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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Best Freeze-Ahead Recipes for the Holidays {Call for Recipes!}

This post is brought to you by Glad. Freshness, wrapped up. This post is sponsored by Glad® Press’n Seal® Wrap/Glad® ClingWrap through FM. All opinions are 100% my own and Glad is the only plastic wrap I have ever used!

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is the food. Homemade food, to be exact. I revel in the food traditions of our families and savor every bite of homemade goodies dropped on our front doorstep. That said, as much as I love preparing holiday food for my loved ones, I like hanging out with them during the holidays even more. As a result, I try really hard to make food ahead of time so I’m not slaving away in the kitchen when I’d rather be sitting in front of the fire.

freeze-ahead broccoli casserole from @janemaynard

glad wrap for freezing meals ahead of time from @janemaynard #spon

As a result, I have three side dish recipes that are my favorites during the holiday season, both because I only make them for the holidays, making them extra special and nostalgic, and because I can make them ahead of time and freeze for later! It is such a dream on the actual holiday to just open the freezer, pull out a casserole dish and have a beautiful, homemade side to serve either for Thanksgiving or Christmas that tastes as fresh as if I just made it. So what are these magical recipes?

  • Broccoli Casserole: My mom always made this for Thanksgiving and the flavor just instantly transports me to her table.
  • Sweet Potato Souffle: I’m pretty sure this is a holiday staple for at least half of the United States if not more! I love the vanilla in this particular recipe. This is a recipe that I introduced to our family and I only ever make it for the holidays. I can’t imagine the holiday season without them now!

freeze-ahead sweet potato souffle from @janemaynard

  • Corn Souffle: This recipe came from my friend Jen Carroll, who got it from her mother-in-law who always served it for the holidays. I lovingly think of their family every time we make this for the holidays. And not only have I adopted this food tradition from my friend Jen and her family, but my friend Robyn also adopted it and makes it every Thanksgiving herself!

freeze-ahead corn souffle from @janemaynard

For all three recipes, I simply prepare the base of the recipe (not the topping) and place that in a casserole dish. Once the casserole dish is prepped, I wrap it well with Glad plastic wrap and stick it in the freezer! All done! The day I want to bake the casseroles, I remove them from the freezer in the morning so the dishes can warm up on the counter, then follow the directions for the toppings and throw the casserole in the oven. No one would ever guess I made the casserole 1 to 2 months ahead of time!

As much as I love the three recipes I shared, I always love hearing from you, too! What holiday foods do you prepare and freeze ahead of time to make the holidays less stressful? Please tell us and share links and/or recipes if you have them!


  1. 1

    I was JUST talking to my mom about this. All of our family is getting together at her house for the holidays and instead being relegated to the kitchen all day while we’re there we thought of some things we could make before the horde descends. This list isn’t really just one holiday meal.
    – shepherd’s pie
    – breakfast casseroles
    – homemade waffles (You take them out of the freezer and pop them right in the toaster, so much better than Eggo.)
    – spaghetti sauce
    – rolls
    – sausage bread
    – cookie dough (Got this idea from you.)
    – pie crusts

  2. 2

    This is such a great idea and time saver. Honestly, we’ve never done a freeze ahead dish for the holidays. I’ve just recently started making extras of pasta sauce and pizza dough and freezing it. Thanks for the post! I’m in charge of pies this year so I will definitely prepare the pie crust ahead of time.

  3. 3

    i always bake a ton of our cookies/fudge ahead time and put them in the freezer. then take them out as needed. saves me a lot of time. make a few batches here and there, with whoever i have at home at the moment. that’s my main make ahead thing for the holidays,…..

    that being said, i usually always have frozen pasta/pizza sauce at the ready, pie crusts, tart dough, extra cooked chicken – never know when you might need it!

  4. 4
    Nikki CB

    This is great! I’m excited to use these recipes and do it ahead of time. I’ve only ever really used the freezer for leftovers, which is great, but it’d be nice to be a bit more creative and plan ahead.

  5. I always make sweet rolls for breakfast ahead of time and freeze them for Christmas morning. I never think to do the same with side dishes. Great idea.

  6. I like to make my mom’s caramel rolls ahead of time, plus batches of soups, chili, and sloppy Joes. They’re perfect for the cooler weather and can feed a crowd – it feels much less intimidating to invite some friends and neighbors over for an impromptu gathering. Great post, Jane!

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