Thanksgiving is a time of gathering with the loved ones and sharing an abundant meal with one another. While turkey is usually the star of the show, it’s the side dishes and accompaniments that often steal the spotlight. Anyone who’s put together a Thanksgiving dinner knows that time is of the utmost essence. After all, there’s only so much time in the day to make sure each dish comes out a smashing success. The last thing any dinner host wants is a crazed rush while trying to get everything onto the table in time. In between the mad dash of making sure each dish is finished cooking in a timely manner while keeping guests entertained before the main event, Thanksgiving dinner can be one challenging time for the cook.
Getting a head start on the holiday feast is the key to ensuring that you’ll have enough time to get everything ready without the hustle and stress. While there’s nothing like a roasted turkey or ham fresh from the oven, many side dishes can be made a few days before Thanksgiving or even on the day of. From mashed potatoes to soups to stuffings, we’ve got plenty of delicious time-saving recipes that’ll give you plenty of time to enjoy the festivities of the holiday.
Fall Apple-Pear Soup with Butternut Squash
Soup’s on! If there’s one menu item to make ahead of time for Thanksgiving dinner, it’s definitely soup. Our warm, creamy autumn soup is made with mildly sweet Asian pears and nutty butternut squash. Plan for this recipe a day or two before and allow it to cool before placing into the refrigerator. Simply reheat on the stove and toss in a few croutons into each bowl right before serving. Comfort food at its finest, there’s nothing like a bowl of this fall dish to kick off Thanksgiving dinner!
Spicy Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Roasted brussels sprouts are a welcome addition to any Thanksgiving table spread. Ours get an extra kick of heat from a little red chile flakes. A simple yet delicious side dish, brussels sprouts, once roasted, are incredibly fragrant with an unforgettable caramelized flavor. These brussels sprouts can be made up to one day in advance and reheated in the oven at 350 degrees. Or if you prefer to make this dish on the day of Thanksgiving, you could also season the brussels sprouts, store in the refrigerator until cooking and pop into the oven before serving.
Thanksgiving just isn’t complete without a hearty helping of creamy, buttery mashed potatoes, is it? When it comes to preparing Thanksgiving dinner on the day of, we’re sure you have other things to do rather than sweat over mashed potatoes. This recipe for mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes with spicy grated horseradish can be prepared up to a couple of hours in advance and left at room temperature or refrigerated up to one day in advance. To reheat, simply place the potatoes covered into a saucepan over medium heat and add a bit of milk to bring the consistency back to your preferences.
Nothing says comfort food like a roasted vegetable gratin fresh out of the oven. Instead of having to use separate dishes to house your roasted vegetables, serving them as part of a gratin keeps things organized yet delicious on Thanksgiving day. This gratin offers all your vegetable favorites such as sweet potato, eggplant, zucchini and more and can be prepped up to one day in advance. When you’re ready to make this recipe, allow for the dish to come to room temperature and then roast in the oven as directed. Make sure to give an additional 5 minutes to your cooking time.
Our Chestnut Stuffing is one of those recipes we find ourselves coming back to each Thanksgiving. This holiday stuffing is made with our Steamed Chestnuts, which are so full of flavor and ready to eat or use in various recipes. Stuffings are very easy to make ahead of time and can be made all at once and refrigerated for up to three days. Or you can also take care of the prep work beforehand by sautéing the chestnuts and vegetables ahead of time and combining with the bread and chicken broth when you’re ready to cook.
From turkey to pork tenderloin to salmon, our Pomegranate Blueberry Sauce makes one incredible accompaniment at the dinner table. This fruity sauce is very easy to prepare and is bursting with fresh blueberry flavors along with glittering pomegranate arils. To save on time, prepare the sauce a few days before your Thanksgiving feast and store it in the refrigerator until it’s ready for serving. This sauce can be served either chilled or at room temperature.
Pumpkin Flan with Gingersnap Crust
One of the best things about Thanksgiving dessert is how easily they can be made in advance. While we can all appreciate a good pumpkin pie, there are many other pumpkin-based desserts that are just as scrumptious. Take our Pumpkin Flan for example, which is made with a decadent gingersnap cookie crunch for an extra touch of holiday flavor. To get dessert out of the way, prepare this recipe up to two days in advance and cover with plastic wrap in the refrigerator until it’s ready to be sliced and served.
You didn’t think we’d have a Thanksgiving menu without pumpkin pie, did you? The quintessential Thanksgiving dessert, pumpkin pie embodies the warmth and comforting feeling we crave during the fall season and is the single most requested dessert during the holiday season. Save time on this recipe by making your pumpkin puree in advance. Once you have your puree ready, you can make this pie a day ahead of time and cool on a wire rack overnight. This pie is best served at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream.
2011 Darioush Signature Shiraz
The 2011 Darioush Signature Shiraz boasts an exceptional depth of flavor with notes of juicy blackberries, cola, black tea and aromatic notes of dried orange peel and cinnamon–the perfect holiday blend. This wine is evocative, smokey and fragrant, making it wonderfully food-friendly for those who want to sip on a big, bold red wine during their meal. Drink this vintage with the savory, peppery dishes in your Thanksgiving spread.
Bring on the bubbly! Just because New Year’s Eve isn’t here yet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a refreshing sparkling wine during dinnertime. The bubbles pair beautifully with turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie and can act as a palette cleanser between side dishes. The 2011 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs is dry and crisp with fresh aromas of green apple, pear, grapefruit and lime zest. Its bright and citrusy flavors are riddled with grapefruit, lime and pineapple and is a light yet memorable choice for a Thanksgiving dinner.
What do you plan to serve for your Thanksgiving dinner? What are some of your tried-and-tested recipe favorites you like to have each year?