What to Make if All Else Fails Today

November 26, 2015

As the story goes, on Thanksgiving last year around 10 P.M., there were seven poor souls reading our article, “5 Thanksgiving Disasters and How to Fix Them” (which has since been updated to include 99 additional Thanksgiving problems!). Maybe their stuffing came out burnt, or their turkey stayed frozen—we get it, it could happen to anyone! But instead of scraping the charred edges off of your lost stuffing well into the night, pour yourself a glass of red, wave a white flag of surrender, and start raiding your freezer and pantry. With all the ingredients you bought, there's bound to be something quick you can whip up from them—and still feed a crowd. Who says Thanksgiving has to include turkey?

Biscuit and Egg Sandwiches

Three-Ingredient Biscuits + Fried Egg = Dinner Photo by James Ransom

These Genius biscuits only require three ingredients (which you probably have in your fridge from Thanksgiving prep!)—add an egg (or just jam), and some cheese if you're really going for the gold, and you've got dinner.

Bread Pudding

Photo by James Ransom

We're willing to wager that somewhere in your kitchen right now is some sort of bread (leftover cubes for the stuffing that wasn't, a baguette from your cheese plate, challah for tomorrow evening), eggs, a sweetener, and cream or milk. Guess what? You've got yourself the makings of a bread pudding! Throw in some apples, chocolate, vanilla, or even something savory and you've got a meal. A sweet, starchy meal, but a meal nonetheless.

Avocado Toast

Got some bread? Have an avocado somewhere? Bam. Dinner.

Flatbread Pizza

Photo by Sarah Stone

If you have yeast, sugar, flour, and olive oil, you have everything you need to make this flatbread in an hour. Keep it on the stovetop and sprinkle some cheese (and some turkey if it made it!) on top and you've got yourself dinner. This recipe makes 6 flatbreads, so scale the recipe up for your table (and for second helpings).

10 Roast Game Hens

Photo by Linda Xiao

Did that 20-pound turkey not work out? If you happen to have 10 frozen game hens in the freezer—and, hey, you might—it's time to roast those instead. In all seriousness though, this is what the executive chef at a New York City restaurant did a few years back when he ran out of turkey—and he said no one mentioned the difference!


You likely have bread crumbs, garlic, olive oil, and pasta somewhere in your pantry. Start with an aglio e olio base, then add whatever roasted vegetables you can spare. And remember that leftover cheese platter you have from earlier today? Add those in too for a (very fancy) Thanksgiving mac n' cheese.

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Tell the tales of your biggest Thanksgiving disasters—and how you fixed them!—in the comments.

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