The Best Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes and Prettiest Serving Pieces for Your Table

Thanksgiving is upon us, and to ensure your celebration is a feast for all the senses, I’ve put together a plan-ahead guide that covers everything from my favorite recipes to stunning serving pieces. My best advice: be prepared for the holidays! Choose your menu and your serving pieces ahead of time. Then, you can enjoy the holiday with family and friends with no stress! 

My Best Thanksgiving Recipes 

Choosing your recipes ahead of time will ensure that you are prepared for a stress-free holiday gathering. If you are looking for fabulous Thanksgiving recipes that can be prepped largely ahead of time, I have you covered!! Below are my tried and true recipes for a traditional Thanksgiving feast. In all of my recipes, I share tips for prepping in stages, making ahead and freezing.

Turkey: If you want the whole bird on your table, try my traditional whole Thanksgiving turkey. This beautiful bird is infused with flavors of lemon, sage, and a secret marinade that is easily found at most grocers. If you are serving a smaller number of guests, you might try my Lemon-Herb Turkey Breast which is made in a slow cooker. This is an easy alternative that’s just as delicious as a whole oven-roasted turkey. 

The best cornbread dressing: My Grandmother’s famous Southern cornbread dressing is moist and flavorful and is make-ahead and freezer friendly. It is the most important side dish on any Thanksgiving table, and this recipe is DIVINE. This cornbread dressing recipe is what my grandmother made every Thanksgiving, and I love being able to carry on her legacy in the kitchen. Gran didn’t follow a recipe, but she let my mom watch her make the dressing and write everything down. I am happy to share the cherished recipe along with tips on making it BEFORE Thanksgiving.

Linda Evans’ Corn Pudding: A cross between corn pudding and cheesy cornbread, and it is one of the yummiest side dishes you’ll ever eat. It’s a true staple on Thanksgiving tables in the south, and I promise you won’t be disappointed! Of all the corn puddings I’ve tried, this is hands down my favorite. If you want savory, cheesy, and tangy (instead of sweet, eggy, and creamy), this is the corn pudding for you!

Cranberry Jalapeno Salsa: This salsa is a fresher, healthier alternative to jellied cranberry sauce and makes a great appetizer. I like to serve it with sweet potato chips. Alternatively, this salsa can be spooned onto the plate and served alongside turkey or any meat that you are serving this holiday season.

Cranberry Sauce: Of all the cranberry sauces that I’ve tried over the years, this is the BEST and EASIEST recipe! It is perfect for serving with turkey, pork, or smoked meats. Making this cranberry sauce ahead also couldn’t be easier. I make several batches a week or two before Thanksgiving and keep them in the fridge until ready to enjoy with a meal or give as gifts. Folks love getting this sauce as a gift, as they can use it for their holiday turkey or other meals.

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse Chopped Salad Copycat: While the original Ruth’s Chris salad is pressed/formed, this salad copycat recipe is layered in a bowl and tossed. It is much easier, saves a ton of time in the kitchen, and is a crowd pleaser!

Prepare for Serving Guests and Setting Tables

Once you finalize your Thanksgiving menu, take inventory of your serveware and take into account how many guests will be at your table(s) for the feast. This will ensure every place setting is complete and you are not scrambling to set the table on Thanksgiving day. 

The Basics: Dinnerware, Flatware and Serving Utensils

Start by making sure you have enough of the basics–plates, flatware and serving utensils. If you need to stock up or replace worn pieces, now is the perfect time. Below are my top picks for this year’s Thanksgiving table.

Gorgeous Serveware that Makes a Statement 

Serveware doesn’t have to just be functional–it can be a statement piece on your table as well! From bowls to platters to canape dishes and more–there are so many choices. This year, my table will be full of Nambé pieces, as they are not only functional but also stunning.  Below are some of the ways I plan to use my Nambé pieces. (These products were gifted to me by Nambé and affiliate links are included below.)

When my guests arrive this Thanksgiving, I’ll be serving a nice, big salad in this gorgeous Nambé Braid Glass Salad Bowl, which has been my favorite salad bowl for years. It is large enough to accommodate salad for up to 16 people. I’ll be serving yeast rolls wrapped inside a cloth linen napkin and placed inside the Nambé Pulse Bread/Fruit Bowl. This bowl is a work of art.  The Canu Chip & Dip will be where I place my cranberry salsa and sweet potato chips (which are always a huge hit).  I’ll use the Infinity Two-Piece Servers for smaller sides and condiments like gravy.

Crown the Table With Holiday Touches

I love making the holiday table look festive with a few lovely accoutrements. I love using my assorted velvet pumpkins, brass candlesticks, and Nambé’s Aquila Silver Candlesticks. It is not only ok to mix metals, it looks wonderful!! Gold, brass and silver look spectacular mixed together.

Thanks to Nambé’s pieces, you can serve every dish with beauty and functionality. Nambé can be integrated seamlessly into any aesthetic. Whether your style is vintage, farmhouse, transitional or traditional, you can mix in any of the spectacular pieces to make a holiday table that is simply stunning.

I hope these recipes, planning tips and serving ideas are a blessing to you this holiday season! As always, I love hearing from my followers, so please leave any messages in the comments below. Thank you so much for following, and best wishes for a joyous Thanksgiving with your loved ones.

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