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If you are looking to spend less time in the kitchen this Thanksgiving holiday and more time with family, check out these great make-ahead Thanksgiving recipes. You’ll find some great side dishes to prep in advance and delicious dessert ideas that can be prepped and frozen before the big day!
Tips to make Thanksgiving Dinner
- Plan ahead. The key to stress free time in the kitchen on Thanksgiving is all in the planning. Choose from a mix of make ahead and cook on the day dishes and work out your timings for the day, so that you know what you are putting in the oven and when.
- Choose a good mix of dishes. Aside from your main Thanksgiving turkey, choose a good selection of vegetable dishes, potato dishes and sauces like gravy and cranberry sauce to keep everyone happy!
- Ask people about their dietary requirements. If you are hosting friends and family you may not see all the time, be sure to check in with them if they have any dietary needs so that they aren’t left without!
- Ask people to bring food! If you are hosting a large Thanksgiving, take some of the pressure off by asking your guests to make some dishes for you that you can quickly heat up to serve!
- Make the most out of your kitchen appliances. It can be tough to juggle lots of dishes in the oven, so make the most of your air fryer, slow cooker and Instant Pot to cook and reheat dishes so that you can free up the oven.
Below are some of my favorite healthy make ahead Thanksgiving recipes that you can use this year.
Thanksgiving make ahead recipe ideas
Sweet potato and potato 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. These are my other favorite potato dishes for Thanksgiving:
- Hasselback Sweet Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Rounds with Marshmallows
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
- Brussel Sprout Sweet Potato Salad
- Melting Sweet Potatoes
- Air Fryer Potatoes
- Healthy Mashed Potatoes
- Garlic Parmesan Roasted Potatoes
Make ahead vegetable side dishes
What I love about the Potato Cauliflower Bake recipe is that you you can prep it ahead of time or for when you’re ready to cook. If you make it ahead of time, it will keep well in the fridge for multiple days and can easily be reheated in the oven. You can also think about prepping some other side dishes like:
- Oven Roasted Carrots
- Baked Butternut Squash Fries
- Sauteed Mushrooms
- Vegetarian Stuffed Mushrooms
- Pan Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Cheesy Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Au Gratin
- Rosemary Garlic Smashed Potatoes
- Roasted Delicata Squash
- Green Beans with Almonds
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!
- Mini Pumpkin Pies
- Baked Cranberry Sauce
- Rose Apple Pie
- Apple Bread Pudding
- Cranberry Apple Mini Pies
- No Bake Cheesecake Cups
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chips Cookies
- Apple Pie
- Apple Crisp
- Vegan Pumpkin Pie
- No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
I hope the planner and 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!