Make ahead Thanksgiving recipes save time and help ensure you'll have an enjoyable holiday with your family this year.
Fall flies by and then I can hardly believe that Thanksgiving is just a couple weeks away. Does that happen to you, too?
If you use the weekends in October and November strategically, you can have several key turkey day recipes all prepped and ready to go with so little effort!
Make one or two during one weekend and another one or two the next weekend and your holiday dinner will be easy peasy!!
- Make Ahead Side Dishes
- Make Ahead Sweet Potato Casserole
- Italian Sausage Stuffing
- Crockpot Mashed Potatoes
- Make Ahead Mac and Cheese
- Slowcooker Acorn Squash
- Make Ahead Cranberry Sauce
- Make Ahead Breads
- Bread Machine Italian Bread
- Rosemary Dinner Rolls
- Freezer Friendly Crescent Dinner Rolls
- Make Ahead Desserts
- Freezer Friendly Apple Crisp
- Freezer Friendly Apple Pie
- Freezer Friendly Cherry Pie
- Make Ahead Garnishes
- Homemade Caramel Sauce
- Sugared Cranberries
- Freezer Friendly Pumpkin Bread
- More Thanksgiving Ideas
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Make Ahead Side Dishes
Want to keep Thanksgiving extra easy? Use these delicious make ahead side dishes for the bulk of your holiday menu.
Then just add a few easy Thanksgiving vegetables and you'll be all set.
Make Ahead Sweet Potato Casserole
The ONLY sweet potatoes that grace our holiday table.
I've made these for more years in a row than I can count.
I assemble the entire dish and freeze it. Let it thaw in your fridge the night before Thanksgiving.
Or, check the post for instructions on how to make it ahead the day before and store in the fridge.
Italian Sausage Stuffing
I swear this Italian sausage stuffing actually tastes better when it is baked the next day!
Make it ahead the day before and simply bake it after the turkey comes out of the oven on Thanksgiving day.
Crockpot Mashed Potatoes
Prep these in the morning and the mashed potatoes will take practically no work for you later in the afternoon.
You could also make them ahead the day before. Check out the post for reheating instructions if you want to go that route.
Make Ahead Mac and Cheese
Prep this easy baked mac and cheese in advance and just bake it before serving at dinner.
Slowcooker Acorn Squash
Another prep-ahead recipe, you could chop all the veggies and fruit the day before the holiday and simply pop it all into the Crockpot on the morning of the feast and let it cook itself.
Make Ahead Cranberry Sauce
This is a freezer-friendly cranberry sauce that is perfect for making ahead the day before or weeks in advance for holiday baking.
Make Ahead Breads
Thanksgiving breads are an excellent option for make ahead recipes because bread freezes so well.
You can bake holiday dinner rolls or loaves of Italian bread to turn into stuffing and freeze them for later.
Bread Machine Italian Bread
This Italian bread is the base of my sausage stuffing but would be a delicious addition to your Thanksgiving bread basket.
It also makes great leftover turkey sandwiches the next day. Pop it into your bread machine and the bread actually bakes itself.
Rosemary Dinner Rolls
You can bake these homemade dinner rolls the day before and then simply reheat them in the oven for 5 minutes before serving and they'll taste fresh.
I usually make two pans!
Freezer Friendly Crescent Dinner Rolls
These homemade crescent dinner rolls are bigger and fluffier than the kind from the can.
You can bake them in advance and freeze them. Thaw them in the fridge overnight and reheat them in the oven before serving.
Make Ahead Desserts
I always bake my Thanksgiving desserts the day before Thanksgiving since they can rest on the counter overnight or chill in the fridge.
Some of my holiday desserts are also freezer friendly and are perfect for making even farther ahead of time.
But if you're traveling to the holiday at someone else's house, you might need my list of make ahead Thanksgiving desserts that travel well.
Freezer Friendly Apple Crisp
My most popular make-ahead recipe on this entire site, thousands of readers have loved this freezer-friendly apple crisp.
Serve with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce if you want to dress it up a little fancier.
Freezer Friendly Apple Pie
Apple pies are perfect for the freezer. Read how to bake the perfect one in advance here.
Freezer Friendly Cherry Pie
This cherry slab pie will take up very little room in your freezer and is the perfect make-ahead dessert to bake in the oven when you want to serve.
Make Ahead Garnishes
Take a little time the weekend before Thanksgiving to make these super easy recipes so you have an amazing homemade touch to the holiday.
A little drizzle of caramel or a sprinkle of sugared cranberries makes you look like the ultimate holiday host with very little extra effort.
Homemade Caramel Sauce
You will be shocked to see just how simple these elegant sugared cranberries are to make.
Use them for garnishes on the Thanksgiving desserts table or as an addition to your table centerpiece.
You can make them days in advance and just store in an airtight container.
Freezer Friendly Pumpkin Bread
Everyone needs a little something to snack on when the turkey feast is hours away.
Wake up Thanksgiving morning to a fresh pumpkin bread thawed from your freezer! Bake these weeks in advance for a special treat all season long.
More Thanksgiving Ideas
Now that you've got your plan for making ahead these easy dishes,, what about the rest of your Thanksgiving meal plan?