Thanksgiving Recipes to Make-Ahead and Freeze

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Preparing a Thanksgiving feast can be difficult work. Make it a bit easier by choosing Thanksgiving recipes to freeze in advance and lighten your load.

gravy stock and pastry on freezer shelves

If you’re not already a big fan of freezer recipes, you should be. It’s pretty remarkable. You can make a double or even triple batch of something and stash it in the freezer, saving yourself so much time, money, and aggravation. It really takes a load off during busy weeks and helps keep your budget in check.

Since you’re a pretty savvy cook, you probably already knew that you could freeze a lasagna for another night, but did you know that you have the potential to make a complete Thanksgiving Dinner and freeze it?

I know. Mind blowing.

Now, I realize that you may love the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving Day.

You may have grandparents and aunts and uncles and siblings and parents and friends who gather together in one kitchen and cook up a storm. I’m totally cool with that. Rock on!

But, I’m guessing that some folks may buy commercial rolls, gravy, or desserts — not because they want to, but because they just don’t have the time to make them homemade. Some people might find that things are just a little too stressful to cook Thanksgiving dinner in one blow. Or maybe some work schedules this year aren’t really jiving with a lazy Wednesday fiddling in the kitchen.

If you fall in the some {raises hand}, let me tell you there is a better way.

Thanksgiving Recipes to Make-Ahead and Freeze

Making some homemade Thanksgiving dishes ahead of time can make your holiday so happy.

Trust me.

mashed potatoes in a glass dish with spoon

Whether I am contributing to Thanksgiving at someone else’s house or playing hostess with the mostest, it’s incredibly lifesaving to prep a few dishes in advance and stash them in the freezer.

I can be the Thanksgiving Diva without pulling out my hair! You can, too.

You with me? Check out these Thanksgiving recipes that you can make-ahead and freeze:

Thanksgiving Recipes to Make-Ahead and Freeze

Take some time in the coming week to prep a few homemade goodies to enjoy on Thanksgiving.

Turkey Recipes and Make-Ahead Instructions:

It’s true, you CAN cook a turkey in advance and still have a delicious meal on Thanksgiving.

Make your usual turkey (or one of these recipes) and then follow Amy’s instructions for Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Turkey.

You will be shocked and amazed at how much stress you’ve just relieved. No more worrying about when the turkey will be done!

If you’re new to roasting a bird, be sure to check out these tips on how to cook a turkey. It’s not as hard as you think. You can totally do it!

Side Dish Recipes

While some side dishes are better made the day of serving, there are quite a few that can be in advance and frozen.

Gravy and Sauces

Good gravy, don't pass up the gravy! Or our easy to make, homemade cranberry sauce.

Homemade Bread Recipes

Make sure your bread basket is chock-full of good things. Bake up these rolls and biscuits in advance to warm in the oven right before serving.


Some desserts, like Lemon Meringue, are too delicate to freeze, but there is a healthy handful of yummy pies and treats that can be made ahead and frozen.

This post was originally published in November 2014. It has been updated for clarity and relevance.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Emily says

    I’ve been planning to make the mashed potatoes from your first cookbook for Thanksgiving. I’m hosting and in charge of potatoes (and gravy), the turkey and stuffing/dressing. With the potatoes from the freezer and a turkey cooked ahead, all I’ll have to worry about the day of is stuffing, and I plan to do much of that prep work (chopping onions & celery) the day before too. So my Thanksgiving should be easy peasy! As far as the food goes at least. If only cleaning could be “done ahead,” too 🙂

  2. I used to make the entire Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving day. After eating and getting the kitchen cleaned up, I would collapse. I have learned the past few years that even making a few dishes ahead of time helps tremendously. I think I will try the turkey ahead of time this year. Thanks so much for the tip and the great links. I usually make pumpkin dinner rolls, but the cranberry rolls look like a must-have. Pinning this one. Thanks, again, Jessica.

  3. Laura C says

    I’ve already made your slab apple pie and have it in the freezer and am planning on making the cream cheese mashed potatoes in the next day or 2. So helpful to have some stuff done ahead.

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