This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please see our affiliate policy.
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!
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’ll actually have time to be thankful.
This menu includes roast turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, and more! Some recipes, like roast turkey and cranberry sauce, lend themselves naturally to freezing and don’t need any tweaks (but I break down a lot of the helpful specifics for you, anyway).
Other recipes, like mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, need a little wizardry to make the magic happen. And you don’t have to make it all ahead, either. Pick the things that make the most sense for you, and leave the rest.
Table of Contents
Of all the easy turkey recipes out there, this is the one to make. Well before guests arrive (days! weeks! months!), you can get all the carving out of the way, make the gravy, and make broth with the turkey carcass. Then you’ll be fully prepared to deal with whatever else happens on Thanksgiving Day.
This Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes recipe has a few tricks up its sleeve to make sure that fluffy, creamy, and decadent mashed potatoes can be made ahead and still be absolutely fabulous. In fact, this recipe has enough fat to protect the potatoes in the freezer for up to 6 months.
This classic stuffing is my mom’s recipe and my favorite part about Thanksgiving. Add in the advantages of make-ahead convenience and you’re officially out of excuses not to make it!
Once you assemble this Make Ahead Pumpkin Pie, it freezes beautifully for future desserts. But you can also make it the day you need it. And as long as you’re working with a pre-baked crust, it doesn’t take up any prime real estate in the oven.
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).
Even the fussiest eaters (hello, children!) can’t resist these Homemade Crescent Rolls. If they eat nothing else on the table, they’ll eat these!
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!).
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.
Whether you’re looking for a casual event or a formal affair, find your preferred way to set the table for Thanksgiving.
Plan your perfect Midwestern Thanksgiving with some of the most popular holiday recipes on Culinary Hill. This ultimate guide contains a planner to get ahead, a printable shopping list, menu cards, and links to all…View Recipe
Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.