Thanksgiving
VeselovaElena/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Thanksgiving Dishes You Can Make Ahead and Freeze

Give thanks for your freezer this Turkey Day
Thanksgiving
VeselovaElena/iStock via Getty Images Plus

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.

Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup

Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

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.

For the Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup recipe, click here.

Pumpkin Kale Lasagna

Pumpkin Kale Lasagna
Courtesy of Jason Goldstein, Chop Happy

This pumpkin kale lasagna is the perfect opportunity to incorporate some leftovers into your meal. The dish can be made using leftover kale, but the real star is the pumpkin.

For the Pumpkin Kale Lasagna recipe, click here

Spinach Lasagna

Spinach Lasagna
Courtesy of Lindsay Landis from Love & Olive Oil, provided by McCormick

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.

For the Spinach Lasagna recipe, click here.

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Loaded Mashed Potatoes
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

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.

For the Loaded Mashed Potatoes recipe, click here.

Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes

Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes
Courtesy of Jason Goldstein

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.

For the Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes recipe, click here.

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole
Courtesy of McCormick

Reminiscent of grandma’s cooking, this loaded mashed potato casserole is packed with hearty ingredients like bacon, perfectly melted cheese and spuds.

For the Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole recipe, click here.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Courtesy of McCormick

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.

For the Garlic Mashed Potatoes recipe, click here.

Loaded Potato Soup

Loaded Potato Soup
Courtesy of McCormick

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.

For the Loaded Potato Soup recipe, click here.

Perfect Turkey Gravy

Perfect Turkey Gravy
Courtesy of McCormick

No need to purchase store-bought gravy — it’s one of the easiest Thanksgiving staples to make ahead of time and pop in the freezer. Just make sure you know how to time reheating your gravy, that’s one of the biggest Thanksgiving dinner questions.

For the Perfect Turkey Gravy recipe, click here.

Traditional Cornbread

Traditional Cornbread
Courtesy of Chef Lance Knowling

Cornbread is a dish beloved by Texans, and this recipe is timeless. Get all of your classic, homestyle ingredients together ahead of time and store the traditional cornbread in the freezer until the big day arrives.

For the Traditional Cornbread recipe, click here.

Chipotle Corn Pudding

Chipotle Corn Pudding
Courtesy of McCormick

Yeah, traditional cornbread is a must during turkey day, but corn pudding is not to be overlooked. The hearty dish is similar to a casserole but maintains the sweet flavor of creamed corn. It’s a tasty and quick dish you can make out of cans.

For the Chipotle Corn Pudding recipe, click here.

Instant Pot Pumpkin Soup

Instant Pot Pumpkin Soup
Courtesy of Corrie Cooks

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.

For the Instant Pot Pumpkin Soup recipe, click here.

Broccoli Casserole

Broccoli Casserole
JohnHancockPhoto/Shutterstock

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.

For the Broccoli Casserole recipe, click here.

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole
bhofack2/iStock via Getty Images

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.

For the Green Bean Casserole recipe, click here.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie
Courtesy of Mccormick

Don’t make your pies day of — you’ll run out of room in the oven and they taste just as good after being frozen. And certainly don’t forget about pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, it's one of the most iconic pies in America.

For the Pumpkin Pie recipe, click here.

Apple Pie

Apple Pie
Courtesy of McCormick

There are plenty of places to get a good apple pie, but nothing compares to the apple pie that comes straight from your kitchen. Chop up the apples and make your crust early, it’ll still have all of those tart and cinnamon flavors when it’s reheated.

For the Apple Pie recipe, click here.

Tart Cherry Amaretto Pie

Tart Cherry Amaretto Pie
Courtesy of Emily Caruso, jellytoastblog.com, provided by Choose Cherries

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.

For the Tart Cherry Amaretto Pie recipe, click here.

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie
Courtesy of McCormick

What’s Thanksgiving, or fall in general, without some sort of pie? Sweet potato pie is a popular Southern dessert that’s always a hit come turkey day. The dessert requires a handful of ingredients, so make sure none of your pantry staples have expired.

For the Sweet Potato Pie recipe, click here.

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Chocolate Pecan Pie
Courtesy of McCormick

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.

For the Chocolate Pecan Pie recipe, click here.

Pumpkin Pie Cookies

Pumpkin Pie Cookies
Courtesy of McCormick

Baking ahead of time will allow you to make a variety of sweets, like these pumpkin pie cookies. When you do make these pumpkin-shaped treats, make sure you flour everything, even the cookie-cutter — it’s a hack every beginner baker should know.

For the Pumpkin Pie Cookies recipe, click here.

Sweet Bread Stuffing

Sweet Bread Stuffing
Courtesy of King's Hawaiian

Stuffing is the star of the sides during Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be made day of. Show off your cooking skills with this recipe that’s made with sliced sweet bread, parsley and dried apricots.

For the Sweet Bread Stuffing recipe, click here.

Classic Herb Stuffing

Classic Herb Stuffing
Courtesy of McCormick

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.

For the Classic Herb Stuffing recipe, click here.

Gluten-Free Rice Stuffing

Gluten-Free Rice Stuffing
Courtesy of McCormick

Incorporate some gut-healthy foods into your Thanksgiving dinner with this gluten-free stuffing, which uses long-grain rice in place of bread.

For the Gluten-Free Rice Stuffing recipe, click here.

Instant Pot Banana Bread

Instant Pot Banana Bread
Courtesy of Corrie Cooks

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.

For the Banana Bread recipe, click here.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies
Courtesy of Imperial Sugar

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.

For the Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies recipe, click here.

Bacon Gruyere Mashed Potato Casserole

Bacon Gruyere Mashed Potato Casserole
Courtesy of Jason Goldstein

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.

For the Bacon Gruyere Mashed Potato Casserole recipe, click here.

Ginger Spiced Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Ginger Spiced Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Courtesy of McCormick

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.

For the Ginger Spiced Mashed Sweet Potatoes recipe, click here.

Instant Pot Easy Vegetable Stock

Instant Pot Easy Vegetable Stock
paulista/Shutterstock

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.

For the Easy Vegetable Stock recipe, click here.

Instant Pot Easy Chicken Stock

Instant Pot Easy Chicken Stock
fcafotodigital/E+ via Getty Images

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.

For the Chicken Stock recipe, click here.

More from The Daily Meal:

Thanksgiving Shopping Tips, Strategies and Secrets

The Most Common Turkey Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Cooking Tips, Hacks and Tricks Your Grandma Knew

Boxed Cake Mix Recipes: Turn This Staple Into 20 Desserts

Restaurant Secrets Every Home Cook Should Know