How Early Can You Make Thanksgiving Sides: 100 Dishes to Cook Ahead

Thanksgiving dinner is a lot of work. There’s the turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and more. So how early can you make Thanksgiving side dishes? We’ve got 100 Thanksgiving side dish recipes that you can make ahead so you have less to do on Turkey Day!

how early can you make thanksgiving sides

From roasted Brussels sprouts to creamy mashed potatoes, these make-ahead Thanksgiving side dishes will free up your oven and stove top on the big day. And with recipes like make-ahead green bean casserole and pumpkin pie, you’ll have more time to enjoy the holiday with your family and friends.

So how early can you make Thanksgiving side dishes? Most of these recipes can be made a day or two in advance, so you’re not stuck in the kitchen all day on Thanksgiving. And with recipes like make-ahead green bean casserole and pumpkin pie, you’ll have more time to enjoy the holiday with your family and friends.

Here is the scoop on how early you can make Thanksgiving sides.

Planning Your Thanksgiving Menu Ahead

The holidays are a hectic time of year, and Thanksgiving is no exception. From shopping for groceries to cooking the feast, there’s a lot to do in preparation for the big day.

One way to make things easier is to plan your Thanksgiving menu ahead of time. This way, you can space out the tasks and have everything ready to go when the big day arrives.

Finding make-ahead Thanksgiving recipes for the main event, like from the Food Network, will give you more time for the whole day.

When it comes to Thanksgiving sides, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, how early can you make them? And second, what is the best way to reheat them? We’ve got all the answers to your questions, plus 100 delicious recipes to get you started.

100 Side Dishes to Make Ahead

1. Sweet Potatoes baked in Aluminum Foil

how early can you make thanksgiving sides

2. Green Beans

3. Pumpkin Pie

4. Brussel Sprouts

5. Pecan Pie

6. Sweet Potato Casserole

7. Dinner Rolls

8. Apple Pie

9. Homemade Cranberry Sauce

10. Creamy Mashed Potatoes

11. Butternut Squash

12. Root Vegetables

13. Sour Cream

14. Cranberry Chutney

15. Roasted Turkey Wing

16. Traditional Green Bean Casserole

17. Orange Juice

18. Cream Cheese Sauce

19. Red Onions

20. Roasted Carrots with Olive Oil

how early can you make thanksgiving sides

21. Greek Potatoes

22. Baked Potato Casserole

23. Loaded Baked Potatoes

24. Buttermilk Biscuits

25. Corn

26. Deviled Eggs

27. Acorn Squash

28. Corn Casserole

29. Turkey Stock Soup

30. Fruit Pies

31. Stuffed Mushrooms

32. Meatballs

33. Balsamic Roast Potatoes

34. Garlic Bread

35. Spanakopita

36. Cannellini Beans

37. Roasted Cauliflower

38. Coleslaw

39. Macaroni and Cheese

40. Chicken Broth Soup

how early can you make thanksgiving sides

41. Cauliflower Mash

42. String Beans

43. Creamed Corn

44. Collard Greens with Lemon Zest

45. Side Salad

46. Creamed Spinach

47. Roasted Parsnips

48. Snow Peas

49. Candied Yams

50. Sweet Potato Salad

how early can you make thanksgiving sides

51. Kale Salad

52. Quinoa Salad

53. Brown Rice

54. Wild Rice

55. White Rice

56. Stuffed Acorn Squash

57. Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

58. Potato Soup

59. Carrot Soup

60. Corn Chowder

61. Broccoli Casserole

62. Broccoli Salad

63. Cauliflower Rice

64. Zucchini Casserole

65. Ratatouille

66. Caprese Salad

67. Grilled Asparagus

68. Roasted Beets

69. Beet Salad

70. Blackberry Cobbler

how early can you make thanksgiving sides

71. Peach Cobbler

72. Cherry Pie

73. Rhubarb Pie

74. Blueberry Pie

75. Key Lime Pie

76. Strawberry Shortcake

77. Lemon Bars

78. Brownies

79. Chocolate Chip Cookies

80. Pumpkin Bread

81. Banana Bread

82. Zucchini Bread

83. Carrot Cake

84. Apple Cake

85. Cupcakes

86. Rice Krispie Treats

87. Pumpkin Seeds

88. Sweet Potato Fries

89. French Fries

90. Onion Rings

how early can you make thanksgiving sides

91. Fried Pickles

92. Jalapeno Poppers

93. Mozzarella Sticks

94. Chicken Wings

95. Buffalo Chicken Dip

96. Guacamole

97. Salsa

98. Pico de Gallo

99. Chips and Dip

100. Fruit Salad

Make-Ahead Side Dishes for Thanksgiving

You can make most of your Thanksgiving side dishes ahead of time, which will free up valuable oven and stove space on the big day. Here are a few tips to make sure your dishes turn out perfectly:

Most vegetables can be prepped (chopped, etc.) a day or two in advance and stored in the fridge.

Casseroles and other baked dishes can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen until ready to bake.

Mashed potatoes can be made ahead of time and reheated just before serving.

Gravy can also be made ahead of time and reheated on the stove top.

Why Cook Ahead?

Cooking holiday meals on Thanksgiving day is always stressful. In order to best prepare yourself, you will want to go to the grocery store ahead of time. Making sure that you have all of the ingredients for easy Thanksgiving side dishes.

It is important to plan ahead and gather your shopping list with items like pie dough for pie crusts, fresh herbs, maple syrup, and anything else you want to add extra flavor to your Thanksgiving feast. Having everything mise en place for the next day will save you lots of time.

If you can even get your holiday menu grocery shopping done a couple of days ahead, that is all the better. Another great tip is to save anything you can serve at room temperature for the last minute.

Also, if you are cooking several pounds of turkey, you will need your oven space free for that baking sheet, roasting pan, or baking dish on Thanksgiving Thursday.

Pro tip, any other prep work you can do ahead of the Thanksgiving meal, like setting your Thanksgiving table, is an easy way to spend more quality time with your loved ones. Having a good time with your family is more important than spending a long time cooking.

Things to Remember

The great thing about preparing your best Thanksgiving recipes ahead of time is that you can always just store them in the fridge with plastic wrap covering them, and then reheat them with a damp paper towel to keep everything moist.

Also, if you want to try new Thanksgiving recipes, home cooks will appreciate the extra time to test them out. This will allow you to perfect the new crowd pleaser.

Wanting to make the perfect side dish is also a good reason to use your slow cooker.

Also, you do not have to completely cook your side dishes ahead of time. Just preparing some steps early is still a big help. For example, if you do not want to make your mashed potatoes until Thanksgiving, you can still peel the potatoes and store them in cold water overnight.

Another tip is to save your refrigerator space for food, and instead fill your washing machine with ice to chill any beverages and wine bottles.

Final Thoughts: How Early Can You Make Thanksgiving Sides

The Thanksgiving holiday season is more about spending time with your loved ones than making a perfect holiday dinner, but it is still fun to cook the full thanksgiving menu! Cooking Thanksgiving sides ahead of time will let you find the perfect balance so you can spend less time cooking and as much time with your family as possible.

Making your sides ahead of time is the perfect way to ensure that your dinner table is full of things to pair with your main course. Choosing sides as the first things to cook will save you a bit of stress, and it is still a great way to complete your holiday table.

No matter how you plan out cooking for Thanksgiving, the important thing is to have fun and spend time with those you love.

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