Make Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes

You’ve agreed to help your mom-in-law with the Thanksgiving feast, but are limited on time and don’t want your holiday marred by having too many alpha cooks in the kitchen. So what to do? You make your Thanksgiving dishes at home and tote them to the holiday feast. The following Thanksgiving recipes are delicious make ahead meals that travel well.

Chestnut Sourdough Stuffing

Chestnut Sourdough StuffingServes 12

If you prefer to have your stuffing baked separate from the turkey, offer to bring this multi-textured Thanksgiving stuffing casserole.

Bake it in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish and transport it to your holiday destination in a stylish Vonny Casserole Carrier (www.vonny.com).

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound cracked wheat sourdough loaf, diced
  • 6-ounces of pancetta, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 cups peeled, cooked chestnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped dried plums
  • 1, 32-ounce, carton low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread bread on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven, stirring a few times, until bread is just crisp. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook pancetta, stirring often, until lightly browned. Stir in butter, celery, carrot, and onion and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened. Stir in herbs and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer pancetta mixture to the large bowl and add chestnuts and dried plums. In a second large bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the broth with eggs. Whisk in remaining broth. Pour broth over stuffing mixture.
  4. Transfer stuffing mixture to a greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes, or until top is lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool.

Quick TipIf you have a short drive to your holiday destination, simply place baking dish in the casserole carrier and reheat in a 350 degree F oven. For long distance destinations, make casserole the day before, cool completely, and refrigerate. Place baking dish in the carrier and put it in a cooler. Reheat in a 350 degree F oven.

Braised Apple and Cabbage

Braised Apple and CabbageServes 12

A tangy sweet vegetable side dish with eye catching appeal, this cabbage dish is also easy to make and take.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, halved, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large green apple, halved, cored, shredded
  • 1 head red cabbage, cored, quartered, thinly sliced or shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Generous pinch of brown sugar or more to taste

Directions:

  1. In a stock pot over medium high heat, heat oil and add onion. Cook, stirring often, until onion is soft. Add herbs and season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  2. Add bay leaves, apple, cabbage, cider, cider vinegar, and brown sugar stirring to combine. Cook, stirring often, until cabbage is crisp/tender.
  3. Cover pot, reduce heat to medium low, and braise, stirring occasionally, for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cabbage is very soft. Remove lid and increase heat to medium high. Cook, stirring often, until liquid is just evaporated. Remove from heat to cool.

Quick TipTransfer cabbage to a casserole dish or serving dish that is oven-safe. Cover with foil and place in a casserole carrier to transport. If making dish ahead, it will keep refrigerated for up to two days. Reheat, covered with foil, in a 350 degree F oven.

Hot and Spicy Pumpkin Pie

Spiced pumpkin pie

Not only does this Thanksgiving pie travel well, it offers a spicy zing that will make it a memorable holiday dessert. Bake and take to your holiday destination in a Tupperware Pie Keeper (www.tupperware.com).

Ingredients:

  • 1 single crust pie dough, rolled out to fit a 9-inch pie dish
  • 1, 15-ounce, can pure pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch pie dish with pie dough and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, maple syrup, whipping cream, eggs, spices, and salt. Pour pumpkin mixture into pie crust and bake for 1 hour, or until custard is just set. Let cool.

Quick TipMake pie up to two days ahead and keep refrigerated until ready to transport. Let pie come to room temperature to serve.

More make ahead Thanksgiving recipes

Cranberry sauce with port wine recipe

Cranberry sauce with port wine is a great side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. You can make this sauce the night before and refrigerate in your serving dish. And, of course, you will have some port left over for your guests after dinner!

More Thanksgiving recipes

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