Escape the stress of cooking Thanksgiving dinner with these Des Moines catering options
Don't even *think* about making a sawing motion.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, Des Moines. Many of us are already looking forward to feasting on turkey, ham, stuffing, gravy, green bean casserole, candied yams and pumpkin pie.
And, of course, a weekend full of tasty leftovers.
With all the chopping, mixing, basting, roasting and simmering this feast entails, for some people, it can be intimidating.
But don't fret: There are plenty of restaurants and caterers in the metro that will make your holiday meal easy.
Here is a list of caterers and restaurants that are selling cooked turkeys or package meal deals for families and Friendsgivings of all sizes and tastes. We recommend calling at least a week in advance to arrange for service, as most places need ample time to make the large influx of orders and/or are closed on Thanksgiving Day.
Cactus Bob's BBQ Corral
For a smoked turkey dinner for 12-15, Cactus Bob's BBQ Corral is a great option for pickup, with a 6- to 8-pound all-white-meat boneless breast available, left whole or sliced ($49.95). But don't forget about Cactus Bob's side dishes sold by the pint, quart or gallon — like Granny's slaw, green beans, jalapeño cream corn and mac-n-cheese. Enjoy family-style takeout and a full catering menu for other barbecue delicacies. Orders for turkeys are taken until Nov. 24 and can be picked up by Nov. 27 (warming instructions provided; restaurant closed on Thanksgiving).
Location: 5955 Merle Hay Road, Johnston
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Chef Artis T's Catering & Events
In its fifth year, Artis T's is creating a Thanksgiving family dinner that feeds about 10 people for $100. Dinner includes a choice of one whole baked or deep-fried turkey, a whole ham, half a brisket or two whole chickens. Choose three sides like greens, mac and cheese, sweet potatoes, and green bean casserole. A 12-pack of soda and a choice of cakes — family recipe caramel, strawberry or double-chocolate — come with each order. You can even pick items a la carte, and the same deal will be available for Christmas. Delivery or pick-up. Order by Nov. 21.
Location: 837 Walker St., Des Moines
Claxon's Smokehouse and Grill
For smoked turkey and ham, 24-year-old Claxon's has plenty of reheatable smoked meat options. Choose a 10-pound boneless turkey that feeds 20 people ($60), a bone-in 14-pound turkey for 8-10 people ($40), half of a smoked ham for 15-20 people (10 pounds; $50) or prime rib ($15 per pound; 5-pound minimum order). However, you can also bring your own store-bought meat a few days ahead and Claxon's will rub it and smoke it for $2 per pound. Sides like fried corn, mashed potatoes, Southwest pasta salad and jalapeño black-eyed peas are available by the gallon. Pickup and delivery are available up until the day before Thanksgiving. Specials run through Christmas.
Location: 3131 8th St., S.W., Altoona
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Country Club Market
If you're looking for a custom-built holiday menu, Country Club Market will work with clients individually to help create the perfect dinner. Choose your entrees, sides, salads, soups, breads, appetizers, drinks and a full line of desserts to create anything from a traditional dinner to an outside-the-box extravaganza. Country Club Market will even use your own family recipes. Orders must be placed by Nov. 23 for pickup or delivery and prices vary by arrangement.
Location: 2624 N.W. 157th St., Clive
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
Cracker Barrel is open for regular business hours on Thanksgiving and will once again offer its Homestyle Turkey n' Dressing Meals for in-store guests beginning at 11 a.m. (adult, $12.99; child, $7.99). But catering packages are also available, including its popular "oven to table in two hours" Heat n' Serve Holiday Family Meals To-Go (serves up to 10, $124.99) and its "ready-to-serve" Homestyle Turkey n' Dressing Family Meals To-Go (serves up to 6, $74.99) for guests to enjoy at home (24 hours notice required).
You can even order desserts and assorted pies while supplies last like pecan, chocolate-pecan, apple-pecan streusel, All-American apple (no sugar added) and pumpkin (available Nov. 17-25 while supplies last).
Location: 11701 University Ave., Clive
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Fresh Thyme Farmers Market
Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is offering heat-at-home packages for 6-8 people with six side dishes and a free pumpkin pie. Choose from a whole turkey ($69.99), turkey breast ($79.99), spiral-sliced glazed ham ($79.99) or a prime rib dinner ($129.99). Pick-up only. Orders are taken from Nov. 6-25. Allow 2-3 hours of heating time. Plant-based holiday roast dinners are also available ($49.99).
