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The holidays are quickly approaching, and everyone’s schedule is getting filled with parties, celebrations, and dinners. If you are like me, someone who loves to host people at my house, planning the timing of serving and making food is one of your biggest challenges. To overcome this challenge, I have started to make side dishes ahead of time that only need to be reheated before serving. Making dishes ahead of time not only reduces the stress when everyone comes over but also gives you the time to spend more time with your guests, instead of being stuck in the kitchen. 

Pre order your holiday turkey

Make ahead these 5 dishes for your holiday dinner: 


Mashed Potatoes 


Mashed potatoes can be made up to 2 days before the big dinner. Make your favourite recipe and store it in the refrigerator covered. If you have a crockpot, the day of the feast, transfer them into the crockpot and place on low for the day and stir the potatoes a few times during the day. If you only have an oven, reheat the potatoes in the oven before dinner and stir a few times to make sure the potatoes heat evenly. Add a few dollops of your go-to butter on top of the potatoes after reheating them to make it extra creamy. 




Add a little sweetness to your plate with this tasty cranberry recipe. Easy to make ahead and store for those scrumptious turkey sandwiches. 

Make-ahead Gravy 


I don’t know about you, but I never have enough gravy just from the turkey. This make-ahead gravy has been a lifesaver for never running out of the gravy and still having enough for leftovers. 



Make ahead gravy



2 carrots 

2 celery stalks 

1 white onion 

2 lbs chicken wings 



Poultry Seasoning 

Splash of red wine 

Salt and pepper 

4 tablespoons plain flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Peel the onions, wash the carrots and celery and roughly chop 
  3. Place the vegetables and herbs into a roasting pan 
  4. Take the chicken wings and break the bones using a rolling pin or the back of the knife- this will help release extra flavour 
  5. Drizzle everything with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  6. Toss to evenly coat the ingredients and place in the oven for 1 hour or until tender 
  7. Once it is all cooked, transfer the cooked ingredients into a pot and give everything a smash using a potato masher and add a splash of red wine. 
  8. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and pour 2 liters of boiling water and let simmer for 30 minutes until thickened and reduced 
  9. Carefully pour the mixture through a sieve into a large bowl 
  10. Taste and season to perfection. Let cool to room temperature. Skim away some fat, and store covered in the fridge or the freezer until ready to reheat. 
  11. For an extra bonus on the day, you make your holiday dinner, add some turkey juice to the gravy. 

Are you having a vegan Christmas? Try this vegan make-ahead mushroom gravy. 




Any vegetable dish can be made in advance. My fail-proof vegetable dish is a simple roasted Brussels Sprouts. They can be reheated and easily crisped quickly in a hot pan just before serving! 




All desserts can be made ahead of time! Check out our favourite Holiday Dessert Recipes for the perfect sweet tray. 


Here are 14 more tips to keep your holiday stress free 

dishes to make ahead for the holidays

Pre order your holiday turkey

Zoey Jones

Zoey is the social media and content coordinator at SPUD. When she is not at work you can find her making a mess in the kitchen, sipping on coffee and playing board games.

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