Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes

Looking for a stress-free Thanksgiving menu even though you're hosting? Here are more than 70 recipes you can make ahead of time so you look like a pro.

Staff Picks

Make-Ahead Marsala Turkey Gravy

Rating: 4.8 stars
The Thanksgiving Day kitchen is a busy, hectic scene that can intimidate even the most experienced cooks. By doing your gravy ahead of time, you make that last-minute production a lot easier. That's not to say I want you to throw away all those lovely turkey pan juices sitting in your roasting pan. Time permitting, strain them into a saucepan, boil them down, and add them to this sauce.

Cranberry Dip

Rating: 4.79 stars
The color of this dip is very festive and would make a nice addition to any snack or appetizer table at your next holiday party.

Make Ahead Cookie Mix

Rating: 4.2 stars
This is a make ahead mix that can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. The recipes below are 6 different varieties that can be made with the mix.

Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole

Rating: 4.79 stars
My family begs me to make this creamy baked dish every Thanksgiving and Christmas. What makes it so good is the pecan topping! Try it and I'm sure it will become your new tradition!

Thanksgiving Day Salad

Rating: 4.65 stars
A time-honored Thanksgiving salad that's at our table every year. Sweet and slightly tart, it is a colorful addition to any feast.

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

Rating: 4.67 stars
I discovered this excellent Thanksgiving gravy recipe years ago! It is gravy that, unlike most, can be made AHEAD of time. The gravy will keep for 3 months when frozen in an airtight container.

Best Spinach Dip Ever

Rating: 4.69 stars
This is my dad's recipe. The entire family loves it! A flavorful spinach mixture fills a tasty bread bowl. Your family will love it, too.

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread

Rating: 4.81 stars
This is a great old Maine recipe, moist and spicy. The bread actually tastes even better the day after it is baked. Great for holiday gift giving!

Twice Baked Potato Casserole With Bacon

Rating: 4.66 stars
A slight twist to an old favorite, this cheesy recipe will surely set their mouths to watering. For a creamier casserole, use a potato masher and mash potatoes thoroughly.

Easy Homemade Pie Crust

Rating: 4.73 stars
This pie crust is my personal favorite and is made using a food processor, which makes cutting the butter into the flour very simple. By the way, you can make a double batch of this, and freeze the individually wrapped dough for future pie-related adventures.

Make-Ahead Garlic Toast

Rating: 4.93 stars
I love this because I always have leftover bread and it goes to waste most of the time. The best part is that you can pull out as many pieces as you want and bake them straight from the freezer!

Inspiration and Ideas

Great Make-Ahead Side Dishes

Cut the holiday stress by prepping a few side dishes ahead of time. Just stash them in the freezer, and you'll have even more to be thankful for on Thanksgiving.

Pickled Shrimp

Rating: 5 stars

If you didn't grow up in a coastal town in the South, you might never have eaten pickled shrimp with your Thanksgiving dinner. But since you can use frozen shrimp in this recipe, it might be time to try. Briny and a bit spicy, this pickled shrimp is full of flavor. You can make this dish the day before the feast for a faint pickle taste or leave them in the refrigerator for a week before, which means you'll bring something with huge personality to the table. Either way, this might become a tradition for your family. Good for a week.