Make-Ahead Recipes to Bring With You to Thanksgiving

And the award for “Best Guest” goes to…

By Camille Styles
beet & blood orange salad

As someone who typically hosts Thanksgiving, I have a unique perspective on what defines the perfect Thanksgiving guest (and to the members of my family reading this: Yes, you’re all PERFECT.) The most important quality is that they come with a joyful attitude ready to participate in lively conversation. Second most important? That they don’t hog all the stovetop or oven space by bringing a dish that requires a lot of last minute time in the kitchen, ’cause everyone knows that on Thanksgiving, the kitchen is a crazy place. If you’ve volunteered to bring a dish to the Thanksgiving celebration this year, amazing! Now be a good guest and show up bearing one of these totally make-ahead recipes that’ll keep you out of the kitchen and in the party.

If you offered to bring an appetizer:

Homemade Carrot Turmeric Hummus Recipe without Tahini or Beans - #Whole30 approved!

Carrot Turmeric Hummus

It’s the perfect shade of orange and a light, healthy snack that won’t weigh everyone down before the feast.

holiday snack mix

Curry & Brown Sugar Holiday Snack Mix

Nothing gets a group in the holiday spirit quite like gorging on a spicy-sweet pretzel and nut combo. Set this one out and watch ’em go wild.

blue cheese & pear crostini

Blue Cheese & Asian Pear Crostini

Lay out a pretty spread with the toasts, blue cheese, & pears, then let guests build their own crostini.

epic cheese board

A cheese board will never let you down – here’s how to build one for under $25.

Bring a pretty cutting board and you’re 5 minutes away from the perfect hors d’oeuvres.

If you offered to bring a salad:

panzanella recipe using homemade sourdough bread

Kale Sourdough Panzanella

The longer this one sits, the more the sourdough croutons soak up all the yummy flavors.

Chicory Salad with Hazelnuts and Meyer Lemon, Parmesan Vinaigrette

Chicory Salad with Hazelnuts and Lemon-Parmesan Vinaigrette

Sturdy greens won’t wilt, even if dressed an hour before the meal.

beet & blood orange salad

Athena Calderone’s Blood Orange & Beet Salad

Have you ever seen a prettier color combo? Bring the beets & oranges in a bowl separate from the yogurt, then arrange on a platter just before serving.

The Best Thanksgiving Side Dish! Asparagus, Quinoa, & Rice Salad with Goat Cheese & Maple-Tahini Dressing

Asparagus, Quinoa & Rice Salad with Goat Cheese & Maple-Tahini Dressing

No lettuce required for this salad, making it a perfect make-ahead dish.

If you offered to bring a side dish:

Ottolenghi’s Sweet Potato Gratin

A new, sophisticated twist on the classic potatoes au gratin – sage and rosemary make it classic.

These Brussels Sprouts are a great Thanksgiving side dish

Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Dates

Bring these in the cooled down cast-iron skillet you used to cook them, then put them on the stove and shake them around for a few minutes just before it’s time to eat.

Foolproof Recipes for Thanksgiving: poblano cornbread stuffing

Poblano Cornbread Stuffing

Stuffing can be a little boring, but not when it’s kicked up with spicy Southwestern flavors.

Green Bean, Toasted Walnut & Pecorino Salad

Green Bean, Toasted Walnut, & Pecorino Salad

Green beans typically need to be cooked right at the last minute, but these are served crisp and room temperature in a salad that can sit out for awhile.

moroccan table set with global inspired decor

Perfectly Spicy Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

My new fave way to make sweet potatoes. Make this recipe up until the final broiling step – then pop them under the broiler right before meal time.

If you offered to bring dessert

Pecan Pie Bars – Salted Caramel AND Chocolate Bourbon

Why choose when you can enjoy both flavors baked up in the same dish?

How to Decorate the Prettiest Pie Crust Ever

Apple, Blackberry, & Thyme Pie

Also seen here: your step-by-step guide to the prettiest Thanksgiving pie crust.

No-Bake Thanksgiving Pies: Chocolate Pecan Pie

no bake chocolate pecan pie above: a treats affair

Oh and here are 20 more no-bake pies that would be PERFECT.

I’m partial to the pumpkin mousse with gingersnap crust.