Make Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes

Hello my friends, Every year for Christmas my sister gives me a subscription to the Real Simple Magazine and I love it. My favorite part of the magazine is the recipes. They offer both traditional recipes and new ones to help change up some of the usual eats. I enjoy cooking so much more when the weather turns cool here in New England, especially on a Sunday, when everyone is home and the football game is on, the fire is crackling, I'll usually cook a Roast or some type of big dinner. And of course something sweet like Toll House cookies, ahhh yes, the comforts of home sweet home! So I thought today I would share some of the make ahead recipes that I am going to try this year. There are 21 other make ahead recipes on their website that you can click on the link below to check out and you will also be able to find other recipes they have for everyday cooking and the Holidays.
Thanks for visiting,
Janet aka Martha Stewart wannabe :)

Rosemary Pecans
Make-ahead tip: The pecans can be prepared and stored at room temperature in an airtight container up to 1 week in advance.
Serves 8| Hands-On Time: 10m | Total Time: 20m

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups pecan halves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
Heat oven to 375° F. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir in the sugar, cayenne pepper, and ½ teaspoon salt. Add the pecans and toss to coat.
Transfer the pecans to a rimmed baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Bake, stirring occasionally, until toasted, 10 to 12 minutes.
Add the rosemary and toss to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cider-Roasted Vegetables
Make-ahead tip: The vegetables can be roasted and kept at room temperature up to 2 hours in advance or refrigerated up to 1 day in advance. Reheat from room temperature at 350° F to
400° F.
Serves 8| Hands-On Time: 15m | Total Time: 1hr 15m

1 1/2 pounds beets (1 bunch), peeled and cut into wedges
1 1/2 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
1 1/2 pounds baby carrots, peeled (or 1 1/2 pounds carrots cut into 2-inch chunks)
4 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 pound shiitake or cremini mushrooms, cleaned and stemmed
Heat oven to 450° F. Place the vegetables in two small roasting pans.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, oil, and vinegar. Pour over the vegetables and toss to coat well.
Cook until tender, about 1 hour, stirring halfway. Add the mushrooms during the last 10 minutes, toss to coat well, and finish roasting. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Gingersnap-Pear Cheesecake
Make-ahead tip: The pie can be prepared and refrigerated, loosely covered with plastic wrap, up to 2 days in advance.
Serves 8-12| Total Time: 30m

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups crushed gingersnaps (about 40 cookies)
2 small ripe pears (any kind), peeled, cored, and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
Heat oven to 350° F.
In a medium bowl, combine the butter and crushed gingersnaps. Press the mixture into a 9-inch springform pan, working the crumbs over the bottom and then up the sides. Bake for 20 minutes.
In a small bowl, toss the pears and ginger. Line the cooled crust with the pears, overlapping the slices slightly. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium, beat the cream cheese for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the sugar and beat for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix until combined. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the vanilla. Pour the mixture over the pears. Bake until the top is barely set but still slightly wobbly, about 50 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack but leave oven on.
In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and the remaining sugar and vanilla. Pour over the cheesecake and bake for 8 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.



  1. wow thanks.. this is a great help.. I always make so much that i am so exhausted and I can't enjoy the meal..

  2. Your welcomed Deb, glad to help. I know how hectic it gets, that yes indeed it is hard to enjoy your meal sometimes, Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Oh but Janet you simply must share some photos from your home, your dinner, the foods YOU prepare, not Martha Stewart. I imagine you as the perfect American housewife that I see in the movies. I know you are actually much more than that :)

  4. Thank you Unikorna, I try to be the best housewife I can :) I will share some pictures if I get some, my droid that I use for videos and pictures is broken, I have to get a new one, or a new camera!