I'm looking for recipes for Thanksgiving dinner that can be made ahead of time and frozen or can be cooked a couple of days early. We're going to my parents on Thanksgiving Day, and then the next day we're having my husband's family over, so I will not have time to prepare the day before.
Char from IL
Cook your turkey ahead of time. When cool, slice meat from turkey and place in ziplock bags and freeze. If making homemade stuffing, prepare it in a disposable aluminum baking pan, Bake and then cool, cover with foil and freeze in pan it's baked in. Do the same for baked yams, etc.... everything can be thawed in the fridge and re-heated in the oven an hour before your meal.
If you really want to impress your in-laws with your cooking, get your turkey ready the day before Thanksgiving and refrigerate it. Get up early on Friday morning and bake it. There is nothing more that says 'it's leftover' than frozen turkey, whether you want it to be or not. Sorry, but I am not a fan of frozen cooked meat of any kind, especially poultry. If you must do it this way, at least boil some of the juices you baked it in and pour over the warmed turkey to help give it that just cooked flavor. The potatoes can be made ahead and put in the crockpot that morning to warm. Good luck!
i'm so glad you asked.
i love how this idea works out!
i make my mashed potatoes weeks in advance.
i mash the potatoes as usual.
then i fold in some shredded mozzerella cheese,
some finely diced ham and 1 egg (lightly beaten).
put the mixture into a buttered casserole dish.
sprinkle the top with a mixture of bread crumbs and grated parmesan cheese. Dot with butter.
cover with clear wrap and tin foil.
and freeze for up to one month
or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
before baking - remove clear wrap and replace foil.
bake for 45 mins to 1 hour at 350 degrees
until heated through and top becomes slightly golden. you can remove foil for the last ten minutes.
My girlfriend (the italian home economics teacher)
calls this "Italian Potatoe Pie"
Mashed Potato Casserole
Cook potatoes. Mash, season with salt, pepper and parsley; adding butter as needed. Add half and half, cream cheese and onion dip using whip or hand mixer. Do not over beat.
Put in a 9x13 inch greased casserole. Brush top with butter and sprinkle with parsley and/or paprika.
Bake in 350 degree F for 30 minutes. Serves 12.
Can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen. Bake for one hour at 350° to reheat.
Personal Note: I warm the cream cheese, sour cream, and half and half in the microwave at a low setting.
Any type of cassarole dishes can be made ahead of time and just placed in the fridge and baked when you need them. Deserts can be made a couple of days or more in advance also.
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