With multiple appetizers, an epic array of side dishes, and an assortment of pies to prepare -- not to mention the great big bird at the center of the table -- making Thanksgiving dinner can be overwhelming to even the most seasoned cooks. That's why we like to make as many dishes ahead of time as we possibly can. Here are our best make-ahead recipes for appetizers, side dishes, and desserts so you can have more time to enjoy your guests on Thanksgiving Day.
It's just not Thanksgiving without pie! You can make and freeze pie crusts up to a month in advance so that putting together your favorite pumpkin, pecan, and apple pies for the big day will be a snap.
No need to wait for the turkey to come out of the oven before making this gravy. It relies on canned chicken broth and white wine for its rich, savory flavor. Refrigerate the gravy in an airtight container for up to three days, and warm in the microwave just before serving.
Tamari is similar to soy sauce, with a richer, softer flavor. Mixing it with maple syrup creates an irresistible sweet-savory glaze for roasted almonds in this easy, make-ahead Thanksgiving appetizer. Once cooled, store the almonds in an airtight container for up to a week.
Roasted cauliflower, Romanesca, sweet potatoes, and brussels sprouts get a sophisticated finish from a pomegranate vinaigrette and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds. Wash and trim the vegetables, and make the vinaigrette, up to two days in advance.
In this Thanksgiving side dish, mashed Yukon gold and sweet potatoes are enriched with sage-infused butter and milk and then baked under a topping of crisp breadcrumbs. Make the potato mixture two days in advance and add the breadcrumbs just before baking.
This versatile, bright-tasting lemon and olive oil vinaigrette will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Use it to dress up Thanksgiving side dishes like sauteed green beans, brussels sprouts, spinach, or salad greens garnished with dried cherries and toasted hazelnuts.
Roasted beets and orange slices add their brilliant autumn-harvest colors to this salad. Roast the beets, section the oranges, and prepare the vinaigrette up to two days in advance so all that's left to do before Thanksgiving dinner is dress the greens and sprinkle on the toppings.
Green Picholine olives are bathed in a mixture of olive oil, roasted garlic, champagne vinegar, red onion, bay leaves, and cracked peppercorns. Prepare this easy, make-ahead Thanksgiving appetizer a week in advance and bring back to room temperature just before serving.
Not your mother's sweet potato casserole, a compelling blend of coconut milk, fragrant Thai red-curry paste, and maple syrup adds excitement to mashed sweet potatoes. Make these potatoes up to two days in advance and reheat in the oven while the Thanksgiving turkey is resting.