8 Popular Chains to Pick Up a Thanksgiving Meal To Go
The typical American household that enjoys a Thanksgiving Day feast is going to spend around $55 on the Thanksgiving dinner that will serve eight to 10 people. That's up from $46.90 for a holiday meal fit for 10 diners just a year ago in 2021—you can thank inflation for that increase, and as for the causes of inflation, you can "thank" everything from avian diseases to ongoing supply chain issues to the war in Ukraine.
Still, despite increased food costs in 2022, most American families are still committed to enjoying a Thanksgiving meal. But doing so does not, in fact, require that you cook. You can actually create quite a fitting and filling thanksgiving meal to go when you order food from one of the restaurants featured here today.
It's kind of like Thanksgiving every day at Boston Market, so it's no surprise it's a good place to turn to on Thanksgiving. You can either pick up chilled heat-and-eat holiday foods ahead of time or stop in on November 24th for fresh-cooked hot Thanksgiving classics, like turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and more. And you can order pre-curated meals or assemble your feast a la carte.
You can order an entire turkey from Popeyes, complete with Cajun seasoning. (It's already sold out online, but you may be able to pre-order one in person.) But even beyond this classic centerpiece of the meal, Popeyes has so many menu items that work perfectly for Thanksgiving that you're sure to create a perfect meal, albeit perhaps one with chicken as the protein. There's mashed potatoes, coleslaw, biscuits, mac and cheese, and more.
If you don't want to lift a finger on Thanksgiving, well other than ordering and picking up, Cracker Barrel has you covered. It offers full meals complete with turkey and all the fixins' in all different sizes, depending on your party. The meals are designed to reheat in about two hours start to finish, so plan accordingly. They feature a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey. Or, if you just need dessert, Cracker Barrel offers a bunch of classic pies and some unique options like a Cinnamon Roll Pie.
El Pollo Loco
Again, if you're okay with chicken as the main course instead of turkey, El Pollo Loco can create a delightful holiday meal, and with a Mexican flair. Consider something like the chain's 8-Piece Family Feast that comes with chicken, avocado salad, two large sides (like beans, mashed potatoes, corn, or red rice), churros, chips, and salsa.
Ordering a 16-Piece Meal from KFC is pretty much like ordering a Thanksgiving-sized feast already. It comes with a huge bucket loaded with four drumsticks, four breasts, four thighs, and four wings, and with eight biscuits and four large sides of your choosing, like green beans, mashed potatoes with gravy, slaw, corn, and more. Eight people can enjoy this feast of a meal and, at $43.99 per our check of several locations, it beats the going price of Turkey Day dinner, too.
If you like the idea of a mighty meal packed with rich flavors that may not be quintessentially "Thanksgiving" but are sure to satisfy, then Qdoba has you covered. The chain offers Family Meals that serve four to five diners, so order two and be more than set. A Family Meal from Qdoba comes with a generous serving of chopped chicken or steak (the latter is pricier, of course), rice, beans, salsa, tortillas, and you can add guac, sour cream, queso, and plenty more.
Yep, Thanksgiving c/o a fast-food/gas station chain, and pretty tasty at that. Wawa's The Gobbler Hoagie features turkey, gravy, stuffing, and cranberry sauce all in one sandwich, or you can even get the Gobbler Hoagie with Mashed Potatoes or one with sweet potatoes. You can also get a turkey-laden Gobbler Bowl, and as for soups and sides, try broccoli cheddar soup, mac and cheese, rice, beans, meatballs, and more.
It's easy to cobble together an entire holiday feast level of meal from this fast-food chain. With entrees aplenty including larger chicken filets, the main protein is easy, albeit not turkey. And for sides, you can go with kale, mac and cheese, a salad, fries, soup, and more. Just don't try to recreate that Thanksgiving dinner on a Sunday, because, as you probably already know, the chain is closed.