A beautiful Thanksgiving turkey set on the table, surrounded by veggies.

Image: Shutterstock

This year, I have a lot of cooking to do. My older brother and sister-in-law will be visiting for the holidays, and as my parents are hosting the whole family for Thanksgiving, they are going to need a lot of help in the kitchen! So here are a few of the recipes I’ll be working with this Thanksgiving: they’re delicious, relatively easy, and totally packable! I’m not responsible for a turkey this year, so I’m focusing on snacks and sides.

Something to drink: apple cider sangria.

This recipe combines festivity with my absolute favorite thing: sangria! It’s fruity, easy, and sometimes I think about carrying some around in a thermos with me all day (but I don’t). Since not everybody in my family drinks, I’ll only bring one pitcher of this recipe, but it’s easy to double! Combine apple cider, white wine, apple brandy, an orange liqueur, sparkling water, and diced apples together and serve! Get the recipe here.

Something to snack on before dinner: kale chips and crispy roasted chickpeas.

I have a salt tooth more than a sweet tooth. I generally prefer pre-meal snacks to desserts! These two options are healthy, crunchy, and they satisfy my salt tooth. For the chickpeas, rinse and dry a can of them—any old can will do. Pat them dry and toss with olive oil, salt, and a little bit of cumin or curry powder if that’s your jam, and then roast at 425 until they’re crunchy, about 20 minutes. Yum!

For the kale chips, wash a head of any kind of kale and tear it up into little pieces. Pat dry, then drizzle with oil and salt, and bake at 350, tossing every now and then, until they get dark and crispy. Sprinkle with lemon juice for an added flourish! But a word of caution, these bad boys don’t sit well, so it’s best to serve them immediately, if you can. They only bake for a few minutes, so if you’ve got the kitchen space, do it! Otherwise, the chickpeas are fine to be served at room temperature.

Something for a side: roasted cauliflower and dates.

I have never really liked broccoli, opting instead for its whiter, less fluffy cousin, cauliflower. I love the taste and texture of it when it’s roasted! For this recipe, cut apart a head of cauliflower and roast it. Then you’ll drizzle it with melted better, garlic, pine nuts, and dates, and serve! Super easy, super delicious—and kind of healthy.

Something for dessert: hazelnut Nutella thumbprint cookies.

I make these cookies every year and they are always the first things to be eaten off the dessert buffet! They’re easy to bake, and you can make them ahead of time and just pack them up when it’s time to go. Make the dough, toast some hazelnuts, and drop some Nutella on each cookie. Welcome to heaven.

What are you making? Anything good? Can I steal your recipes for a change?

About 

Mary Summers is a recent college grad and freelance writer residing in the Pacific Northwest. She loves writing about trending topics, health and beauty advice, music, film, and television.