Thanksgiving meal prep is nothing to joke about. Between getting the house ready for guests, getting in touch with family members and perfecting those flag football plays with the fam, anything that can be prepared ahead of time is a blessing. These recipes can be prepared before Turkey Day, freeing up your schedule (and oven) for the things that truly matter — catching up with family and friends and lots and lots of turkey.
1. Farmhouse Butternut and Apple Crumble: Just a warning: You’ll probably end up eating half of this crumble before you bring it to the table. The butternut squash, apples and dried cherries make it impossible to resist. (via The Wimpy Vegetarian)
3. Chorizo Cornbread Stuffing: This no-fuss make-ahead stuffing has just the right amount of kick. And if you’re serving this as a dressing rather than a stuffing, you can even make it ahead of time and just pop it in the oven 20 minutes before serving! (via Damn Delicious)
4. Balsamic Roasted Red Onions With Thyme: These tart onions serve as a great make-ahead side for any meat, and you can also use them for breakfast the next morning! Omelettes with onions and goat cheese, anyone? (via Nerds With Knives)
5. Colored Cauliflower Faux Potato Salad: This low-calorie alternative to potato salad tastes just as good as the real thing and helps save the calories for the foods that count — ahem, the desserts. (via Lemons and Lavender)
8. Crockpot Sausage Stuffing: Eliminate the wait for the oven with this crockpot stuffing recipe. Bonus: The aroma of the sausage cooking serves as a wonderful seasonal scent for your home. (via The Chic)
10. Garlic and Butter Green Beans: Any recipe that involves a microwave on Thanksgiving is a blessing. Seriously. Simply make these ahead of time and pop them in the microwave for a few minutes before dinnertime. (via Jacquelynne Steves)
11. Vegetarian Mushroom Cups: Show the vegetarian at your table some love with these delicious mushroom cups. And just a heads up for the omnivores at the table: They’re just as good with some turkey and gravy too. (via Noshing With the Nolands)
12. Hashed Brussels Sprouts: Brussels sprouts are in season as soon as the weather starts to get a little chilly, so it’s a great time for the veggie to appear on the table for Thanksgiving. And just forget about all of those bad Brussels memories from your childhood — this recipe will change your mind. (via Kitchen Riffs)
14. Mashed Potato Casserole: This mashed potato goodness can be made pre-Turkey Day and simply reheated before meal time. Just add salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg and you’ve got amazing potato goodness. (via Picture Perfect Meals)
15. Buttery Sage Mashed Sweet Potatoes: Mix up your mashed potato game this Thanksgiving with this buttery substitute — the sage offsets this classic recipe just enough. Prep it the day before or Thanksgiving morning and get back to the important things… like the family flag football game. (via Crockpot Gourmet)
16. Sweet Potato Au Gratin With Panch Foron: Reinvent those sweet potatoes this year with this Bengali/French recipe. Just roast the potatoes and toss in crushed red chili, sliced onions, green pepper, Parmesan cheese and some panch foron. Bake it again for a wonderfully balanced, savory-sweet aromatic side dish. (via With a Spin)
What will you be prepping the day before Thanksgiving? Share your tried-and-true make-ahead recipes in the comments!