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.

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. #eatingonadime #makeaheadthanksgivingrecipes #thanksgivingrecipes
Want to save this?
Just enter your email and I’ll send it right to you, plus great new recipes weekly!

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.

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. #eatingonadime #makeaheadthanksgivingrecipes #thanksgivingrecipes

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.

Crockpot Cranberry Sauce
Crockpot Cranberry Sauce is so easy in the slow cooker and delicious. With only 4 ingredients and hardly any work, you will never buy store-bought again.
See the Recipe

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.

Turkey Chili Crock Pot
Loaded with easy ingredients and simple to make, this recipe makes for an easy weeknight meal.
See the Recipe

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.

The Best Easy Stuffing Recipe
Learn how to make this easy stuffing recipe and never buy the boxed stuff again. Homemade stuffing is much better and actually very simple.
See the Recipe

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.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Soup
If you love pumpkin-flavored recipes, then you must try this Slow Cooker Pumpkin Soup. It is rich, creamy, and loaded with delicious flavor.
See the Recipe

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.

Baked Mac and Cheese
This easy Baked Mac and Cheese recipe is so creamy and cheesy. Plus, the delicious bread crumb topping makes this Southern mac and cheese simply amazing!
See the Recipe

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.

Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan
Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan is so easy and delicious. Try making this Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan that your family will love.
See the Recipe

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.

Crock Pot Turkey Bolognese with Zoodles
Enjoy Crock Pot Turkey Bolognese with Zoodles without any guilt because this meal is healthy and delicious.  Dinner is easy with this slow cooker meal and so tasty everyone will love it.
See the Recipe

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.

Ultimate Chicken Casserole
Loaded with egg noodles, shredded chicken, and bacon, this casserole is an easy weeknight meal.
See the Recipe

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.

Crock Pot Pecan Pie
This classic holiday pie recipe is easily made in the slow cooker with simple ingredients and easy steps.
See the Recipe

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.

Crock Pot Chicken Pot Pie
You are going to love this easy chicken pot pie recipe. It is our favorite crock pot recipe!
See the Recipe

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.

Green Bean Casserole
From the crispy topping to the creamy sauce, this side dish is perfect for family dinner, holidays and more.
See the Recipe

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.

Cornbread Salad
If you are looking for a sweet and savory recipe, make Cornbread Salad. Crumble homemade cornbread and mix it with simple ingredients for a delicious salad recipe.
See the Recipe

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.

Turkey Gravy
Learn how to make turkey gravy and skip the store-bought gravy. This is super easy and amazing over turkey or mashed potatoes.
See the Recipe

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.

Pumpkin Crisp
Enjoy a creamy pumpkin filling and a delicious oat topping. Top it off with ice cream for a real treat.
See the Recipe

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.

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing
Cornbread Sausage Stuffing is the ultimate holiday side dish. It is rich and savory and made with simple ingredients.
See the Recipe

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.

Best Homemade Mashed Potatoes
These homemade mashed potatoes are creamy and delicious. With just a few easy steps, your family can enjoy mashed potatoes from scratch.
See the Recipe

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.

Crock Pot Pumpkin Chili
Add a bit of sweetness to your classic chili recipe with this Crock Pot Pumpkin Chili Recipe. Delicious, flavorful, and easy-to-make chili.
See the Recipe

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.

Oven Roasted Red Potatoes
Oven-roasted red potatoes make a delicious side dish with the perfect blend of Parmesan cheese and seasonings. The potatoes have perfectly crispy edges while being so tender inside.
See the Recipe

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.

Cream Cheese Tortilla Roll Ups
It is the perfect bite-size finger food and is made with simple ingredients.
See the Recipe

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.

Fresh Cranberry Relish
Cranberry relish recipe has only 3 ingredients and goes perfectly with turkey, dressing, and more.
See the Recipe

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.

Crock Pot Butternut Squash Soup
Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup is so creamy and delicious. Toss everything into the slow cooker for an easy meal that is hearty and flavorful.
See the Recipe

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.

Cheesy Potato Casserole
Cheesy potato casserole recipe is a super easy side dish and perfect for any holiday, family dinner, and more. Tons of cheese, creamy potatoes, and more combine for the absolute best cheesy potatoes.
See the Recipe

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.

Blueberry Muffin
I’m excited to share with you these Quick and Easy Blueberry Muffin Recipe. You only need one bowl so you know it’s really simple.
See the Recipe

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.

Lasagna Casserole
This Easy Lasagna bake is so quick and simple to make!
See the Recipe

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.

Crock pot Bread Pudding
It could not be any easier and tastes so creamy and delicious.
See the Recipe

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.

Roasted Carrots
Cooking carrots in the oven are the best as they are soft and roasting them gives them a delicious flavor.
See the Recipe

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.

No-Bake Pumpkin Pie
This rich and creamy No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Recipe is the perfect pie for all your holiday plans. It is easy to make and with simple ingredients.
See the Recipe

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.

