The fourth Thursday in November not only lets us spend the entire day watching football but gives all the home cooks out there an opportunity to showcase their culinary skills for family and friends. But in addition to making the many elements of this sit-down or family-style feast for the senses — from traditional, crispy-skin roasted turkey to a bevy of sides: creamy, garlicky mashed potatoes smothered in gravy, classic stuffing, tender-crisp roasted Brussels sprouts, and, of course, sweet, decadent pumpkin pie and holiday cheesecake — you hard-working folks also have to put on your hosting hat.

We love Thanksgiving cooking, too (maybe that’s why 80% of Americans consider the holiday their favorite), but we wish for you to put your energy where it matters most: enjoying the company of those you love at gatherings large and small.

In this round-up of mouthwatering sweet and savory Thanksgiving recipes, we’re grateful for time-saving techniques and new holiday traditions that reduce stress and spark joy, such as selecting beautifully prepared foods to include in your holiday repertoire. And if you’re not at the helm of Thanksgiving festivities this year, these dishes make great holiday potluck offerings for you and yours to “gobble” up!

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Theresa Gambacorta is a food writer and 25-year veteran of New York City's restaurant industry. Her writing has appeared in such titles as La Cucina Italiana, Men's Fitness, Muscle and Fitness, and Centennial's special interest publications. She is the co-author of chef Joey Campanaro's Big Love Cooking (Chronicle) and is currently working on a cookbook about Persian cuisine to be published by Knopf.

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