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Make Ahead Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

Make Ahead Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes to free up oven and stove top space and save you time in the kitchen. If you’re looking for some make-ahead side dish recipes to simplify your Thanksgiving feast, you’ve come to the right place.

Perfect recipes to make ahead of time for your Thanksgiving menu. In fact, you should make them ahead of time to spend more time with your guests and they will taste amazing too. From mashed potatoes to sweet potatoes, and stuffing. There’s something for everyone here.

Make Ahead Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

Thanksgiving Spread

I know that my family’s Thanksgiving spread takes up an entire Thanksgiving table. Making a few side dishes ahead of time to free up some oven space on the big day is smart. If you’re looking for some make-ahead recipes, look no further, I’ve gathered some of my favorites below. Enjoy!

Buttery Mashed Potatoes

The-Secrets-to-Rich-Buttery-Mashed-Potatoes

These really are the best creamy mashed potatoes and I make them every year for our Holiday meals. Save time and make these potatoes ahead of time one or two days before your Holiday meal. Just reheat and serve.

Get the full recipe for Buttery Mashed Potatoes

Baked Honey Butter Corn

Baked Honey Butter Corn Side Dish Wholesome Farmhouse Recipes

Baked Honey Butter Corn is a great way to make a delicious side dish recipe for a crowd pleaser. Make this with fresh or frozen corn, honey, butter, and cream cheese! Make the day before and just reheat in the microwave to serve for your Thanksgiving meal.

Get the full recipe for Baked Honey Butter Corn

Three Bean Salad

Three Bean Salad

This recipe is a time-saver. So easy and even better when you make it a day ahead of time. The flavors have a chance to meld together, which makes it taste even better.

Get the full recipe Three Bean Salad

Creamed Cabbage Casserole

Layered Cabbage Bake

Make Ahead comfort foods. Get everything into the casserole dish, cover and refrigerate 1-2 days. This will keep until you are ready to bake. When ready, make sure that it is in and oven-proof container that can go from the refrigerator to the oven. Bake and enjoy. A simple side dish recipe to add to your Holiday Recipe go-to recipes.

Get the full recipe for Creamed Cabbage Casserole

Slow Cooker Baked Beans

Party Beans

Just a wonderful side dish to serve your family, yet perfect for a crowd too. Use the slow cooker to make this easy recipe. Make the day before your Thanksgiving Dinner and reheat in the microwave for a few minutes until heated through and serve.

Get the full recipe for Slow Cooker Baked Beans

Broccoli Casserole Recipe

Broccoli-casserole

You can make it for up to 2 days ahead of time.

You can assemble the healthy broccoli casserole right up to the stage of adding the broccoli mixture into the prepared baking dish, do NOT put the cracker topping on.

Place the cracker topping in a plastic bag, cover the uncooked casserole with plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge. When ready to serve, bring to room temperature and heat in the oven until hot and bubbly.

Get the full recipe for Broccoli Casserole Recipe

Twice Baked Potato Casserole Recipe

twice-baked-potato-casserole-all-baked-up

If you need oven space for something else, you could also heat this recipe in the slow cooker on low for 2 hours or on high for 1 hour.

Bake the potatoes and assemble the casserole ahead of time. Bake or place in the slow cooker the day of your party.

Get the full recipe for Twice Baked Potato Casserole Recipe

Cheesy Zucchini Cornbread Casserole Recipe

cheesy-zucchini-cornbread-casserole-recipe-image

Prepare the ingredients and place in a casserole dish that is safe for the refrigerator and oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cornbread casserole is cooked through, the outside starts to brown, and the cheese on the sides starts browning. The cheese in the center will still be light.

Get the full recipe for Cheesy Zucchini Cornbread Casserole Recipe

Gluten Free Southern Cornbread Stuffing

Southern-Cornbread-Stuffing

It takes just a few minutes to put the cornbread together and it’s best made at least two days in advance so it can dry out.  The cornbread needs to be dry so it can absorb plenty of butter, onions, celery, and broth.  You could also make the cornbread up to a month in advance and freeze it.  Just be sure to thaw it out two-three days in advance.

