|Photo courtesy of CUI.com|
For at least the last 10 of the 13 years I have been married I have hosted Thanksgiving at our house. I am not looking for sympathy just stating a fact. My husband and I love it and would not give it up for anything, we have gotten it down to a science until we switch up the meal. This year we going to try to smoke a turkey so if anyone has advice please let us know. Anytime we entertain, I usually like to look at our menu and decide what can I make in advance. Traditionally we have gone to a Turkey Jam at our workout facility the morning of Thanksgiving so that time is not used cooking last minute sides. I thought I would share some tested\ Make Ahead Thanksgiving Sides and Desserts that have worked for our family and eliminate the day of Thanksgiving cooking craziness.
Make Ahead Thanksgiving Sides and Desserts
Spirited Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry sauce can definitely be made a few days in advance and will probably taste better that way.
Make Ahead Thanksgiving Sides: VEGGIES
I do not have double ovens so this helps on space. Check out these other great make ahead thanksgiving side dishes.
Jiffy Corn Casserole–Kitchen of Mary Pigato
- 1 can whole kernel yellow corn, undrained
- 1 can cream style yellow corn
- 1 (8 oz.) carton sour cream
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
- 1 stick butter, melted
Mix all together and pour into large, lightly oiled casserole dish. Bake at 350°F for 55 to 60 minutes.
The past couple of years we have enjoyed starting our meal with a soup. Soups can be easily made ahead and frozen before Thanksgiving. One we love is Butternut and Apple Soup From the Barefoot Contessa or sweet potato carrot soup.. If you are using a recipe that includes cream wait until you are ready to serve before doing so.
Most pies taste better after they have sat a day or two. I make all my pies Monday or Tuesday before thanksgiving. Our all time favorite is the Bourbon Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie.
Cheesecakes are another great make ahead dessert because they require you to sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours before serving!!.
Cakes and Cupcakes: Make cupcakes and cakes ahead of time and freeze them before frosting them.
The day or two before you can defrost them completely and then frost them. You will be glad you did!
SIDE NOTE ON COOKING TURKEY
While all these are great they may be the only thing you are eating if you don’t cook your turkey the right way. We went to the experts at Butterball to get their proper cooking times for your Thanksgiving Turkey. You don’t want to get anyone sick on this Thanksgiving, especially if they are overnight guests!!
Butterball.com have a conversions table on their site where you can figure out just how long your specific weight turkey needs to defrost and how long to cook your Turkey.