5 Freeze-Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes You Can Make Right Now

Over the years, I learned that a stressed out host makes for a lousy shindig. Because I was that host (sorry, friends and family!) So, over time, I changed. I chilled. In particular, these three things helped immensely:

  1. I simplified. As much as I want to make three desserts – one with flames, natch – it’s not worth losing my ever-loving mind to make it happen.
  2. I got myself a husband who sees to it that the house is spic-and-span so that I don’t have to worry about it. I seriously lucked out on that front.
  3. Make ahead, make ahead, make ahead. The freezer, in particular, is my very best friend. A best friend who helps make sure that I’m enjoying my guests, wine glass in hand, as opposed to sweating bullets and cursing quietly (or not so quietly) in the kitchen.

With its myriad of dishes – and large ones, at that – Thanksgiving is a prime candidate for the make-ahead strategy. Every year, I like to challenge myself to make as much as humanly possible ahead of time in early November (or even October). Man, does it help with Thanksgiving Day chaos.

With me?! If so, here are 5 Freeze-Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes You Can Make Right Now – yep, right now!

5 Freeze-Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes You Can Make Right Now

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Cranberry Sauce from Kitchen Treaty

My very favorite thing to make ahead and freeze for the big day. This recipe is for a basic (but delicious!) sauce, but if you’d like to mix it up, how about one of these? Thanksgiving Cranberry SauceHoney Sweetened Orange, Orange Maple, Apple Cranberry, Spicy AppleGinger PearLemon and Miso. So many options!

5 Thanksgiving Recipes You Can Make Right Now

How to Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce

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Caramelized Onion Gravy from Oh My Veggies

Freeze gravy, you say? Yes! When I developed this recipe for Oh My Veggies, I realized with that list of ingredients, there was no reason why this recipe shouldn’t freeze and thaw perfectly. And it did! Make it, cool it, freeze it in an airtight container or zipper bag. Then pull it out a day or so before Thanksgiving and put it in the freezer. Once it’s thawed, you can just heat it up in a saucepan on the stove. It looks a little weird cold, but it comes right back together once it heats up. See also Easy Vegetarian Onion Gravy and Indian-Spiced Vegan Brown Gravy – my new favorite!

5 Thanksgiving Recipes You Can Make Right Now - Gravy

Caramelized Onion Gravy

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Mashed Sweet Potato Casserole from Wonky Wonderful

Unlike most potato-potatoes, sweet potatoes are perfect for making ahead and freezing. Who knew?! Not me, until this year. I can’t wait to give it a whirl. More sweet potato recipes to try: Gingerbread Sweet Potatoes, Best-Ever Sweet Potato Casserole with Apples, or Sweet Potato Casserole Lightened Up.

5 Thanksgiving Recipes You Can Make Right Now - Mashed Sweet Potato Casserole

Mashed Sweet Potato Casserole

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Honey Whole Wheat Buttermilk Rolls from American Heritage Cooking

Rolls are known for freezing wonderfully, and these honey whole-wheat swirls are no exception. Make these rolls, partially bake them, then freeze. Finish them off in the oven right before the feast for that can’t-be-beat, fresh-baked taste. More rolls and other delicious stand-ins that are perfect for freezing ahead of time: Overnight Dinner RollsPumpkin CornbreadSkillet Honey CornbreadPumpkin-Shaped Pretzel BitesCranberry Pumpkin RollsParmesan Thyme Crackers and, for slathering, Cranberry Honey Butter.

5 Thanksgiving Recipes You Can Make Right Now - Honey Whole Wheat Buttermilk Rolls

Honey Whole Wheat Buttermilk Rolls

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Pumpkin Cheesecake from The View From Great Island

This swoon-worthy cheesecake will have everyone oohing and ahhing, including you. But your oohs and aahs are because all you had to do was cut and serve – the work was done weeks ago, then it kept beautifully in the freezer! Life is good. More freezer-friendly decadence: Chocolate Ganache Swirl Cheesecake, Vegan Gingerbread Pear Bundt Cake, Pumpkin Cream Cheese RollsPecan Pie Shortbread, Browned Butter Pumpkin Spice Cake, Carrot Cupcakes, Fresh Cranberry Brownies, and Vanilla Bean Caramel Pecan Bars.

5 Thanksgiving Recipes You Can Make Right Now - Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake

 

Your turn!

What are your favorite make-ahead Thanksgiving recipes?

Karen Raye

Kare is a vegetarian home cook living among carnivores. She loves creating irresistible and flexible recipes that help multi-vore families like hers keep the peace - deliciously.