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Video:How to Plan a Make-Ahead Thanksgiving

with Stephanie Gallagher

Planning a make-ahead Thanksgiving allows you to stay stress-free and spend more time with your guests. Here are some tips for planning a make-ahead Thanksgiving.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Plan a Make-Ahead Thanksgiving

Hi, I'm Stephanie Gallagher for About.com, and today, I'll share with you some tips for planning a make-ahead Thanksgiving.

Make Sides in Advance for a Make-Ahead Thanksgiving

The good news is a lot of the classic Thanksgiving side dishes and desserts, from green bean casserole to pumpkin pie, can easily be made in advance without losing any flavor or texture. Start with your cranberry sauce or cranberry relish. You can make it up to a week in advance, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.Other side dishes, like stuffing and sweet potato casserole can be made up to two days in advance.

Use a Slow-Cooker for a Make-Ahead Thanksgiving

If you store these side dishes in microwave-safe containers, you just take them straight from the refrigerator to the microwave to reheat. The slow-cooker is a great tool for cutting your prep time on Thanksgiving. You can use it to make mashed sweet potatoes, white potatoes or stuffing.

Make Turkey Day of for a Make-Ahead Thanksgiving

The one thing you should make on Thanksgiving day is the turkey. Since it will take up most of your oven space, plan on cooking side dishes on lower oven racks with the turkey.

Prep Desserts Beforehand for a Make-Ahead Thanksgiving

As for dessert, all Thanksgiving desserts can be prepared up to two days in advance. If you want to prepare pies even further in advance, let them cool completely, then wrap tightly in foil and freeze.

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