Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and that means it's time to start planning the ultimate feast. But let's face it, preparing a Thanksgiving meal can be quite overwhelming. The good news is that with the right make ahead recipes, you can save yourself time and stress without sacrificing taste.
In this blog post, we'll explore some of the best make ahead Thanksgiving recipes that will help you breeze through the holiday with ease. So, grab a cup of hot apple cider and get ready to discover some delicious dishes that will make your Thanksgiving prep a breeze.
1. Bacon Cheddar Green Bean Casserole
The Bacon Cheddar Green Bean Casserole is a delicious twist on the classic Thanksgiving side dish. With the addition of bacon and cheddar cheese, this casserole takes the flavors to a whole new level. It can be made ahead of time, making it a convenient option for busy holiday preparations.
The creamy mushroom soup, green beans, and cheese blend together perfectly, creating a rich and savory dish. Topped with crispy bacon and fried onions, it adds a delightful crunch to every bite. Overall, this make ahead Thanksgiving recipe is a crowd-pleaser that will impress your guests.
2. Make Ahead Turkey Gravy
Make Ahead Turkey Gravy is a time-saving and flavorful addition to your Thanksgiving feast. Roasted turkey wings, vegetables, and herbs create a delicious base, which is then combined with wine and stock.
This homemade gravy can be made ahead and frozen for up to a month or refrigerated for 3 to 4 days. When ready to serve, simply reheat and adjust the consistency if needed. It's a must-try recipe for a stress-free holiday meal.
3. Make Ahead Sweet Potato Casserole
Make Ahead Sweet Potato Casserole is a convenient and delicious holiday side dish. It can be prepared in advance by splitting the recipe into two pans, allowing one to be baked for Thanksgiving and the other to be frozen for Christmas. The buttery pecan topping adds a delightful crunch and texture.
This casserole is versatile and can be enjoyed for various occasions throughout the year. It pairs well with other dishes like mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and sausage stuffing. Overall, this make ahead sweet potato casserole is a time-saving and crowd-pleasing addition to any Thanksgiving feast.
4. Make Ahead Thanksgiving Stuffing
Make Ahead Thanksgiving Stuffing is a flavorful and wholesome alternative to traditional stovetop stuffing. It has a perfect balance of chewiness and crispness, and the best part is that it can be prepared ahead of time, saving you precious time on Thanksgiving Day.
The recipe calls for a thick and hearty white bread, which provides the ideal texture. Drying out the bread in the oven ensures that the stuffing doesn't become soggy. Overall, this make ahead stuffing is a delicious addition to your Thanksgiving feast.
5. Thanksgiving Turkey
This Thanksgiving Turkey recipe is a foolproof option for a stress-free holiday meal. It delivers a flavorful and tender turkey with a golden, crispy skin. With simple ingredients and no brining or basting required, this recipe is perfect for first-time cooks.
The addition of butter underneath the turkey skin keeps the meat moist, while covering the top with foil during cooking prevents the breast meat from drying out. The final hour of cooking at a higher temperature ensures a crispy skin without sacrificing the juiciness of the meat. Overall, this recipe provides a delicious and hassle-free turkey for your Thanksgiving feast.
6. Make Ahead Gravy
Make Ahead Gravy is a must-have recipe for Thanksgiving. This easy-to-make gravy can be prepared ahead of time, eliminating last-minute stress. It doesn't require turkey drippings, making it convenient for any meal.
The best part is that it can be frozen, allowing for even more make-ahead preparation. This flavorful gravy is perfect for slathering over turkey, potatoes, and other Thanksgiving favorites.
7. Make-Ahead Gravy
Make-Ahead Gravy is a game-changer for Thanksgiving. With just 5 simple ingredients, this recipe creates a flavorful gravy that tastes like it was made with pan drippings, but without the hassle. The best part?
It can be made up to 2-3 days ahead of time, allowing you to spend more time with loved ones on the holiday. Reheating is a breeze, and you can even freeze it for later use. This stress-free gravy is a must-have for any Thanksgiving feast.
8. Sausage Leek Butternut Stuffing
Sausage Leek Butternut Stuffing is a flavorful and delicious make ahead Thanksgiving recipe. It combines savory spiced sausage, sweet butternut squash, and tart apples for a perfect balance of flavors.
The addition of leeks adds a subtle onion flavor, while cranberries and herbs provide a festive touch. This stuffing is a great alternative to traditional stuffing and is sure to be a hit at your Thanksgiving table.
9. Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
These Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes are a game-changer for Thanksgiving prep. With a combination of Yukon Gold and Russet potatoes, they are incredibly fluffy and creamy.
The best part is that you can make them the day before and reheat them in the slow cooker or oven, freeing up valuable oven space. The addition of cream cheese and sour cream gives them an extra level of creaminess. This recipe is a must-try for anyone looking to simplify their Thanksgiving meal prep.
10. Roasted Sweet Potato Stuffing
Roasted Sweet Potato Stuffing is a delicious and make-ahead friendly Thanksgiving recipe. It features homemade buttery toasted bread, savory cinnamon roasted sweet potatoes, veggies, garlic, fresh herbs, and a white wine finish.
The combination of flavors is rich and satisfying, making it a great addition to any holiday table. The recipe can be prepared two days in advance and heated in the oven when needed. Overall, Roasted Sweet Potato Stuffing is a must-try for Thanksgiving leftovers and a crowd-pleaser for your holiday feast.
11. Best Green Bean Casserole
The Best Green Bean Casserole is a must-have make ahead Thanksgiving side dish. Made with canned green beans, cream of mushroom soup, mushrooms, garlic salt, pepper, and fried onions, this casserole is easy to assemble and a hit with both kids and adults.
