5 Convenience Food Tricks for Thanksgiving

We've devised a plan so devious your unwitting holiday guests will never know those delicious dishes started with store-bought convenience foods.

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Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Speed Up Turkey Day Prep

Maybe you planned to make your whole Turkey Day feast from scratch, or maybe you've become a last-minute (unwilling?) host. Despite our best intentions, sometimes we all can use a little help from some store-bought foods, bagged, canned and packaged for our preparation-speeding glory. To help alleviate your guilt (or trick your guests) we've devised plans (using five ingredients or fewer) for gussying up these prepared foods in such dramatic ways you might just pass them off as wholly homemade.

The Problem: Canned Cranberry Sauce

The mass of congealed, jiggly sauce that comes out of a can lacks texture and is sweeter than it ought to be. Save your turkey from this dreadful pairing.

The Solution: Cranberry, Apple and Pomegranate Sauce

Barely cooked apples, crunchy pop-in-your-mouth pomegranate seeds (arils) and lemon give canned cranberry sauce so much heft and tangy flavor that your guests will never know you didn't make it from scratch.

Get the Recipe: Cranberry, Apple and Pomegranate Sauce

The Problem: Packaged Mashed Potatoes

These taters tend to be oversalted and possess a grainier texture than you'd like from freshly mashed potatoes.

The Solution: French-Onion Mashed Potatoes

This fix is all about the presentation. Turn store-bought mashed potatoes into an elegant (and radically improved) affair with a fried shallot topping and drizzle of sour cream and Worcestershire sauce.

Get the Recipe: French-Onion Mashed Potatoes

The Problem: Purchased Pumpkin Pie

Whether you mistimed your prep and the turkey's hogging the oven or you know Aunt Sally plans to bring — not bake — dessert, a store-bought pie will fall flat after your magnificent feast.

The Solution: Granola Streusel for Pumpkin Pie

Dress up this sad-looking pie with a super-easy, sweet and crunchy streusel topping. Just toss the disposable pie tin and top the pie with whipped cream. Your guests will think you've cooked an outside-the-box Thanksgiving dessert from scratch. And the best part of using granola? It's several ingredients in one.

Get the Recipe: Granola Streusel for Pumpkin Pie

The Problem: Bagged Stuffing Mix

Sure, these packaged cubes often possess plenty of herby flavor, but if you make them as is, the texture of your stuffing will be something akin to a soggy sponge.

Mushroom, Kale and Herb Stuffing

Many people hold boxed stuffing in a special place in their hearts; it evokes Thanksgiving nostalgia with every herb-filled bite. We've added fresh mushrooms and kale to enhance the texture and savory flavor of this staple without sacrificing the convenience, leaving you time to focus on the rest of the holiday meal.

Get the Recipe: Mushroom, Kale and Herb Stuffing

The Problem: Frozen Vegetables

These prechopped veggies were preserved at their most nutrient-dense, freshly picked stage. But once they're steamed, they tend to look a little sad and soggy.

Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli with Lemony Garlic Breadcrumbs

Your dinner guests will never know you started with frozen vegetables after broccoli and cauliflower have been roasted and topped with homemade garlicky breadcrumbs. You can make the breadcrumbs the day before and store them at room temperature in an airtight container.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli with Lemony Garlic Breadcrumbs