Make This Thanksgiving Prep Easier & Healthier With These Holiday Essentials

This is my first thanksgiving hosting a full on dinner for a few of my loved ones since moving out with my boyfriend. I do love cooking and I do feel like I am good cook, but it seems so daunting to be responsible for feeding so much delicious food to people I love on such a special day. Thank goodness I have discovered this guide to creating the perfect holiday meal, with healthier and cheaper ingredients! Keep scrolling to learn some of the essentials like thawing, seasoning and cooking a turkey!

*This post does contain affiliate links of products that have helped me make delicious meals! I am sharing a blog post from Thrive Market containing delicious recipes, products and instructions and creating delicious Thanksgiving meals. If you do like these recipes or products, please use the link below to receive a free gift! (30 day risk free cancellation)

Choose a FREE gift, up to $24 value, when you purchase a Thrive Market membership! (1 year and 1 month memberships available)

Luckily, if you order your holiday meats from Thrive Market, most of the hard work is already done. That’s because Pederson’s Natural Farms Spiral-Sliced, Sugar-Free Hams come pre-cooked, and Mary’s Free-Range Whole Turkey and boneless Turkey Breast simply need to be delivered to your door, thawed, and cooked to perfection. (Pro tip: Order by November 16th to get your meats in time for Thanksgiving!)

How to Thaw Whole Turkey

For best results, thaw your Mary’s Free-Range Whole Turkey in the refrigerator. Leave it in the original bag and place in a pan on the bottom refrigerator shelf; thaw for two to three days, or until thawed. (Good rule of thumb: Allow approximately 4 hours per pound to thaw.)

For a quick thaw, submerge the turkey in cold water in its original packaging, breast-side down. Make sure the bag is completely closed and hasn’t been punctured. Flush with cold water every 30 minutes. Allow approximately 30 minutes per pound to thaw using this method. See packaging for full details.

How to Prepare Whole Turkey

For an extra-juicy turkey, try brining it overnight after it’s completely thawed. Check out these easy instructions for how to brine your turkey.

And if you’d like to add a seasoning mix to the turkey before popping it into the oven, here’s our tried-and-true turkey seasoning recipe:

Turkey Seasoning Mix

1/4 cup Thrive Market Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp Thrive Market Organic Black Pepper, ground
2 tsp Thrive Market Organic Italian Seasoning
1 tsp Thrive Market Organic Garlic Powder
1 tsp Thrive Market Organic Paprika

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

Cooking Instructions

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Working over the sink, remove thawed turkey from the bag and allow liquid to drain in the sink. Place turkey in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet. Spread the seasoning mixture over the turkey. Loosely cover with aluminum foil. Cook for approximately 25 minutes per pound; using a meat thermometer, make sure the turkey has reached an internal temperature of 165°F. To prevent over-cooking the turkey, check the internal temperature throughout the roasting time. (Pro tip: Save the turkey pan drippings to make homemade gravy.)


How to Thaw Turkey Breast

For the best results, thaw your Mary’s boneless turkey breast one to three days in advance of cooking. Allow approximately 30 minutes of thawing time per pound of turkey. We recommend thawing in cold water, in the original wrapping. The cold water should be changed every 30 minutes. After your turkey breast has thawed, store it in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

How to Cook Turkey Breast

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove thawed turkey breast from the bag, rinse with cold water, and season to your liking. Place the breast in an uncovered roasting pan, then add two cups of water (or broth) to the bottom of the pan. Place roasting pan in the center of the oven. Cook as directed on packaging; use a meat thermometer inserted sideways into the center of the breast to ensure an internal temperature of 165°F. Remove turkey breast from the oven and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Once turkey has rested, carve and serve turkey with the delicious pan juices.


Shop sustainable seafood, 100% grass fed beef, & more through the Thrive Market Meat & Seafood program! Choose a FREE gift, up to $24 value, when you purchase a Thrive Market membership!

How to Thaw Pre-Cooked Spiral Sliced Ham

Our Spiral-Sliced, Bone-In Holiday Hams are made from pork that is humanely raised at Pederson’s Natural Farms without the use of antibiotics or added hormones. They’re fully cooked and completely free of sugar, preservatives, nitrates, and nitrites. 

We’ll ship your ham frozen, and it will arrive frozen at your doorstep. If you choose to warm your ham for serving, it should be completely thawed before you heat it. We recommend thawing your ham in the refrigerator; thaw time is approximately five hours per pound (roughly two days for a half ham).

How to Reheat Pre-Cooked Spiral Sliced Ham

Since it’s already fully cooked, your spiral-sliced ham can be gently heated or served chilled. However you choose to enjoy it, we recommend serving it with one of our go-tos: a sweet-yet-spicy brown sugar glaze.

Brown Sugar Glaze

1 cup Thrive Market Organic Dark Brown Sugar, packed
1/2 cup Thrive Market Organic Light Brown Sugar, packed
1/2 cup of brandy
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon Thrive Market Organic Ground Cumin
1 tablespoon Thrive Market Organic Ground Coriander
1 teaspoon Thrive Market Organic Ground Allspice
1/2 teaspoon Thrive Market Organic Cayenne Pepper
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 tablespoon Thrive Market Organic Cornstarch

In a medium bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the cornstarch. Add cornstarch last to thicken the glaze.

Reheating Instructions

Preheat oven to 275°F. Remove packaging, reserving liquid. Place ham cut-side down on a large sheet of foil in a roasting pan. Add 1 cup of liquid (water, broth, etc.) to pan and cover with aluminum foil. Warm ham in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes per pound.

Remove ham from the oven when heated through. Increase oven temperature to 400°F. Uncover ham, brush or spoon the glaze over the surface of the ham. Return to oven, uncovered, and heat for 10 minutes.


Easy & Healthy Thanksgiving Sides

If you’re looking for convenient, wholesome Thanksgiving sides that taste like homemade, add these to your box before checkout:

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread Mix
Organic Grain-Free Stuffing Mix
Organic Whole-Grain Stuffing Mix
Organic Cranberry Sauce

Want to make your own pumpkin bread or pumpkin pie? Try our smooth and rich Organic Pumpkin Puree. Each batch is made from sustainably farmed pumpkins that are vine-ripened, then puréed to perfection. Happy holiday feasting!

If any of these recipes helped, click the link below to recipe a free gift with Thrive market!

Choose a FREE gift, up to $24 value, when you purchase a Thrive Market membership! (1 year and 1 month memberships available)

If you need more Thanksgiving inspiration, check out my post on creating a beautiful thanksgiving table setting!

Follow me on instagram at @hannah_alwayshungry if you’re always hungry too ❤

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