Last Minute Thanksgiving Planning? Use These Make Ahead Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Thanksgiving is for family, friends and getting together to say thank you. It’s also for fabulous food full of wonderful fall flavor. If you’re making a delicious feast for family and friends, you’ll find it’s best to make lots of dishes well in advance. This makes it easy to focus on enjoying the company rather than slaving over a hot stove. If you’ve been invited to a friend’s house, you’ll want to bring them something they’ll appreciate. These make-ahead Thanksgiving side dishes are easy to prepare at least few days in advance. Then you can bring them out as your guests start to arrive.

Garlic Mashed Potato Casserole

Mashed potatoes are an essential part of Thanksgiving. This casserole brings them to the next level. Cut up three pounds of potatoes into three inch chunks. Boil them with six peeled cloves of garlic, salt, a bay leaf and three sprigs of thyme. Simmer until tender or about twenty minutes. Drain, then remove thyme and bay leaf. Put through a food mill and add a package of cream cheese, six tablespoons of butter, a cup of sour cream and three fourths of a cup of milk. Let chill overnight. To serve, reheat for an hour and top with gravy.

Polenta With Gruyere and Swiss Chard

The mild texture of the polenta pairs well with Gruyere and peppery Swiss chard. Cook the Swiss chard with garlic and vinegar until it softens for about four minutes. Spread across a baking dish with enough room for the polenta. Grate three ounces of Gruyere and spread it across the Swiss chard mix. Take eighteen ounces of polenta and slice into quarter inch rounds. Top the chard and cheese mix with the polenta. Grate an additional layer of Gruyere on top of the polenta. Bake for fifteen minutes. The dish can be stored in the fridge for up to three days or frozen up to a month before serving.

Cornbread Stuffing With Mushrooms and Pecans

Cornbread is full of flavor and works well with turkey. This stuff takes it to the next level with meaty mushrooms and crunchy pecans for added texture. Start with store-bought cornbread. Eight cups is plenty. Toast for ten minutes on a baking sheet. Add half a cup of chopped pecans and bake for another five minutes. Remove and let cool. Mix a diced onion with three celery ribs and two minced garlic cloves. Cook until soft and add rosemary, salt and freshly ground pepper. Add a pound of chopped mushrooms to the vegetables along with half a cup of white wine. Cook until the wine evaporates or about five minutes. Combine the mix with the cornbread stuffing and two beaten eggs. Ad two cups of vegetable broth and bake for twenty minutes. The entire stuffing can be served immediately. It can also be stored in the fridge for a few days before the big dinner or the freezer for several weeks.

Wheat Berry Salad With Oranges and Feta

Wheat berries are an interesting grain that many people have never tasted before. The nutty flavor stores well over time. This salad incorporates juicy oranges and feta for additional tang. Make it ahead and the flavors will only intensify and deepen. It’s easy to bring this one to any party. Make a dressing. Mix two tablespoons of olive oil with a sliced red onion, a minced garlic clove, a forth of a cup of cider vinegar, two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and two teaspoons of salt. Cook a cup of wheat berries according to the package directions and let cool. Add the vinaigrette and make sure the entire mix is fully coated. Peel and slice oranges into rounds and place in the wheat berries. Crumble three ounces of feta cheese and add to the berries. Top with parsley and oregano. Let it sit in the fridge for a least an hour. The salad can be kept overnight or for a few days as that can help increase the overall flavor.

Herbed Potato Puffs

 These puffs are full of herbs. Use them to sop up extra gravy. They’re even better with great butter or cheese. Make them ahead and they’ll keep for many days. This is a great way to use up any leftover mashed potatoes. Begin with two cups of mashed potatoes. Take a muffin tray and coat with butter and flour. Mix the mashed potatoes with three large eggs and your favorite cheese. Parmesan is ideal for understated flavor while a sharp cheddar adds more bite. Cook up eight slices of bacon in the microwave or a frying pan. Ham can be used in place of the bacon. Combine with the mashed potatoes and the cheese. Place a scoop of mashed potatoes in each individual baking tin. Add more cheese on top for additional flavor. Bake for twenty minutes. Let cool and then top with minced chives. A dollop of sour cream can be added for additional flavor. Place in the fridge in an airtight container and bring out later for guests.

Carrots With Cumin, Chick Peas and Wild Rice

Sweet roasted carrots come alive with added flavor with chick peas and wild rice. The warm orange color is even brighter with the brightness of cumin. Serve it warm or cold. Cumin works even better toasted so toast it for two minutes and then grind and set aside. Preheat an over to 375 and bring out a large roasting pan. Slice five cups of carrot an inch thick and place in the roasting pan. Add half a white onion sliced thin. Drain two cups of chick peas and add to the carrots. Coat the carrots in the cumin. Add half a cup of vegetable broth and two tablespoons of lemon juice. Cover in foil and roast for thirty minutes. The carrots should be tender and soft. Add two cups of wild rice and mix with the sliced carrots and onion.
We hope that you have an enjoyable Thanksgiving with your friends and family. If you are around Lancaster and want to take part of the best Black Friday discounts of 2018 then we will see you at The Shops @Rockvale on 11-23-18 at 6am!

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