30 Easy Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes That Will Save You Time

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Thanksgiving is already a busy day as it is without the added stress of trying to prepare a huge meal. If you only have a single oven, or even two, you may find yourself pressed for both oven space and time to put together your big Thanksgiving dinner.

Appetizers, sides, pies, and even main courses can be made ahead of time to make Thanksgiving dinner a little less stressful this year! Don’t worry! They don’t taste like leftovers and will still be just as flavorful as the day you made them!

From side dishes and stuffing to desserts, we have gathered up so many make-ahead Thanksgiving recipes for you to try out and pull inspiration from! Hopefully, you’ll find something to help please your dinner guests and make Thanksgiving dinner less overwhelming. Enjoy!


1. Best Slow Cooker BBQ Spare Ribs Recipe

Are you looking for something a little easier than turkey this year? These slow cooker BBQ spare ribs are so tender and delicious; you won’t even miss the turkey.

2. Chicken Broccoli & Rice Casserole Freezer Meal

This freezer-friendly chicken, broccoli, and rice casserole is a frugal meal that would work great with turkey as a leftover option or as a side for your Thanksgiving table!

3. Pulled Pork

If you are looking to steer away from Thanksgiving turkey this year, why not give this crowd-pleasing pulled pork a try! It’s perfect for picky eaters or just those who don’t care for turkey!

4. Make ahead Turkey

When it comes to making recipes ahead of time, the last thing you may have thought of was the turkey! But, with this easy recipe, you’ll have a deliciously moist turkey to serve on Thanksgiving without all the work!

5. Make-ahead Gravy

If you’re looking for an easy gravy, you can make ahead of time to go with your turkey; this one is a winner! You can freeze it for a few weeks, or you can make it up to three days ahead of time.

6. Instant Pot Turkey Breast

This easy and delicious turkey is such a fun twist on the traditional Thanksgiving turkey! It’s such an easy Instant Pot recipe and a definite crowd-pleaser for Thanksgiving.

Sides and Appetizers

7. Bacon Cornbread Stuffing

This delicious bacon cornbread stuffing will seriously take your stuffing game up a notch! It’s so easy to make and the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving dinner!

8. Super Soft Pretzel Rolls

If you’re looking to make turkey sandwiches, or just something a little more exciting than a traditional dinner roll, you’ve got to give these pretzel rolls a try! They are sweet and salty and go perfect with turkey and gravy!

9. Cauliflower and Cheese with Bacon

An easy melt in your mouth recipe that you can make ahead of time? You’ll find all of these in this easy slow cooker cauliflower cheese recipe! It’s just like mac and cheese but way better and healthier!

10. Jalapeno Poppers

If you’re looking for a quick and easy recipe to make for your appetizer, you can’t go wrong with these jalapeno poppers. They’re so simple to make, and it only takes thirty minutes to make!

11. Make-ahead Cranberry Sauce

If you’re looking for an easy Instant Pot recipe that you can make ahead of time, you can’t go wrong with this recipe! This easy cranberry sauce is so simple to make, and it tastes so good! People won’t even know it was made ahead of time!

12. Creamy Potatoes

If you’re looking for an easy recipe you can make ahead of time; these mashed potatoes are perfect! You can make them up to two days ahead of time and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to reheat them!

13. Classic Corn Casserole

This easy and affordable corn casserole side dish is perfect for Thanksgiving! You can freeze it ahead of time or make it the day before and reheat when you’re ready to enjoy it.

14. Easy Salami Appetizer

What’s better than an easy appetizer? One, you don’t have to cook! This easy salami appetizer can be put together days in advance, making it one less thing you need to worry about this Thanksgiving.

15. Herb and Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms

These delicious stuffed mushrooms are the perfect make-ahead dish for any family gathering! You can make them ahead of time and freeze them, making them a great appetizer to whip up ahead of time weeks in advance.

16. Pumpkin Bean Dip

This delicious bean dip is perfect for veggies or crackers and can be made pretty far in advance! It lasts well in the fridge, so you don’t need to worry about it going bad before you can enjoy it!

17. Crockpot Stuffing

What would Thanksgiving be without a great stuffing recipe! If you are looking for an easy Crockpot recipe that you can make ahead of time, this stuffing is perfect!

18. Crock-pot Pumpkin Risotto

This is an easy dump and go pumpkin risotto recipe that you can whip up ahead of time for Thanksgiving! Plus, you can easily make it vegetarian or not, depending on your Thanksgiving guests.

19. Best Sweet Potato Casserole

This easy sweet potato casserole is such a classic for Thanksgiving dinner! You can easily make this up ahead of time, freeze it, or prepare it the day before for an easy side dish you can throw in the oven.

20. Butternut Squash Gratin

This delicious new way to enjoy butternut squash is perfect for Thanksgiving! It freezes great and would make a great side dish for your Thanksgiving dinner.

21. Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole is a staple of Thanksgiving! You can easily freeze this recipe or make it a day or two ahead of time for a quick side when you’re ready to enjoy it!

22. Slower Cooker Sweet Potatoes

Put your slow cooker to work and whip up these delicious sweet potatoes! They last well in the fridge, and you can easily reheat them in the oven or air fryer when you’re ready to enjoy.


23. Layered Pumpkin Pie

This delicious cheesecake is the perfect twist on a traditional pumpkin pie! You can whip it up a few days ahead of time and leave it in your fridge until Thanksgiving Day!

24. Instant Pot Cheesecake

Once you make this delicious Instant Pot cheesecake, you’ll find it hard to make it in the oven ever again! It’s so delicious and easy to make, plus you can quickly whip this up a few days before Thanksgiving or freeze it until you’re ready to enjoy it!

25. Overnight Coffee Cake Recipe with Sour Cream

This delicious coffee cake dessert can be made the night before, so it’s ready to go on Thanksgiving Day! You can even freeze it for up to a month if you want to make it even further in advance.

26. Easy Pecan Pie Bars

If you’re looking for the perfect Thanksgiving dessert that can feed a crowd, you’ve got to give these pecan pie bars a try! You can freeze these bars for a few months or make them a day or two in advance.

27. Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

These creamy and sweet pumpkin cheesecake bars are so easy and so tasty! They last for about 3-4 days, but you could even freeze them before adding the topping to make them last longer.

28. The Best Pumpkin Bread Pudding Recipe

If you’re looking for something tasty to enjoy this Thanksgiving, you’ve got to give this pumpkin pie bread pudding a try! It’s easy to make ahead of time and tastes just as good as a pumpkin pie.

29. Keto Pumpkin Pie

This delicious keto-friendly pumpkin pie is perfect for whipping up ahead of time! You can easily freeze this recipe to enjoy a few weeks from now, or you can make it the night before, so your dessert is ready to go Thanksgiving Day.

30. No bake Pumpkin Pie Icebox Cake

This No bake Pumpkin Pie Icebox Cake recipe would be such a fun and new tradition for Thanksgiving. You only need 8 ingredients and can easily make it ahead of time and store it before Thanksgiving dinner!

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of moving parts that make Thanksgiving dinner a success! I hope that this post has helped inspire you to make some of your Thanksgiving favorites ahead of time so that you can enjoy more time with your family and loved ones during the Thanksgiving holiday.

If you’re looking for even more Thanksgiving cooking inspiration, don’t forget to check out these posts:

Meal Type: Desserts, Main Dish, Recipe Roundup, Sauces, Spreads, and Dressings, Side Dish, Thanksgiving
Categories: Meat and Poultry, Pie

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