Best Easy Make Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes (2024)

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These are the Best Make ahead Thanksgiving & Holiday recipes, at least in our family! Spend more time with family and friends with these delicious make ahead holiday recipes.

Tender tasty Turkey, amazing silky smooth giblet gravy, tantalizing side dishes, seasonal salads, non-traditional desserts and drink recipes for young and old.

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I am all about doing as much as I can ahead of time to reduce stress on Thanksgiving day by preparing some of the dishes ahead of time! Includes Thanksgiving side dishes, no brine turkey, gravy, salads, delectable desserts and seasonal drinks.

WHAT CAN YOU MAKE AHEAD FOR THANKSGIVING?

So many dishes can be made ahead of time, almost all of these dishes can either be made ahead, or aspects of them can be made ahead of time. Especially think about making your mashed potatoes in advance!

Can I be honest? Rarely, if ever, do I make the entire holiday meal. I have a large family and we have always divided up the dishes for the day, each person bringing a few dishes.

ASK OTHERS TO BRING DISHES TO COMPLETE THE THANKSGIVING MEAL

If I am hosting, I typically roast the turkey, the giblet gravy and my favorite stuffing, since they really need to be done together. But the rest, I leave to up to the others.

This GRAVY SEPARATOR is my new best friend!

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WHAT CAN I BRING TO THANKSGIVING?

I love seeing what people bring to contribute to dinner. The recipes featured in this post are all family favorites, many I have been making for decades; some are traditional, some not-so-traditional like my Mini French Silk Pies, but all scrumptious, tried and true AND you can make them ahead of time!

VEGETABLE THANKSGIVING SIDES

And if you are looking for some hostessing tools and gadgets, pop over to my post on Gifts for the Entertainer, where I polled friends how love to entertain for some of their must have items.

And if you are looking for some fun, family friendly games to play with your family and friends this holiday season, check out these simple and insanely fun ideas!

I hope you have the most relaxed (with all these make ahead dishes, it’s almost a guarantee!) Thanksgiving ever, that you are reminded of all we have to be so very thankful for and please, invite others to help you lighten your load this Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! I am so grateful for you!

Best Make Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes

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Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake

A fall inspired pumpkin spice coffee cake, kind of a like a giant honey bun. With maple vanilla icing spread over a warm cake. A moist warm cake, ready in an hour.

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Homemade Chai Tea Latte

Start Thanksgiving morning off right with this delicious, creamy, all natural Chai Latte, prep it all ahead and heat to serve.

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Maple Pumpkin Scones with Browned Butter Maple Glaze

This simple whole wheat recipe for Maple Pumpkin Scones is the perfect fall treat! Tender, easy, moist pumpkin scones sweetened only with maple syrup, with a beautiful balance of fall spices and then topped with a lovely browned butter maple glaze.

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Pumpkin Bread with Browned Butter Maple Frosting

It's PUMPKIN season!! This tender, moist pumpkin bread with maple browned butter glaze is delightful! Reduced sugar, full of aromatic spices, it'll become a family favorite

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Cinnamon Swirl Bundt Cake

Sugar and spice and everything nice? It is when you make this Cinnamon Swirl Bundt Cake for your family or friends. Hands on time, maybe 15 minutes, maybe! The hardest part about this cake is waiting for it to bake.

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Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice

Make your own Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice. 5 spices, less than 5 minutes. Use for all your fall baking and cooking!

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Cinnamon Crunch Scones

These small batch, wholegrain Cinnamon Crunch Sconesare a soft and tender cream-based scone topped with an amazing, buttery brown sugar cinnamon crunch crumb topping.

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Sweet Molasses Brown Bread Rolls

Soft and chewy, these Sweet Molasses Brown Bread Rolls are simple and scrumptious. A touch of molasses and honey, healthy whole wheat flour give these rolls amazing texture and great flavor, similar to Outback or Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread.

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Instant Pot Rustic Mashed Potatoes

These Instant Pot Rustic Mashed Potatoes quick, and they are loaded with incredible flavors; like garlic, Boursin cheese, spices, cream and broth for restaurant style mashed potatoes! Stovetop and slow cooker instructions included.

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Easy Instant Pot Turkey Breast

The best, juicy and tender boneless turkey breast made in less than an hour in your Instant Pot! Need to supplement your white mean this Thanksgiving, or just having a small gathering, this turkey breast recipe is perfect!

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Honey Balsamic Glaze

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Honey Balsamic Glaze has a secret to the perfect crispy, roasted leaves, then drizzled with a warm honey balsamic glaze.

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Cheesy Funeral Potatoes

Cheesy potato casserole topped with buttery corn flakes, creamy, cheesy, easy with no canned soup. The best potluck and holiday dish ever. Make ahead and gluten free option.

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Glazed Tarragon Carrots

This recipe for Glazed Tarragon Carrots is so simple, with the fresh, earthy flavor of tarragon, a little butter and sea salt, you will have an incredibly easy, quick and tasty side dish.