Get the full recipe for Gluten Free Southern Cornbread Stuffing

Cranberry Orange Sauce

cranberry-orange-sauce-recipe

Make Ahead: This is one of those Thanksgiving recipes you HAVE to make ahead! Check it off your list the day (or two) before and then take out and serve day-of! Easy and flavorful cranberry sauce that can be made in under 30 minutes and with less than 5 real, simple ingredients. 

Get the full recipe for Cranberry Orange Sauce

Make Ahead Turkey Gravy

make-ahead-turkey-gravy-recipe

Save your sanity on turkey day with this delicious make ahead turkey gravy recipe. Learn how to make turkey gravy in advance without sacrificing flavor.

Get the full recipe for Make Ahead Turkey Gravy

Spinach Stuffing Balls

Spinach-Stuffing-Balls

Spinach Stuffing Balls are an easy make-ahead side dish for your holiday dinner feast. Warm them up while the turkey is being carved then serve them with gravy and mashed potatoes.

Make ahead side dishes are an absolute lifesaver for any holiday meal.

Get the full recipe for Spinach Stuffing Balls

Copycat Cracker Barrel Sweet Potato Casserole

copycat-cracker-barrel-sweet-potato-casserole-recipe

Sweet potato casserole is such a classic Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish. 

This is a very sweet and decadent casserole, just like the original. This recipe is also great to make ahead of time. You can prepare everything except the brown sugar topping the night before.

Get the full recipe for Copycat Cracker Barrel Sweet Potato Casserole

Butternut Squash and Kale Quinoa Stuffing

Photo-of-Gluten-Free-Quinoa-Stuffing-Recipe.jpg

This gluten-free stuffing recipe can be made up to 3 days in advance and then reheated the day you’re going to serve it. Reheat in a covered baking dish to preserve moisture.

Get the full recipe for Butternut Squash and Kale Quinoa Stuffing

Aunt Pat’s Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Aunt Pat’s Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Delicious, sweet, crunchy topped sweet potato dish that is to die for. Make it for your next Holiday dinner.

Get the full recipe for Aunt Pat’s Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Cucumber and Onion Salad

Cucumber and Onion Salad

This Cucumber and Onion Salad is easy to make, inexpensive, and tastes tangy and delicious. It’s a fresh side dish, that’s perfect for holiday dinners, family meals, picnics, barbecues, or a potluck that is best when made ahead of time.

Get the full recipe for Cucumber and Onion Salad

Creamy Rosemary Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Creamy Rosemary Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Simple to make, this homemade mash is wonderfully rich and indulgent, and won’t be out of place on your holiday table. Made with just a few simple ingredients, this is an easy way to liven up your everyday potato side dish.

Get the full recipe for Creamy Rosemary Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Potato Gratin

potato-gratin-on-plate

A decadent side dish for any occasion. This classic recipe is sure to make any meal truly feel like a holiday.

To make your Potato Gratin ahead of time, assemble the dish and bake it, covered with foil, for 50-60 minutes. Let it cool and then refrigerate overnight.

When you’re ready to serve, cover the potatoes with foil and reheat them in a 350°F oven for about 20 minutes or until hot.

Uncover the potatoes, top with the cheeses, and broil for 5-10 minutes.

Get the full recipe for Potato Gratin

Homemade Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Fried Shallots

homemade-green-bean-casserole-crispy-fried-shallots

While there are a few components to green bean casserole from scratch, they’re all extremely easy and not at all time consuming.

If you make it ahead, remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature for about an hour before baking as it will take much longer to bake when it’s cold.

Get the full recipe for Homemade Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Fried Shallots

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Thick and creamy Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes are packed with flavor and are great for any occasion, especially when you are feeding a crowd! They are great because they can be made a day before you need them, giving you less stress when it’s time to cook.

