Must Have: Pre-cooked Thanksgiving Dinners

Thanksgiving is two weeks away. Two. Weeks. Those of you who are hosting the Big Dinner this year might be feeling the hairs on the back of your neck start to tingle as you realize that it’s time to start planning. (You’ve started planning, though, right?) If you haven’t started planning, or you’re short on time, or think of your oven as that place to store the pots and pans you never use, you might want to considering a pre-cooked meal from one of these purveyors. Some of them can even help you take care of the wine (the second-most important part of the meal). Follow the links for specifics on how to order.

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of

Grocery Stores

Whole Foods — For those with larger operating budgets, gourmet palates, or VIP guests you’d like to impress, Austin’s natural-foods mothership has got you covered. Start off with brie en croute or a crab plate to whet your guests’ appetites, then move on to one of several dinner packages from classic to Southern to vegan. Heck, Whole Foods even has your Thanksgivukkah dinner covered with tzimmes, latkes, matzoh ball soup, and more. Add on wines, pies, breads, and floral arrangements to convince your mother-in-law once and for all that you are actually Martha Stewart. If you’re reading this on Thursday, November 15, head down to Whole Foods Downtown for their Taste of Thanksgiving, with each department offering preview samples of holiday dishes from 6-9pm.

Central Market — Along those same lines, HEB’s upmarket grocery offers holiday meal packages spanning the traditional spread with turkey and several traditional fixings to a gluten-free meal to turkey alternatives like ham, lamb, and beef tenderloin.

Sprouts — The healthy grocer that caters to the suburban market is offering holiday meals featuring turkey, ham, and rib roast with traditional fixings and Hawaiian, white, or wheat rolls. If you want a shot at a free holiday meal, “Like” Sprouts on Facebook and enter to win Thanksgiving meals, turkeys, catering trays, and so on.


Luby’s — No judgement here. Luby’s is a legit Texas business, plus the nostalgia factor is high. What’s more, it’s crazy affordable. For example, for about 80 bucks, you can get a turkey dinner (smoked, roasted, or deep fried Butterballs) for 10-12 folks with dressing, cranberry sauce, gravy, a pumpkin or pecan pie, and a dozen rolls. Or put on your fancy pants and go for the Premium package ($110), featuring prime rib, green beans, mashed potatoes, and strawberry cheesecake.

Threadgill’s — For heat-and-serve Southern fare, look no further than Threadgill’s. For $129.99, you can preorder turkey or ham, plus mashed potatoes, yams, stuffing, green bean casserole, gravy, cranberry sauce, rolls, and pie. Goodness, y’all, that is some economical comfort.

Stiles Switch — Quite possible one of my favorite barbecue joints in Austin, Stiles Switch has some of the best smoked turkey I’ve had, period. It’s tender, juicy, and smoky and serves as a lighter counterpoint to traditional barbecue meats like sausage and brisket. This year, Stiles is offering two dinner packages, one for 4-6 people ($74.95) and one for 8-10 people ($129.95). Both packages come with turkey breast, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green beans, and dinner rolls. I also strongly recommend ordering a quart or two of mac and cheese and corn casserole so you can truly win Thanksgiving.Advertisement

Private Chefs

Spirited Food — This one is really special. Chef Andrew Brooks has been providing private meal and catering services from his commercial kitchen for some time now, with an emphasis on organic, locally sourced ingredients that are both healthy and delicious. Seriously, this is fine restaurant-quality grub made just for you, and now you can get it on your Thanksgiving table, too. Brooks is offering a broad array of brunch items, soups, mains, sides, and desserts for preorder. Email him at for more information and ordering instructions.

And as an addendum to last week’s pie piece, I must add the two following pastry geniuses to the list:

Bribery, Jodi Elliott (of Foreign & Domestic)

Pie Fixes Everything, Colleen Summers (via Salt & Time)

I’ll be taking pies from both of these ladies to my family’s Thanksgiving feast. (And probably some corn casserole from Stiles, to boot.)


Catherine Prystup
About Catherine Prystup 2157 Articles
Catherine Prystup founded out of a desire to build a better community for Austin-area moms. She has three children, ages seventeen, eight and three years old.