December 4, 2020

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health is the best!

Best Thanksgiving meal kits and turkey delivery services for your 2020 holiday feast

9 min read
Thanksgiving is likely to look different this year for many of us. Health officials are...

Thanksgiving is likely to look different this year for many of us. Health officials are urging folks to keep their holiday gatherings small, and limited to household family members. That certainly doesn’t mean we’re going to forego food comas on that one glorious and final Thursday in November, but we all ought to take a few extra precautions to keep our gatherings in check. 

One way to avoid potential exposure before Thanksgiving — and added stress, for that matter — is to skip those extra trips to what will likely be crowded supermarkets. A roster of online purveyors delivering turkeys and full or a la cart Thanksgiving meal kits may just be your best defense against an in-store turkey brawl. Even better, reserving and buying your turkey online from a purveyor such as D’Artagnan or Porter Road means you’ll likely get the exact type and size bird you want without having to arm wrestle with Betty from down the street. With the big ol’ bird covered, there are sides and sweets to consider, and this is where preassembled Thanksgiving meal kits swoop in to save the day. Meal kit companies are offering up special turkey day boxes with all the ingredients and recipes to make your holiday meal prep an absolute breeze. I mean, if ever there was a year to give yourself a break, this is it.

Thanksgiving meal kits are already — or will soon be — available from many of our favorite purveyors, including HelloFreshBlue ApronPurple Carrot and Home Chef. Each is offering a little something different depending on your plans, so whether you’re looking to order a high-quality turkey only or the whole Thanksgiving meal kit and kaboodle for a small group, large group or vegan crowd, there’s a delivery of Thanksgiving goodness waiting to make hosting as smooth as ever. Easy as pie, right? Oh yeah, they have pie covered too. There are even fully prepared Thanksgiving meals available if you don’t even want to lift a spatula. Honestly, who could blame you?

This year we’re more thankful than ever for home delivery of the all-important turkey, as well as ingredients to make tasty Thanksgiving side dishes and desserts with chef-tested recipes that are easy to execute. Check out the best places to order your organic, heritage or pasture-raised turkey or snag a full Thanksgiving meal kit in advance and have it shipped in time for the big day. 

Note that we haven’t personally partaken in this year’s (or past years’) Thanksgiving offerings at these vendors, and our “best” determinations are based on their specialties or menu differentiations as outlined below. But these are the suggestions we’d make to our family and friends, based on our research. This list was originally published last year and has been updated.

D’artagnan

This ain’t your store-bought frozen butterball turkey. For the all-important bird, D’Artagnan is one of the best options for getting a turkey delivered. In operation for more than 30 years, D’Artagnan works with small farms that using humane breeding and farming practices for heritage, organic and even wild turkeys that can be preordered and shipped nationwide.

Green Circle: These quality turkeys are raised on small family farms where they feed on vegetable scraps and roam freely around farm and pastureland. Green Circle turkeys start at $57.50 for an 8- to 10-pounder, but they come much bigger than that — all the way up to a 26-pound whopper. 

Heritage: Free-range turkeys don’t get as large as conventional birds but make up for it with dense, dark, rich meat and big flavor. If you prefer dark meat over white, this a great pick.

Organic: These birds are USDA-certified. Expect them to be more moist and flavorful than your average grocery store budget buy.

Wild: These are raised in upstate New York in conditions that mimic the wild, with birds foraging on native grasses, seeds and grains. Slightly gamey, these turkeys will be smaller than your average farm-raised version — especially in the breast — but make up for it with rich, flavorful dark meat.  

Porter Road

Porter Road is one of our favorite online butchers for having high-quality meats delivered to your door. While dry-aged beef has been its go-to offering, the Nashville-based purveyor is getting in on Thanksgiving festivities with pasture-raised turkeys delivered to your door in time for the big feast. Porter Road turkeys, which come in two sizes (10 to 12.5 lbs or 12 to 15 lbs), start at $120 and come from Jolly Barnyard Farm outside of Nashville, where they’re raised in a natural setting with no antibiotics or hormones. These turkeys just became available for pre-order so snatch yours up while supplies last. 

You can also upgrade to the Holiday Turkey Box which includes a turkey (13 to 15 pounds), one pound of sage sausage for stuffing, one pound pork bacon ends to liven up those sprouts and a pound of ham bacon for breakfast or appetizers. All this for just $165.

Southside Market

Listen, if you’ve committed to hosting Thanksgiving but the idea of cooking an entire turkey is keeping you up at night or you simply just don’t want to deal with all of that, I’m here to tell you that you’ve got options. A precooked turkey has a higher likelihood of drying out, but the exception is smoked turkeys. It’s a more complicated cooking process but a tried and true barbecue outfit like Southside Market will have it down, and smoked turkeys keep their moisture much better than oven-roasted. 

Southside will deliver these birds — whole or breast only — anywhere in the country. All you do is warm it in the oven on the big day and you’re good to go. Full disclosure: We have yet to try this particular smoked turkey but plan to test it soon and will update the post when we do. In the meantime, there are plenty of buyer reviews to sort through for more intel. 

HelloFresh

For a Thanksgiving meal kit, this is the whole kit and kaboodle, as they say. HelloFresh has two Thanksgiving feast offerings and they’re two of the most comprehensive holiday meal kits you can buy, giving you all you need to execute the entire meal from scratch in one box. One offering features a traditional turkey feast for eight to 10 people, while the other spotlights a juicy beef tenderloin dinner for a smaller group of four to six. In each, you’ll get everything you need to dish up main course, multiple sides and a dessert, all while making exactly zero trips to the store. Speaking of the store: After doing some scratch math on what this would all cost at a local Whole Foods or Kroger, we’ve determined this is also a very good deal.

