Holiday Dinner? It’s in the pan.

Updated: Oct 13

Thanksgiving dinner in one pan

For the past couple of years, people have been asking for Thanksgiving dinner to go.

At the restaurant, my boss came up with a clever way to put an entire Thanksgiving dinner in a deep, disposable restaurant pan.

As I slice turkey and brown butter for Green Beans Almondine, it occurs to me,

"This would be a great gift for Mr. Ed," I think.

Mr. Ed is not a talking horse but my elderly neighbor. Mr. Ed is widowed and childless.

These days, Mr. Ed can't get around so good. He has trouble seeing and hearing and can no longer drive.

Still, he does his best to look out for us.

"I saw Cilia getting on the bus, today. You tell her to be careful. It's still dark that time of the morning," he says.

Most days, his brother (also wifeless and childless) comes to visit and sits with him a while. But most of the time, Mr. Ed is alone.

Mr. Ed and his brother appreciate good food, but neither get around much in the kitchen anymore.

I think, "Thanksgiving in a pan is a great idea for them."

I think, " I'm so excited to bring them this meal."

I think, "Who else can I bring a little joy?"

There are lots of people to bring a little joy.

He's sweet and kind and still does his best to look out for us.

I'm thankful for that.

Thanksgiving Dinner in a Pan


Sliced turkey

Mashed potatoes


Green Beans Almondine


Chicken stock


In a deep, disposable restaurant pan, arrange ingredients in rows - a row of turkey, a row of mashed potatoes, and so on.

Add pats of butter over everything and a little chicken stock too.

Secure the lid and write a little note and some reheating instructions.

This can be made ahead of time and reheated at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour with the lid on.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cook’s Notes:

A Night Time Cook subscriber, Joan, brought it to my attention that this would be great for any holiday, For Easter, add a little ham, maybe some lamb, roasted asparagus, and scalloped potatoes. For Christmas, add whatever dishes are on your Christmas menu. It‘s really about presenting It in all in one reheatable, disposable pan and expressing a little love.

I love hearing from my subscribers. They are so smart. Thanks, Joan!


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