Stress Who?

Above view of unrecognizable extended family toasting during Thanksgiving meal at dining table.
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9 Classic Thanksgiving Sides You Can Prep In Advance

Like, up to three days in advance.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Sandwiched right there between fall and Christmas, it’s all of the excitement and fun of the tail-end of the year without all the stress. Yes, I know that Thanksgiving can be stressful — I host a big family for dinner, too — but there are so many ways to control that stress, like having a bunch of make-ahead Thanksgiving sides prepped in advance.

Even if you’re not hosting, who wants to spend Thanksgiving morning getting kids ready to go to grandma’s house (in nice clothes, no less), getting yourself ready, and making a green bean casserole? You deserve to watch the parade in peace with a hot cup of coffee (we’re fantasizing here, just go with it) and know that there’s a whole Thanksgiving side dish waiting for you in the fridge. You can either throw these make-ahead Thanksgiving sides in the oven before you leave your own house, or let them get to room temperature on the drive and then pop them in your family’s oven when you get to your destination. That’s the beauty of all of these recipes.

Bonus: these are kid-friendly and delicious Thanksgiving side recipes. No fuss, no weird flavors, no food competition vibes — just good, classic, yummy make-ahead Thanksgiving sides. Prep some of these up to three days in advance and win Thanksgiving for yourself.


Sweet Potato Soufflé

Sweet potato soufflé is a must on the Thanksgiving table, and this recipe featured on Yummly is super easy and you can prep it up to two days in advance. Just make the actual souffle and filling, pour it into your baking dish, and cover. Pop it in the fridge and store the topping separately and then throw it on when it’s time to bake on Thanksgiving.


Cranberry Chutney

I’m not saying don’t serve a can of cranberry sauce, I’m just saying make this cranberry chutney from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, too. This is such an easy recipe and it’s actually best to refrigerate it overnight so the flavors get even better. Make it a day (or two!) in advance, cover tightly, and store in the fridge until go time.


Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole is a Thanksgiving classic, and this recipe from Pinch of Yum is slightly elevated — and one you can make ahead. Just blanch the green beans and prep the sauce, and then when you’re ready to throw it in the oven, put everything together. You just can’t beat those crispy fried onions on top and a kick of gruyere cheese inside.


Mashed Potatoes

Believe it or not, you can even make creamy, delicious mashed potatoes in advance, too. Up to three days! This make-ahead mashed potatoes recipe featured on Yummly is just like your traditional mashed taters recipe — just cover it tightly with foil and put it in the fridge once they’re in your baking dish. Bring them to room temp before moving them into the oven, and you can even leave the foil on to keep them like more traditional potatoes. If you remove it, you can get a nice crisp top layer.


Corn Casserole

Is there anything better than leftover corn casserole? This amazing old-fashioned creamed corn casserole recipe is a cinch to make, and you can easily reheat it before the big day straight back in the oven.


Classic Stuffing

The best thing about some of these make-ahead dishes is how simple they are, like this classic stuffing recipe from Averie Cooks. Build up the whole dish the night before and then pop it in the fridge. When you take it out, give it a check to make sure it’s not dry — if it is, add a little bit of broth before baking.


Bacon & Cheese Brussels Sprouts

Like the corn casserole, this delicious bacon and cheese Brussels sprouts recipe can be made ahead by whipping up the sauce and storing it separately from the veggies until turkey day. Then you can put everything together in a dish and bake with ease. So perfect.


Turkey Gravy

If you ask me, the gravy is the star of the show on Thanksgiving, and I’m obsessed with this make-ahead gravy recipe from Yummly. It’s simple, it’s seasoned to perfection, and you can easily double it and have it ready to go as soon as everyone arrives.


Macaroni & Cheese

I am drooling over this macaroni and cheese recipe featured on Yummly. This is a major crowd-pleaser, and you can make it a day in advance by splashing in a little extra milk so the pasta doesn’t get dry during the baking process. Perfection.

Whether you’re trying to save some time to actually enjoy Thanksgiving or just want to get ahead of the game, these Thanksgiving sides are perfect for prepping in advance. Bonus: they all reheat beautifully for leftovers.