So you’ve been tasked with bringing a dessert to Thanksgiving, eh? Or perhaps you have only been focusing on cooking the main meal, and are just realizing you have no room in your oven for a freshly baked pie. Regardless of your last minute or lazy dilemma, no-bake Thanksgiving desserts are your key to succeeding while barely trying. Avoiding that whole baking process is a real time saver on Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving can be a bit overwhelming, even for the most experienced cooks. There are so many things to worry about, like dry turkey and lumpy gravy, which could ruin the entire meal. Unfortunately that means that the best part of the meal often gets tossed aside, leaving you with the store-bought pumpkin and pecan pies I dread seeing on the dessert table. As the one usually entrusted with making the entire meal, except for dessert, I gotta say, dessert deserves some much needed love.
Of course many of us don’t have the time or energy to make an apple pie from scratch, do we? This is where no-bake Thanksgiving dessert recipes save the day, and thus the main reason I put together this roundup of the top no-bake desserts out there. These desserts still have all the homemade love and flavor, but require substantially less effort and won’t take up space in the oven — a small miracle in my book on Thanksgiving. Get ready to get your sweet tooth on.
1. No-Bake Sweet Potato Cheesecakes
A dessert table without sweet potato at Thanksgiving is a travesty. Instead of going for the traditional sweet potato pie, try indulging in this version of a no-bake cheesecake from How Sweet It Is.
2. No-Bake Peanut Butter Cheesecake Pie
Peanut butter and cheesecake? It doesn’t get much better than that to close out a gigantic meal. Mom on Timeout absolutely nails this no-bake pie. I’m already craving a slice. Or five.
3. Amaretti Cookie Tiramisu
I love to mix things up around the holidays, because there are only so many years I can eat pumpkin pie. This tiramisu from Joy the Baker is a great way to spice things up for your friends and family. Everyone needs a little pick-me-up after turkey anyways!
4. No-Bake Nutella Cheesecakes
Nutella happens to be my favorite dessert. Just Nutella. I’m talking dipping the spoon straight into the jar and devouring whatever I scoop out. Since you’re supposed to be a little classier on Thanksgiving, I’ll be digging into these Nutella cheesecakes from Mel’s Kitchen.
5. Mini Cranberry Orange Cheesecakes
Can’t get enough of that cranberry sauce? I present a way to get even more cranberry bliss into your Thanksgiving meal from My Baking Addiction. Nothing screams Thanksgiving happiness like these little guys.
6. Sugar Wafer Chocolate Mousse Pie
Creamy, light, fluffy, and still rich enough to match the gluttonous decadence you would expect from a Thanksgiving dessert. This pie from Cookies & Cups will last me all through the holiday season, baby.
7. 20-Minute Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Parfait
You’re already making life easy by not baking anything, but let’s save you some time while we’re at it. You are only 20 minutes away from The Scrumptious Pumpkin’s pumpkin-packed dessert that’ll get more rave reviews than the plain ol’ pumpkin pie your aunt brings every year.
8. No-Bake Pumpkin Crème Brûlée
Crème brûlée happens to be my mother’s all-time favorite dessert, so as soon as I saw this no-bake pumpkin version, I pinned the crap out of it. I am already planning on surprising my mother with this oh-so tasty recipe from The Kitchn. Pumpkin bliss is guaranteed.
9. Perfect Chocolate Mousse
Simple and classic is sometimes the best way to go when it comes to ending an important meal. You can’t go wrong with this rich and creamy chocolate mousse from My Baking Addiction to really send everyone off with a bang.
10. No-Bake Chai-Spiced Pumpkin Bars
Is anyone else out there more obsessed with chai spice than pumpkin spice? I much prefer the chai flavor, and seeing it in these pumpkin bars from The Kitchn was like a dream come true. Plus, it’s vegan and gluten-free, so no one can say no to them!
11. The Best No-Bake Cheesecake
If you have any die-hard cheesecake lovers coming to your Thanksgiving dinner, you have to try this no-bake version from Mel’s Kitchen. You’ll save time slaving over the classic recipe, and it’ll taste just as good.
12. No-Bake S’mores Pudding Icebox Cake
I cannot take my eyes off this icebox cake from The Kitchn… It’s the dreamiest chocolate and graham cracker-packed icebox cake I’ve ever seen. Swooning? Yep, just a little bit.
13. Gingerbread Oreo No-Bake Mini Cheesecakes
Thanksgiving ending means it’s time to get ready for Christmas! Why not start the celebration early and add in some gingerbread happiness at the end of the Thanksgiving meal? These cheesecakes from My Baking Addiction are the perfect way to start spreading the holiday cheer.
14. No-Bake Bourbon Pecan Pie Cheesecakes
What else comes at the end of a long dinner filled with turkey, awkward silences, and family spats? Bourbon. Time to pair bourbon with more bourbon and pecans with these cute lil’ cheesecakes from How Sweet It Is.
15. Banana Pudding
I had an ex whose mother used to make the best banana pudding every Thanksgiving, and this recipe from Something Swanky is the closest one I’ve found to her original family recipe. It might not be the typical dessert choice for Thanksgiving, but when a dessert is this good and this easy, it doesn’t matter. Not one bit.
Serve up the Irish coffees, and let’s wrap up an epic Thanksgiving meal with a bang. Cheers!
For more dessert ideas, check out Bustle on YouTube.
Images: How Sweet It Is; Mom on Timeout; Joy the Baker ; Mel’s Kitchen; My Baking Addiction ; Cookies & Cups; The Scrumptious Pumpkin; The Kitchn; My Baking Addiction; The Kitchn; Mel’s Kitchen; The Kitchn; My Baking Addiction; How Sweet It Is; Something Swanky