Where To Buy Your Thanksgiving Meal In Iowa

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You hate to cook. You’re a bad cook. You have to work. You are too busy with other things. You don’t have the help you need. You have a huge family. You have a small family. You would rather spend your time with your family than in the kitchen. You would rather argue about politics and religion at the dinner table than let your in-laws criticize your cooking.

No matter your reason, sometimes buying your Thanksgiving meal is much easier than taking on the feast by yourself or with a little help. Maybe you want to prepare your turkey or other main protein and “cheat” by buying some sides. In any case, we’ve got you covered. Here are some places you can buy your Thanksgiving meal, or part of it, in Iowa. 

Cactus Bob’s BBQ Corral, Johnston

5955 Merle Hay Rd.

If you love the idea of smoked turkey for Thanksgiving, Cactus Bob’s is your place. They are offering smoked turkey breasts that you can warm up at home. Cactus Bob’s recommends a crockpot or roaster. Each breast has a cooked weight of 7 to 8 pounds and feeds 12 to 15 people. You can pick up your turkey any time up until Nov. 24, but Nov. 21 is the last day they will take orders for Thanksgiving. If you need sides for your meal, you can also get slaw, green beans, mac and cheese, fried apples, and more. 

The Class Act Restaurant at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center, Cedar Rapids

7725 Kirkwood Blvd. SW

In 2022, The Class Act Restaurant at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center continues the tradition of offering take-and-bake Thanksgiving dinners that serve four to five people. Their menu includes traditional roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, roasted veggies, herb dressing, cranberry chutney, dinner rolls, choice of pie, and muffins for Friday morning. You need to place your order by Nov. 18 and they offer pick up on Nov. 22 or Nov. 23. Call (319) 398-5892 for pricing and to place your order. 

Bistro 3 Nineteen, Marion

796 11th St.

Choose from maple glazed salmon or roast turkey breast if you order a take-and-bake Thanksgiving meal from Bistro 3 Nineteen, which offers options for the whole day, most of which serve four to six people. Side options for your main course include mac and cheese, roasted Brussel sprouts, broccoli apple salad, green beans almondine, glazed carrots, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce. You can also choose from various breakfast options and appetizers. Don’t forget to order a pie, cheesecake, or apple crisp for dessert; they also have gluten-free pies. You can preorder on their website and pick up between 10 am and 12 pm on Nov. 22 or Nov. 23. 

Bread Garden Market, Iowa City

225 S. Linn St.

Bread Garden Market Meal
Photo courtesy of Bread Garden Market.

Bread Garden Market’s Thanksgiving Dinner Meal to Go for six allows you to do your holiday meal the way you want, to the extent that you can order it hot or cold. In addition to herb-marinated turkey breast and turkey gravy, the meal comes with sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes, scalloped corn casserole, green beans with caramelized onion, kale salad, cranberry sauce, Hawaiian dinner rolls, and your choice of pie. You can order your meal online until Nov. 18, but they might run out early, so don’t delay. Cold meals will be ready for pick up on Tuesday and Wednesday, and you can pick up hot meals on Thanksgiving Day until mid-afternoon. 

Maxwell’s at Home, Muscatine 

119 W. Mississippi Dr. 

Maxwell’s on the River at The Merril Hotel in Muscatine offers two sizes of their Maxwell’s at Home Thanksgiving To-Go Package, which includes your choice of ham, turkey, or prime rib. Each package comes with one salad, side, vegetable, and dessert. This is definitely among the most high-end options for your Thanksgiving meal; the menu includes classics like whipped potatoes and green bean casserole, but you can also choose from less traditional sides like cranberry and walnut rice and roasted Brussels sprouts with peppers and pecan smoked bacon. You must order by phone at 563-770-7005 before noon on Nov. 21 for pick up between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. 

And in a pinch …

There’s always HyVee, with its more than 100 locations offering catering services. Their “feast options” come with dinner rolls, mashed potatoes and gravy, and you can choose four additional sides from corn, cranberry relish, green bean casserole, sage dressing, white cheddar mac and cheese, and five different kinds of pies. You can also order what you need a la carte if their meal packages don’t work for you. Make sure to order as soon as possible online and you can pick your meal up curbside from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thanksgiving morning. Meals come refrigerated, so you need to heat them up. No one will ever know you didn’t spend all day in the kitchen!


by Jessica Lee

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