November 23, 2015 01:29 PM

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When it comes to holiday cooking, Kate Walsh is grateful for a few (delicious) shortcuts.

“I do little cheats,” says the actress, who also hosts Sunday dinners for her friends and family throughout the year. “If I’m doing a big meal and there are tons of people coming, it’s nice to buy a couple of things prepared. It leaves you more time to be with the ones you love.”

Walsh, 48, has teamed up with comfort food staple Boston Market over the holiday season- and says many of her favorite hacks come courtesy of the beloved restaurant chain.

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“I love creamed spinach but I’m never going to make it at home,” says Walsh. “So I buy it from Boston Market and I doctor it up with Parmesan or grated Swiss. And I love it the next day with scrambled eggs and Sriracha!”

Walsh uses the same method for macaroni and cheese, a dish she loves but calls “labor intensive.” Says Walsh: “Buy it and add gouda or blue cheese to spice it up.”

As for setting the mood? “Make your home smell festive by boiling water with cloves and cinnamon,” says Walsh, who sets her Thanksgiving table the night before to save time. “And decorate with mason jars filled with rosemary or another herb. It’s fresh and it smells good!”

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Walsh swears by a couple baking tips (Crisco for pie crust, wine glasses to cut out biscuits from dough), but says there is one part of the meal that she’d never skimp on.

“We always make stuffing and gravy from scratch!”

–Aili Nahas

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