How do you get everything ready and on the table on time for your Thanksgiving feast? It’s tough to figure out how to juggle your time and oven space to make it all and have it be warm when you’re ready to eat, but the voice of experience is here to help. And the key is making as much ahead of time as possible. These pro tips can help you plan, prep, and orchestrate the timing for your holiday dinner.

Several Days In Advance

  • Pie crusts – If you’re going the completely homemade route for this, make them & roll them into flat disks, then freeze them until you’re ready to thaw and bake.

A Couple Days Ahead

  • Cranberry sauce – If you’re wanting to get fancier than the can this year, this actually tastes BETTER when made ahead and stored in the fridge.
  • Gravy – Instead of making gravy with roasted turkey drippings, buy giblets or wings from your butcher or use a recipe without turkey parts so you can pre-make it.
  • Casseroles – No matter if it’s sweet potato, green bean, corn, or mac and cheese, your casseroles can be prepped and assembled two days before and refrigerated until it’s time to bake them.

Day Before

  • Pies – NOW, you can thaw your prepared crusts, then fill and bake.
  • Stuffing – If you’re baking it in a casserole dish, you can assemble it a day early and stick it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook it. (But don’t forget before you can make stuffing you have to let your bread get stale before you can assemble)
  • Mashed potatoes – Peel the potatoes the day before and store them covered in water in the fridge until you’re ready to boil and mash ‘em on Thanksgiving.
  • Roasted veggies – Butternut squash, and yams are fine to make ahead and refrigerate overnight, but for Brussels sprouts, which release a stinky stench when reheated, it’s best to wait until the big day.

Thanksgiving Day – As you finish up steps in all of those dishes, keep these things in mind:

  • If your turkey is frozen, make sure to leave plenty of time to defrost it.
  • Figure out exactly how long to cook your bird. Plenty of experts weighed in online to give you the best suggestions possible by weight, prep, etc.