If you’re anything like me, side dishes for a holiday meal are the bain of your existence! Trying to get everything to come out at the same time (and hot, too!) requires a degree in engineering. And that’s why I’m loving these make ahead Thanksgiving Sides!


(This post probably contains affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is quite boring, but you can read it here if you’d like!)

When I was growing up, holidays were always at our house with my mom cooking everything.

But one year, when I was in my early twenties, my parents went away to my uncle’s house and I wanted to stay home and cook for myself and D (he was around 4 at the time). So I took over my mom’s kitchen and made a complete Thanksgiving feast.

It wasn’t pretty.

Let’s just say there was undercooked meat and pot holders on fire. Nobody died, buuuuuut let’s just say I haven’t lived it down yet.

Anyhoo, don’t do that. Make these side dishes ahead of time and save yourself the hassle.

But first…

Best Thanksgiving Dinner tips

  • set your table the night before! (favorite tip ever!).
  • and don’t forget lots of extra serving spoons!
  • save the oven space and make the turkey in one of these. Best thing I ever did!
  • use a slow cooker to make some sides and keep them hot. I don’t ever use my crockpot without one of these magical time savers.
  • don’t be afraid to ask people to bring something!
  • send leftovers home in environment-friendly containers instead of plastic ones.
  • make ahead as much as possible. Bake potatoes ahead of time, cut veggies, par-boil pasta, etc. Speaking of making ahead Thanksgiving side dishes… (you saw that coming, didn’t you???)
  • write down your plan so you don’t forget anything! Here’s a great Holiday Dinner Planner for you:

Easy Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

Make Ahead Stuffing by Wine And Glue

Creamy Macaroni And Cheese Casserole by Spend With Pennies

Bourbon Pecan Mashed Sweet Potatoes by Zesty Olive

Mulled Cranberry Sauce by Sidewalk Shoes

Broccoli Casserole From Scratch by Brown Eyed Baker

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes by Delicious Table

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing Recipe with Apples & Cranberries by Home Cooking Memories

Roasted Carrots With Garlic And Herbs by Sara’s Cucina Bella

Green Bean Casserole by The Cozy Apron

Put these on your make ahead Thanksgiving sides plan too…

Smoky Salmon Cheese Spread by Taste And See

Sweet Potato Casserole by Natasha’s Kitchen

5-Minute Savory Pumpkin Hummus by Two Healthy Kitchens

Homemade Hash Brown Casserole by Inside BreCrew Life

Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy by Cardamom And Coconut

Pressure Cooker Turkey Breast Instant Pot by Low Carb Yum

The Best Baked Spinach by Smitten Kitchen

Cranberry Orange Relish by Zesty Olive

Homemade Brown Butter Brioche Dinner Rolls by Foodal

5-ingredient Corn Casserole by Tastes Of Lizzy T

…and the easiest Thanksgiving dessert ever!

Quick Pumpkin Pie Pudding by Simply Happy Foodie

Need more help planning Thanksgiving dinner?

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner and are looking for some help with planning out your turkey, sides, dessert, and all the trimmings…you can grab this Holiday Dinner Planner:

It’ll help you get everything to the table on time – and while it’s still hot! 

These make ahead Thanksgiving side dishes are perfect for making turkey day as simple as possible! Put a few of the easy side dish recipes on your Thanksgiving meal plan, make them the week before, and put your feet up and enjoy Thanksgiving!