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5 Places to Order Thanksgiving Dinner to Go

For less stress and mess, you can purchase a full meal or a range of sides

Thanksgiving plate

Elena Veselova / Alamy Stock Photo

If you've decided not to cook — or at least not to cook much — for Thanksgiving this year, you won’t be the only one.

Last year’s pared down Thanksgiving gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19 might have opened some families’ eyes to a new tradition — the outsourcing of all or part of your holiday meal for an easier, more low-key event. Now, as the country eases into a new pandemic normal, it might be a fine time to reinvent some family traditions, too.

There’s no shortage of national chains and local restaurants offering Thanksgiving dinners to go.

Whole roasted turkeys, spiral hams and apple pies can be ordered a la carte or as part of entire meal deals. In most cases, all you have to do is pick up your meal at the store (some chains offer delivery for an extra fee), thaw, reheat and serve. Many of these options will be popular, so be sure to order online or call as soon as possible.

Your local area is likely to have independent restaurants offering their own versions of grab-and-go and heat-and-serve Thanksgiving dinners. It's great to support community-based restaurants, so check out what's available near you.

If you decide to go with a national chain, here's what's on the menu.

Bob Evans

This Ohio-based chain, which has nearly 500 outlets in the U.S. — primarily in the Midwest, Southeast and mid-Atlantic states — is an affordable way to put Thanksgiving on the table.

All meals are picked up cold and require roughly two hours of heating. The Premium Farmhouse Feast, which can be ordered for up to 10 people, comes with presliced hickory-smoked ham and slow-roasted turkey, bread and celery dressing, corn, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and ham, rolls, cranberry relish, macaroni and cheese, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie and double-crust apple pie. Meals for eight or four people (called Farmhouse Feasts) come with your choice of ham or turkey and all of the aforementioned accompaniments except for the apple pie (pumpkin pie only). The online ordering page makes it easy to customize your meal with extra servings of side dishes, too. In-store or curbside pickup and delivery are available.

Expect to pay: From $59.99 for 4 people, $89.99 for 8 people and $134.99 for the Premium Farmhouse Feast for up to 10 people.

Homemade hack: Take a pass on store-bought whipped cream and make the fresh variety by whipping heavy cream and a touch of sugar for the best pumpkin pie topping around.

Boston Market

This quick-service purveyor of comfort food and rotisserie chicken has been a suburban feature since the 1980s. Boston Market has several good options for complete, heat-and-serve Thanksgiving dinners, whether you're looking to serve four to six people or a table of 12 (or even just yourself, with ample leftovers).

Boston Market's Complete Boneless Roasted Turkey Breast Meal comes with spinach artichoke dip for a starter, boneless roasted turkey breast and all the classics side dishes — mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry walnut sauce and vegetable stuffing, plus rolls and your choice of an apple or pumpkin pie for dessert. Other packages include whole roasted turkeys, honey-glazed ham or prime rib. Give yourself two hours to heat everything up before serving and pick up your meal a day or two before Thanksgiving to avoid the crowds. In-store pickup or delivery (frozen meals can be shipped).

Expect to pay: From $99.99 for 4 to 6 people

Homemade hack: Buy a round loaf of bread, hollow out the center, and serve the warmed-up spinach artichoke dip inside.

Cracker Barrel

With more than 600 locations across the U.S., Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is a highway classic that draws people in for Southern-style comfort food and a respite from the road in those porch rocking chairs. The chain's Heat N’ Serve Thanksgiving Feast or Family Dinner ticks the boxes with options for eight to 10 people or four to six. Both come fully prepared, ready to heat and serve within two hours or less. 

The Heat N’ Serve Thanksgiving Feast comes with two turkey breasts, corn bread dressing, turkey gravy, cranberry relish, sweet potato casserole, your choice of two country sides (including some of Cracker Barrel's signature side dishes, like macaroni and cheese and green beans), sweet yeast rolls and both pumpkin and apple pies.

The Heat N’ Serve Family Dinner comes with just one turkey breast, no pies and only one side but otherwise has the same accompaniments (you can customize this one, too, to add things like pie and more sides, of course).

Meals are available for in-store pickup only.

Expect to pay: From $99.99 for 4 to 6 people and $154.99 for 8 to 10.

Homemade hack: Before serving, spoon the macaroni and cheese into a casserole dish and top with buttered bread crumbs, then place under the broiler for two minutes (or until the top is golden brown).


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Denny's

The chain famous for its Grand Slam breakfasts has you covered for Thanksgiving dinner with its Family Style Turkey & Dressing Dinner Pack. The heat-and-serve meal serves four and comes with a spread of carved turkey breast, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and your choice of broccoli or corn. You can order via the Denny's On Demand delivery app or online at Dennys.com (phone-in orders aren't being accepted for this meal) anytime from Friday Nov. 19 through Wednesday Nov. 24 by 6 p.m. ET. The meal will be available for pickup or delivery through Thanksgiving Day.

Expect to pay: An average of $38.66 for four people, but prices vary by market

Homemade hack: Denny's meal doesn't come with dessert, so consider making your own or picking up your favorite frozen pie from the grocery store and a pint of gourmet ice cream for a sweet finish.

Harry & David

Known for its gourmet gift boxes, this Oregon-based company delivers its Gourmet Turkey Feast completely frozen, so you'll need to give it ample time to thaw before reheating it for a perfect Thanksgiving Day meal. Then sit back and let the compliments roll in.

The gourmet spread comes with a fully brined and cooked 10-pound turkey (the meat is pinkish and similar to smoked turkey), apple sausage stuffing, creamy brussels sprouts with bacon, New York-style pumpkin cheesecake, turkey gravy and spiced cranberry chutney. Delivery only. Be sure to order by by 1 p.m. ET on Friday Nov. 19 to ensure items are received in time for Thanksgiving.

Expect to pay: From $229.99 for eight to 10 people, express two-day shipping included.

Homemade hack: For color, present your heated turkey atop a bed of fresh greens (leafy lettuces or kale). Place halved lemons and tangerines (lightly broiled until golden) and quartered pomegranates around the bird to add to the gourmet look.

Editor's note: This article was originally published on November 9, 2020. It's been updated to reflect new information. 

Terry Ward is a contributing writer who covers food, drink and travel. Her work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, The Washington Post and on CNN.

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