If you’ve hosted Thanksgiving before, or volunteered to bring a dish to another Thanksgiving, you know the stress that can come with preparing a meal for such a food-centric holiday. There can be so much going on with timing dishes to be hot, managing oven space, setting a beautiful table, and trying to spend time with your loved ones. But it doesn’t need to be that way! With a little planning, you can rely on classic make-ahead recipes for Thanksgiving that will have everyone coming back for seconds. Today, we’re sharing three of our tried-and-true recipes from Mimi and Nana to help you spend less time in the kitchen and more time with loved ones this holiday.
Golden Whipped Potatoes
We love Nana’s Golden Whipped Potato recipe because it’s a Thanksgiving classic with a twist. Instead of the usual potatoes, milk, and butter, Nana’s recipe calls for onion soup mix and it makes all the difference. These whipped potatoes have a familiar and comforting feel but the taste is next-level. The Golden Whipped Potatoes can be made ahead of time, up to two days in advance, refrigerated, and reheated before your meal.
Golden Whipped Potatoes
- 1 envelope Lipton® RecipeSecrets® Onion Soup Mix
- 4 cups Golden potatoes (peeled and quartered)
- 1 cup Milk
- 2 tbsp Butter or margarine
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes; drain.
- In a small saucepan, heat butter and milk over .low heat until butter is melted. Mix in Onion Soup Mix.
- Using a potato masher or electric beater, slowly blend milk mixture into potatoes until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to tast.
- Make ahead up to two days before serving. Be sure to cover the whipped potatoes tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- To reheat, put the potatoes in an oven-safe container and reheat at a moderate temperature of about 325 to 350 for about 20-30 minutes.
Sure, buying a can of cranberries is a quick and easy way to get this Thanksgiving staple on the table. But do you know how easy cranberry sauce is to make on your own? This make-ahead Thanksgiving recipe can be done up to two days in advance and only requires three ingredients for a show-stopping side dish. Mimi has been making this recipe for as long as we can remember. Trust us, once you’ve gone homemade there’s no going back!
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 cup Water
- 12 oz Fresh cranberries (1 bag)
- Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; add cranberries, return to a boil. Cover pan and cool completely at room temperature.
- Refrigerate until serving time. Can be made up to two days in advance.
Mimi’s Chocolate Pie is one of those desserts no one has a problem saving room for on Thanksgiving. This decadent dessert is about as make-ahead as they come: you can prepare this and freeze it up to two weeks in advance!
Mimi’s Chocolate Pie
- 2/3 cup Sugar
- 1/3 cup Cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 4 Egg yolks
- 3 cups Whole milk
- 2 tbs Butter
- 1 tbs Vanilla
- 1 3/4 cups Hershey chocolate chips
- 1 Premade pie crust
- Whipped cream
- 1/2 cup Chocolate shavings
- Cook pie crust according to package instructions
- Stir together sugar, cornstarch, and salt in 2 qt pan
- Combline egg yolks and milk in a separate container
- Gradually add milk mixture into sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil
- Remove from heat, stir in butter and vanilla. Stir in 1 3/4 chocolate chips until melted
- Pour into pie crust and chill for 2-3 hours. Top with whipped cream and remainig chocolate chips
If making ahead
- Put pie filling into a large ziploc bag and form it into a log before freezing for up to two weeks
- Move the frozen filling into the refrigerator to thaw for about 6 hours. Cut a corner off of the ziploc bad and fill the pie crust. Flatten the top of the pie filling once in the crust; then decorate with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
What’s Your Plan?
We would love to know what your plans are for Thanksgiving recipes this year! What have been your favorites? Have you tried any of the above?
If you liked these recipes and want more, be sure to sign up for our Thanksgiving email reminders. Every week (if not sooner as we approach the 24th!) we share how we’re getting ready for Thanksgiving and we’ll send you Mimi’s and Nana’s Thanksgiving Guides–they’re full of wonderful family recipes for you to make your own! Hap-Bee hosting!