17 Thanksgiving Dishes You Can Make Ahead Of Time

In Holiday, Thanksgiving by Jamie Vos0 Comments

Prep now, eat later.

1. Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

Since the base is ice cream, this is good to go weeks in advance. Get the recipe.

2. Apple, Cranberry & Walnut Salad with Homemade Vinaigrette

Apple, Cranberry & Walnut Salad with Homemade Vinaigrette

You can assemble both the salad and the dressing a few days ahead — just store them separately. Then slice the apples when you’re ready to eat. Get the recipe.

3. Bourbon & Sweet Potato Casserole

Bourbon & Sweet Potato Casserole

As a whole, casseroles generally tend to reheat well. But for this one, you’ll want to fry and add the bacon on top just before serving to ensure Peak Bacon Crispiness.™Get the recipe.

4. Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal Cookies

Thanksgiving or not, a make-ahead cookie stockpile never hurt anyone. Get the recipe.

5. Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce

Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce

Make this a day or two before, then add some fresh citrus zest when reheating. Get the instructions. (You can also find more Thanksgiving slow cooker recipes here.)

6. Overnight Dinner Rolls

Overnight Dinner Rolls

Prep these the night before, let them rise in the fridge, and bake just before the big meal. Get the recipe.

7. Lighter Frozen Peanut Butter Pie

Lighter Frozen Peanut Butter Pie

This version uses reduced-fat cream cheese and sugar-free syrup. Get the recipe.

8. Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

This will stay fresh in the fridge for several days, or in the freezer for longer. Get the recipe.

9. Make-Ahead Mashed Potato Casserole

Make-Ahead Mashed Potato Casserole

Leela Cyd / thekitchn.com

Says The Kitchn: Mashed potato casserole reheats beautifully, even in the microwave. Get the recipe.

10. Caramel Apple Crumble Pie

Caramel Apple Crumble Pie

Three cheers for any pie that takes all of five minutes to assemble. Get the recipe.

11. Slow Cooker Stuffing


Personally, I’m a huge fan of second-day stuffing — all the juices have absorbed and the end result is usually glorious. Start this recipe a few days in advance by leaving the bread out to dry, then fire up the slow cooker the night before Thanksgiving. Get the recipe.

12. The Pioneer Woman’s Pecan Pie

The Pioneer Woman's Pecan Pie

Step one: Bake the night before. Step two: Let the filling set overnight. Step three: Sneak a pre-turkey slice. Get the recipe.

13. Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole

Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole

Get the recipe.

14. Homemade Biscuits

Homemade Biscuits

Stacks on (make-ahead, sanity-saving) stacks. Get the recipe.

15. Turkey & Cheese Casserole

Turkey & Cheese Casserole

This version swaps pasta for spaghetti squash. Get the recipe. (You can also find more turkey options that don’t involve roasting a whole bird here.)

16. Make-Ahead Gravy

Make-Ahead Gravy

You don’t need an entire bird to make delicious gravy, either. This recipe uses inexpensive turkey (or chicken) wings and a bunch of aromatics. Instructions here.

17. Frozen Pumpkin Cheesecake

Frozen Pumpkin Cheesecake

YES. Pumpkin cheesecake > pumpkin pie. Get the recipe.


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