Last Minute Thanksgiving Menu

Did Thanksgiving catch you unprepared? Unexpected guests on the way? We have you covered, here is a Thanksgiving menu that will take no time at all to make.

Last-minute Thanksgiving Menu |

Actually, you can have this whole menu on the table in less than 4 hours. Follow the links for each menu item to print out the recipe!

Pumpkin Soup

Use Red Kuri (Hokkaido) pumpkin for the Soup, as well as the Farro Risotto. Depending on the number of guests increase the number of pumpkins needed. This soup cooks in about 15 minutes and only uses a couple of ingredients, so it’s very easy to make. If you cannot get the pumpkin seed oil, don’t worry, just replace with olive oil or omit from the recipe.

Preparation & Cook time: 25 minutes
Get the recipe here >

Nothing says Autumn more than a bowl of steamy & delicious pumpkin soup. Made from Red Kuri squash in just 15 minutes!

Roast Duck with Vegetables

Duck is smaller than turkey and takes less time to prepare and cook. One duck will feed approximately 4-6 people. So if you have more guests arriving, or you are very hungry, take 2 or 3 ducks. They will all fit in your regular oven and will still take less time to cook than the mighty turkey. Plus, roast duck is delicious!

Preparation & Cook time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Get the recipe here >

Roast Duck

Side dish: Braised Red Cabbage

Tired of the old green bean casserole or Brussel sprouts? Braised Red Cabbage is a roast duck must side dish. It is not only delicious, but super healthy, too, and goes really well with the duck meat. Plus, look at that lovely colour!

Preparation & Cook time: 1 hours 20 minutes
Get the recipe here >

Braised Red Cabbage

Side dish: Farro Risotto with Pumpkin and Chestnuts

A spin from plain potatoes, this Farro Risotto is easy & tasty, with a delicious pumpkin cream and the unexpected crunch of toasted chestnuts. You can also use rice or pearl barley, if you don’t have farro in your pantry.

Preparation & Cook time: 50 minutes
Get the recipe here >

Farro Risotto with Pumpkin and Chestnuts

Dessert: Homemade Apple Pie

This pie uses a really simple recipe with minimum effort. Because nobody has time, and we all want to eat a delicious pie. But if you can, do make this pie ahead (the day before or in the morning), because it’s best served cold.

Preparation & Cook time: 60 minutes
Get the recipe here >

Apple Pie

Organize your time

Assemble all your ingredients on a table so they are easy to see. Check you have everything. You’ll be using the oven for multiple recipes, so make sure you have baking trays ready.

4 hours before dinner:

  1. Season the duck. Preferably, you do this the night before, but if you can’t that’s alright. [Roast Duck]
  2. Make the pie crust and set in the fridge to cool [Apple Pie]
  3. Cook chestnuts for about 30 minutes. [Farro Risotto]
  4. Wash, dry, peel and chop your vegetables.
  5. Prepare pie filling. [Apple Pie]
  6. Preheat oven to 180°C / 360°F
  7. Get pie dough out of the fridge and make the pie crust. Assemble Pie and put in the oven on the middle rack to bake for cca. 45 minutes.
  8. Get a baking tray and put on the pumpkin. Season and place on the bottom of the oven to bake for about 20 minutes [Farro Risotto]

3 hours before dinner:

  1. Drain and peel chestnuts, chop into smaller bites.
  2. Remove pumpkin from oven
  3. Prepare baking tray for the duck: place the seasoned duck (or two ducks) on it and assemble the vegetables around it. [Roast Duck]
  4. Remove apple pie from oven and set aside to cool.
  5. Increase oven heat to 200°C / 390°F and place in the duck (I know the recipe says 180°C but we are tight on time, so we’ll speed this up a bit). Let it roast for about 2 hours and follow the recipe.

2 hours before dinner:

  1. Take a break of 10 minutes, you’ve been working hard. Your Apple Pie is done and the Duck is roasting.
  2. Check your Duck and brine it in juices every 15 minutes or so.
  3. Prepare your dinner table.
  4. Using a food processor shred your red cabbage and apple. [Braised Red Cabbage]
  5. Make Braised Red Cabbage according to recipe.

1 hour before dinner:

  1. Make Farro Risotto according to recipe.
  2. Make Pumpkin Soup according to recipe.
  3. Don’t forget the wine.
  4. Your duck is ready, remove from oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
  5. Your Braised Red Cabbage is ready.

Serve your dinner and enjoy your evening!


Thanksgiving Menu Shopping list:

Fundamentals for 4 – 6 people:

  • 1 duck, entrails removed (about 2 kg)
  • 2 Red Kuri (Hokkaido) pumpkin (about 800-1000 g)
  • 250 g farro
  • 1 head red cabbage (medium size)
  • 6 onions
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 dcl dry white wine
  • 1 dcl red wine
  • 1,5 l vegetable stock
  • 2 kg sour apples
  • 1 orange
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 400 g all-purpose flour
  • 300 g butter
  • 100 g powdered sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 sourcream


  • a handful chestnuts
  • salt, pepper
  • finely chopped parsley & chives to taste
  • olive oil
  • parmesan
  • 3 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • ground cumin to taste
  • ground garlic
  • red paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 vanillin sugar
  • 1 tsp rum
  • cinnamon
  • 2 tbs breadcrumbs
  • nutmeg


  • chopped pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seed oil
  • bread croutons

You’re all set! Go surprise your guests with this amazing menu.

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