Rachael Ray's One Pan Thanksgiving Dinner Hack Changes Everything

This year the holiday season is going to be very different for a lot of people. However, just because you're not feeding your entire extended family doesn't mean you have to forego the traditional Thanksgiving meal entirely; after all, this year has already been enough of a bummer without having to wait another 12 months for turkey, gravy, and cranberry sauce.

Luckily, Rachael Ray has the perfect solution to this unique holiday problem: a one-pan Thanksgiving meal! It's a dialed-back version of your classic turkey dinner, complete with roasted vegetables. The chef also shared optional easy recipes for a savory gravy and perfectly tart cranberry sauce to serve it with (via CheatSheet). The secret? Cooking just the turkey breasts (on a bed of well-seasoned vegetables), instead of the whole bird. This one change means the whole meal cooks in only 2-1/2 hours or so instead of taking all afternoon, and People states that the potent Worcestershire and soy marinade ensures plenty of rich umami flavor. To check out the full recipe for the mini meal, head to the Rachael Ray Show's website.

Even more Rachael Ray options for a perfect, one-pan Thanksgiving

If, however, you're not willing to give up the stuffing (or the leg meat) this Thursday, Rachael Ray's 12 Days of Thanksgiving series still has you covered with her "tray bake" version of the classic meal, featuring stuffing balls and bone-in chicken pr turkey pieces (via EatingWell). Instead of the Worcestershire and soy sauce marinade, this version uses balsamic vinegar and olive oil to complement its herb-covered potato and apple pieces. If this version leaves you wanting just that little bit more, you could easily whip up Ray's simple cranberry sauce from the one-pan meal above to add a little something extra to this tray bake.

In both recipes, the aromatic herbs and citrus will be enough to make your home smell like you've been cooking all day, even though you really haven't, and are sure to fill your belly in preparation for all those family Zoom calls, and we think that is definitely something to be thankful for.