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Ten Make Ahead Side Dishes for Thanksgiving

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Ten Make Ahead Side Dishes for Thanksgiving

Preparing the Thanksgiving meal can be hectic to have prepared and on the table at a set time, no matter how well prepared you are.  To make it less stressful and still delicious using making ahead sides is the answer.  With a little planning and some great recipes,   I can prepare and store or freeze some dishes earlier in the week, which allows me to concentrate on my main dishes on the big day.  So here are my 10 top side dishes to make during the week.



Ruth Chris Sweet Potato Casserole

This amazing Ruth Chris Sweet Potato Casserole is not only delicious it fits the bill for a great make ahead dish. As you go through the recipe make sure to stop preparation at the precise spot and refrigerate. The topping will be added the day of Thanksgiving.

Make Ahead Stuffing; in your Instant Pot

Stuffing is prepared many ways and everyone has their own tradition.  This Instant Pot Southern Dressing recipe is made ahead the day before and reheated in the oven if you wish, but it’s so easy to prepare in just minutes you don’t have to!

Effortless Make Ahead Cranberry Sauce

Ahhh Effortless Make Ahead Cranberry Sauce is a favorite. The task of making the cranberry sauce is complete before the big day and I get to taste some ahead of time. The secret to this sauce is in the orange marmalade.


Lemon Thyme Cranberry Sauce
Make Ahead Cranberry Sauce

Make Ahead Green and Bacon Casserole

Did you ever dream you could do this ahead of time and have it turn out just as amazing?

This Make Ahead Green Bean Casserole is made with all fresh ingredients and your own special mushroom cream sauce.  Make it ahead and freeze it earlier in the week.  On serving day add the panko and fried onions and bake until the topping is crispy and the beans are hot.

The Best Corn Casserole

This Best Corn Casserole recipe may be prepared ahead of time and frozen or placed in the refrigerator. Corn casserole is a must on our Thanksgiving table. I love the touch of cayenne pepper in this particularly yummy casserole.


Corn Casserole
Best Corn Casserole


Make Ahead Creamy Mac & Cheese Casserole

This Make Ahead Creamy Mac & Cheese Casserole is the adult version of mac & cheese. However it will have all ages asking for this recipe to become a Thanksgiving tradition. The secret to being able to freeze or make ahead is al dente noodles and cooled sauce and this recipe turns out perfectly every time.

To Die For Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

These are the most delicious loaded mashed potatoes I have ever had. The cheeses, bacon, garlic and spices will make you a believer of To Die For Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes. So feel free to still make regular mashed potatoes and see which recipe is the family favorite.


Make Ahead Mashed potatoes
Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Make Ahead Turkey Gravy Recipe

I was taught that great gravy must be made the day of Thanksgiving, just before the meal is served however this is just not so with this tasty Make Ahead Turkey Gravy Recipe.  Made with turkey parts ahead of time, it freezes well and will last up to 2 days in the refrigerator.

Cheesy Onion Casserole

It use to be a tradition to serve some type of creamed onions at the Thanksgiving meal.   I have found this Cheesy Onion Casserole to be a tastier make ahead favorite. Prepared and stored ahead of time, add the topping and bake while the Turkey is resting.  

Artichoke Parmesan Bite

Are you looking to add something trendy and new to the holiday table? Try this Artichoke Parmesan Bites recipe and serve almost like a roll with the meal. Absolutely trendy and promises to be a hit and start a new tradition.

Wishing you and your family the happiest of holidays.   Please join my in our Facebook Group; Love on a Plate where we share even more recipes, ask questions, learn new techniques, and watch LIVE video’s of meal prep techniques and cooking.  It’s lots of fun and we’d love to see you there.



By on October 31st, 2018
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Lara Brooks

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