The best Thanksgiving shortcuts

By Lygeia Grace, photos by Lisa Shin
Make these six tasty convenience products part of your holiday arsenal.



Best Stuffing Mix:


Trader Joe's Cornbread Stuffing Mix


"It's just moist enough," said a fan of this fluffy, fine-crumb version with a mild corn-bread taste. "The bits of celery and onions are a nice touch."

To buy:
$4 for 12.4 ounces.

Related: 10 Recipe Ideas for Stuffing






Best Poultry Seasoning:

Magic Seasoning Blends Poultry Magic


"Unexpected Cajun notes and a dash of paprika give the bird a kick," a tester noted. "It's not too hot for Grandma, but it tingles your lips."

To buy:
$4 for 2 ounces.

Related: Common Cuts of Turkey





Best Cranberry Sauce:

Grown Right Organic Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce


The full, plump cranberries delivered the "taste and consistency of juicy, fresh fruit," marveled one volunteer, "and it isn't at all watery."

To buy:
$2.50 for 16 ounces.

Related: Scene-Stealing Thanksgiving Side Dishes






Best Biscuits:


Robinhood Free Meetinghouse Five Herb Parmesan Biscuits


These zesty, buttery, and moist biscuits wowed testers. "I can taste fresh basil, and I like the hint of cheese," said one.

To buy:
$5 for six biscuits.

Related: 10 Tricks to a Trouble-Free Thanksgiving





Best Piecrust:


Wholly Wholesome Organic Nine-Inch Pie Shells


Experienced bakers dubbed this crust "amazing―it's super flaky and soft, with a hint of butter." Not too sugary, it is suited to sweet or savory fillings.

To buy:
$4 for two pie shells.

Related: 5 Tempting Thanksgiving Desserts





Best Pumpkin Puree:

Farmer's Market Organic Pumpkin

"I like that it's thick and creamy, not runny, like the other purees I've used in pie fillings," said one dessert lover. "And the amber color is gorgeous."

To buy:
$2.50 for 15 ounces.



More Turkey Day tips from Real Simple:
9 Healthy Holiday-Eating Strategies
Wines and Beers for Thanksgiving Dinner

6 Make-Ahead Appetizers