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Simple Tender Tasty Turkey

This no brine, tender turkey is infused with herbed butter, sweet oranges, and is oh so tender!

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Giblet Turkey Gravy (Make Ahead!)

This recipe for silky, smooth, oozing with amazing turkey flavor gravy is the last one you will ever need! Make ahead and save time on your busy holiday, while you wow your guests with this gravy. Easily convert to gluten free!

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Maple Apple Sausage Stuffing Recipe

A prep ahead except the liquids recipe so you are ready to stuff your bird on Thanksgiving morning! Loaded with amazing flavors, this is our go-to family favorite stuffing.

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Sweet Maple Apple Pecan Salad

A delightfully light and filling salad, with bright colors and a light dressing. Wonderful for any season, throughout the year, easily adapt to seasonal fruits and flavors.

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Wild Rice Harvest Salad

Wild Rice Harvest salad is overflowing with satisfying and seasonal crunchies. Dressed with this easy to prepare maple Dijon vinaigrette.

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Maple Dijon Vinaigrette {Salad Dressing}

A light and delicious maple dijon vinaigrette, creamy and full of flavor.

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Creamy Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Dreamy, roasted garlic mashed potatoes; enhanced with the flavorful elegance of roasted garlic, these will become your go-to mashed potatoes.

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Praline Yams (Sweet Potatoes)

An amazing make ahead side-dish for the upcoming holidays! Light, creamy, complex, with undertones of orange and cinnamon, touched with a hint of whiskey, not to mention the indulgent sweet pecan praline topping.

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Best Potato Gratin {Ever}

This is the best potato gratin! A classic holiday dish; thinly sliced potatoes layered with a dreamy herb and garlic infused Béchamel sauce and rich and nutty Gruyère cheese; baked to golden, creamy, bubbly perfection! The perfect side for your holiday meal!

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Creamy Pumpkin Curry Soup

A delicious, easy, make ahead soup that is perfect as a light starter for your Thanksgiving meal.

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Easy Yeast Rolls

Easy, no knead, light and fluffy, dinner rolls. Start them in the bread machine, finish in the oven, piping hot, fresh rolls!

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Fresh Cranberry Relish

This cranberry relish is super simple and is a beautiful addition to your holiday menu! Bright and festive, sweet and tart, 4 ingredients to this quick dish.

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Oatmeal Dinner Rolls

Soft, chewy, with the sweet nuttiness of oats; these dinner yeast rolls will quickly become a favorite.

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Sugared Cranberries | 3 Sugar Varieties

Sugared Cranberries are a fabulous, simple and beautiful holiday garnish and snack!! Fresh cranberries bathed in a quick hot simple syrup bath, then rolled into a variety of sugars.

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Hot Buttered Rum

Hot Buttered Rum is a soul warming winter co*cktail! Rich and buttery, this delicious batter with butter, sugar, ice cream, nutmeg, and cinnamon is a classic American drink.

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A bright, refreshing decidedly delicious Thanksgiving drink!

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Cranberry Lemon Drop Martini

Make up a pitcher of this delicious co*cktail ahead of time and have available for guests to pour their own.

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Maple Whiskey Sour

Lightly sweetened with pure maple syrup, this Maple Whiskey Sour will quickly become a favorite!

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Cherry Bomb | Fresh Cherry Bourbon co*cktail

Use frozen cherries if needed, this co*cktail has amazing fall flavors of maple, whiskey and bourbon vanilla.

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Healthy Hibiscus Margarita

This hot pink, sweet-tart healthy hibiscus margarita recipe uses traditional ingredients, combined with hibiscus flower syrup or tea creating a tasty drink.

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Copycat Starbucks Passion Tea Lemonade

Something for your guests under 21 or those who do not imbibe! Refreshing, delicious and brightly colored all, naturally.

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Easy Traditional Tiramisu

You might not typically think of Tiramisu for Thanksgiving, but this delicious make ahead dessert is outstanding and will wow your triptofan stuffed guests!

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Mini Chocolate French Silk Pies with Toffee Graham Crust

Another amazing, make ahead treat, easily converted to be gluten free. Smooth as silk, Mini Chocolate French Silk Pies are the bomb! Creamy, decadent chocolate French silk pie filling on a toffee graham cracker crust, with a dollop of vanilla bean whipped cream.

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Death By Chocolate Cake

In my family, chocolate reigns over pumpkin and this has been a long time standing favorite, plus you can make it up to several days ahead of time or even weeks and freeze it!

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS FOR A SIMPLE THANKSGIVING MEAL

Be sure to peruse all of my fabulous Thanksgiving Recipes!

  • Thanksgiving Sides
  • A Complete Thanksgiving Meal and Decor
Best Easy Make Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes (38)
Best Easy Make Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes (2024)
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