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15 Easy Fixes for Common Thanksgiving Glitches

Expect a stress-free Thanksgiving feast with these expert-approved tips for remedying common kitchen errors.

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Homemade Sliced Turkey Breast for Thanksgiving Dinner; Shutterstock ID 157932077; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of HomeBrent Hofacker/shutterstock

Overcome kitchen catastrophes, from soggy sides to soupy desserts, with these quick, tried-and-true remedies so you can get your Thanksgiving meal on the table—and get a whole lotta compliments.

Try these traditional recipes for this year’s feast!

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turkey taste of homeTaste of Home

Glitch: Colorless Turkey

Fix: If your turkey is cooked but not browned, stop basting and increase the heat to 450˚. The skin should get golden in a few minutes.

Find out the 10 tips you need for buying the perfect bird.

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turkey thanksgivingTaste of Home

Glitch: Dry Bird

Fix: Slice the turkey meat and place it in a single layer in a baking dish. Pour in enough warm turkey or chicken stock to cover the slices. Cover the dish and bake it at 350˚ for 10-15 minutes.

Here’s how to cook moist and flavorful turkey.

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Cooked turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas in a roasting pan ready for carving; Shutterstock ID 737627782Elena Veselova/shutterstock

Glitch: Underdone Thighs

Fix: Remove the legs and thighs from the turkey and place them back in the roasting pan. Continue cooking until the thickest part of the thigh reaches 170˚-175˚.

Don’t make these 10 mistakes when cooking your bird.

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Whole Homemade Thanksgiving Turkey with All the Sides; Shutterstock ID 224254705Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Glitch: Plain-Looking Platter

Fix: Toss together 1 pound of whole small carrots, 2 halved lemons and a splash of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Roast 20 minutes at 475˚, stirring once. Arrange around the turkey. You can also garnish the plate with sprigs of rosemary, cranberries and orange slices for a festive look.

These Thanksgiving decor ideas will help spruce up your spread, too.

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gravyTaste of Home

Glitch: Runny Gravy

Fix: Slowly stir cold turkey or chicken stock into a bit of cornstarch. Gradually whisk the mixture into simmering gravy.

These gravy recipes should be your go-to’s.

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Homemade Organic Mashed Potatoes with Gravy for Thanksgiving; Shutterstock ID 157931900; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of Home Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Glitch: Lumpy Gravy

Fix: Pour the gravy into a blender and give it a whirl for 30-40 seconds.

Make sure to avoid these mistakes when cooking gravy.

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Tasty turkey gravy in saucepan; Shutterstock ID 670955218Africa Studio/shutterstock

Glitch: Gloppy Gravy

Fix: Whisk in turkey or chicken stock a little at a time until you reach the desired consistency.

Get Grandma’s tricks for making next-level gravy.

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Dark Homemade Turkey Gravy for Thanksgiving Dinner; Shutterstock ID 1207094230; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of Home Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Glitch: Bland Gravy

Fix: Season with bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir in a tablespoon of fruity white wine—such as chardonnay—for a bright, floral flavor. Bring gravy to a simmer for 3 minutes or until fragrant. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Ladle your leftover gravy into these delicious recipes.

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Homemade Autumn Apple Walnut Spinach Salad with Cheese and Cranberries; Shutterstock ID 477533599; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of HomeBrent Hofacker/shutterstock

Glitch: Limp Salad

Fix: If your salad is soggy, there could be too much dressing. Place only the leaves in a salad spinner, or shake them in a colander to draw out excess moisture. Mix back into the salad bowl alongside fresh, undressed greens for extra crunch.

Try one of these homemade salad dressings on your greens—just not too much!

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stuffing thanksgivingTaste of Home

Glitch: Soggy Stuffing

Fix: Spread stuffing on a baking sheet and bake it at 350˚ for 10 minutes. Still mushy? Stir and repeat.

Shake up your stuffing offering this year with one of these exciting recipes.

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Homemade Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest; Shutterstock ID 511437184; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of HomeBrent Hofacker/shutterstock

Glitch: Bitter Cranberry Sauce

Fix: Resist adding granulated sugar—you won’t get the full effect unless you reheat the sauce and the sugar dissolves. Instead, start by stirring in 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and 1 teaspoon of a sweet drink, like apple juice, orange juice, or fruity white or red wine. Add more to taste. Sprinkle with just a pinch of salt (in small amounts, it intensifies sweetness).

Discover the lesser-known health benefits of cranberries.

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Fresh brussels sprouts; Shutterstock ID 330817340; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of HomeRuslan Mitin/shutterstock

Glitch: Mushy Brussels Sprouts

Fix: Puree ’em in a food processor. For some texture, raid your fridge for spreadable cheese and fold it into the puree to taste. Add a squeeze of lemon juice for some brightness. Use it as a dip for crudites, or spread it on leftover turkey sandwiches.

Your menu won’t be complete without these Brussels sprouts sides.

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Homemade Organic Apple Pie Dessert Ready to Eat; Shutterstock ID 158416475; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of HomeBrent Hofacker/shutterstock

Glitch: Soupy Apple Pie

Fix: Runny pie is the result of too little thickener or overly juicy apples. Make sundaes instead! Puree the pie filling in a blender. Pour over ice cream (we like vanilla, especially this brand), and top it with whipped cream, cherries, nuts and other garnishes.

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cracked pumpkin pieTaste of Home

Glitch: Cracked Pumpkin Pie

Fix: Chocolate is the answer to everything! And in this instance, it’s the perfect cover-up. Melt together 1 cup chocolate chips and 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, stirring until smooth. Pour over cooled the pie and chill until set. (Psst! Try this even if your pie has no cracks.)

Read up on 5 easy ways to melt chocolate.

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Homemade Leftover Thanksgiving Sandwich with Turkey Cranberries and Stuffing; Shutterstock ID 334602803; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of Home Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Glitch: Leftover Overload

Fix: Send leftovers home with guests in special yet disposable to-go containers so you’re not stuck eating the same thing weeks after the big day.

Learn 9 creative ways to reuse plastic containers around the house.

Annamarie Higley
Annamarie Higley is an Associate Print Editor for Taste of Home magazine, as well as the brand's special issue publications. A midwestern transplant originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she enjoys hiking, trivia-ing, and—you guessed it!—all things cooking and baking.

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