Get the full recipe for Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Delicious Blue Mashed Potatoes

mashed-blue-potatoes-recipe

In case you’re wondering, these Blue Mashed Potatoes taste exactly like the regular kind but it has an intense color.

Get the full recipe for Delicious Blue Mashed Potatoes

Moroccan Carrots: an Easy Make Ahead Festive Side

Moroccan-Carrots-a festive make ahead side dish

A favorite side dish, and one of the easiest to prepare.  The paprika in the vinaigrette gives the carrots a reddish hue, and the spices accentuate their sweetness.  Prepare this dish 2 hours in advance so the carrots become infused with the flavors.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Get the full recipe for Moroccan Carrots: an Easy Make Ahead Festive Side

Easy Roasted Sweet Potato Wild Rice Salad

sweet-potato-wild-rice-salad

Mix perfectly-cooked wild rice blend with pan-roasted sweet potato-kale mixture and fresh greens to prepare this nutritious salad. Flavor the salad with delicious olive oil dressing.

Allow cooked wild rice and sweet potato mixture to cool down completely before preparing the final salad. Otherwise, the salad greens will become mushy.

Get the full recipe for Easy Roasted Sweet Potato Wild Rice Salad

Garlic Parmesan Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

Sautéed-Brussels-Sprouts-With-Garlic-Parmesan-Watch-What-U-Eat

These shredded and sauteed brussels sprouts are super with garlic, and parmesan are quick and easy to prepare in no time. A healthy side you can include in your party or holiday dinner menu. It is so addictive.

Get the full recipe for Garlic Parmesan Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

Creamed Onion Gratin

CREAMED ONION GRATIN

Perfectly tender onions baked in a creamy bechamel sauce with white wine, fresh thyme and, grated parmesan cheese. Bubbling, golden brown, creamed onion gratin is a perfect side dish for weeknight dinners or holiday meals.

Get the full recipe for Creamed Onion Gratin

Paula Deen’s Sweet Potato Casserole

paula-deens-sweet-potato-casserole

This sweet potato souffle is a perfect side for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or any family gathering. Sure to be a family favorite and an instant hit. The best part is that it can be made ahead of time.

Get the full recipe for Paula Deen’s Sweet Potato Casserole

Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes

Mascarpone-Mashed-Potatoes

The creamiest, most flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth mashed potatoes made with mascarpone cheese, parmesan cheese and cream.

Make ahead and store mashed potatoes in refrigerator or even freezer. If storing in freezer, bring mashed potatoes to refrigerator at least 24 hours prior to serving so that it would be completely defrosted. To heat mashed potatoes, microwave it. To bake, cover with aluminum foil, and heat in the oven (325℉).

Get the full recipe for Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes

Honey Butter Rolls

Honey-Butter-Rolls recipe

These Honey Butter Rolls are soft and fluffy, fresh and warm, topped with a sticky sweet and savory honey butter compound mixture. Redefining what dinner yeast rolls actually mean.

Get the full recipe for Honey Butter Rolls

Southern Cornbread Dressing

southern-cornbread-dressing

You’ll love this cornbread dressing because it’s surprisingly easy to make from scratch. Plus, it’s made the day beforehand! Simply pop it in the oven on Thanksgiving day.

Get the full recipe for Southern Cornbread Dressing

Make-Ahead Corn Casserole from Scratch

make-ahead corn casserole from scratch

Make-ahead corn casserole from scratch is sweet, creamy, cheesy, and savory with just a hint of spice. Plus, it can be made in advance, saving you lots of work on the actual day.

Get the full recipe for Make-Ahead Corn Casserole from Scratch

Boursin Mashed Potatoes

BoursinMashedPotatoes

Boursin mashed potatoes are smooth, creamy, herby, fresh, cheesy, and perfectly whipped. They can be made 2 days ahead of time, only take about 20 minutes, and are irresistible.

Get the full recipe for Boursin Mashed Potatoes

Homemade Crescent Rolls

Easy-Crescent-Rolls

Made with just a few simple ingredients, these dinner rolls are heavenly. Enjoy this utterly delicious dinner rolls warm out of the oven. Perfect to serve them for the holidays.

Get the full recipe for Homemade Crescent Rolls

Easy Sauteed Mushrooms with Garlic Butter

EASY SAUTEED MUSHROOMS WITH GARLIC BUTTER

Sauteed mushrooms cooked in garlic butter until golden brown. Serve with steak, chicken, on burgers, or serve as an easy holiday side dish.

Get the full recipe for Easy Sauteed Mushrooms with Garlic Butter

Southern Baked Mac and Cheese with Breadcrumbs

southern-baked-mac-and-cheese

It’s creamy and loaded with tons of gruyere and white cheddar cheese. The breadcrumb topping adds tons of crunchy texture and buttery flavor.

Get the full recipe for Southern Baked Mac and Cheese with Breadcrumbs

Knotted Challah Rolls

easy-challah-rolls

These rolls are light, fluffy, and topped with a seed mixture for some texture. Challah is a very special type of bread that is eaten during Jewish Sabbath and holidays. There is a lot of symbolism within how you choose to shape your challah.

Get the full recipe for Knotted Challah Rolls

Stuffing Muffins

Six-stuffing-muffins-recipe-on-a-white-serving-platter

Stuffing Muffins are a fun twist on a classic holiday season side dish. They feature dried bread cubes, bacon, dried cranberries, and pecan pieces mixed with chicken stock, sage, and thyme. Bake in muffin tins until golden with crunchy edges and tender centers.

Get the full recipe for Stuffing Muffins

Orange Amaretto Cranberry Sauce

Amaretto-Cranberry-Sauce

Make your own homemade Orange Amaretto Cranberry Sauce this year. It takes about 25 minutes to turn fresh cranberries, orange juice and zest, Amaretto, sugar, and water into a delicious side for your holiday meal.

Get the full recipe for Orange Amaretto Cranberry Sauce

Green Bean Casserole Without Mushroom Soup

Green-Bean-Casserole-Without-Canned-Soup

Make this easy homemade Green Bean Casserole Without Mushroom Soup from scratch for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Use frozen or fresh green beans, fresh mushrooms, and sour cream.

Get the full recipe for Green Bean Casserole Without Mushroom Soup

Mashed Cauliflower “Potatoes” with Roasted Garlic

mashed cauliflower potato recipe with roasted garlic

An easy recipe for creamy mashed cauliflower “potatoes” with roasted garlic. Serve this cozy & healthy vegetable side dish alongside your favorite main course to satisfy a starchy potato craving with fewer carbs.

Get the full recipe for Mashed Cauliflower “Potatoes” with Roasted Garlic

Cheddar Garlic Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

easy cheddar buttermilk drop biscuits

A quick & easy recipe for homemade buttermilk drop biscuits that are slightly crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside. Lots of cheddar cheese and garlic flavor.

Get the full recipe for Cheddar Garlic Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

Loaded Hash Brown Casserole

Loaded-Hash-Brown-Casserole

Cheesy, bacon-filled flavor that’s perfect as a side or brunch entrée. The holidays are the perfect time to prepare this baked hash brown recipe. 

Everyone loves to wake up on Christmas morning to this delicious dish. Make ahead in a cast iron skillet and bake the day of.

Get the full recipe for Loaded Hash Brown Casserole

Butternut Squash Apple Soup

Butternut-Squash-Apple-Soup

Make this with with butternut squash, crisp apples, ginger, balsamic vinegar and coconut milk. Flavorful, super luscious, smooth and creamy soup that is really easy to make the same day or ahead of time.

Get the full recipe for Butternut Squash Apple Soup

Southern English Pea Salad

Southern English-Pea-Salad

Tender English peas nestled in a creamy dressing with a hint of crispness and sweetness from sweet pickle relish. Shredded cheddar cheese adds a little twang, and the pimento adds a splash of color. Make this salad a few hours to a day ahead of time for full flavor.

Get the full recipe for Southern English Pea Salad

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Make-Ahead-Mashed-Potatoes

Love mashed potatoes, but don’t love mashing them up at the last minute when working to get other dishes to the table?  Then make Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes instead! 

Prepare them a day in advance, pop in the refrigerator overnight, then bake up before serving time. Straight from oven to table, they’re deliciously fluffy mashed potatoes with no last-minute mashing.

Get the full recipe for Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Italian Braised Savoy Cabbage

braised-savoy-cabbage

Inexpensive and simple to make. Ingredients are first sautéed and then cooked on a low heat with a flavorsome stock, till the cabbage leaves are tender and the liquid has mostly reduced.

Get the full recipe for Italian Braised Savoy Cabbage

The Best Cheesy Spinach Squares

Spinach Squares Bake

Cheesy and Delicious, this Spinach Square recipe is a great way to get your kids to eat spinach. Our kid friendly take on the traditional Greek spinach pie (Spanakopita) is incredibly tasty and relatively simple to make.

Get the full recipe for The Best Cheesy Spinach Squares

Roasted Broccoli Salad with Bacon & Pecans

roasted-broccoli-salad

Make this roasted broccoli salad over & over again once you try it. Roasted broccoli combines with salty crispy bacon, crunchy pecans, sharp red onion, and the most delightful tangy-sweet dressing to keep you coming back for more.

Get the full recipe for Roasted Broccoli Salad with Bacon & Pecans

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

make-ahead-turkey-gravy

This gravy is a must for a stress-free Thanksgiving dinner. It’s the perfect side dish to make ahead, to ensure it comes out perfect and one less thing you need to do before feasting.

Get the full recipe for Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

Four Bean Salad

Four-bean-salad

This quick and easy four bean salad is simple and delicious. With a tangy vinaigrette it’s perfect for any gathering.

Get the full recipe for Four Bean Salad

Garlic Butter Rolls

Garlic-Butter-Rolls-overhead-baked

These garlic butter dinner rolls are secretly pull apart parmesan garlic butter knots that are baked together.

You can make the dough and garlic butter the day before, then let the bread dough proof in the fridge overnight.


Continue with making the rolls and warm up the garlic butter. Toss them in the butter, put them in their pan, let proof for 20-30 minutes, and bake.

Get the full recipe for Garlic Butter Rolls

Pomme Puree

Pomme_Puree_Side_Wine

Pomme puree (called “fancy mashed potatoes” in our house) is as creamy, buttery, and rich as it looks — and is the best side dish under your favorite meat or fish.

Get the full recipe for Pomme Puree

Sausage Cornbread Dressing Cups

Sausage Cornbread Dressing Cups

Bake in mini muffin cups and top with Cranberry Apple Jalapeno Salsa for a party. They are perfect to make ahead and freeze for travel, then reheat when you arrive at your family Thanksgiving or Christmas destination.

Get the full recipe for Sausage Cornbread Dressing Cups

Best Deviled Eggs for Thanksgiving

BEST DEVILED EGGS FOR THANKSGIVING

Deviled eggs are a staple for many holidays and these adorable turkey deviled eggs are easy to make ahead. Thanksgiving appetizer or a finger food for a fall party.

Get the full recipe for Best Deviled Eggs for Thanksgiving

Brown Butter Garlic Honey Glazed Carrots

Brown Butter Garlic Honey Glazed Carrots

This is not your ordinary honey glazed carrots recipe. It starts with brown butter and garlic. 

Get the full recipe for Brown Butter Garlic Honey Glazed Carrots

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