HelloFresh Turkey Feast (serves eight to 10)

  • Main: Whole roast turkey with a garlic-herb butter rub and classic gravy
  • Sides: Creamy mashed potatoes with garlic and sour cream; smoky maple brussels sprouts; ciabatta stuffing with chicken sausage and cranberries; cranberry sauce with orange and cinnamon  
  • Dessert: Apple ginger crisp with cinnamon pecan crumble
  • Price: $160 plus shipping

HelloFresh Beef Tenderloin Feast (serves four to six)

  • Main: Peppercorn-crusted beef tenderloin with sherry thyme jus
  • Sides: Creamy mashed potatoes with garlic and sour cream; smoky maple brussels sprouts; ciabatta stuffing with chicken sausage and cranberries; cranberry sauce with orange and cinnamon  
  • Dessert: Apple ginger crisp with cinnamon pecan crumble
  • Price: $135 plus shipping

Blue Apron

The original meal kit delivery company is getting in on the Thanksgiving fun this year too. The Southern-style Thanksgiving feast is happening in partnership with Chef Edouardo Jordan, a two-time James Beard Award winner. There are two sizes available: One to accommodate a party of six to eight people and a smaller version for two. Blue Apron is also offering a wine bundle, featuring chefs’ selections of whites and reds to pair with dinner.

The Blue Apron Thanksgiving feast is available for pre-order on Nov. 2 and boxes arrive the week of Nov. 23. In the meantime, you can sign up and try Blue Apron below.

Southern-style Thanksgiving meal kit (serves six to eight)

    • Main course: Spiced roasted boneless turkey breast
    • Sides: Pimento cheese-style mashed potatoes; roasted carrots in ginger syrup; mushroom braised collard greens; cheesy cornbread, sage gravy and cranberry relish
    • Dessert: Peanut-glazed apple and persimmon crumble with maple syrup and quatre epices
    • Price: $135

Purple Carrot

Forget the tofurky, people. There are plenty of delicious Thanksgiving foods that never had parents and Purple Carrot — one of our favorite healthy meal kit delivery services — is offering a Thanksgiving Box back by popular demand. The fully stocked meal kit costs $75 and is good for four “generous” servings, according to the website. 

Orders must be placed by Tuesday, Nov. 17 but the big caveat is, unlike last year, you must be a Purple Carrot subscriber to order. The good news is you can always sign up right before ordering and cancel or pause anytime. 

Purple Carrot’s vegan Thanksgiving box (serves four)

  • Main course: Hasselback butternut squash with cider glaze and rosemary pecan dukkah
  • Sides: Rustic ciabatta stuffing with root vegetables and herb sausage; roasted brussels sprouts with oyster mushrooms and garlic kimchi butter; classic (vegan) gravy 
  • Dessert: Pear cranberry crisp with walnut crumble
  • Price: $75

Butcher Box

ButcherBox is another one of our favorite services for meat delivery, and not just around the holidays. You can customize and then optimize your monthly box of quality steaks, pork ribs, ground beef, chicken and more and if you place a new order before Nov. 16, ButcherBox will throw in a free 10- to 14-pound turkey to arrive before the big day.

To get the free bird there are five boxes to choose from (starting at $129), including a beef-and-pork box, beef-and-chicken box, all-beef box, mixed box with beef, pork and chicken or a custom selection. The best part? You can cancel at any time, making this is a low-risk way to try a great butcher delivery and score a free turkey while you’re at it. 

Note: If you don’t cancel, the orders keep coming.

Cooks Venture

Maybe turkey isn’t your thing on Thanksgiving. If so, that’s totally OK. For those who claim chicken as their poultry of preference, I’d suggest Cooks Venture. These certified humanely raised heirloom chickens were bred to be healthy, not just big, and raised with sustainable farming practices. You can have these great eatin’ birds sent to your front door for $20 each when you buy four or $18 per bird when you buy six.

Home Chef

You have to be a Home Chef subscriber to snare this deal but you can sign up easily and then pause or cancel anytime. This year the popular meal kit company is hittin’ with a la cart Thanksgiving recipes, including roast turkey ($45) and lots of great sides ($16 each) that are meant to feed roughly six people. The turkey and sides, like green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and pecan-sage stuffing, require a little assembly and preparation but not much. Also worth noting that it won’t be a whole turkey showing up at your door, so you lose a little of that Norman Rockwell charm. What’s nice, however, is you can order exactly what you want and none of what you don’t. The last day to get orders in for Thanksgiving deliveries is Friday, Nov. 20 at noon ET.

Home Chef Thanksgiving recipes (a la cart)

  • Turkey breast ($45)
  • White cheddar and sage biscuits with honey butter ($16)
  • Pecan, sage & cranberry stuffing ($16)
  • Caramelized onion green bean casserole ($16)
  • Loaded mashed potatoes with cheddar, bacon and green onions ($16)
  • Apple cranberry crumble ($16)

Goldbelly

This online food marketplace is the middleman between you and some of the best pies and desserts from around the country. They have everything from the all-important apple pie to viral sensations like including Zac Young’s decadent Piecaken monster. Yes, that’s an apple cake, pumpkin pie and pecan pie all in one.

Thanksgiving pies from Goldbelly

Freshly

For a ready-made Thanksgiving meal, Freshly is offering single-serve Thanksgiving dinners with no cooking required. The Freshly Carved Thanksgiving Dinner includes lean and tender carved turkey atop a bed of creamy, skin-on mashed potatoes, a generous ladle of garlicky gravy boosted with thyme, sage, and almond-flax butter along with a twist on green bean casserole sautéed with a small dab of butter, mushrooms, salty flecks of turkey bacon and toasted pecans. 

The meals will be available for order and delivery in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, but you can try Freshly now by signing up below.  

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