campus for the week. For those who are in fact staying on campus and don’t want to partake in the Thanksgiving feast that the cafeteria offers, there is one more solution: cook your own Thanksgiving dinner. Below are five super easy and affordable recipes to ensure that you don’t miss out on the holiday; whether you decide to invite others over or to gobble everything down yourself is another story.
No Stress Turkey
They don’t call it Turkey Day for nothing! Fun fact: the average weight of a turkey purchased at Thanksgiving is 15 pounds. Unfortunately, you probably won’t have that many guests to feed and big birds can run on the pricier side. By no means does that mean you have to stop cold turkey (pun intended). This college friendly recipe is by far the easiest one. All you need to do is buy some sliced turkey from the deli then season it to add moisture and flavor, just like you would do to a whole turkey. The best seasonings to use is a blend of salt, black pepper, dried parsley, onion powder, and a bit of sugar. Lastly, cook the deli turkey in the microwave until it’s steaming hot. If you would prefer to have ham the same directions apply.
Deli turkey meat
Luckily, stuffing is already an easy-to-make Thanksgiving recipe. Although there will be no stuffing of the turkey for this feast, there will definitely be stuffing of the face. For this recipe, you can start by taking out all of your anger at being left on campus over this holiday by ripping up some day-old bread in a medium bowl. Then mix in (less angrily) with the rest of the ingredients. Next, shape the sticky concoction into a loaf and wrap it in foil. Bake it (if you don’t have a kitchen, you can use the community oven in your building) for an hour at 350 degrees, slice it, and it’s ready to serve. If you really desire to, you could also just make stovetop stuffing. Then again, is the goal really to impress anyone at this point?
1/3 loaf of day-old bread
1/3 can of cream of mushroom soup
1/3 can of vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of poultry seasonings
1/4 teaspoon of sage
Optional- one tablespoon of chopped pecans or two tablespoons of dried cranberries
Homemade Microwaveable Mashed Potatoes
No stove is required for this recipe! Homemade mashed potatoes are a once a year delicacy, mainly due to the fact that it takes a decent amount of time for it to cook. But college students have a tendency to get hangry, so it’s best not to leave your guests waiting for too long. Sure, microwaveable mashed potato packets are convenient, but they still have an artificial taste to them; and there should be nothing artificial about Thanksgiving. It’s time to put that baked potato button on your microwave to the test. All you have to do for this recipe is cook the potatoes in the microwave, scoop out the flesh, then mash together all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered (about 2 pounds)
1/4 cup of butter
1/2-3/4 cup of milk
salt and pepper
No-Bake Pumpkin Pie
As Paula Deen says, “I don’t want to spend my life not having good food going into my pie hole. That hole was made for pies.” And who doesn’t love pie? For this simple recipe, start out by whisking together the pudding mixes and milk in a medium bowl until thick and blended. Next, stir in the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Spread the mix evenly over the graham cracker or gingersnap crust. If you so desire, garnish the top with pecan or walnut halves. Then cover and refrigerate the pie for at least 5 hours or overnight. And of course, don’t forget about the whipped cream!
1 pre-made graham cracker or gingersnap pie crust
2 packages (3-3/4 ounces each) of instant vanilla pudding mix
1 and 1/2 cups of milk
1 can of solid-pack pumpkin puree
1 and 1/4 teaspoons of cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
optional- pecan halves or walnut halves for garnish
Madison Irwin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org