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What to Prep the Night Before Thanksgiving

What to Prep the Night Before Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving dinner is, for me, one of the best meals of the year. The whole family gets together and fills the kitchen with love and delicious food.

Do you ever host Thanksgiving and do most of the cooking? It can be a lot of work, especially with small kids running around. Take off some of the stress by cooking the day before, too!

Here’s a list of ideas of what to prep the night before Thanksgiving.

What to Prep the Night Before Thanksgiving

Pumpkin pie/Desserts

I pretty much always make a pumpkin pie when I cook Thanksgiving dinner. It tastes better cold anyway, so I always make it the night before and put it in the fridge to get cold. My favorite recipe is this one from the Eagle brand!

Any other desserts can be made beforehand too like brownies, cookies, or even other pies. If you don’t want to bake the other pies right away, you can always prep them the night before anyway and stick them in the oven while you’re all eating Thanksgiving dinner.

I know some people even make their desserts way ahead of time and freeze them! I don’t know about pies, but cookies freeze very well and still taste great after being thawed.

Bread Machine Dinner Rolls


Bread, to me, is more convenient to bake the day before. I use my bread machine to make dinner rolls, and that takes 90 minutes just to make the dough. Then I have to form them into rolls and let them rise for another hour before baking. You probably won’t have that kind of time on Thanksgiving day.

If you prefer warm bread, just stick them in the warm oven for a few minutes to heat them up and they’ll be perfect! Just like the cookies above, rolls freeze well; so if you want to save more time, make them the week before and stick them in the freezer.

One of my favorite things to make every year is this Cornbread Stuffing. It’s a slow cooker dish, which helps save time in the kitchen on Thanksgiving day; but baking the cornbread beforehand really makes this dish easier to prepare the next day!

Chop all vegetables

This will be a life-saver the next day. Doing all the vegetable prep now, in batch form, will save you SO much time on Thanksgiving Day.

Potatoes, celery, onions, or whatever other veggies you have- Set them all out, grab your cutting board, knife, and a bunch of containers; and just get to work.

I put a grocery bag on the counter next to me for trash, and put storage containers on the other side of me; that way everything is pretty much streamlined and I don’t have to move around much.

Assemble casseroles

Most casseroles will hold out really well if you assemble them the night before and keep them in the fridge. I’ve done this before and it’s saved me time and stress when it comes time to cooking everything.

This could be your next step after chopping all the vegetables because they’re already out and ready to be used!

If you follow all of these, or even just a few, you’ll help yourself save a ton of time in the kitchen and you won’t have to feel so rushed or stressed!

Speaking of feeling stressed, there’s no need to if you stay organized! Check out my new Thanksgiving Planner and stay sane this holiday season!

What things do you do to save time the night before Thanksgiving? Share in the comments and give us ideas!



Marilyn Cortell

Monday 14th of October 2019

The below organization hints will make a big difference when at the last minute you are looking for platters, serving dishes, utensils etc. Consider taking out everything you know you'll need for serving from appetizers to main meal Place a sticky note labeling what the dish will be used for Take out corresponding serving utensils placating them next to serving dish Of course, You know to set the beautiful table as many days as feasible beforehand


Tuesday 15th of October 2019

Those are good tips, thank you!

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