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Thanksgiving has a way of sneaking up on us. This can be especially challenging if you’re the host of the food-centric holiday. Luckily, there are numerous dishes you can prepare ahead of time before the big day so you can still spend time with your family and friends. From mashed potatoes to comforting casseroles, these are the 30 best dishes to make ahead and freeze.
Packed with a variety of autumnal flavors, this roasted kabocha squash soup is the perfect way to make your Thanksgiving dinner feel like a restaurant experience. If you’re worried about having enough time to serve a starter, make the soup ahead of time, freeze it and reheat it the day of.
There are plenty of vegetarian dinner recipes that are cheap and easy to make, and luckily they can also be made ahead of time and frozen. This spinach lasagna has a delightful cheese topping fit for any holiday.
Running low on time to get those side dishes together? These loaded mashed potatoes can be made with potato flakes — a grocery item with a long shelf life. Mix the instant mashed potatoes with bacon, melted cheese and chives, giving this side dish all of the flavor it needs.
Not only can these decadent brown butter mashed potatoes be made ahead and frozen, but the dish also takes less than an hour to cook. Mixed with brown butter and Parmesan cheese, you’ll never look at regular mashed potatoes again.
Reminiscent of grandma’s cooking, this loaded mashed potato casserole is packed with hearty ingredients like bacon, perfectly melted cheese and spuds.
You don’t need to add piles of cheese and bacon to make your mashed potatoes shine, just look at the ingredients in your pantry. Sometimes a little bit of garlic powder is all you need to bring your Thanksgiving staples to the next level.
Loaded potato soup is great served for a regular weeknight meal, but it’s also perfect as a Thanksgiving starter or side. Make this potato-and-cheese-packed creation ahead of time and keep it in the freezer. But before serving it, make sure you know how long potato soup and other Thanksgiving leftovers are good for.
Great for Thanksgiving and just generally an incredible comfort food to make ahead of time and freeze, this Instant Pot pumpkin soup is ready in 20 minutes and is packed with those classic fall flavors.
It’s America’s favorite vegetable for a reason — broccoli can be added into almost any meal and still fit in, like in this broccoli casserole recipe, which is topped with a special ingredient: Ritz crackers. It’s a dish people at the kids table and the adults table will adore.
Your guests won't believe that this dish is loaded with veggies. Green bean casserole is the dish to make ahead of time and freeze. But when you’re reheating it, resist the urge to open the oven and see if those onions have crisped up, not being patient is one bad cooking habit you need to stop.
If you want to really impress your guests during Thanksgiving, tart cherry amaretto pie is the way to go. It’s different from most turkey day dessert staples while still retaining those classic all-American flavors. But don’t stop there, try more of our amazing cherry dessert recipes this year.
A classic Southern recipe that’s better than grandma’s, this chocolate pecan pie is as rich and decadent as it gets. Made with a base of chocolate and topped with chopped pecans, your guests will flock to this pie on Thanksgiving.
Making your own bread might be too time-consuming for Thanksgiving, but a classic stuffing dish is the next best thing. This herb stuffing recipe keeps things traditional, with staple Thanksgiving ingredients like chopped celery, poultry seasoning and thyme.
Incorporate some gut-healthy foods into your Thanksgiving dinner with this gluten-free stuffing, which uses long-grain rice in place of bread.
Having kids in the kitchen the day of Thanksgiving can be hectic, which is why baking ahead of time is a great way to let your little ones help out. For this banana bread recipe, have your kids whisk together the eggs and mashed bananas. Stick the loaf in the freezer until Thanksgiving.
Cookies and brownies are already easy treats to make, but if you don’t feel like whipping up the batter the day of, just make it ahead of time and keep it in the freezer until turkey day arrives. However, if you’d rather opt for store-bought, we’ve ranked the best grocery store chocolate chip cookies.
There are plenty of casserole recipes that have gone out of style, but bacon Gruyere mashed potato casserole isn’t one of them. Made with golden potatoes, melted cheese and all topped with bacon, this dish will be a hit no matter what day you make it.
Holidays can be stressful at times, so don’t make things harder on yourself by making everything the day of. These ginger-spiced mashed potatoes can be made ahead and stored in the freezer. Mix them with vanilla, ginger and thyme.
Making your own stock is something every home cook should know how to do, and stock is an integral ingredient for turkey, stuffing, gravy and other holiday staples. Just be sure to make the stock ahead of time. This veggie-based stock is made with celery, onion, carrots and peppercorns.
Like veggie stock, you can also make chicken stock ahead of time when prepping for turkey day. This recipe includes skinless chicken, onion, garlic cloves and peppercorns. Add it to your gravy and more of our 101 best Thanksgiving recipes.
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