Freezer-Friendly Thanksgiving Dishes For the Ultra-Prepared

October 16, 2017

If you’re the type of person who buys holiday decorations on super super sale the day after the celebration—as in, last year's celebration—then we know you’re already chomping at the bit for Thanksgiving prep. Well, ultra-prepared friends, you’ve come to the right place.

You know potatoes are off the table, and salad only tastes best the day it is prepared. But there are lots of dishes you can make ahead. For a refresher on what exactly should go in the freezer, check out these guides:

So, if you have the time and freezer space, go ahead and look at these recipes (and some not recipes!). After all, you only have five weeks until Thanksgiving.

Bread Breakdown

Sides & Sauces Without Stress

Dependable Desserts

Are you already thinking about Thanksgiving? Should we give Halloween its due? Let us know your thoughts below!

Join the Conversation

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • pamelalee
  • AntoniaJames
  • ktr
  • MM
  • Yulia
Katie is a food writer and editor who loves cheesy puns and cheesy cheese.


pamelalee October 19, 2017
I second MM’s comments. Antonia James, I have learned so much from you and consider you my food52 mentor! I appreciate the time and thought you always put into writing your comments. They are always filled with time saving tips and/or ideas to take the flavor of a dish to the next level. Every Thanksgiving I think of you and how you are able to pull off an amazing feast single handedly and still climb Mt. Tam with your family in the afternoon!
AntoniaJames October 20, 2017
Thank you, pamelalee. Glad to see that someone finds useful the tips and insights that I share. (You'd be amazed at how many times I post and no one says a thing . . . . vox clemantis in deserto.) This put a smile on my face. Have a great weekend! ;o)
AntoniaJames October 16, 2017
May I respectfully suggest that while considering what to put in your freezer for Thanksgiving Day, consider also filling your freezer now with dinners you can quickly prepare on the five days leading up to Thanksgiving? Not having to worry about those meals will free up your time and energy for all of the other prep you'll be doing that week. I posted a "not recipe" on just this topic this last year, which I updated last week for 2017. Links to current materials are here: (Thanksgiving Week flight plan) and (menu plan, with a few notes on weekend advance baking / prep, for October and November, all subject to adjustment)

And more on my general approach to managing the unusual demands of Thanksgiving Day I offer this in the spirit of helpfulness. ;o)
ktr October 16, 2017
We travel for Thanksgiving so this isn't super useful for me, but I love the idea of having meals in the freezer. I try to always have a few quick meals in the freezer for those nights when I don't have time to cook. They also come in handy when my husband is gone for business trips and I don't feel like or have time to cook a full meal for just me and our kids (who are small enough to now eat a whole lot yet). It is also helpful for times like last night when we get home from being gone for the weekend and we have no leftovers to heat up. Homemade freezer waffles, eggs and bacon (thawed out in a sink full of warm water while the oven heats up) makes for a quick meal when the fridge is empty on those nights.
MM October 16, 2017
@AntoniaJames, just have to say that you are my favorite member of the F52 community! I look for your comments in recipes I love because I know you will help make them even better. I started relying on you a few years ago when I hosted my first Thanksgiving, and every year you are a comforting, reassuring presence :)
AntoniaJames October 16, 2017
ktr, I totally agree; the organizing and freeze ahead practices I developed for the busy winter holiday months have made their way into my planning routine year round. (My end of year is made even crazier than most because my clients all want to close as many deals as possible by December 31.) The project management approach of thinking-ahead, making-ahead, and breaking everything down into small tasks, combining like with like, is the single most important strategy I've ever developed for achieving balance in this demanding but satisfying life of mine.
AntoniaJames October 16, 2017
MM, you are too kind. I'm glad that I can help, and appreciate knowing that my presence is comforting and reassuring. ;o)
Yulia November 9, 2017
What you said resonates. You have inspired me to take a project management class on Lynda!