This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission.
Save time and effort with these make-ahead Thanksgiving recipes. Learn how to make 55 of the best make-ahead dishes for Thanksgiving that are super tasty and easy.
Thanksgiving Make Ahead Recipes That Will Save You Time
Thanksgiving is one of the busiest holidays with all the cooking, baking, and entertaining guests. So being able to make food ahead of time will help relieve some of the stress. Explore the best make-ahead Thanksgiving recipes that will save you time and oven space.
Make sure you serve cornbread dressing and brussels sprouts for a delicious meal idea.
1. Crockpot Cranberry Sauce
Make sweet tart crock pot cranberry sauce and refrigerate days before Thanksgiving. Not only does cooking it in the crock pot make this recipe effortless. But you can also store the sauce in a refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also store it in the freezer and it will last well for about 2 months.
2. Turkey Chili Crock Pot
Turkey chili crock pot is so hearty and full of chili flavors that will satisfy your chili cravings this Thanksgiving. It is filled with ground turkey, beans, and easy seasonings that are all healthy and delicious. You can put this in the freezer and it can last for up to 3 months. So you can definitely make this ahead of time.
3. The Best Easy Stuffing Recipe
Making the best easy stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving ahead of time is super easy and quick. This stuffing is loaded with bread, herb seasonings, and a delicious butter mixture. Make this recipe ahead of time and place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it.
We have even added in sliced mushrooms for flavor.
4. Slow Cooker Pumpkin Soup
Enjoy a delicious hearty slow cooker pumpkin soup full of rich and creamy flavors. It is also a vegan, gluten-free, and allergy-friendly soup so everyone can enjoy it. Refrigerate it in an airtight container ahead of time for up to 5 days.
5. Baked Mac and Cheese
Make creamy and cheesy baked mac and cheese ahead of time using this simple recipe. It has a delicious bread topping that makes this an amazing Thanksgiving side dish. Place it in the refrigerator for 1-2 days until you are ready to bake it.
6. Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan
Crock pot chicken parmesan is made with delicious chicken and pasta covered with tomato sauce, cheese, and bread crumbs. It is so creamy, cheesy, and savory and has a little bit of crunch from the bread crumbs. Put it in the freezer and prepare the ingredients ahead of time.
7. Crock Pot Turkey Bolognese with Zoodles
Crock pot turkey bolognese with zoodles may sound fancy, but it is super easy to make. It is so effortless in the slow cooker and it is such a healthy and flavorful meal. The zoodles make it feel like you are eating pasta but without the carbs.
8. Ultimate Chicken Casserole
Enjoy the ultimate chicken casserole that is full of egg noodles, shredded chicken, bacon, and more. This is a great Thanksgiving meal idea that is delicious and full of flavor. You can make it ahead of time and freeze it for up to 2 months.
9. Crock Pot Pecan Pie
Crock pot pecan pie will help you save some oven space by cooking in the slow cooker. It is a classic holiday pie that has a craggy, crunchy top and a rich, delicious inside. After cooking this pie, you can store it in the freezer for about 1 month.
10. Crock Pot Chicken Pot Pie
If you want to have delicious pie filling without the crust, this recipe is for you. Crock pot chicken pot pie is made with cream of chicken soup combined with veggies and seasonings. It is all tossed into a slow cooker, making the best comfort food for Thanksgiving.
11. Green Bean Casserole
Green bean casserole has a crispy topping, creamy sauce, and flavorful green beans. It is a healthy casserole that everyone will love. You can prepare the ingredients for this dish as early as 48 hours from when you are ready to serve it.
12. Cornbread Salad
Homemade cornbread mixed in beans, cheese, and bacon is what makes this recipe so delicious. It results in a sweet and savory crumble salad that serves as an amazing holiday side dish. Making cornbread salad ahead of time is so quick and easy.
13. Turkey Gravy
Skip the store-bought turkey gravy and make your own from scratch with this easy recipe. It is so simple, but its flavors are perfect for your Thanksgiving meals. It can also be made ahead of time and can freeze for up to 3 months.
14. Pumpkin Crisp
Pumpkin crisp is the perfect Fall dessert to serve at your Thanksgiving feast. It has a creamy pumpkin filling and crispy oat topping. Prepare it ahead of time and just bake it on Thanksgiving day.
15. Cornbread Sausage Stuffing
Adding sausage takes this recipe to a whole new level. It is so crispy and toasty on the top, but the inside is so tender, rich, and flavorful. Prepare cornbread sausage stuffing a day before to lessen your load on Thanksgiving.
