10 Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes

November  8, 2012

Thanksgiving might be the tastiest holiday of the year, but it can also be the most stressful. Between entertaining guests, rolling out your pie dough, and ensuring your bird doesn't burn, there can be little room to relax. This year, we're helping you avoid last-minute stress with ten Thanksgiving recipes that you can make ahead and freeze. 

Whether it's broth, pie crust, or a simple side dish, small menu components prepared in advance will save you precious time on the big day. With less to prepare, you'll have more time to spend connecting with family, watching football, and -- of course -- eating. 

For Gravy, Stock, and Soup: Prepare the recipe as directed, cool to room temperature, and then freeze in freezer-safe ziplock bags. Defrost the day before, and reheat before serving.

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Cider-Sage Gravy from ChrisandAmy


Zesty Herbed Chicken Broth from lechef


Butternut Squash and Cider Soup from amanda


Cranberry Sauce: Any cranberry sauce recipe can be frozen in ziplock bags. Leave the bag out to thaw the night before Thanksgiving, and then refrigerate as needed.

Pear, Brandy and Walnut Cranberry Sauce from notlazy.rustic.


Casseroles, Pies, and Tarts: Once the dish has baked and cooled, wrap tightly in plastic wrap; you can add an extra layer of aluminum foil if you'd like. On Thanksgiving morning, allow the dish to thaw, and then reheat in the oven until heated through.

Leek, Lemon, and Feta Quiche from Feeding the Saints


Potato Mash with Leek Confit and Bacon from inpatskitchen


Pie Crust: Pie crust is a great make-ahead ingredient, as it can be used in both sweet and savory iterations. Mix the crust as directed in the recipe, tightly wrap the dough in saran wrap, and freeze. Defrost the dough the night before Thanksgiving, and then bake as directed.

Paule Caillat's Brown Butter Tart Crust from Genius Recipes


Quickbreads and Cookies: These baked goods freeze well, and -- bonus! -- the recipes are easy to double, so you'll have extra treats on hand once you finally get hungry again in December. Cooled cookies can be stored in air-tight ziplocks, and sliced quickbreads can be wrapped whole in a layer of plastic wrap and an outer layer of tin foil. Simply allow to thaw the morning of Thanksgiving and serve.

Double-Corn Cornbread from merrill


Triple Chocolate Espresso Cookies from flourchildblog


Ice Cream, Sorbet, and Sherbet: Here's your most hands-off option. Make it now, and take it out of the freezer once your turkey is eaten and your gravy is gone. Scoop and serve.

Maple Ice Cream with Tipsy Raisins and Maple Candied Cashews from cristinasciarra



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Marian Bull

Written by: Marian Bull