Delegate Dinner: Thanksgiving

I absolutely LOVE entertaining family for Thanksgiving, but the thought of actually cooking the meal gives me hives. It’s not like a casual casserole will do…Thanksgiving dinner is basically the Olympics of cooking. HOWEVER, just because I don’t actually cook or bake doesn’t mean I can’t provide (aka order) a traditional Thanksgiving feast. There are so many wonderful resources now for gourmet food that are just as wonderful as anything homemade (and certainly better than what I would make – ha!).

So, for all of you non-cooking hostesses like me, here is a list of my favorite places to buy delicious main courses, side dishes, and desserts that will leave you with a standing ovation. Many of these items can be shipped directly to your door, but plan ahead and order now as many places will sell out and/or have order deadlines. This list includes both national resources and Nashville-area favorites, so there’s something for everyone. Happy ordering! 


Greenberg Smoked Turkey, Inc: I discovered Greenberg Smoked Turkey thanks to one of my wonderful Instagram friends! While I prefer a traditional roasted turkey, the men in my family are obsessed with smoked turkeys. Thus, you can imagine my delight in finding this very well-reviewed and highly-recommended company that delivers these right to your door, ready to serve. A quick reminder to read the storage instructions, because you’ll either refrigerate or freeze your bird depending on when it arrives. 

Perini Ranch Steakhouse: Paul’s grandmother sends these beef tenderloins to us for his birthday, and they’re TO DIE FOR. They’re cooked to perfection (medium) and you simply store them in your freezer and then defrost before serving at room temperature. You cannot go wrong with this brand if you love beef tenderloin. My sweet mother even uses the leftovers in beef bourguignon a few days later, and it’s incredible in that dish as well. The gift that keeps on giving!

Honey Baked Ham: If you’re looking to offer something besides turkey on Thanksgiving, look no further than Honey Baked Ham. They have stores in many cities, and you can also order hams (and countless other products) online. I love ordering these hams for family holidays because you can use the meat days later for yummy sandwiches and leftover recipes – another gift that keeps on giving. I usually order the  Bone-In Half Ham and it arrives ready to serve.

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits: Y’all already know that I’m a big fan of Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits. While I love all the varieties they offer, you can’t go wrong with their classic Buttermilk Biscuits for Thanksgiving. You simply freeze them upon arrival and then pop them in the oven before you’re ready to serve. They taste like you made them from scratch, and these too can be eaten the next day with breakfast, lunch, or dinner. 

Savannah Classics Casseroles: A few years ago, another sweet Instagram friend suggested I try Savannah Classic Casseroles. You can find them locally in Nashville at Publix, or use their “Product Locator” to find the casseroles near you. They’re yummy and an easy way to provide “homemade” side dishes for the holidays. They offer Sweet Potato Casserole, Broccoli, Rice & Cheese Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, Twice Baked Potato Casserole, Cornbread Dressing, and Macaroni & Cheese. 

Bob Evans Mashed Potatoes: There is absolutely no reason to make mashed potatoes from scratch when Bob Evans offers the best mashed potatoes out there. Find them in the grocery’s chilled section, usually near the hot dogs and bacon. All you do is add a little butter (at least I do), and then warm in the microwave or over the stove for mouthwatering mashed potatoes. They even offer “family size” so you can buy them in bulk!

Southern Baked Pie: You can’t have Thanksgiving without pie! I’ve personally been ordering these pies for at least two years now, and I’ve yet to taste one that I don’t absolutely love. They offer both sweet and savory pies (and gluten free options too), and the pies are shipped right to your door. They arrive chilled and you can freeze them to serve at a later date. Many of them simply require defrosting to room temperature, and the rest come with instructions for warming up in the oven. I’m a huge fan of this southern-based, female-owned company!

Caroline’s Cakes: When we serve cake at our parties, you better believe it’s caramel cake. And if you’re looking for a good one that can be shipped directly to your door, then look no further than Caroline’s Cakes. These cakes are delicious, and their 7-Layer Caramel Cake is fantastic. They make great gifts and are the perfect dessert to serve at your dinner parties. You can thank me later.

Sister Schubert’s: If it’s good enough for Julia Reed, it’s good enough for me. The iconic hostess with the mostest often wrote about Sister Schubert’s frozen yeast rolls, and with good reason – they’re delicious.  A major bonus is that you can find them anywhere: Target, Walmart, Kroger, and Amazon Fresh. Even if you don’t include these as part of the main meal, buy a pack or two for leftover turkey sandwiches and sliders (Julia used to use them for tenderloin sandwiches – genius). 


Kristen Winston: Order deadline: 11/17. I’ve worked with Kristen for years through Please Be Seated and her food is incredible. Lucky for us, we can buy the entire Thanksgiving spread through her website (note that the turkey comes fully prepped and ready to roast, but not cooked). There are tons of a-la-carte options for each course and everything looks fantastic. 

Dozen Bakery: Order deadline: 11/20. (or until they sell out) One of my favorite bakeries in Nashville has a wonderful selection of pies, sweets, breads, a few sides, and precut, toasted bread cubes for stuffing. 

Corner Market Catering
Order deadline: 11/15. You can literally buy your entire meal here, bird included! They offer a whole turkey or just a turkey breast, plus all of the trimmings. A beloved Nashville gourmet shop, their menu hits the high notes and covers all of the bases (breakfast, too!). 

Picnic Cafe: Order deadline: 11/15. A Nashville institution, the Picnic Cafe is offering a large selection of casseroles, desserts, side dishes, dips, and breads. I also adore their chicken salad and breakfast casserole, which are perfect to have on hand for overnight guests. Their Thanksgiving menu isn’t online, so be sure to call or drop by.

Tin Wings
:  Order deadline : 11/17. Located in The Nations, this darling gourmet carryout has a ton of menu items for Thanksgiving; as they say, it’s “everything but the bird!” They have a lot of fun add-ons like breakfast dishes and small nibbles that are great to have on hand, or to bring as a hostess gift if you’re going to a friend’s for the holiday.

Porter Road Butcher
: Order deadline: 11/19. OK, so this isn’t actually cooked food, but they have some of the best meats in town, from turkey to rib roast to tenderloin and ham. And of course, don’t forget the bacon for your veggies and casseroles! To pick up locally in Nashville, call their East Nashville location to place your order – (615) 650-4440. If you’re out of state, they also ship; find that menu here. 

The Food Company: Order deadline: 11/18. One of my go-to’s for weeknight meals, Food Company is catering the entire Thanksgiving spread, even the turkey. This is a really comprehensive menu with plenty of choices for starters, sides, and desserts, so you can rest assured there’s something for everyone. 

Miss Daisy’s: Order deadline: 11/21. Another go-to for weeknight dinners, they offer a great holiday menu, as well. You can get the entire meal – bird included – and they also offer ham + some unexpected sides like jalapeño cheddar grits. Miss Daisy’s is in Franklin so this is a great choice for folks who live a bit farther south. 

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