Thanksgiving this year felt a little bit weird, because even though we have lived in Hawaii for years and years now, it was the very first year that we weren’t going back to PA or spending it in a room full of friends. Cooking such a grand dinner for two people left me feeling a little bit “meh” and I couldn’t shake it. When my friend Katie suggested I order a Thanksgiving meal from Whole Foods, a lightbulb went off. What an excellent idea! So, I went online, found my store, and ordered our meal. I have to be totally honest — I did not have high hopes — but I did it anyway.
We Ordered Thanksgiving Dinner From Whole Foods…Here’s How That Went
Now is a good time to point out that I did not have high hopes, because I’ve been a homemade girl all my life. If I can make it homemade, I do. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with store bought, but I’ve just always liked to cook and bake. So, as you can imagine, ordering our dinner from a grocery store felt weird to me and I was really nervous it wouldn’t taste as good.
When you order from Whole Foods, they give you the option to input how many people, when you want to pick it up and if you would like additional sides. We ordered the smallest option (dinner for four) and slated a Wednesday night pick-up time. In hindsight, Wednesday night was silly, because the grocery store was JAMMED. I guess I had it in my mind that it would all be fresher for Thursday, but the turkey was dated from the end of October when we opened our box, so jokes on me I guess.
Our dinner came with turkey breast (you could get the whole turkey but it would have been too much for us), gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, green beans and mashed potatoes for $80. I didn’t think that was a bad deal and everything came neatly packaged in a box with instructions.
Whole Foods Thanksgiving Dinner
The food we ordered would have been plenty, but in my mind I wanted to make a few more items, because either Dane or I had grown up eating them on Thanksgiving. So in addition to all of the above, I made baked corn, rolls, macaroni and cheese and sweet potatoes. Listen, I know — this was so much food for two people. I have a disorder where I am paranoid we will not have enough food so I either don’t cook or prepare for 400…there is no in-between.
Whole Foods made it really easy, because everything was pre-cooked, all I really had to do was heat it up. Thankfully everything fit in either my oven or on top of the stove!
The Final Whole Foods Holiday Meal Verdict
Dane said the turkey had great flavor (not dry!) and he LOVED the cranberry sauce. I really liked the green beans they did with shallots and the mashed potatoes were good, too (not boxed like I had feared)! Something we both agreed we didn’t love was the stuffing – it was really mushy in some places, really dry in others and had huge pieces of celery — just overall not really our jam, but that is a-okay. Overall, the meal itself was very well done and we enjoyed it. Would we order a Thanksgiving meal from Whole Foods again? YES! It was thoughtfully curated, tasted great and the price matched the quality.
I think most importantly, I learned a valuable holiday lesson. I spend a lot of time (see also: too much time) thinking about ways to make the holidays special and thoughtful — everything from gifts to food. Going out to buy Thanksgiving felt like, in a way, I was just “phoning it in” and not putting in the “work”.
I know that sounds absurd when I type it out, but that is how my brain works. The reality is that because we ordered it, I was able to spend more quality time with Dane and the dogs Thanksgiving morning, I wasn’t in total stress mode cooking A MILLION THINGS for just the two of us, and the meal was amazing without me being a control freak having to make it all. To be even more honest — we could have been eating a bowl of soup and it would have been enough just being together. It’s so much more than others have and I get a lump in my throat thinking about it. Gratitude and perspective always turns what we have into enough.
So let’s chat – If you were cooking for two would you have ordered it all or cooked it all? Have you ever ordered a holiday meal?