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Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes

Making food in advance is awesome, as long as you’re making something that can be easily reheated – or better yet, doesn’t need to be heated. Making meals beforehand allows you to make more in less time with less stress. If all you have to do is reheat, you can also save precious oven space for the turkey and things that you’ll have to cook day-of on Thanksgiving.

This week at NYMM, we’re cooking up three recipes that you can prepare and have ready-to-go in the fridge for Thursday. First, mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving must that are too-often replaced with boxed mixes. Take some time – ahead of time – and skip the powder for some real Thyme and Rosemary Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Then, get an appetizer done ahead of time and skip premade, grocery-store dip with a fresh Caramelized Onion and Garlic Dip. And make Roasted Carrots in under 30 minutes and store three to four days in advance.

It’s all in the preparation, folks.

Thyme and Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

It isn’t Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes, but there’s a reason instant mashed potatoes flood the grocery aisles. These mashed potatoes can be kept in the fridge for up to four days – they actually gain flavor as they sit!


  • 5 pounds golden yellow potatoes
  • 4 ounces pancetta
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • ½ cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons chopped thyme
  • Pepper


  1. Add potatoes to a large pot and cover with water. Place pot on stove over high heat and bring to a boil. After the water has boiled, reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, until a knife inserted into potatoes meets little to no resistance.
  2. Allow potatoes to cool.
  3. While potatoes are cooling, heat butter and oil in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and cook for four minutes, till browned. Add garlic, rosemary, and thyme and cook for an additional two minutes.
  4. Add heavy cream and a pinch of pepper and stir to combine. Cook just until heavy cream is heated through.
  5. Peel potatoes, mash with a potato masher or fork, and add heavy cream mixture in intervals, mixing just enough to incorporate the ingredients.
  6. Store in the fridge for up to four days, adding milk, if necessary, when reheating.

Garlic and Onion Dip

This onion dip tastes even better when it has had time to sit in the fridge, so make it three to four days in advance and then serve on Thanksgiving!

Serves: 8


  • 1/2 red or white onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Allspice
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over high heat. Add onion and garlic, cooking over medium-high heat for 8-12 minutes, until browned. Let cool.
  2. Mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, thyme, lemon juice, Allspice, salt and pepper.
  3. Add cooled onion and garlic.

Roasted Carrots

These carrots take such little time you don’t even really need to make them in advance, but every little bit helps when you’re inviting over 40 family and friends. Store in the fridge and heat them in the oven when it’s party time.

Serves: 6


  • 2 pounds fresh carrots, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Slice carrots diagonally, making sure all pieces are roughly the same size.
  3. Place carrots on large sheet pan and toss carrots with olive oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
  4. Bake carrots in preheated oven for about 25 minutes, until they’re tender and caramelized.

Hopefully these recipes make your Thanksgiving a little less stressful and a lot more delicious!

Images by Josh Guirguis

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