The Best Holiday Dishes to Make Ahead

From decorating your Christmas tree to shopping for a one-of-a-kind gift for that special someone, there are plenty of things that you can do to prepare for the holiday season ahead of time. But what’s a holiday celebration without fantastic food? We have 39 festive make-ahead holiday recipes that you can start now and save for later.

Looking for an indulgent make-ahead dessert recipe? Try your hand at the No-Bake Chocolate-Eggnog Creme Brulee that’s pictured here. Bittersweet chocolate brings the rich, dark color and ground cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg add the classic spiced flavors that everyone associates with the holiday season. The combination is a joyful one—even better, you can make this dessert up to two days before you plan to serve it.

We also have several casserole recipes for the holidays that you can partially—and in some cases—fully prepare in advance. Dishes such as beef stew, lasagna, and a spectacular twist on Beef Wellington can be prepared earlier in the day so that you can spend as much time as possible with loved ones. While you’re chatting with loved ones, the dishes bake, braise, and roast up until dinnertime—and you didn’t have to miss out on any of the fun. The other perk of these make-ahead recipes for the holidays is that you can clean as you go, so there’s no sink filled with dirty dishes or a countertop covered in flour marring the otherwise merry scene. When you cook in advance, you can clean in advance, too.

Whether it’s making mashed potatoes for shepherd’s pie, peeling and cutting vegetables, or making an entire dessert in advance, these make-ahead holiday recipes will help to make your season stress-free and so much sweeter.

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