Thanksgiving is known as a family-bonding holiday, but the cooks in the family (i.e. me!) spend most of it stuck in the kitchen. Rather than taking the entire day to prepare one meal, you can prepare a number of Thanksgiving recipes in advance to serve or re-heat the next day. Here are some of my favorite healthy Make Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes that you can use this year.
Sweet Potato and Potato Thanksgiving Recipes
Mashed sweet potatoes are a great alternative to traditional mashed potatoes or sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top. They store well in the fridge, so you can cook them the night before and reheat them for your meal.
- Cube 3 pounds of sweet potatoes and put them in a 6 quart stockpot. Add enough water to cover the potatoes and bring to boil.
- Reduce heat and cook for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Drain, mash, and gradually stir in 3 tablespoons of orange juice to make them creamy. You can also use 2 tablespoons of brown sugar or maple syrup for sweetener, or you can add a dash of pumpkin spice, salt or pepper to taste.
- This tasty side is LACTOSE FREE!
Check Out These Other Make Ahead Potato and Sweet Potato Sides:
- Hasselback Sweet Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Rounds with Marshmallows
- Melting Sweet Potatoes
- Air Fryer Potatoes
- Healthy Mashed Potatoes
- Garlic Parmesan Roasted Potatoes
A Make Ahead Rice Thanksgiving Recipe
The great thing about this Apple-Pecan Brown Rice is that it tastes good at almost any temperature.
- Cook 1 1/4 cups of brown rice in a large pot in chicken or vegetable broth per the instructions on the packaging.
- In a separate skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Sauté 1/2 cup pecans until golden brown. Then add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 cup chopped onion and 1 cup chopped apple to the pan. Sauté until the onions are translucent.
- Top with a dash of nutmeg, salt and pepper, and then stir into the rice when it is cooked.
- This is a side dish I use again and again with plenty of flavor flexibility.
Make Ahead Vegetable Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes
What I love about Microwave-Friendly Green Beans is that you don’t need to use the oven or the stove. I usually have every piece of cooking equipment covered on Thanksgiving Day, so this clears up space for other sides. You can prepare it the night before and then cook it just before it’s time to eat.
- Combine 1 pound of green beans, 1 smashed garlic clove, and 1 tablespoon of butter in a shallow microwave-safe bowl.
- Season with a pinch of salt and cover with a lid. Heat it in the microwave for 7 minutes or until the beans are tender in the middle and crisp on the outside.
- Pour off the excess melted butter, and you’re good to go!
Check Out These Other Make Ahead Vegetable Sides:
- Oven Roasted Carrots
- Pan Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Green Beans with Almonds
- Cheesy Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Au Gratin
Thanksgiving Make Ahead Dessert Recipes
You can prepare almost all Thanksgiving dessert dishes a day or two in advance. If you’re making something warm like pecan pie or apple pie, just put it in the oven after you are finished cooking everything else. Don’t turn the oven on – let the resting heat inside the oven warm up the dish for you. Keep an eye on it so the crust doesn’t burn, and you will be ready when everyone is finished with the main course. Check out these yummy desserts that are perfect for Thanksgiving!
I hope these make ahead Thanksgiving recipes will help plan your menu a little easier! It’s such a busy day in the kitchen, we can all use a little help!
I’d love to hear from you if you’ve made any of these Thanksgiving sides – leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it or what you are planning for your Thanksgiving menu. If you snapped some shots your dishes, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!