From now until Thanksgiving, we’ll be answering some of the most commonly asked holiday meal questions. Have one you’d like us to consider? E-mail us or join our weekly live Web chat on Wednesday from noon to 2 p.m. (Yes, you read that right — we’re expanding to two hours the day before Thanksgiving.)

For complete Turkey Day coverage, visit our Thanksgiving Central page.

Some people are planners. Some people are procrastinators. You probably know which you are. If you are the latter — no judging — you might not be quite as on top of things as the folks who were the target audience for our post on make-ahead dishes yesterday. But fear not! Even if you haven’t shopped for or cooked a thing yet, you can still put together a successful Thanksgiving dinner.

We are here to help. Check out the following recommendations for basic, fuss-free — though still delicious — dishes, as well as alternatives if you’re not feeling the tradition or, um, can’t track down the ingredients this late in the game.

TURKEY Might we suggest the basic Roast Turkey or Easy Turkey Breast? Or change poultry — go with chicken. (There’s also, of course, the vegetarian route.)


(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

(Mette Randem for The Washington Post)

Thai Roast Chicken (left), Gastronomer Roast Chicken and Potatoes

CRANBERRY SAUCE Doesn’t get much easier than Cranberries Cooked in Honey from Tarver King at Patowmack Farm.


(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Not feeling or finding cranberries? How about apples instead?


(Katherine Frey for The Washington Post)

Tart Apple Chutney

STUFFING Nana’s Irish Sausage Stuffing is pretty straightforward. Or try another easy side to complement meat.


(Katherine Frey for The Washington Post)

Sweet Onions With Parmesan-Pecan Crumble

POTATOES Joe Yonan’s mashed potatoes are as basic — and delicious and fluffy — as they come. Not a masher? Try a warm salad.


(Katherine Frey for The Washington Post)

Warm Parslied New Potato Salad

DESSERT At this point, you might not want to bother with a crust-and-filling dessert. But keep the pumpkin tradition going with this Pumpkin Pecan Pudding Cake, which is made in a Bundt pan.


(Len Spoden for The Washington Post)

An apple-centric dessert is seasonal as well.


(Renee Comet Photography)

Apple Cake With Honey Sauce

More Thanksgiving FAQs:

Thanksgiving FAQs: What can I make ahead?

How to carve a turkey

How do I make the best, fluffiest, creamiest mashed potatoes?

Should I roast a turkey breast for a smaller dinner?

How can I make gravy in advance?

Should I roast a turkey breast for two people?

Should I brine my bird?

How big a turkey should I buy?

When should I buy a turkey, and how do I store it?

How do I make the perfect pie crust?