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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.

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With all the chopping, mixing, basting, roasting and simmering this feast entails, for some people, it can be intimidating.

But don't fret, my culinarily-challenged friends: 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 smoked turkey, Cactus Bob's BBQ Corral is a great option for pickup, with a 6- to 8-pound all-white-meat 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.

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.

Contact: (515) 331-0057;; Facebook

Chef Artis T's Catering & Events

In its fourth 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. 17.

Location: 837 Walker St., Des Moines

Contact: (515) 635-5780;; Facebook;

Claxon's Smokehouse and Grill

For smoked turkey and ham, 23-year-old Claxon's has plenty of heatable options. Choose a 10-pound boneless turkey that feeds 20 people ($60), a bone-in 14-pound turkey ($40) or custom-sized double-smoked ham in quarter or half portions all the way up to a whole 20-pounder ($6 per pound). 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, Boursin mashed potatoes, Mac's mac and cheese and skillet green beans are available by the quart for $7.99 each. Pickup and delivery are available up until the day before Thanksgiving. 

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.

Contact: (515) 967-7979; claxonbbq.comFacebook

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. 17 for pickup or delivery and prices vary by arrangement. 

Location: 2624 N.W. 157th St., Clive

Contact: (515) 987-5957;; Facebook

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, $109.99) and its "ready-to-serve" Homestyle Turkey n' Dressing Family Meals To-Go (serves up to 6, $67.99) for guests to enjoy at home.

You can even order assorted pies while supplies last like pecan, chocolate-pecan, apple-pecan, 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.

Contact: (515) 226-9603;; Facebook

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, turkey breast or a spiral-sliced ham for $69.99 or a rib roast dinner for $119.99. Orders are accepted from Nov. 10-18. Pick-up only. Allow 2-3 hours heating time.

Location: 2900 University Ave., West Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Contact: (515) 635-6016 ;; Facebook

Gateway Market & Cafe

For both traditional and non-traditional "reheat-at-home" Thanksgiving dinner options, Gateway Market is offering plenty of packages for 2 and 4 people. Choose from a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for two or four, including turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce and more ($49.99 for 2; $99.99 for 4). In addition, Gateway is doing a salmon dinner for two ($49.99), a vegetarian dinner for two ($39.99), beef brisket dinner for four ($99.99) and a side dish dinner for four ($59.99). Pies can be bought separately. Orders taken from now until Nov. 19 for pickup on Nov. 21.

Location: 2002 Woodland Ave., Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Contact: (515) 243-1754; gatewaymarket.comFacebook

Be sure to bookmark these frequently-updated dining guides:

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 Cheriton. 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. 14 to be picked up by Nov. 21).

Location: 206 5th St., West Des Moines

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Wednesday, Nov. 21, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Contact: (515) 279-6828Facebook


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 include a 14- to 16-pound Butterball turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, 24 dinner rolls and four large sides for 12 people ($129.99), and a prime rib dinner serving 8 people includes mashed potatoes, gravy, 12 dinner rolls and two large sides ($139.99). More alternative Hickory House meal options feed 4-20 people from $49.99 to $299.99. And don't forget to pick up your sweet treats like cakes and pies. Hy-Vee is also carrying whole cheesecakes from The Cheesecake Factory Bakery. Order in-store or online from now until Dec. 29. Most meals are pickup and require 2-3 hours heating time.

Locations: Various locations across the metro.

Hours: Vary by location.

Contact:; Facebook

Kue'd Smokehouse

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 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. Ordering cut-off date is Nov. 17 for pickup by Nov. 21.

Location: 245 Hickman Road, Waukee

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Contact: (515) 987-4972; kuedsmokehouse.comFacebook

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. 

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.

Contact: (515) 270-6818; machineshed.comFacebook

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Prime Country BBQ & Catering

Prime Country will once again be offering its hot and ready-to-serve Thanksgiving meals for your families for 10 or 20 people ($100 or $200). 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 $25 per pan. 

Location: 1231 Highway 102, Pella

Contact: (641) 521-6399Facebook

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

Both Popeyes locations in Des Moines 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 10 to 14 pounds each ($44.51 including 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 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.

Contact: 14th St., (515) 285-1900; Merle HayRd., (515) 251-7670;; Facebook

ShortE's BBQ

This barbecue restaurant has 3- to 5-pound smoked turkey breast ($35) or a 10-pound ham ($55) available for Thanksgiving dinner. And you can also enjoy $1 off smoked meat by the pound or gallon-sized sides. Order from ShortE's by noon on Tuesday, Nov. 20 for pickup by 2:00 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.

Contact: (515) 252-9887; shortesbbq.comFacebook

Whole Foods Market

Whether you need a simple roasted turkey breast dinner for four or an ultimate feast feeding 12-14 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 $449.99, 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.

Contact: (515) 343-2600; wholefoodsmarket.comFacebook

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.

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