More than 30 of the best make-ahead Thanksgiving and Christmas side dishes for 2023. These recipes are tried and true, family and kid-tested. These time-saving, make-ahead Thanksgiving sides will return to your table year after year!
Plus, I’m providing tips on a stress-free Thanksgiving holiday, even if you are starting late! Like this easy free Turkey Roasting Guide, print it out, it will save your bacon! But don’t just limit these to Thanksgiving, these are great make-ahead side dishes for Christmas too!
Looking for fabulous Thanksgiving recipes? Here are a few must-try desserts you can make ahead: Pumpkin Custard Pie Recipe (Costco Copycat), Gluten-Free (or not) Apple Crumb Pie and this gorgeous Pear Bundt Cake.
Each year, I plan on making my holiday plans way in advance; menu, setting the table, cleaning the house, planning the day out, making some dishes ahead – but then life, life just happens. Can anyone relate?
Top tips for Make Ahead Thanksgiving Side Dishes
While we all want the picture perfect Thanksgiving meal, one thing I’ve learned through years of entertaining is to relax more, not worry about everything being spotless!
- Broom sweep your floors, after all, your perfectly mopped floors will once again be dirty after Aunt Freda accidentally drops her plate on the floor.
- Declutter what you can and clean your bathrooms, on that I must insist!
- Set your table a day or two ahead of time.
- Make as many dishes as you can ahead of time.
- Be ready for your guests; if you are running behind, be sure to get yourself ready first, nobody likes to arrive with their host upstairs with wet hair.
- You can always ask your guests to help set the table, put finishing touches on things, carve the turkey, put together an appetizer, pour a drink! Why not, they’d love to, wouldn’t you if asked?
- Relax, put on some relaxing music and breathe, put a smile on your face, stop and sit with your guests.
- Be sure to print out our Turkey roasting guide!
What to Serve with Turkey
Think about what is on your menu that you can make ahead and plan on making one every few days, from now until Thanksgiving, or better yet, ask those who are joining you to bring along a side or two. I cannot tell you enough the one thing I’ve learned about having people over is to ask, don’t do it all alone!
The Best Air Fryer Turkey Recipes
If you are looking for turkey to go with your sides (wink-wink) try these easy, air fryer turkey recipes.
- Easy Juicy Air Fryer Turkey Thighs Recipe
- Best Roasted Air Fryer Turkey Breast Recipe (Boneless or Bone-In)
- Easy Crispy Air Fryer Turkey Legs
- Easy Crispy Air Fryer Turkey Wings Recipe
- Best Easy Air Fryer Turkey Tenderloin Recipe
Best rolls and breads to serve with make-ahead Thanksgiving sides
To with your sides, you are going to want to bake up some warm, tender rolls or bread:
- Easy Yeast Rolls (great for beginners)
- Sweet Molasses Brown Bread Rolls
- Oatmeal Dinner Rolls
- Sweet Buttermilk Cornbread
- Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits (biscuits & skillet bread)
- Cheddar Beer Popovers
- Cranberry Walnut Bread
Thanksgiving Desserts to Make Ahead
Try these easy and tasty make ahead Thanksgiving desserts for your celebration this year!
No Bake Chocolate Pie
It’s pie season! I have the easiest, most scrumptious no bake chocolate pie recipe for you with options for personalization. My mouth waters just thinking about the silky smooth texture and rich flavor in this dessert!
Best Pumpkin Fluff Recipe (Pumpkin Pie Dip)
Why not switch things up this year and make this delicious, thick, and easy pumpkin fluff recipe that tastes like creamy pumpkin pie without the pie crust? Dive in with your favorite dippers such as gingersnap cookies, Nilla wafers, graham crackers, Biscoff cookies, fresh fruit, and more! A big hit at your next fall party, Halloween party, or Thanksgiving feast.
Best Apple Pie Filled Cinnamon Rolls Recipe (Homemade)
These apple pie filled cinnamon rolls are decadent, fruity, and made entirely from scratch. Ooey, gooey cinnamon rolls with a quick homemade apple pie filling are worth the time and effort.
Start ahead a day or two, breaking up the prep.
Easy Gluten-Free Apple Pie Recipe with Crumb Topping
This gluten-free apple pie will rock your socks off; with the crust and crumble topping made from the same dough, this is an easy, fail-proof pie.
Easy Mini Apple Pie Recipe in Muffin Tin
An easy mini apple pie recipe in your muffin tin. With a simple sugar cookie crust, a quick homemade apple filling, a drizzle of caramel, and a buttery streusel topping.
Pumpkin Custard Pie Recipe (Costco Copycat)
This pumpkin custard pie recipe is spot-on for a Costco pumpkin pie recipe! With a buttery crust, creamy custard filling; this is the best pumpkin pie, perfect for Thanksgiving dinner!
Butterscotch Cinnamon Pie Recipe
The rich buttery brown sugar flavors mixed into a creamy homemade butterscotch pudding nestled in a flaky pastry crust. This Butterscotch Cinnamon pie recipe is Heavenly!
Whether you are joining others or hosting Thanksgiving yourself, I pray that it is filled with deep gratitude, I pray you can find oodles of reasons to be thankful and that it spills out of you onto others around you! I love this book on Thanksgiving graces, prayers and quotes.
A Thanksgiving Psalm
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness and delight;
Come before His presence with joyful singing.
Know and fully recognize with gratitude that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His].
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with a song of thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, bless and praise His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy and lovingkindness are everlasting,
His faithfulness [endures] to all generations.
Psalm 100 (AMP)
Got leftovers? Our favorite leftover turkey recipes
- Easy Leftover Turkey Tacos Recipe
- Easy Turkey Cranberry Sliders Recipe (Baked)
- Turkey Divan Recipe (or chicken)
- Easy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole (or leftover turkey)