Affordable Make-Ahead Dishes for Thanksgiving

Posted on 11/14/2012

With guests to entertain and a turkey to baby-sit, pulling together an entire Thanksgiving feast in one morning may seem impossible. Thankfully there are lots of dishes you can prep ahead of time. With these affordable make-ahead recipes for Thanksgiving you may actually get to watch a little of that parade everyone always talks about.

Cranberry Sauce
Some people just crack open the can of cranberry sauce, dump it on a plate and call it good. But taking this Thanksgiving staple to a more gourmet level doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. Martha Stewart's recipe for Orange-Scented Cranberry Sauce includes only four ingredients and will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Green Bean Salad
Individual ingredients for this green bean salad from can be prepped separately up to one day in advance. Then when the time comes, just toss everything together in a serving dish and set it on the table for everyone to enjoy.

Roast Butternut Squash Puree
This time of year squash is a steal at the grocery store. You need two pounds of it for this Roast Butternut Squash Puree recipe. Combine it with some easy ingredients like honey, butter and thyme and you'll have a tasty side dish that can be made and refrigerated up to two days in advance.

Refrigerator Rolls
The Thanksgiving table just wouldn't be complete without fresh dinner rolls. This recipe for Granny Foster's Refrigerator Rolls is perfect for the busy holiday. When you have time, prepare the dough using basics like water, yeast, milk and butter. Refrigerate the dough up to two weeks. When you're ready for fresh rolls just let the dough rise again and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Do-Ahead Stuffing
This stuffing recipe can be made up to three days in advance. Combine easy ingredients like celery, onion and a whole lot of bread crumbs to make this turkey day fave. And since most people like Thanksgiving leftovers more than the real meal perhaps sitting in the fridge that long will make it even tastier.

By Alison Storm

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