When thinking of all the work that goes into our holiday meals, I often wonder how my mother does it. We typically spend our holidays with my parents and I marvel at all my mom prepares for a group of 13. She isn’t satisfied with a few sides, she needs at least a half a dozen. One kind of meat? No way. She can’t even make one kind of stuffing because she feels bad if she doesn’t make everyone’s favorite. It needs to be two so everyone has options. And while I always appreciate the fabulous and dare I say, gigantic spread, I also realize the amount of work that goes into the meal.
Even though my mom loves to bake, lately the two or three day prep required for making homemade pies plus the huge holiday meal has meant she has to cut back and actually purchase dare I say, bakery pies! I usually bring some appetizers and offer a dessert but it isn’t enough for everyone. So she fills it in with purchase but still tasty pies. She wants to do it all but has come to realize that something has to give or she can’t even enjoy the holiday at all, let alone the delicious food she has prepared.
When General Mills asked me to create a simple meal plan for the holidays, I wanted to come up with something that is more than doable for everyone. This meal is simple but delicious and allows for less time in the kitchen and more time with family and friends.
For this meal, I chose two whole chickens that were already seasoned and in bags from the store, ready to go in the oven as they were. They take a lot less prep time and are so moist and flavorful. The cook time is only around 1 and 1/2 hours if you keep them fresh rather than freeze them. We would probably still opt for a Butterball Fresh Turkey for Thanksgiving but this would be great for for a family who can’t quite finish a whole turkey or who simply isn’t a turkey fan. They also work great for Christmas!
We love homemade mashed potatoes so still opted to spend the time to peel and boil them. To save time, Betty Crocker® boxed Potatoes like au gratin or scalloped would also be great choices.
I purchased steam in the bag, fresh green beans and we used our favorite seasonings and a bit of butter on top. Canned Green Giant Green Beans would also work in a pinch or use them to make the very traditional green bean casserole. Yum!
To finish off the meal, I made a family favorite, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. They are so easy and are done in only 10-12 minutes. They look beautiful on the plate but take almost no effort at all.
For a traditional holiday meal, we would typically add our favorite stuffing and some gravy. And of course throw in some kind of gelatin or fruit salad. (Because we just can’t resist something a little sweet with dinner.)
This meal is so good but allows us more time to spend with each other and less time slaving away in the kitchen. That is exactly how I like to spend my holidays!
Be sure to check out Everyday Saver to save on your next holiday meal. You’ll find great coupons on everything from your Butterball Turkey to Betty Crocker boxed potatoes.
What does your favorite holiday meal look like?