Feeding Guests During the Thanksgiving Holiday

Some smart preparation makes feeding your Thanksgiving houseguests a cinch — even if they're staying the whole holiday weekend.

Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables

Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables

Baked pasta dishes are easy to reheat for guests at any point throughout the holiday weekend.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2012, Television Food Network, GP. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Armendariz, 2012, Television Food Network, GP. All Rights Reserved.

Baked pasta dishes are easy to reheat for guests at any point throughout the holiday weekend.

You've got your Thanksgiving meal planned out, but the early arrival of guests, and those staying throughout the holiday weekend, means you may have several meals to serve. Feeding everyone in the days before and after the holiday can be a simple do-ahead affair; keep your eyes on the prize and save your culinary prowess for Thanksgiving dinner. Here are some tips on how to easily feed your houseguests. Our first recommendation: Don't overlook this opportunity for extra help in the kitchen!

Make a Big Batch
The holidays usually become one long eating marathon. Instead of complicated meals in the days before, make a few large-batch recipes at the beginning of the week that can be reheated before serving, such as chili or baked pasta dishes. We also like roasting a bunch of seasonal root vegetables until they are slightly crispy. You can throw these in omelets and salads, or toss them with pasta or rice for a heartier meal. In a pinch, wrap the vegetables with your favorite cheese in a tortilla for an easy crowd-pleasing lunch.

Easy Snacks
If your guests like to graze throughout the day, don't worry about whipping up a bevy of homemade treats. Cut a bunch of vegetables for crudite (serve with store-bought hummus or guacamole) and offer bread, chips and cheese to satisfy guests' cravings in between meals. Go for foods that can be eaten on cocktail napkins to minimize cleanup.

Breakfast on the Big Day
You've got plenty of cooking ahead of you today so please don't offer to cook eggs to order. Whip up a large batch of your favorite muffins (just freeze them as soon as they cool) or granola ahead of time. Set those out with some yogurt and fruit, and everyone will be well-fed until dinner rolls around.
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