Ready-Made Thanksgiving Dinner

Give thanks for the convenience of prepared holiday dinner from Twin Cities grocery stores and restaurants, and check out volunteer opportunities
Roasted Thanksgiving Day Turkey with all the Sides

Adobe Stock | Brent Hofacker

Thanksgiving is a great time to get together with family and friends. However, preparing a traditional turkey-day dinner is a lot of work. That’s where local grocery stores come in. You can order fully cooked dinners with all the fixings and just heat and serve at your home—or at your host’s home. When you factor in all that these dinners include, the cost is rather reasonable, too. You could agree to split the costs among the members of your group, making it easier on everyone. Stores offer a range of options from traditional turkey feasts for small or larger groups including mashed potatoes, dressing, veggies, and pies, or you can order a la carte. Some stores also feature turkey alternatives if you prefer ham or beef—or want them in addition.

Here, I highlight options for ordering dinner from a selection of grocery stores as well as a handful of restaurants offering Thanksgiving dinner. It’s coming up quickly on November 28, though. You’ll want to order dinner soon, and reservations are getting tight at the restaurants. Since Thanksgiving can also be a difficult time for those in need, you will find a few opportunities to give back listed below as well.

Grocery Store Thanksgiving Options

Just heat and serve. How nice is that? The meals are fully cooked, but the elements are cold from refrigeration and will need time to heat, so factor that in your planning. The fully cooked turkey will still need about an hour in the oven to heat before serving. Heating instructions will be included, so the stores make that part easy, too. Note that meals are available while supplies last at select stores and need to be ordered in advance.

Cub Foods

Traditional Turkey Dinner $89.99, Serves up to 8
Including fully cooked turkey, sides, dinner rolls and pie.
Please provide 24-hour advance notice. Select locations only. While supplies last.


A variety of holiday dinners
• Traditional Turkey Feast (Serves 8) $89.99
• Traditional Boneless Ham Dinner (Serves 8) $89.99
Orders can be placed up to 25 days prior to pick up


• Small Turkey Dinner (Serves 4-6) $109.99
• Turkey Dinner (Serves 10-12) $169.99
Thanksgiving meals are available for in-store pickup or delivery on Wednesday, November 27, only. There will be no deliveries after 4 p.m.
Order online. If ordering with less than 48 hours, please call your local market.

Lunds & Byerlys

Chef-crafted, heat-and-serve dinners come complete with turkey, side dishes, buns, and dessert. Additional side dishes also available for order.
• Turkey Dinner (Serves 3-5) $89.99 / (Serves 8-10) $149.99
Available while supplies last at select stores. Recommended to place your order by Wednesday, November 20. (Check on availability after that date.) Items will be available for in-store pickup on Tuesday, November 26 after 10 a.m. or by 8 p.m. Wednesday, November 27.
Order online or stop by the deli to place your order in person.

Whole Foods

A variety of holiday dinners. All orders must be placed 48 hours ahead of pick up date and time.
• Classic Roast Turkey Dinner (Serves 8) $129.99
• Classic Roast Turkey Breast Dinner (Serves 4) $69.99
• Festive Feast for 12: Includes both a turkey and ham as well as sides and two desserts (Serves 12) $279.99

Dining Out

If you would like to go out for Thanksgiving dinner, some restaurants are offering special meals on Thanksgiving Day. Plus, when dining out, they also clean up and do the dishes for you. Hours listed below for Thanksgiving Day may vary from normal business hours.

Bucca di Beppo

The popular Italian eatery knows a thing or two about cooking for a crowd. The restaurants will feature Thanksgiving classics—sliced white meat turkey, homestyle gravy, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, spicy Italian sausage stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie—available for dining in or ordering online for takeout. Their regular menu of Italian favorites is also available.
Thanksgiving Dinner To Go (only available on November 27 and 28)
Small: $68.99 (Serves 3) • Large: $134.99 (Serves 6)
Open at 11 a.m.
Various locations

Holman’s Table

Thanksgiving Day Gourmet Buffet: Give thanks at the chef-crafted grand spread featuring elevated traditional Thanksgiving fare, craft cocktails, and decadent pastries served in their lobby with seating in the Dining Room and Earhart Room.
Adults $39.50 • Kids 9 and under $15
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
644 Bayfield St., St. Paul
Book online or call the restaurant: 612-800-5298

The Lexington

The Lex is featuring a prefix menu with entrees including traditional turkey, beef tenderloin, salmon in pastry, or falafel meatloaf with vegan gravy.
Adults $44.95 • $18.95 for kids 12 and under
11 a.m. to 6:45 p.m.
1096 Grand Ave, St Paul
Reservations online or call 651-289-4990

Lord Fletcher’s Old Lake Lodge

This Lake Minnetonka favorite is featuring its Thanksgiving Brunch with menu items including smoked salmon, tuna poke, oysters, eggs benedict, mashed potatoes with gravy, sage stuffing, green bean casserole, lobster mac n cheese, root beer glazed ham, roast turkey, prime rib, a chocolate fountain and more.
Adults: $36.95 •  Kids: $12.95
9:30 am – 3:30pm
3746 Sunset Dr, Spring Park
Check online or call 952-471-8513

Nicollet Island Inn

The elegant inn along the banks of the Mississippi River is featuring a traditional family feast, complete with turkey, trimmings and each dinner comes with a “leftover” turkey sandwich to enjoy the next day.
Nicollet Island Inn, 95 Merriam St., Minneapolis
Check for reservations online or call 612-331-1800

For additional Thanksgiving Day entertainment options, check out Meet Minneapolis’ roundup.

The Spirit of Thanks and Giving

Want to help the community or need help yourself this year? Here are a few options:

Cherokee Tavern’s Thanksgiving

St. Paul’s Cherokee Tavern (886 Smith Ave. S., West St Paul) will serve free meals to those in need. The restaurant has been serving free Thanksgiving meals since 1981. Some previous years they have served 3,800 on Thanksgiving. Dinner will be served this year at the Church of St. Joseph on Seminole Avenue in West St. Paul, as in 2018. While the meals are available for those in need, it’s also about giving back to the community whether someone has lost a job or is lonely, note the owners. See more about their story here. Tickets are needed in advance.
Want to help out? Call the Church of St. Joseph if you would like to volunteer as a meal server. 651-457-2781

Open Arms

Open Arms of Minnesota is a nonprofit that cooks and delivers free, nutritious meals to people living with life-threatening illnesses in the Twin Cities.

Thanksgiving is a very special time at Open Arms. They give all of their clients the option of receiving either a frozen turkey with all the fixings the week before Thanksgiving or receiving a freshly made meal on Thanksgiving Day.

To help make these holiday deliveries possible, they need a lot of volunteers. Here are the ways you can help.

Salvation Army

Share the spirit of the season with others by serving a meal at the Salvation Army shelter in Minneapolis. Volunteers can help serve a meal on the days prior to and including the holiday. Space is limited to just five to six volunteers per shift. All meal-serving volunteers must be at least 16 years old. There are three Thanksgiving Day meal volunteer opportunities as well as for the upcoming Christmas holidays. Find information here.

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Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.