Homemade Apple Cider
It is easy to make and will make your house smell amazing. Plus, homemade apple cider is so delicious.
See the Recipe

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.

Broccoli Cranberry Salad
Broccoli cranberry salad is savory and sweet with an amazing flavor in each bite, has the best dressing, and is so simple to make.
See the Recipe

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.

Pumpkin Cupcakes
They are so easy to make and the cream cheese frosting is heavenly.
See the Recipe

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.

Jalapeño Corn Casserole
Jalapeño corn casserole recipe is super easy to throw together and really delicious. The sweet corn combines with the hot jalapeño peppers for a tasty casserole.
See the Recipe

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.

Crock Pot Corn Casserole
Crockpot Corn Casserole is a classic holiday side dish that is made in your slow cooker. Creamy, delicious, and lots of sweet corn flavor.
See the Recipe

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.

Mini Pumpkin Pies
The recipe could not be any simpler and it comes together so fast. It’s inexpensive to make and the presentation is just gorgeous.
See the Recipe

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.

Macaroni Salad
This Easy Macaroni Salad Recipe is my go-to dish to bring to potlucks, BBQs, parties, and more. It is loaded with lots of delicious veggies, cheese, and more!
See the Recipe

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.

Keto Cheddar Biscuits
This is the perfect low-carb recipe for those following a Keto eating plan. They are loaded with cheese and so much flavor.
See the Recipe

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.

Pumpkin Puree
Homemade pumpkin puree is very simple and freezer-friendly.
See the Recipe

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.

Homemade Ranch Dip
Homemade ranch dip is super easy to make and perfect for dipping. Enjoy with your favorite vegetables for a delicious snack.
See the Recipe

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.

Crockpot Hamburger Hashbrown Casserole
Crockpot Hamburger Hashbrown Casserole Recipe is so simple to make and creamy and delicious in each bite.
See the Recipe

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.

Biscuit Pizza
Craving pizza and need a quick and frugal recipe? Make this fun and tasty biscuit pizza recipe with all of your favorite toppings.
See the Recipe

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.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
These tasty pumpkin cinnamon rolls do involve yeast and rising of dough, but they are very easy to make.
See the Recipe

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.

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole
Make Cheesy Green Bean Casserole for an easy side dish to your holiday table. Add cheese to your classic recipe for amazing flavor.
See the Recipe

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.

Turkey Pot Pie
Easy Turkey Pot Pie is a classic recipe that is made with your leftover turkey. This easy, delicious and hearty pot pie is made with simple ingredients.
See the Recipe

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.

Pumpkin Cheesecake
I have a super delicious and very easy Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe for you to try. Creamy layers of pumpkin pie and cheesecake combine for a decadent dessert.
See the Recipe

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.

Thanksgiving Turkey Charcuterie
This Thanksgiving Turkey Charcuterie Board is loaded with cheese, pepperoni, and crackers.
See the Recipe

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.

Paula Deen Potato Soup
Paula Deen Potato Soup Recipe is creamy and delicious. It is the best comfort food and even better with cheese and bacon on top.
See the Recipe

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.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie
Salted Caramel Apple Pie combines the flavors of fall. The salted caramel with the tart apples all in a flaky pie crust makes the best homemade pie recipe.
See the Recipe

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.

Crock Pot Sweet Potato Casserole
Crock pot sweet potato casserole is a delicious blend of diced sweet potatoes coated in brown sugar and more. Each bite is topped with pecans and mini marshmallows.
See the Recipe

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.

Crockpot Turkey Breast
Crockpot turkey breast is flavorful and so delicious while being super easy.
See the Recipe

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.

Deviled Egg Macaroni Salad
Deviled Egg Macaroni Salad is loaded with flavor and easy to make.
See the Recipe

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.

Crockpot Apple Pie Dump Cake
Dessert is even easier when you make this easy Crockpot Apple Dump Cake Recipe for the perfect fall dessert.  The slow cooker does all the work and you can enjoy warm apple cake topped with ice cream.
See the Recipe

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.

Potatoes Au Gratin
You are going to love this easy, cheesy Potatoes Au Gratin side dish. Thinly sliced potatoes are mixed in a creamy sauce and topped with cheese.
See the Recipe

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.

Pumpkin Roll
You are going to love this Easy Pumpkin Roll Recipe! Everyone loves digging into a classic pumpkin roll with cream cheese filling.
See the Recipe

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.

Southern Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet potato pie is a creamy and delicious pie that is perfect for Fall.
See the Recipe

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.

Classic Italian Pasta Salad
It’s loaded with yummy veggies, pasta, Italian dressing, and more. Italian Pasta Salad Recipe is easy to fix and budget-friendly.
See the Recipe

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.

Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars
Pecan pie cheesecake bars combine all that you love about cheesecake and pecan pie. This is the perfect dessert and so easy to make.
See the Recipe
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. #eatingonadime #makeaheadthanksgivingrecipes #thanksgivingrecipes

Try these other recipes

Share this recipe!


About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families!

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *