My Thanksgiving Fake-Out Recipes!

The holiday season is all about spending time with family and friends, and eating delicious food, of course! It's crunch-time to get everything ready for the big day and these are a few of my favorite “fake-out” recipes that are simplified to make your Thanksgiving prepping stress-free! 

Fake-Out Cherries & Pear Stuffing

For this recipe all you do is add chopped-up pears and dried cherries to your store-bought stuffing. From there, you’re pretty much good to go!


1/2 cup dried cherries

2 pears, peeled and diced

1 6-ounce box stuffing

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 cup turkey or chicken stock


Preheat oven to 375 °F.

Place cherries into a small bowl. Pour hot water over top to rehydrate. Let sit for 10 minutes and drain. 

In a large bowl, mix the rehydrated cherries and diced pears with the stuffing mix, melted butter and turkey stock. Pour out into a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish and place into oven. Cook for 40 minutes or until browned on top. 

No-Cook Cranberry Relish

If you're a fan of canned or cracked cranberries, that's fine, but I recommend trying a cranberry relish this Thanksgiving due to its insanely delicious, tart-y taste. As an added bonus: You don't even have to turn the stove on to make it, plus you can whip it up days in advance!


1 orange

3 cups fresh cranberries

1 medium apple

1 celery stalk, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup shelled walnuts

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon orange liqueur


Grate the zest from the orange and set aside. Cut off any remaining pith from the orange. Cut the orange into chunks.

In a food processor, combine cranberries, orange chunks, orange zest, apple and celery, and process until finely chopped. Be careful not to process it too long because mixture will become mushy.

Add the walnuts and pulse until chopped. Stir in the sugar and orange liqueur. Refrigerate until serving time.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Pie

When fall rolls around, everyone and their mother lines up to get their long-awaited Pumpkin Spice Latte. Now, you can have it in your whipped cream! Take your normal whipped cream, mix in some instant espresso, and voila! You've just made the best dessert ever.


1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

1 store-bought pumpkin pie


In a stand mixer, whip heavy cream until it forms soft peaks. Add in sugar, salt and espresso powder. Whip until combined.

Top the pumpkin pie with the espresso whipped cream.

Maple Butter

Here's a fun way to jazz up your bread basket by adding a salty and sweet taste with a real citrus pop. The end result will make your bread taste like the cornbread you typically buy at the supermarket.


1/2 cup butter, softened

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Zest of 1 orange

1/2 teaspoon salt


In a stand mixer, mix all ingredients. Put into a ramekin and place into the fridge to set until you’re ready to serve.

Serve with biscuits, cornbread or dinner rolls.

Fake-Out Mushroom & Kale Stuffing

This fake-out takes your ordinary, premade stuffing and adds a little something special to it. The kale factor adds an especially fun flavor, as it stays green in color and keeps that crunchy taste well after you've cooked it.


Olive oil

8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced

Salt and pepper

1 bunch Tuscan kale, about 3 cups, stemmed and chopped

1 6-ounce box stuffing

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 cup turkey or chicken stock


Preheat oven to 375°F.

Heat olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet. Once the oil is hot, add mushrooms and brown, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Once mushrooms are brown, add the kale, in batches if necessary, with a splash of stock. Cook kale to wilt. Season with salt and pepper.

Once cooked, add in the box of stuffing mix, melted butter and turkey stock. Stir to combine. Put mixture into a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish and place into oven. Cook for 40 minutes or until browned on top.