24 Delicious Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes (Because You Deserve a Holiday, Too)

Make-ahead-thanksgiving-recipes
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Whether you are preparing every course from scratch or hosting a laid-back micro-Thanksgiving, make-ahead recipes are key. Why? So you can avoid running around like a chicken (ahem, turkey) with your head cut off when the doorbell rings and your famished family members start flooding your already-crowded kitchen. Seriously, put in a little prep work a day or two in advance, and you'll *finally* be free to dive into the charcuterie and Chardonnay by 3 p.m. along with the rest of your crew.

Many dishes can be prepared at least a day in advance and simply reheated right before serving. Aim to have everything—from the traditional hors d'oeuvres to the homemade bread to your family's favorite Thanksgiving dessert recipes—done by the time you start preparing our simple turkey recipe.

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Rosemary Pecans

Rosemary pecans are served in a decorative bowl.
Beatriz da Costa

This spiced pecan recipe makes for a deliciously addictive (and relatively healthy) Thanksgiving appetizer. The pecans can be prepared and stored at room temperature in an airtight container up to one week in advance.

02 of 24

Goat Cheese Spread

Goat cheese spread is served in a bowl alongside crackers.
Dana Gallagher

Our recipe for creamy goat cheese spread makes a bright addition to any cheese plate, but can easily stand on its own as a Turkey Day appetizer. It can be prepared and refrigerated up to two days in advance.

03 of 24

Cannellini Bean, Scallion, and Prosciutto Dip

Cannellini Bean, Scallion, and Prosciutto Dip
Beatriz da Costa

This high-protein app packs plenty of flavor, thanks to fresh scallions and salty prosciutto. It can be prepared and refrigerated (without the garlic) up to one day in advance; add the garlic just before serving.

04 of 24

Tender Greens with Champagne Vinaigrette Salad

Tender Greens With Champagne Vinaigrette
Marcus Nilsson

The lettuce, herbs, and vinaigrette in this tender greens salad can be prepared and refrigerated, separately, up to one day in advance. Dress and toss the salad just before serving.

05 of 24

Lettuce, Orange, and Pecan Salad

Lettuce, Orange, and Pecan Salad
Maura McEvoy

The fresh lettuce, oranges, shallots, pecans, and vinaigrette can be prepared and refrigerated, separately, up to one day in advance. Dress and toss the salad just before serving.

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Cranberry and Orange Relish

Cranberry and Orange Relish
Justin Bernhaut

This vibrant Cranberry and Orange Relish can be prepared and refrigerated up to four days in advance, but do not add the cilantro. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Mix in the cilantro just before serving.

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Chilled Pineapple-Cranberry Relish

Warm Apricot Cranberry Sauce
Kate Merker

Our Chilled Pineapple-Cranberry Relish can be prepared and refrigerated up to two days in advance. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

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Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce
John Kernick

This simple, classic Cranberry Sauce can be prepared and refrigerated up to four days in advance. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

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Green Bean Salad with Walnuts, Fennel, and Goat Cheese

Green Bean Salad With Walnuts, Fennel, and Goat Cheese
John Kernick

The vinaigrette, green beans, and walnuts in this delicious side dish can be prepared and refrigerated, separately, up to one day in advance. Toss the green beans with the fennel, walnuts, goat cheese, and vinaigrette just before serving.

10 of 24

Autumn Cabbage Slaw

Autumn Cabbage Slaw
Miha Matei

This vibrant slaw can be prepared and refrigerated, keeping the oranges separate, up to two days in advance. Fold in the oranges just before serving.

11 of 24

Fennel and Apricot Stuffing

Fennel and Apricot Stuffing
Mikkel Vang

The stuffing can be assembled (but not baked) and refrigerated up to one day in advance. Bake from room temperature at 400° F until heated through, 30 to 45 minutes.

12 of 24

Spinach and Gruyère Gratin

Spinach and Gruyère Gratin
Miha Matei

This creamy spinach- and cheese-packed gratin can be prepared (but not baked) and refrigerated, covered, up to one day in advance. Bring to room temperature, then bake as directed, adding 5 to 10 minutes to the cooking time.

13 of 24

Spiced Sweet Potato Wedges

Spiced Sweet Potato Wedges
Kate Merker

The sweet potatoes can be cut and seasoned up to two hours before cooking. Or they can be roasted and refrigerated up to one day in advance; reheat in oven, from room temperature, at 350° F to 400° F.

14 of 24

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Golden Raisins

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts With Bacon and Golden Raisins
Justin Bernhaut

These sautéed Brussels sprouts can be made and kept at room temperature up to two hours in advance, or refrigerated up to one day in advance. Reheat them in the oven, from room temperature, at 350°F to 400°F.

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Cider-Roasted Vegetables

Cider-Roasted Vegetables
Dana Gallagher

These rich root vegetables can be roasted and kept at room temperature up to two hours in advance or refrigerated up to one day in advance. Reheat from room temperature at 350° F to 400° F.

16 of 24

Mashed Sour Cream and Scallion Potatoes

Mashed Sour Cream and Scallion Potatoes
Susie Cusher

Mashed potatoes can be made and left at room temperature up to two hours in advance or refrigerated up to one day in advance. Reheat in a large saucepan, covered, adding milk as necessary to adjust the consistency.

17 of 24

Roast Butternut Squash Puree

Roast Butternut Squash Puree
Marcus Nilsson

Fresh butternut squash puree can be made and left at room temperature up to two hours in advance or refrigerated up to two days in advance. Reheat in a large saucepan, covered, for 10 minutes.

18 of 24

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake
John Kernick

This dreamy, creamy pumpkin cheesecake pie can be prepared and refrigerated, loosely covered with plastic wrap, up to two days in advance.

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Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie
qSang An

Our sweet potato pie can be prepared and stored at room temperature, loosely covered with foil, up to one day in advance.

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Pressed-Crust Pear Tart

Pressed-Crust Pear Tart
Beatriz da Costa

Talk about elegant. If you don't have a rectangular tart pan, you can use a round one to make this pressed-crust pea tart. The dessert can be prepared and stored at room temperature, loosely covered with foil, up to one day in advance.

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Chocolate Silk Pie

Chocolate Silk Pie
Marcus Nilsson

This delicious pie can be prepared and refrigerated, loosely covered with plastic wrap, up to two days in advance. Top with the cocoa and whipped cream just before serving.

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Gingersnap-Pear Cheesecake

Gingersnap-Pear Cheesecake
Sang An

This cheesecake, made with crumbled cookies and fresh pears, can be prepared and refrigerated, loosely covered with plastic wrap, up to two days in advance.

23 of 24

Citrus Pound Cake with Cranberry Syrup

Citrus Pound Cake With Cranberry Syrup
Sang An

Our super simple Citrus Pound Cake with Cranberry Syrup can be prepared and stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic, up to one day in advance. The syrup can be prepared and refrigerated up to one day.

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Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread
Sang An

Pumpkin bread can be prepared and stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic, up to one day in advance.

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