Toss all pretense out the window when it comes to Thanksgiving cooking. Let’s be real. It’s a holiday of gluttony. Sure, we’re thankful and all, but these days, almost nothing about Thanksgiving is sacred. Case in point: BuzzFeed’s Thanksgiving in a Bucket, which is exactly what it sounds like: stuffing, mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, turkey, gravy, and cranberry sauce, all layered on top of one another in a three-gallon pail. (We can just hear Patton Oswalt singing “I want a failure pie in a sadness bowl” in our heads right about now.) We prefer not to taste all of Thanksgiving in one bite, but should you feel inclined to do so, here are six mash-ups to inspire you.
1. Turkey Pot
Who needs plates at your Thanksgiving dinner? Over-rated. At Fetch Bar & Grill in Warwick, New York, Executive Chef Adam Powers makes a one-dish Thanksgiving dinner in a small pot that you normally use just on the stove. He starts with fresh, oven-roasted turkey breast served over cranberry sauce and pan-style herbed stuffing. Then comes onion-mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, and it’s topped with frizzled red onions. Check it out and see if you can mimic this “Powers”-ful play — if you dare.
2. Simple One-Sheet Thanksgiving Dinner
Sorry, this dish isn’t that nutty. It kinda makes perfect sense. With a pound each of herbed, spiced potatoes, sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts, as well as two ginormous turkey drumsticks, there’s a chance this could feed more than two people. Get the recipe.
3. Butternut Stuffed Turkey Tenderloins with Cranberries and Pecans
Now you don’t think of the word “healthy” when you think of cramming all of Thanksgiving into one dish, but think again. Gina Homolka of SkinnyTaste figures it out. There’s sage, maple syrup, shallots, and either kale or spinach in there too. Note the lack of mashed potatoes, stuffing, and gravy, however. Hmmmm. That’s a little risky. Get the recipe.
4. BuzzFeed’s Thanksgiving in a Bucket
The whole premise of Thanksgiving in a Bucket is that it saves a lot of space and travels well. So maybe it’s a good bet if you’re hosting a picnic in November at the world’s smallest apartment?
OK, so we did our own experimenting a few years ago and came up with a centerpiece made with layers of turkey cake, mashed potatoes, cranberry citrus sauce filling, sausage stuffing, sweet potatoes, and toasted marshmallow topping. The warning—“This dish is not recommended for people who require an inch of space between food groups”—says it all. Get our Thanksgiving Turkey Cake recipe.
6. Ed Levine’s All-Pie Thanksgiving Fantasy
Serious Eats founder Ed Levine made his all-pie Thanksgiving fantasy a reality one year with green bean casserole pie, mashed potato pie, stuffing pie, and turkey pot pie with cranberry on the bottom.
7. One-Dish Thanksgiving
This is certainly a one-dish Thanksgiving if your idea of a holiday meal is small and protein-focused. You cook cornbread or good old turkey stuffing mix, then spread it out in a baking dish, covered with precooked turkey strips and a jar of gravy. Cover with foil, bake, and voila, the core holiday experience. Bonus: it’s contained enough to make eating in bed a distinct possibility.
8. Rachael Ray’s Turkey Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
Rachael Ray covered all the Thanksgiving bases in just 60 minutes with an all-encompassing main—a turkey sweet potato shepherd’s pie—and cran-applesauce sundaes for dessert.
9. Kelsey Nixon’s Potato Latkes with Smoked Turkey Leg and Kumquat Chutney
Cooking Channel’s Kelsey Nixon went for traditional with a twist, creating potato latkes with smoked turkey and kumquat chutney to achieve the entire experience of Thanksgiving in one bite.
— An earlier version of this article is by Susannah Chen; updated in 2016 by Amy Sowder.