No matter if you are making dinner at home are attending a pot luck meal, don’t get stuck making everything the day of or the night before. I am including some quick Thanksgiving Side Dish recipes you can prep ahead of time and just roast before heading out to dinner as well as casserole side dishes you can make ahead and freeze. These frozen Thanksgiving side dishes will travel well too, I plan on defrosting during our travels.
Every year I make a corn casserole it is a super easy Thanksgiving side dish, it only has 6 ingredients. Every year I make it a few days ahead of time. This year I made it 2 weeks ahead of time and it is waiting in my freezer. I will simply thaw it out just to reduce oven time and then add the final layer of cheese at the end.
- Corn Casserole Recipe
- 1 (8 ounce) box Jiffy cornbread mix
- 2 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
- 1 (15 ounce) can creamed corn (not drained)
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
- 1. Mix all ingredients (except cheese) and pour into (greased or sprayed with cooking spray) 8x8" casserole dish.
- 2 Cook uncovered for 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees. Then add the cheese and cook an addition 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.
- To Make ahead do not add cheese. Allow casserole to completely cool before putting it into freezer. Allow it to thaw the night before and reheat in over 15-20 minutes then add cheese.
The second dish I made ahead and is awaiting us in the freezer is a new recipe I am trying for a Sweet Potato casserole. I have cooked it all the way but left half of it without any topping as my kids love marshmallows so I will add those when I am warming it up. Not sure how the marshmallows would fair in the freezer?
- 4 cups sweet potato, cubed ( bake them 1 hour or until softened to get full flavor)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup Brown sugar (I tasted my potatoes and reduced sugar since they were so sweet)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1-2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans and or mini marshmallows
- 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F Put sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan with water to cover. Cook over medium high heat until tender; drain and mash. Roast your sweet potatoes whole and allow to cool slightly. Add them to a kitchenaide with attachment and they will mash beautifully.
- 2. In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a sprayed 9x13 inch baking dish.
- 3. In medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture.
- 4. Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly Allow to completely cool before covering and placing in freezer.
- ( I doubled this recipe to fill a 9 x 13 dish)
For quick and easy Thanksgiving side dishes that the whole family will enjoy but a bit healthier, I would recommend the Sea salt Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes recipe or this Ina Garten recipe for Roasted Parsnips and Carrots. Both recipes you can prep the veggies a few days in advance and then just roast after the turkey comes out. They do not have to be eaten super hot so you could probably roast them the night before and just heat them for a few minutes before serving. You can easily double or triple this recipe.
- 2 pounds parsnips, peeled
- 1 pound carrots, unpeeled
- 3 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill or parsley ( I used herbs de provence)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
If the parsnips and carrots are very thick, cut them in half lengthwise. Slice each diagonally in 1-inch-thick slices. The vegetables will shrink while cooking, so don’t make the pieces too small. Place the cut vegetables on a sheet pan. Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper and toss well. Roast for 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the vegetables, tossing occasionally, until the parsnips and carrots are just tender. Sprinkle with seasoning
TO make ahead: prep your veggies and keep in fridge. Or you can roast in the morning you plan on serving and allow to sit at room tempertature for a few hours or place in fridge and reheat slightly before serving.
No matter what you choose to make this Thanksgiving, be sure and remember to be thankful you have food to prepare and friends and family to enjoy it with. As the cook, I can say sometimes you can get so wrapped up in the preparation you lose sight of why you are cooking at all.
What is your favorite Thanksgiving Side dishes? Do you make them ahead or cook everything on Thanksgiving?
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