A couple weeks ago, Matt and I hosted a fun “Friendsgiving” dinner party! Blue Apron sent us a preview of their Thanksgiving box, and since we already had plans to hang out with another couple (and their kids – their older child is Riese’s age and they always have fun together) for dinner over the weekend, we decided to turn it into an early Thanksgiving celebration.
It was a nice treat, and good times were had by all! Read on for a recap of the fun plus my full review of the Blue Apron Thanksgiving box, which sends you all the ingredients and recipes you need to create a holiday feast that’s as delicious as it is hassle-free.
Thank you to Blue Apron for sponsoring this post.
Blue Apron Thanksgiving
I was really interested to try Blue Apron’s Thanksgiving menu because while I know it’s something they have offered in the past, I hadn’t tried it personally!
The Thanksgiving box arrived like any of their meal kits would, with the main difference being that it included this cool Thanksgiving “field guide” handout in addition to the usual recipe cards.
I found the handout to be not only very visually appealing, but also super useful!
Inside, it outlined some tips and tricks for making your meal come together easily the day of, including which recipes (or in some cases, specific steps of recipes) you can do in advance to save time.
As someone who can get a little overwhelmed cooking for other people, especially when trying to host/hang out at the same time (and with kids in the mix), I found this pre-prep advice to be really useful, and we did exactly what they said! It ended up making the day of quite smooth and not too involved cooking-wise, which was nice.
The night before the Friendsgiving party, once the kids were in bed, Matt and I sprung into action.
First, I made the homemade cranberry sauce, which I found was similar to my old fave homemade cranberry sauce recipe – it was quick and easy to make and yummy, too. It included a little orange marmalade and fresh ginger which I thought was an interesting twist!
Next, I prepped the potatoes for the mashed potatoes by washing and slicing them. Then, I worked on the brussels sprouts to get them ready to roast by cleaning and slicing them.
I also put together some notes about what to do the next day at what times based on us wanting to eat dinner around 5:30 or 6.
(Obviously this picture below just has the sprouts on my list, but by the time I was done all the other meal notes were on there too, like when to take the turkey out of the fridge, when to put it in the oven, how early to finish the sides so they were ready at the same time, etc.)
Meanwhile, Matt made the apple pie! It was surprisingly easy to make – they sent a pre-made crust, so all we had to do was prepare the filling, put it in the crust, and bake! The field guide included instructions for reheating the pie the next day (just 10 minutes in the oven), which was useful, too.
In case you’re wondering, Matt is laughing in this picture because I was trying to get him to smile and look at the camera and he kept making terrible faces instead. 😉 He was working on sautéing the fresh apples for the pie filling!
It was so hard to not eat the pie right away when it came out of the oven… it smelled amazing! (We over-baked it by a few minutes because we got distracted by a kid crying upstairs, but it still tasted awesome the next day, have no fear.)
All of our pre-prep meant that by the next day when our friends arrived, we didn’t have a ton of stuff left to do – and what we did have to do was relatively hands off. We all hung out at the kitchen island having cheese and crackers and a sparkling rose while Matt and I finished the rest of the dishes and the kids played!
The turkey breast went in the oven a couple hours before we wanted to eat (it only needed 70 to 80 minutes since it was a breast vs. a whole turkey, plus some time to rest after before slicing).
As for the veggies, they were finished closer to the main event – the pre-prepped brussels sprouts got tossed onto a sheet pan, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper, and thrown into the oven about 20 minutes before go time, and the potatoes needed to be boiled and mashed.
There was also a really yummy toasted pepita and rosemary situation to go with the brussels that was worth a couple extra minutes of effort!
The last thing to do, once the turkey was out of the oven, was to make the homemade gravy using the turkey drippings!
It was honestly all easier than I thought it would be, which was great because we were able to enjoy our friends’ company while also wrapping up the dinner prep.
Last step: carve the turkey breast!
Dinner is served!
It was fun hosting our friends Lily, James, and their kids – Riese and their son Hank had a blast playing together and we all got to enjoy a nice meal! Win/win.
Wes was there, too, but he was napping during the earlier prep and then observing the feast from his own chair next to me. 😉
I didn’t get a photo of everyone enjoying the pie, but it was a hit, too! We served it with a little vanilla ice cream.
Blue Apron Thanksgiving Feast Details
And now, for all the details in case you are interested in enjoying Blue Apron as part of your Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving, too!
The Thanksgiving Feast is available now for pre-order, with delivery either the week of Thanksgiving or the two weeks leading up to it (helpful if you want to do a Friendsgiving before the actual holiday). The last day to order is November 17, and spots fill up fast, so don’t delay!
The feast serves 6 to 8 people and includes the ingredients and recipe cards for the following dishes:
- Savory Butter Roasted Turkey Breast
- Homemade Garlic & Herb Gravy
- Fresh Cranberry Sauce with Ginger & Spicy Maple Syrup
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fried Rosemary & Pumpkin Seeds
- Brown Butter & Fontina Mashed Potatoes with Romano Cheese & Chives
- Apple Crumb Pie with Warming Spices & Almonds
If you’re looking for wine pairings to complete the meal, by the way, check out their Thanksgiving wine bundles – they are designed to pair perfectly with each recipe and feature classic varietals from full-bodied whites to decadent reds. Available on the Blue Apron Market, wines can be purchased in bundles of three and six in both 500ml and 750ml size bottles.
Blue Apron Thanksgiving-inspired Recipes
Lastly, if you don’t want to go all in with their official Thanksgiving box, have no fear – Blue Apron is also offering the following Thanksgiving-inspired Premium, Vegetarian and Add-on recipes as part of their signature 2 or 4 person serving menus the week of Thanksgiving.
These would be perfect if you are going to a potluck… or if you just want more Thanksgiving-type food in your life, which is certainly something I would not turn down.
- Roasted Half Chicken & Herb Gravy with Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes & Ginger-Glazed Carrots
- Seared Scallops & Walnut-Thyme Breadcrumbs with Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts & Pear
- Butternut Squash & Spinach Risotto with Fried Sage & Walnuts
- Four Cheese & Truffle Honey Flatbread with Mushrooms & Kale
- Truffle & Parmesan Knots with Chives
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Walnuts, Sage & Brown Butter
- Flourless Chocolate Cake with Candied Pumpkin Seeds & Whipped Cream
Click here to pre-order your Thanksgiving box now – and if you are a new customer, you will receive up to 14 free meals and free shipping on your first box, too! Happy eating, my friends!
What are your plans for Thanksgiving this year? We are heading to Lake Anna with Matt’s family for the actual holiday week and looking forward to it!