Location: 2900 University Ave., West Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Gateway Market & Cafe
For both traditional and non-traditional "reheat-at-home" Thanksgiving dinner options, Gateway Market is offering plenty of packages for 2-12 people. A traditional Thanksgiving family-style roasted turkey entree is available for 9-12 with a dozen mild rolls, one quart of cranberry-orange compote and two quarts of turkey gravy. But the extensive catering menu features plenty of other family entrees, market complete meals for 2-4 and a la carte soups, salads, sides, baked goods and desserts. Pies can be bought separately. Orders are taken until Nov. 25 for pickup by Nov. 27.
Location: 2002 Woodland Ave., Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The General Store Eatery
The General Store in Valley Junction will be selling its fully-cooked and heatable smoked Iowa meats available for preorder or while supplies last in-store. Choose a whole or half bone-in spiral-sliced ham ($94.95 or $62.95), or a whole or half boneless spiral-sliced ham ($89.95 or $55.95) from Webster City. Or go for a whole smoked turkey ($59.95) or a half of an unsliced ham ($59.95) from Chariton. But don't forget about The General Store's 9- by 13-inch cakes in carrot, apple crisp or pumpkin crunch varieties ($35 each; pre-order only by Nov. 20 to be picked up by Nov. 27).
Location: 206 5th St., West Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Contact: (515) 279-6828; Facebook
Hy-Vee has plenty of variety for crowds from a few people to a large group. The Family Feast Turkey and Applewood Pit Ham dinners serve 12 and include six sides ($129.99), and a prime rib dinner serving eight people includes three sides ($139.99). More Thanksgiving meal options feed 4-20 people from $49.99 to $299.99. And don't forget to pick up your sweet treats like apple crisp and pumpkin pie. Order in-store or online. Most meals are pickup and require 2-3 hours heating time.
Locations: Various locations across the metro.
Hours: Vary by location.
A wide array of holiday meats will be featured at Kue'd in Waukee including whole roast or smoked turkeys (12 pounds feeding 8-10 people for $49), boneless turkey breast ($29.99), brisket, bone-in ham, smoked corned beef, prime rib au jus and whole pork butts. Sides, sauces and pies are also available. All meal items are pickup and heat-at-home. Staff will work with you to help pick the perfect items for your Thanksgiving needs. The ordering cut-off date is Nov. 21 for pickup by Nov. 27 during normal business hours.
Location: 245 Hickman Road, Waukee
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Machine Shed Restaurant Urbandale
The Machine Shed will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day for its fundraiser dinner. A hot takeout dinner for four is available with turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and pie for pickup ($64.99). But for larger families and orders, call ahead to arrange customizable catering packages for up to 30 people for a holiday feast — pickup or delivery; hot or heatable. Meals must be picked up by Nov. 27.
Location: 11151 Hickman Road, Urbandale
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thanksgiving Day, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Prime Country is offering Thanksgiving meals for 10 or 20 people ($120 or $240). Enjoy smoked turkey, homemade dressing, a choice of mashed potatoes and gravy or cheesy potatoes, green bean casserole and fresh rolls. The meals will be prepared on Thanksgiving morning and ready for pick up by 11 a.m. Additional sides are $30 per pan.
Location: 1231 Highway 102, Pella
Contact: (641) 521-6399; Facebook
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
All three Popeyes locations in the metro have their holiday season Cajun-style turkeys ready for ordering now. They're marinated in Popeyes seasonings, slow-roasted and then flash-fried and weigh 13 to 16 pounds each ($39.99 plus tax). It's best to call ahead for these turkeys, as they tend to sell out quickly.
Locations: 6230 S.E. 14th St., Des Moines; 3831 8th St SW, Altoona; and 4140 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
This barbecue restaurant has 4- to 5-pound smoked turkey breast ($37.50; feeds 6-8), a roasted turkey breast ($37.50; feeds 6-8) or a 10-pound ham ($55; feeds 10-12) available for Thanksgiving dinner. The ham is also available in a half order ($50.50; feeds 4-6). Order from ShortE's by Nov. 26 for pickup by 2 p.m. on Wednesday. All meats and sides come with heating instructions.
Location: 8805 Chambery Blvd., #250, Johnston
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; closed Sundays and Mondays.
Whole Foods Market
Whether you need a simple roasted turkey breast dinner for four or an ultimate feast feeding 12 people, Whole Foods has plenty of options including whole roasted or smoked turkey, spiral-sliced ham and prime rib heat-at-home family meals for pick-up (about $69.99 to $279.99, final prices based on weight). Holiday sides, app and party platters, soups, and desserts are available a la carte. Vegan options are also available.
Location: 4100 University Ave., West Des Moines
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Is your restaurant or catering company offering Thanksgiving dinner packages and they are not on this list? Please email the details to Brian Carlson to be added.
Brian Taylor Carlson is the food and dining reporter at the Des Moines Register. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-284-8552 and follow @briantaylorcarlson on Facebook, @BriinDSM on Twitter and @briindsm on Instagram.
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