16. Best Homemade Mashed Potatoes
With just a few simple ingredients, make the best homemade mashed potatoes that are creamy and delicious. It is the perfect holiday staple that is so creamy and fluffy. Peel and dice the potatoes ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
17. Crock Pot Pumpkin Chili
Jazz up your classic chili recipe by adding a pumpkin flavor. The pumpkin adds a bit of sweetness, flavor, and texture. Crock pot pumpkin chili is best when made ahead because the ingredients get to marinate together and have deeper flavors.
18. Oven Roasted Red Potatoes
Oven roasted red potatoes are typically served fresh from the oven, but it does not mean you can’t make them ahead. It is a delicious dish full of parmesan and seasonings with crispy edges and tender insides.
19. Cream Cheese Tortilla Roll Ups
These cream cheese tortilla roll ups serve as the perfect finger food for celebrations. It is made with simple ingredients that are so delicious that you will keep coming back for more. It can also be made ahead and kept in the freezer for about 1 month.
20. Fresh Cranberry Relish
Serve this amazing fresh cranberry relish with turkey and other Thanksgiving meals. It is so easy to make in the food processor and results in the perfect blend of tart and sweet. It is better prepared ahead of time because the flavors combine and the ingredients are enhanced.
21. Crock Pot Butternut Squash Soup
Toss all the ingredients into the slow cooker and make this crock pot butternut squash soup. It is so smooth and creamy with a slightly earthy flavor from the butternut squash. It is a great Thanksgiving dish idea that can be made ahead of time.
22. Cheesy Potato Casserole
Cheesy potato casserole has lots of cheese, creamy hash brown potatoes, and other easy ingredients. It is the perfect holiday side dish that is sure to please the crowd. Make this 2 days in advance and just bake it on Thanksgiving day.
23. Blueberry Muffin
If you want a delicious muffin dish you can prepare ahead of time, try this easy recipe. Blueberry muffins are so moist and delicious and can be made in just one bowl. It also freezes well and stays good for up to 6 months.
24. Lasagna Casserole
Skip all the complicated and time-consuming steps with this lasagna casserole recipe. It has delicious cheese, tomato flavors, ground beef, and everything else you expect from a lasagna. It is a freezer-friendly meal you can make ahead of time.
25. Crock pot Bread Pudding
This classic crock pot bread pudding recipe is full of cinnamon and nutmeg flavors. It is so creamy and delicious and easy to make in the slow cooker. It is so frugal and versatile and can be made ahead of time.
26. Roasted Carrots
For a simple, yet flavorful vegetable side dish, roasted carrots are your go-to. They are so tender, flavored perfectly, and only use 3 ingredients. Make them a day ahead, store them in the refrigerator, and reheat them in the oven.
27. No Bake Pumpkin Pie
This no bake pumpkin pie will save you oven space and can be made ahead. It is a classic Thanksgiving dessert that is mixed with vanilla pudding and seasoning. It is so creamy and rich and made with easy ingredients.
This pumpkin pie is delicious with homemade pie dough.
28. Homemade Apple Cider
A delicious glass of homemade apple cider is perfect for your guests this Thanksgiving. It is full of Fall flavors and is perfect for the cold weather. It should last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Very little prep time is needed for this cider recipe. Make sure to add in slices of oranges.
29. Broccoli Cranberry Salad
The cranberries give this salad a sweet-tart twist that your guests will love. It has a flavorful dressing that has a hint of sweetness to it. Even those who don’t like broccoli will love this delicious broccoli cranberry salad.
30. Pumpkin Cupcakes
If you’re looking for a delicious cupcake idea for Thanksgiving, these pumpkin cupcakes are perfect. The pumpkin gives the cupcakes Fall flavors and the cream cheese frosting just makes this dessert perfect.
31. Jalapeño Corn Casserole
Enjoy this jalapeño corn casserole that is super easy to make and super tasty. The jalapeño and corn create the perfect combination of spicy and corn flavors. It is a great side dish option for Thanksgiving that you can make ahead.
32. Crock Pot Corn Casserole
If you’re looking for a classic casserole recipe that requires almost no effort, try this crock pot corn casserole recipe. It cooks so well in the slow cooker and is loaded with creamy sweet corn flavor.
33. Mini Pumpkin Pies
These mini pumpkin pies are the perfect size for holidays and celebrations. They look so adorable and the presentation is so gorgeous. It is so easy to make with simple ingredients.
34. Macaroni Salad
Macaroni salad is such a classic staple for any celebration. The macaroni is mixed with veggies and cheese and covered with a delicious dressing. It tastes so delicious cold or at room temperature so make this ahead of time without worry.
35. Keto Cheddar Biscuits
These keto cheddar biscuits are the perfect guilt-free snack. It has delicious a garlic and cheese flavor and a fluffy texture. Feel free to eat as much of this snack as you want without worrying about the carbs.
36. Pumpkin Puree
Thanksgiving is when you make many pumpkin recipes. That is why having a homemade pumpkin puree ahead of time will help you save time and money. It has a rich flavor that will enhance all your Fall recipes.
