From sausage dressing to green bean casserole, here are make-ahead recipes for the day before Thanksgiving.
Food & Wine
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Gary Vaynerchuk’s mother, Tamara, makes Stove Top stuffing every Thanksgiving, and he proudly admits loving it. Its simplicity inspired this recipe by F&W’s Grace Parisi. Using homemade turkey stock gives it a rich flavor, but for a shortcut, use chicken broth instead.
This savory bread pudding, loaded with sweet squash, is based on a recipe meat master Bruce Aidells’s wife, Nancy Oakes, created. It’s a great accompaniment to glazed ham. For a more elegant presentation, Aidells bakes the bread pudding in individual ramekins.
The reason Emeril Lagasse calls them overstuffed is that he adds an extra baked potato to the stuffing mixture, but if these seem too large for you, then bake and mash only four (instead of the five used here), or use smaller potatoes.
Boiling kale before sautéing it is key to making it tender. If the stems and center veins are very tough, Marcia Kiesel advises removing them: Fold the kale leaves in half with the vein side out, then pull up on the stems.
Fragrant Indian spices—coriander, turmeric and black mustard seeds—are a wonderful accent for creamy mashed butternut squash. The squash can be roughly smashed until chunky, or thoroughly mashed until smooth.
Chef John Besh says, “This is the only dish worthy of both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner at our house.” Why? Because it’s unbelievably delicious—a bready dressing that’s spicy, crispy and nicely briny.
Corn pudding is often a summer staple when corn is widely available and plentiful at farmer’s markets. Here we use frozen kernels and coarsely ground cornmeal to boost the flavor of this fluffy pudding.
Jose Garces says this dish best exemplifies his Thanksgiving menu: traditional at its core but with unexpected Latin accents. The gratin is silky and sweet, topped with gooey marshmallows and delightfully crunchy pecans flavored with chile powder.
AJ Perry, the owner and baker at Columbus, Ohio’s Sassafras Bakery, uses a combination of sweet and tart apples for this double-crust pie. Perry starts the pie at a high oven temperature, so the pastry sets before the filling softens, creating a beautiful domed crust. This is a purists’ pie that tastes of nothing but apples, with just a hint of spice and butter.
This is a terrific cross between a tart and a cake; it has a crisp, delicate crust as well as a cakey filling made with nutty browned butter and vanilla bean. Katherine Thompson, the pastry chef at Manhattan’s L’Artusi and Dell’anima, serves it all year-round with different toppings, but for the holidays, she loves to pile on fresh cranberries.