10 Make Ahead Thanksgiving Dishes

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10 Make Ahead Thanksgiving Dishes! Have a fuss free Thanksgiving AND a clean kitchen when company arrives!

Just in time for your Thanksgiving planning, today I’m sharing with you 10 recipes that can be made ahead of time! Add in a juicy and flavorful slow cooker turkey breast that you pop in the crock pot the morning of and you can have your whole meal ready without breaking a sweat on the big day.

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Make Ahead Cornbread Dressing - always moist and flavorful!

Cornbread Dressing

This is how my Grandmama made her dressing each year and it was always moist and delicious! I didn’t even know dressing could be dry until I got older and had it at other houses! This recipe is your secret to success every time.

 To make ahead: Make cornbread up to a month (or more) ahead of time and crumble it up to store in gallon zipper seal bags in the freezer. A day or two ahead of time (or Thanksgiving morning), assemble dressing in slow cooker insert, put lid on, and store in fridge.  Thanksgiving morning, place insert into slow cooker base and cook according to directions.

Sweet Potato Creme Brûlée - A WOW dish for your holiday table that is surprisingly simple!

Sweet Potato Creme Brûlée

One bite of this dish and you’ll see why I say it represents all that is right and good in the world. This is a simple way to take your Thanksgiving feast up a notch and you’ll be surprised at how simple it is, no special equipment needed!

To make ahead: Make this dish the day ahead of time and cover it with foil, stored in my fridge. When we sit down to eat, I remove it from the fridge and set it on the counter. 5-10 minutes before dessert time, I sprinkle the brown sugar over the top and place it under the broiler until it has melted, spread, and hardened. No torch or special equipment needed!

Southern Spoon Rolls - Mix this amazing bread dough up days in advance and just keep it in your fridge!

Southern Spoon Rolls

To make ahead: Mix up a batch of my Mama’s Spoon Roll dough up to three days ahead of time and store covered, in the fridge. Whenever yore ready for fresh, hot rolls and the delicious smell of baked bread, just scoop the dough out into muffin tins and bake!

Sweet and Sour Green Beans - these freeze really well! Just heat and eat!

Sweet and Sour Green Beans

To make ahead: Make these now, store in your freezer in zipper seal bags. The night before your meal place them in the fridge to thaw a bit. Pour into serving bowl and reheat until fully warmed in the microwave. They’ll taste as if you just made them!

They'll never know it isn't pecans unless you tell them! GREAT For nut allergies!

Faux Pecan Pie

This delicious pie is a perfect stand in for Pecan – and no one will even know it isn’t pecan unless you tell them! I developed this recipe to save money because pecans are so expensive nowadays, but ended up with floods of thank you letters from parents of children with nut allergies ,what an unexpected blessing!

To make ahead: Make this pie up to three days ahead of time and store in your fridge. Remove from fridge the morning of Thanksgiving or just before serving (if you prefer it cold).

3 Bean Salad from Southern Plate

3 Bean Salad

To make ahead: Make this 4 or 5 days ahead of time and store in the fridge, it just gets better by the day. I’ve learned the hard way to double it. Last year, I made it ahead of time and ended up eating it all before Thanksgiving. I can’t help myself!

Pumpkin Pie Dip - Cream Cheese, Pumpkin, and Perfect Spices. What's not to love?

Pumpkin Pie Dip

Pumpkin Pie Dip – Cream Cheese, Pumpkin, and Perfect Spices. What’s not to love?

To make ahead: Make this up to two days ahead of time and store in fridge until time to serve.

English Pea Pimento Casserole - and old family recipe from Granny Jordan

English Pea Pimento Casserole

To make ahead: Make this the day before and store in the baking dish, covered, in the fridge. Pop it in the oven and bake according to directions 30 minutes before your meal.

Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole - this is a must have at any holiday meal for our family

Hash Brown Casserole

Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole is a must have on our Thanksgiving Table.

To make ahead: I make this up to three days in advance and store it in the baking dish covered in foil in my refrigerator to pop in 30 -40 minutes before mealtime. Note: this picture is old as the hills and I really need to photograph it again to update the post. The problem is that every time I pull one out of the oven, folks are waiting to devour it!

Granny Jordan's Frozen Cranberry Banana Salads

Frozen Cranberry Salads

Make these now, yes, now! You can make these more than a month in advance. This is a treasured family recipe from my husband’s Granny Jordan served as a side or a dessert (your preference). Keepthem in the freezer until you are ready to serve and then serve frozen.


Coconut Refrigerator Cake -Make it three days in advance and store it in your fridge.It just gets better every day!

Coconut Refrigerator Cake

Daddy’s coconut cake just gets better the longer it sits. Make it at least three days ahead of time for a moist and delicious cake unlike any other. Keep it in the fridge until time to serve dessert.

 Have a fuss free Thanksgiving AND a clean kitchen when company arrives! 

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  1. Love your recipes. One thing that I’ve found that is better than doing the Mambo to mix the bean salad dressing is to put all the dressing ingredients in a microwave safe measuring cup (or Mason jar, even – minus the lid) and zap until the sugar is melted. Let cool a bit and add to the beans. This works well for wilted cucumbers, too.

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