Replace that mushroom souped-up environment-friendly bean casserole this Thanksgiving with a new twist ~ above the vacation classic. (Thinkstock)


Anna Weinberg, the restaurateur behind mountain Francisco's Park Tavern, The Marlowe, Leoís Oyster Bar, and also The Cavalier, shares her favourite Three-Cheese Cauliflower Gratin cooking recipes in the new "Cherry Bombe, the Cookbook." (Courtesy that Alpha Smoot)


Pearl onions, infant parsnips and cipollini in addition to celeriac, celery hearts and potatoes include subtle interest to a feast.

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Roasted Brussels sprouts cooked in a wood-fired cooktop with chile and lemon space seen at American Oak in Alameda, Calif., top top Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)


Mashed potatoes. (Getty Images)


There's something around gravy that strikes a primal chord at the Thanksgiving table. (Thinkstock)


Yams and sweet potato are often served through holiday dinners, including Jewel Yams. (Contra Costa Times/Krista Niles)


Stuffing is a delicious, classic side food at vacation feasts. (Thinkstock)


On the Vine Catering's Champagne poached shrimp cocktail is photographed in Livermore, Calif., on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)


Mushroom Pate made v flax and walnuts. (Mike Lucia/Daily Review)


Fresh life oysters at mountain Francisco's Leo's Oyster Bar are offered freshly shucked or cooked into intriguing dishes, such as oyster carbonara. (Courtesy that Sidney Bensimon)


Pumpkin pie. (Getty Images)


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When it pertains to wrangling the Thanksgiving meal onto the table, one motto it s okay it right: be prepared.

Let’s challenge it, our nationwide day the feasting functions multiple dishes, every one of which call for different food preparation times, temperatures and also techniques. For many of us, orchestrating all of that — while likewise navigating the chaos of a houseful the surly loved ones — deserve to be a challenge, come say the least. Fortunately, over there are people in our midst who chef this method all the time: professional chefs.

OK, probably not with a houseful that relatives, yet they probably recognize something about dealing with a roomful that surly guests.

“You need a video game plan,” states Sarah Stegner, one of the chefs and owners of Prairie Grass cafe in Northbrook, Illinois. “You should write the food selection out, not just have actually it in her head. You require to have actually it arranged in blocks of when you’re going come prepare her food, what can be excellent ahead and also what deserve to be done at the critical minute. Thanksgiving is all around the timing.”

Luckily, these advantages say the all yet a few vital items deserve to be make in advance. They common with united state their formula for a stress-free Thanksgiving — at least on the food side. You’re on your very own with Uncle Harry.

Green beans and vegetables

The vote is unanimous ~ above this one: Parboil her vegetables the night before, shock (cool) castle in ice water, then store them in the refrigerator. On Thanksgiving, reheat lock just prior to serving in a saute pan with olive oil or really good butter. Flavored butter, such as herb or shallot butter, provides a quite accent, claims Rick Rodgers, author of “The big Book the Sides” (Ballantine Books, $30, 480 pages). Flavored butters can be comprised to a week ahead.

Suzette Gresham, executive, management chef and co-owner of mountain Francisco’s Acquerello, which just won its 2nd Michelin star, braises pearl onions in butter a work or two before. At mealtime, she reheats them and also adds frozen — yes, frozen — baby peas called petit pois. She likewise recommends a gratin that cauliflower or broccoli. The sauce and also toppings can all be prepared in advance, then popped right into the oven while the turkey is resting.

Root and cruciferous vegetables — think carrots, parsnips, turnips, Brussels sprouts — can be washed, peeled and also cut a day in advancement for a beautiful medley the roasted vegetables. “All I carry out is prepare it through some olive oil and also herbs and it goes in the oven,” states Patti Jackson, chef-owner of brand-new York’s Delaware and Hudson restaurant, which newly won its an initial Michelin star. “It’s colorful. It’s a show stopper.”

Mashed potatoes

Unless you make a casserole — Rodgers bolsters his v sour cream and also cream cheese — you’re going to have to go last minute ~ above these. If it’s possible to peel, cut and store the potato in a bowl of water overnight, chefs say the final dish have to be made just before showing up at the table.

“I insist on mashed potatoes being hot,” Gresham says. “You deserve to make your gravy and warm it. You deserve to make your gratin. Yet those mashed potatoes, they have to be at the last minute.”


Where there space mashed potatoes, there far better be gravy. Yet you don’t need to wait for the bird to acquire started. Roast turkey wings, legs and necks a couple of days in development and simmer them right into a wealthy stock. You deserve to stop right here — or walk ahead and do the deed, scraping the browned bits indigenous the bottom of her roasting pan to finish the gravy.

“It in reality tastes better the second day, anyway,” Jackson says. If it feels choose cheating, you can always include the drippings indigenous the real turkey just before serving.

Sweet potatoes

Mashed sweet potatoes through a meringue topping have the right to be made almost wholly in advance, Rodgers says. Ditto for Stegner’s sweet potato gratin layered v chestnuts and also cream. However even roasted sweet potatoes deserve to be cooking in advance, states Jackson, and rewarmed in a glaze of bourbon, brown sugar and also orange juice.


So here’s your huge revelation. Wait because that it. While numerous chefs agree the the celery, onions and also meat have the right to all it is in cooked ahead and tossed with your bread chunks top top Thanksgiving morning, Gresham says you actually can make the entire stuffing front of time. And freeze it.

“Nobody seems to establish you have the right to freeze her stuffing beautifully,” she says. “I execute the full on butter, milk, dried bread, sausage, yet I freeze the puppy a week ahead. And everybody in my family members wants mine stuffing.”

The woman’s gained two Michelin stars, therefore if she deserve to do it, so can you. Gresham advises freezing the stuffing in tiny bundles come hasten defrosting. Allow the bundles pertained to temperature slowly, then stuff the bird.

Consider a cold dish

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Consider filling out your table v items that don’t need any kind of heat in ~ all. Gresham regularly offers shrimp cocktail or pate or oysters ~ above the half-shell. Jackson loves the relish tray — and yes, she place the black olives on she fingertips, she says. Rodgers channels his grandmother.

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“I love me part Jell-O salad,” he says. “In many families, there is a chill cranberry mold thing. A spoonful of that goes a long method to refreshing her palate. I’m no saying serve a poor cranberry mold. Serve a an excellent one.”


You may warmth your pie in the stove on Thanksgiving Day, but there’s no factor it should actually be cooking then. Pies and also most desserts have the right to be make in advance. If you’re Stegner, who has actually won two James moustache awards, you setup your pie way, way, means in advance.

“We have actually the farmer thrive the pumpkins specifically for us,” she says. “They’re an heirloom variety. They’re delicious. … Her household owns a pecan tree farm. We obtain beautiful pecans indigenous her and also make pecan pie.”