Festive Make-Ahead Meal Ideas
Get ahead with your holiday cooking and baking -- and save time on the day of your get-together -- with these delicious recipes.
Everything In This Slideshow
1 of 17
Coq au Vin Stew
Beefy onion soup mix and red wine combine with chicken thighs, mushrooms, and onions for a stew that's luscious and comforting on a cold winter day.
2 of 17
3 of 17
A delicate cream-and-wine sauce makes this delightful dish sing.
4 of 17
Jeweled Spaghetti Squash
Chock-full of dried cherries and toasty walnuts, this tart-sweet side dish is scrumptious served alongside holiday beef or pork roast. It may become your family's new favorite holiday side.
5 of 17
New Sweet Potato Casseroles
You can top this modern spin on classic sweet potato casserole with chunks of pineapple and creamy blue cheese (shown here), or you can try one of our other fresh topping ideas: peanuts and coconut, bacon and rosemary, onion and garlic, or smoked almonds.
6 of 17
7 of 17
Roasted Red Pepper Lasagna
Layers of tangy peppers and creamy goat and ricotta cheeses put a festive spin on classic lasagna.
8 of 17
Easy Crab Bisque
Serving rich and creamy bisque is a delightful way to indulge your guests -- and you can make this easy, elegant recipe the night before.
9 of 17
Stove-Top Holiday Apple Cake
This apple-and-spice cake is oh so nice. It simmers for two hours and then keeps up to 10 days in the refrigerator.
10 of 17
You can bake these buttery cakes and freeze them for up to a month. Powdered sugar, fresh raspberries, and shredded orange peel make a beautiful (and tasty) topper.
11 of 17
Each wedge of creamy cheesecake reveals a layer of deliciously tart cranberries baked inside.
12 of 17
Chocolate-Peanut Ice Cream Cake
This layered frozen dessert is ultradecadent -- and a proven crowd pleaser with its crunchy, nutty layer.
13 of 17
Rum and Eggnog Cakes
The creamy, spicy flavor of eggnog makes these little cakes sing. If you don't have individual fluted tube pans, make the dessert in a 10-inch fluted tube pan instead.
14 of 17
Ginger Pound Cake
Pound cakes are noted for their tenderness and velvety texture. This one is spiced with both ground ginger and chopped crystallized ginger.
15 of 17
Dark Chocolate Mini Muffins
These muffins are a sweet treat -- and the recipe calls for applesauce, which cuts down on fat and calories without sacrificing moistness.
16 of 17
Next Slideshow Crowd-Pleasing Holiday Casserole Recipes
Crowd-Pleasing Holiday Casserole RecipesBeat the chaos of the holidays with a delicious, hearty casserole recipe (or two). Casseroles are easy to make ahead, and you can save the leftovers for dinner the next day. We've picked our favorite cozy casseroles so there's something for everyone, including cheesy pasta bakes, classic tuna casserole, and green bean creations.Begin Slideshow »