The most important feast of the year just got easier with my menu for a Complete Make Ahead Thanksgiving. Make the turkey ahead, make it all ahead, make your life easier with these great recipes!

A table set for Thanksgiving with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pumpkin pie.

Don’t let this holiday stress you out; knock out the main course and all the trimmings well ahead of Thursday. You won’t need a dozen ovens to do it, either! By the time the big day arrives, you actually have time to be thankful. 

Table of Contents
  1. Make Ahead Roasted Turkey
  2. Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
  3. Make Ahead Stuffing
  4. Make Ahead Pumpkin Pie
  5. Make Ahead Cranberry Sauce
  6. Homemade Crescent Rolls (freezer friendly!)
  7. Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Cider
  8. Set the Table

Make Ahead Roasted Turkey

If you’re pressed for time (or oven space), Make Ahead Roasted Turkey is just what you need. With this technique, cooking turkey the day before, the week before, or even the month before, still tastes delicious and freshly carved.

Get the recipe: Make Ahead Roasted Turkey

Make ahead roasted turkey on a blue platter.

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Reduce your Thanksgiving Day stress with Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes. These creamy, fluffy potatoes can be mashed a few days in advance and reheated in the oven or a slow cooker.

Get the recipe: Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Make ahead mashed potatoes in a white bowl.

Make Ahead Stuffing

This is my favorite (and wildly popular) bread stuffing recipe updated with make-ahead instructions. It’s a great way to get a jump-start on the holiday!

Get the recipe: Make Ahead Stuffing

Baking stuffing in a baking dish.

Make Ahead Pumpkin Pie

This no bake, Make Ahead Pumpkin Pie can be made up to 2 weeks in advance and frozen. You’ll love the maple-cinnamon topping, too!

Get the recipe: Make Ahead Pumpkin Pie

Make ahead pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream.

Make Ahead Cranberry Sauce

Any cranberry sauce can be made ahead of time. Refrigerate it for up to 4 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months (thaw overnight in the refrigerator).

Choose your recipe:

A bowl of cranberry sauce with apples.

Homemade Crescent Rolls (freezer friendly!)

Pillowy soft with a sweet, buttery taste, these Homemade Crescent Rolls are perfect for all the holidays. My Thanksgiving table is incomplete without them!

The best part? Bake them a month in advance, cool, and freeze until the big day. Thaw at room temperature or warm in the oven before serving. Make a double batch if you want to enjoy some right away (you definitely want to!).

Get the recipe: Homemade Crescent Rolls

A basket of homemade crescent rolls.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Cider

While you could technically mix this up in advance, it’s so quick and easy, there’s really no reason. Just combine everything in a slow cooker a few hours before your guests arrive. Set out cozy cups and a big ladle and let your guests help themselves.

Get the recipe: Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Cider

Slow cooker cranberry apple cider in a clear mug.

Set the Table

Whether you’re looking for a casual event or a formal affair, find your preferred way to set the table for Thanksgiving.

Get the guide: How to Set a Table

A place setting on an orange placemat.

120+ Thanksgiving Recipes

Discover 120+ Thanksgiving Recipes on Culinary Hill. Turkey, turkey techniques, all the side dishes, bread and rolls, desserts, drinks, and appetizers. It’s all here, organized by category. We also have sections for gluten free, vegan,…

View Recipe

Thanksgiving for Two

Cooking for just a couple this year? Skip the turkey and prepare a pair of Cornish hens with stuffing. I’ve also scaled down the most important side dishes, and you can complete your meal with…

View Recipe
A make ahead Thanksgiving feast on a table.

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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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    1. Hi Rich, cooked stuffing can be kept in a low-temperature oven for several hours. But keep in mind, food left in a warmer for more than two to four hours loses its freshness and starts to dry out. Hope this helps! – Meggan

  1. Thanksgiving stuffing – can you freeze two weeks in advance? If so is it better to freeze before or after Baking?

    1. Hi Mary! I recommend assembling the stuffing, freezing, then baking. The frozen stuffing will last up to 3 months in the freezer. Enjoy! – Meggan

  2. Thank you for making an effort to educate me on how to set a table for myself/family dinners.
    I’m learning a lot about table etiquette and how to prepare meals for my family.