37. Homemade Ranch Dip
Celebrations all call for a delicious bowl of homemade ranch dip. With just a few ingredients, you can make this recipe in just a few minutes. You can refrigerate this dip for up to a week if stored properly.
38. Crockpot Hamburger Hashbrown Casserole
The hamburger mixture in this casserole recipe is so creamy and delicious. It also has perfectly melted cheese that makes this dish so wonderful. Make crockpot hamburger hashbrown casserole in advance and impress at your next Thanksgiving feast.
39. Biscuit Pizza
If you love pizza, then you will love these mini biscuit pizzas. This recipe turns plain canned biscuits into savory pizzas with just simple ingredients. They are so delicious and they are freezer friendly too.
40. Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
The pumpkin and cinnamon smell amazing in this delicious recipe. They also give lots of flavor to this easy roll recipe. You can assemble pumpkin cinnamon rolls the night before and bake them on the day of the celebration.
41. Cheesy Green Bean Casserole
Jazz up your classic green bean casserole by making it extra cheesy. This cheesy green bean casserole recipe has flavorful beans topped with cheddar cheese.
42. Turkey Pot Pie
Try serving turkey differently this year by turning it into a turkey pot pie. It is a delicious pie filled with mixed vegetables, cooked shredded turkey, and more.
43. Pumpkin Cheesecake
If you want to try something new this Thanksgiving, this pumpkin cheesecake recipe won’t disappoint. It is a decadent dessert that is made with creamy layers of pumpkin pie and cheesecake.
44. Thanksgiving Turkey Charcuterie
Making this Thanksgiving turkey charcuterie is so fun to make. It is loaded with cheese, pepperoni, and crackers that are turned into a turkey design. Just make sure to cover it tightly with plastic wrap before refrigerating it when making it ahead of time.
45. Paula Deen Potato Soup
Each bowl of Paula Deen potato soup is so rich and creamy. It has a delicious cream cheese base with a cheese and bacon topping. It is so easy to make, especially with the crock pot.
Top with fried onions for amazing flavor.
46. Salted Caramel Apple Pie
Take your traditional apple pie to the next level by adding salted caramel sauce. Salted caramel apple pie is filled with delicious slices of granny smith apples and caramel sauce. Make it ahead of time to let it rest and blend all the flavors.
47. Crock Pot Sweet Potato Casserole
Crock pot sweet potato casserole is made with sweet potatoes coated in brown sugar, pecans, and mini marshmallows. Your guests will love how sweet and flavorful this dish is. You can prepare the ingredients ahead of time to make this recipe even easier.
This casserole is perfect for the big day.
48. Crockpot Turkey Breast
Enjoy juicy and tender boneless turkey breast with this easy recipe. Cooking crock pot turkey breast saves so much time and oven space. Plus, you can make this ahead of time and freeze it for up to 3 months.
49. Deviled Egg Macaroni Salad
Everyone will love this deviled egg macaroni salad that tastes just like deviled eggs. This pasta salad is so creamy and delicious and can be made in just 30 minutes.
50. Crockpot Apple Pie Dump Cake
Crockpot apple pie dump cake is an amazing Fall dessert that will remind you of apple cobblers. It is so sweet and delicious but requires almost no effort.
Make this ahead of time and just microwave it for a few minutes before serving. This dump bake is perfect served room temp.
51. Potatoes Au Gratin
Thinly sliced potatoes mixed in a creamy sauce and topped with cheese makes this dish so delicious. It is a wonderful side dish that is loaded with flavor and baked to perfection. Potatoes Au Gratin can easily be made ahead of time.
52. Pumpkin Roll
This pinwheel pumpkin roll filled with cream cheese is perfect for holiday celebrations. The thin pumpkin-flavored cake rolled into a spiral looks so gorgeous, especially with the cream cheese frosting.
53. Southern Sweet Potato Pie
Southern sweet potato pie has the perfect blend of spices that is rich and delicious. It follows a simple recipe, but results in a creamy pie perfect for Thanksgiving.
Preparing this pie gives you a head start on your menu.
54. Classic Italian Pasta Salad
Everyone at your Thanksgiving dinner will love this salad recipe that is packed with flavor. Classic Italian pasta salad is made with pepperoni, parmesan, rotini pasta, and more. Toss in mozzarella cheese and vegetables to add more flavor to this already delicious salad.
This pasta salad is delicious served on turkey day as a delicious appetizers.
55. Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars
Turning plain cheesecake into pecan pie cheesecake bars makes it a truly delicious dessert. You can taste the deliciousness of each layer at every bite. It is so easy to serve and can be made ahead of time.
This is the perfect dessert for your Thanksgiving menu.