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Which of your Thanksgiving dishes do you cook/prepare ahead of time?

Hosting my biggest Thanksgiving yet this year... somewhere between 15-20...I'm excited because I love hosting Thanksgiving, its my fav holiday, but also a little nervous! Any tips?


Asked by gramsmom at 12:30 PM on Oct. 22, 2009 in Food & Drink

Level 22 (13,423 Credits)
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Answers (8)
  • I make my stuffing ahead, my mashed yams, any salads, and the desserts. I usually make the mashed potatoes at the last minute, but one year I made them the day before because I was having so many people, and they actually reheated just fine. I cut veggies for my veggie platter and put them in ziploc bags, almost all of it can be done ahead and cooked at the last minute!!

    I always make sure the desserts are done ahead because the turkey is in the oven so many hours and you don't want your desserts in the oven at the same time.

    Biggest tip, relax, it's Thanksgiving, your guests will get there and if you're still putting dinner together, they'll probably join you in the kitchen and be happy to help!!


    Answer by ohwrite at 12:41 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • My family does a potluck. lol
    My parents could no longer handle the huge dinner on thier own, with all of the spouses and kids there are well over 20 of us now :D
    So my parents do the turkey and the stuffing and we are all assigned things to bring. Every year I bring the candied yams and three cranberry dishes.
    Things you could make ahead... fresh cranberry relish, is so yummy and taste better made a few days ahead. You could make your mashed potatoes ahead too. Definitely pies.

    Answer by Nathskitten at 12:36 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • Day before I do the pumpkin pie because it need to be cold and settled before serving. I do prepared turkey by cleaning it. Try to have all condiment's cut ahead of time for stuffing. Turkey is in by 8:00.  All others can wait. 


    Answer by Anonymous at 12:59 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • My youngest son could do Thanksgiving dinner all by himself when he was 19, except the pumpkin pie. I make the pumpking pie. Don't worry, it's not that hard. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving.

    Answer by Gailll at 1:00 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • Pies in the freezer
    Sweet potato pudding the day before
    Mashed potatoes the day before

    Answer by rkoloms at 1:32 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • I have Thanksgiving down to a science now! LOL
    I make all of my desserts a couple of days before and freeze them. On Tuesday, I make my cornbread, cut up all of my veggies, and then on Wednesday, I make my dressing, cranberry compote so that on Thanksgiving day all I have to do is heat everything up.
    We fry our turkey and DH smokes the ham, so I just thaw and inject them. It makes our day soooo easy. I make our mashed potatoes that morning and then put them in the crock pot to keep them warm.
    I love Thanksgiving. I host it every year and have for the past 10 years. My SIL does Christmas since I have Thanksgiving. I make the desserts for Christmas.

    Answer by mcginnisc at 3:44 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • Pies.
    Cranberry sauce.
    I do all the cutting, chopping, dicing in advance (except potatoes).
    Sweet potatoes. I do a mashed sweet potato piped in a swirl on baking sheet and then baked till firm. The mashed potato part can be made in advance.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:56 PM on Oct. 22, 2009

  • congratulations, i hope everything works out well for you and lots o fun.
    all deserts can be made ahead. leave any homemade breads for that day.
    vegetable dishes can all be made ahead and refrigerated in their casserole dishes till baking.
    mashed potatoes can be made early that morning and put in a borrowed crock pot on warm along with other mushy type veggies like squash or hashbrown casserole. stuffing can be made ahead and refrigerated in a casserole dish till baking or put in a warm crockpot early that morning till serving.
    the meat of course, never make ahead, you always want the juices to be present at the time of carving and serving. good luck

    Answer by jewjewbee at 9:00 AM on Oct. 23, 2009