Make Ahead Thanksgiving Menu {So you can spend more time with your family!}

Tired of being stuck in the kitchen on Thanksgiving? Use these Make Ahead Thanksgiving Menu Ideas to make your dinner ahead of time and spend more of the day with your family!

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Make Ahead Thanksgiving Menu

Make Ahead Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving is a wonderful day to spend with your family, but it’s not fun it you’re stuck in the kitchen all day preparing the Thanksgiving dinner.

That’s why I have been on a mission putting together a make ahead Thanksgiving menu for you full of delicious foods you can prepare ahead of time so all you have to do is cook your Thanksgiving turkey and pop the sides in the oven.

I’ve found everything from gravy and bread stuffing to cranberry sauce and even an award-winning bacon pecan pie!

Don’t forget to scroll all the way to the end so you don’t miss any of the fabulous ideas, and be sure to pin your favourites as you go so you can find them again later!

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Make Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes

Make Ahead Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy


Make Ahead Turkey Gravy Low Calorie

You can’t have a turkey without Turkey Gravy right? But how stressful is it to have to wait for that turkey to finish cooking before you can even start making the gravy? Well no one says the gravy has to come from that exact turkey, so why not use this recipe to make it ahead of time. And it’s low fat too so you can eat more dessert! (via The Yummy Life)

Back-to-Basics Bread Stuffing


Make Ahead Stuffing for Thanksgiving

I love stuffing, I think it might be one of the best bits of the meal, and I had to share this fuss free recipe with you because it looks delicious. This is no pretentious stuffing, there’s no wild rice or cherries in sight, just good old fashioned flavour. You can make this stuffing the day before and then keep it in the fridge until it needs to be baked. (via PopSugar Food)

Green Bean Casserole – Make Ahead


Make Ahead Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving. This recipe combines fresh green beans with a homemade silky and creamy sauce. The best thing about this recipe is that you can make it ahead of time and freeze it. Which means you can get ahead on your Thanksgiving cooking, or you can make two and freeze one ready for Christmas dinner! (via Good Dinner Mom)

Homemade Cranberry Sauce


Make Ahead Cranberry Sauce

If you sometimes cheat and buy your Cranberry Sauce from the store to save time then this recipe is for you. Because it could also be known as Speedy Cranberry Sauce. Seriously you can make it in less than 20 minutes and it uses exactly four ingredients! (via The Pioneer Woman)

Creamy Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes


Creamy Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

I have to confess that I’ve never really been a fan of mashed potatoes, because they just seem so dull and tasteless. Well that was until I discovered this recipe. It has a couple of secret ingredients to add flavour to the potatoes, and it’s topped with bacon. Do I even have to add that you can make it the day before your dinner to convince you to check it out? (via Taste of Home)

Make Ahead Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

Pumpkin Pie Cake


Make Ahead Pumpkin Pie Cake

If you fancy something a little different for Thanksgiving this year why not try this Pumpkin Pie Cake recipe. It’s a cheat’s recipe with canned pumpkin and a boxed cake mix so you can whip it up in no time at all. (via I Save A2Z)

Pumpkin Pie – Made From Scratch


Pumpkin Pie Thanksgiving Made from Scratch

If I just shocked you by suggesting you could make a Thanksgiving dessert using canned pumpkins and a cake mix then perhaps you should take a look at this made from scratch pumpkin pie recipe instead. Sure it will take you a little longer but then you’ll get the satisfaction of serving a pie just like grandma used to make. (via Made from Scratch)

Award-Winning Bacon Pecan Pie


Bacon Pecan Pie

If you prefer to serve a pie with pecans over pumpkins then check out this award winning recipe, that includes bacon for added deliciousness (is that a word??) It’ll be the talking point of your Thanksgiving Dinner! (via Adventures Made from Scratch)

Want more? We have loads more ideas that you are going to love in our
==> best pumpkin recipes collection!

How to Cook a Thanksgiving Turkey

Let’s finish up with the turkey because it’s actually the one thing you don’t want to make ahead of time.

How to Cook a Turkey


How to Cook a Turkey

Does cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving make you nervous? I’m always terrified when I cook a turkey because I think I’m going to undercook it and give everyone food poisoning! In fact I’m so nervous I usually end up overcooking it to be sure and then it’s all dry and not very tasty. Well this year I will cook my turkey with confidence thanks to this beginners guide to cooking a succulent and tasty turkey. (via Foods of Our Lives)

8 Trusty Tools for Your Thanksgiving Dinner

This make ahead Thanksgiving menu is a great way to save time so that you can spend Thanksgiving with your family. But to make it even less stressful why not treat yourself to some decent kitchen equipment:

  1. Sturdy roasting pan – you’ll need a deep roasting pan to cook that turkey and this pan is a great choice because it’s perfect for cooking lasagne and other casseroles the rest of the year. Oh and it comes with a plastic lid too so you can leave the leftovers right there in the pan. If there are any leftovers of course!
  2. Professional carving set – there’s no point spending hours fussing over the turkey to make sure it tastes delicious if you then try and hack it up with an old carving knife. Treat your husband to a professional set like this one so he can serve up beautiful slices of turkey.
  3. Microwave safe baking dishes – a must have for baking your side dishes, this set from Pyrex is brilliant because not only do the dishes have lids there’s also a handled carrier which is perfect for taking dishes to a pot luck dinner.
  4. Stainless steel turkey baster – for keeping your turkey nice and moist while it’s baking. It is so much easier to use a baster than a spoon!
  5. Turkey thermometer – if like me you worry about serving an undercooked turkey this is a must have investment for your Thanksgiving dinner preparations.
  6. Carving board with a trench – I never really understood why my wooden carving board had a trench around the edge until I tried to carve a turkey on my flat plastic one, and all the juices ran off on to the counter.
  7. French style rolling pin – did you know that rolling pins with no handles (a la French style) allow you to make better pastry because they’re like an extension of your hands?
  8. Pretty pie dish – whether you decide to serve, pumpkin, pecan or both you have to treat yourself to a pretty pie dish to make it look extra amazing!

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Make Ahead Freezer Thanksgiving