It can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge until Thanksgiving day. Leftovers can be reheated in the oven or microwave, and the casserole can also be frozen for future enjoyment. Overall, it's a delicious and convenient addition to any holiday meal.
12. Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes is a convenient and delicious side dish for any occasion. This recipe allows you to prep and freeze mashed potatoes in advance, saving time and reducing food waste.
The addition of cream cheese ensures a creamy and smooth texture even after reheating. A versatile dish that pairs well with various main courses, it's a great option for a make ahead Thanksgiving recipe.
13. Mashed Potatoes
The Mashed Potatoes recipe is a delicious and easy-to-make side dish for Thanksgiving. It requires only five basic ingredients and can be customized with variations like sour cream, cream cheese, garlic, and herbs.
The recipe also provides instructions for making ahead and freezing the mashed potatoes, making it a convenient option for busy holiday cooking. Overall, this recipe is a must-try for anyone looking for a flavorful and creamy mashed potato dish.
14. Make-Ahead Cider and Sage Gravy
Make-Ahead Cider and Sage Gravy is a flavorful and easy-to-make gravy that is perfect for Thanksgiving. The addition of fresh apple cider adds a subtle sweetness, while sage brings an earthy aroma.
This make-ahead gravy can be prepared in advance, allowing the flavors to meld together. It pairs well with a variety of dishes and is a must-have on any Thanksgiving table.
15. Make Ahead Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar
Make Ahead Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar is a simple and delicious make ahead side dish for Thanksgiving. The hint of brown sugar enhances the natural sweetness of the potatoes, making it a crowd-pleasing recipe.
It requires basic ingredients that are likely already in your pantry. This recipe is perfect for those looking for an easy and convenient Thanksgiving side dish.
16. Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
This Instant Pot cranberry sauce is a time-saving Thanksgiving recipe made with just three ingredients: cranberries, sugar (or maple syrup), and water. It takes only 5 minutes to cook in the Instant Pot, allowing you to focus on other preparations.
The sauce can be made 2-3 days ahead and stored in the fridge until ready to serve. It has a perfect balance of tartness and sweetness and can be served cold or warm. Overall, a convenient and delicious make-ahead option for Thanksgiving.
17. Simple Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Simple Homemade Cranberry Sauce is a must-try recipe for Thanksgiving. It takes just 15 minutes to make and can be prepared several days ahead.
The balance of tartness from the cranberries and sweetness from the sugar, along with a hint of orange and cinnamon, creates a delicious sauce that will impress even the most devoted canned cranberry sauce fans. It's the perfect make-ahead addition to your Thanksgiving menu.
18. Maple Mustard Brussels Sprouts
Maple Mustard Brussels Sprouts is a simple and delicious make ahead Thanksgiving recipe. Roasted with bacon and apple, these brussels sprouts are drizzled with a sweet and tangy maple mustard sauce.
The combination of flavors balances the bitterness of the sprouts, while the bacon adds a savory touch. It's a crowd-pleasing side dish that can be prepared in advance, making it a convenient choice for Thanksgiving dinner.
19. Make-Ahead Bacon Wrapped Green Beans
Make-Ahead Bacon Wrapped Green Beans are a delightful addition to any Thanksgiving spread. These tasty bundles of long, skinny green beans wrapped in smoky bacon are a crowd-pleaser. The best part is that they can be prepped a day in advance, making hosting stress-free.
Simply blanch the beans and par-cook the bacon, then wrap the beans in bacon and secure with toothpicks. Store in the fridge until ready to bake. These make-ahead green beans are a delicious and convenient side dish for your Thanksgiving feast.
Gravy is a versatile and flavorful addition to any Thanksgiving meal. This make-ahead recipe allows for easy preparation, saving time during the final moments of cooking. By browning aromatics and whisking in flour, the gravy achieves a rich, meaty flavor and a classic brown color.
The addition of flavorful broth or stock brings it all together. For an extra boost of taste, drippings from the roast can be added when ready. Overall, this recipe offers a convenient way to make delicious gravy ahead of time, ensuring a stress-free Thanksgiving feast.
21. Ham & Hash Brown Breakfast Wraps
The Ham & Hash Brown Breakfast Wraps are a delicious and convenient make ahead option for breakfast or lunch. Loaded with ham, cheddar cheese, and hash browns, these wraps are packed with flavor. The addition of a creamy honey mustard mayo adds a tangy and sweet element.
The best part is that they can be made ahead of time and frozen, making them perfect for busy mornings or on-the-go lunches. Plus, since they don't contain eggs, there's no need to heat them up. Overall, these wraps are a tasty and versatile option for a make ahead Thanksgiving recipe.
22. Make Ahead Green Beans
Make Ahead Green Beans is a simple yet delicious side dish perfect for the holidays. The addition of garlic bread crumbs and almonds adds a flavorful twist.
The recipe allows for prepping the green beans ahead of time, saving valuable time on the day of hosting. Reheating and adding a quick butter sauce is all that's needed to serve these tasty green beans.
23. Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes
Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes is a delicious make ahead Thanksgiving recipe that is creamy, tangy, and packed with flavor. The combination of sour cream, cheese, and buttermilk creates a smooth and fluffy texture that is sure to impress your guests.
It pairs perfectly with a variety of main dishes and can be easily reheated or kept warm in a crock pot. Overall, this recipe is a must-try for a hassle-free and delicious Thanksgiving side dish.
24. Prosciutto Wrapped Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates
The Prosciutto Wrapped Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates are a delightful combination of sweet and salty flavors. The dates are stuffed with tangy goat cheese, chopped pecans, and thyme, and then wrapped in a slice of salty prosciutto.
This make-ahead appetizer is easy to prepare and doesn't require any cooking. It's a one-bite wonder that will leave your guests craving for more.