5 Pre-Prepared Thanksgiving Sides That Can Be Stored in the Freezer

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Cooking on Thanksgiving day can be super stressful and time-consuming. Here’s why it’s a good idea to make some of the sides in advance. You can store them in the freezer, and they will be ready for your family dinner. In this article, we’ll share five easy side inspirations and prep tips.

Sweet Potato Casserole

When making the casseroles, leave off the topping for later. Don’t bake them, but wrap and freeze instead. You can easily bake it while still frozen after adding the topping. Bake covered with foil at 350°F for 30-40 minutes. Then, uncover and bake for 20-30 more minutes. Make sure that the top is crispy and brown.

A tip from the pros is to put foil on the bottom of the baking pan. It will enable you to lift the casserole out and put it in the freezer more easily.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Homemade cranberry sauces are definitely a lot more flavorful than canned ones. Plus, it’s easy to prepare them ahead of time. Cook your sauce, let it cool, then put it in the fridge overnight. It will last for a few days in there. Stir before serving, and enjoy!

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A pro tip is that when it comes to freezing cranberry sauces, it’s best to choose ones that don’t contain any other fresh fruits and vegetables. This way, the freezing process won’t damage their texture.

Butternut Squash Soup

Thanksgiving is just not Thanksgiving without squash soup. Plus, preparing it in advance won’t make it lose its flavor. Cook the squash and purée the soup, but skip the dairy products if the recipe contains any. Freeze in a freezer bag with the air squeezed out and lay it flat on a baking sheet. After taking it out the next day, whisk in the diary and heat.

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A pro tip is that freezing the soup can make the onion’s flavor more intense, so make sure to try the soup before serving and season to taste.

Turkey Gravy

Nothing says Thanksgiving better than gravy. Plus, it goes well with all sides. Preparing a big batch of turkey gravy makes everything so much easier. Simply add the cream or milk after thawing the sauce, as it will separate. Put in the fridge overnight and heat up before serving.

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Pro Tip: Take any leftover turkey drippings from the pan and stir them into the make-ahead gravy. This will add a freshly roasted turkey flavor and will make the sauce even more irresistible.