10 Classic Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Casseroles
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say Thanksgiving side dishes are the best part of the holiday meal. From decadent sweet potato casseroles to ooey-gooey mac and cheese, turkey-day side dishes are the pinnacle of comfort food to be thankful for. Even better? Most sides can take casserole form, which is great because casseroles tend to be less fussy and you can throw a bunch of them in the oven at once. Plus, many casseroles work well as make-ahead dishes, which can seriously trim your to-do list on the day of Thanksgiving. We rounded up 10 of our favorite make-ahead casseroles for Thanksgiving dinner so you can focus on that turkey.
French Onion Green Bean Casserole
This updated version of a traditional favorite includes fresh green beans, a creamy homemade white sauce, and a crisp topping with two kinds of cheese. It's a perfect make-ahead candidate because it takes a little extra time to make when you're not just dumping canned ingredients into a baking dish.
Home-Style Macaroni and Cheese
Classic baked macaroni and cheese is a welcome casserole any time of year and makes a great addition to the Thanksgiving table. (Is there anything mac and cheese doesn't improve?) According to many reviewers, you can leave out the jalapenos to appease more sensitive palates. Emily R even substituted peas, which pleased even her picky eaters. Virginia Lee Kanzler came up with a clever way to keep this warm for transporting it to a potluck: After assembling, she threw it in her slow cooker on the warm setting rather than baking it. If you're short on Thanksgiving day oven space, this could seriously simplify things!
Awesome and Easy Creamy Corn Casserole
When it comes to recipes, awesome, easy, and creamy are a few of our favorite words. Recipe creator LETSGGGO says, "I know you will love the ease of preparation and especially the taste. Everyone always wants the recipe!" If you want to get a head start on this crowd-pleaser, MommyFromSeattle — who says she has been making this recipe for years — notes that it can be made ahead and refrigerated before baking. Simply let it sit out on the counter for 30 to 45 minutes before putting in the oven to let it get to room temperature. Make-ahead Thanksgiving casserole for the win!
Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole
This wildly popular five-star recipe has been marked as "made" 6,000 times and has over 2,000 positive reviews! Recipe creator TINA B says that her family begs her to make it every year, and that the secret is the pecan topping (indeed, lots of folks commented that they doubled the topping). Many reviewers suggest roasting the potatoes for extra flavor, and quite a few still found it plenty sweet even if they cut the sugar in half. Gunia20 says, "This was a hit. Not too sweet at all. I made the casserole the day before and stored it in the fridge overnight. Made the topping the next day and threw it in the oven for 30 minutes."
Cranberry, Sausage and Apple Stuffing
This makes enough stuffing for a 14-lb turkey plus extra on the side, so you might want to cut the recipe in half. LADY_MARMALAADE says, "This stuffing was incredible! I think that it was one of my most complimented cooking efforts — and I cook all the time."
Mom's Sausage and Cornbread Dressing
"This recipe is not a quick side dish. It needs time and work for prep and cooking, but is very worth it," recipe submitter 4620nellerd says. Refrigerate this classic cornbread stuffing, baked or unbaked, for up to two days.
Garlic Mashed Potato Casserole
What's one the most time-consuming, dish-dirtying, labor-intensive things to make on Thanksgiving? If you said mashed potatoes, you're right! So do yourself a favor and add mashers to your make-ahead list. Home cook tifray says, "I made this the day before serving it. I wanted mash potatoes but didn't want to be stuck in the kitchen when company was here!"
Garlic Potatoes Gratin
If you prefer a cheesier potato dish (we wouldn't blame you), our Garlic Potatoes Gratin reigns as a Thanksgiving favorite. And if you're making more than one dish ahead of time, get a head start on this one. "The cooking time was low and slow, not only giving me ample hands-free time to prepare the rest of our dinner, but it almost guaranteed the potatoes would be cooked through with deliciously melded flavors," naples34102 says.
Amazing Spinach Artichoke Casserole
A classic spinach casserole made with cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise will stand stand out against casseroles that call for creamy soups. "This recipe has a lot of steps, but it is relatively easy and is well worth it," recipe creator mharbold says. "This is my most requested vegetable casserole recipe, and it is a Thanksgiving favorite."
Merritt's Butternut Squash Gratin
Recipe creator Merrittorious notes that this recipe can be made ahead of time, but that you should hold aside the breadcrumb mixture until you are ready to bake the dish. Home cook good stuff says, "Wow! I always thought Thanksgiving dinner was complete with all of the classics my family prepared... until I made this gratin. Now I can't imagine Thanksgiving without it."