a grid of the Make Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes including the passion fruit mousse, curried pumpkin soup with tamarind onions, peanut soup with sage, and sweet potato bundt cake
Spoiler alert: The key to success is to start your cooking in advance. From passion fruit mousse to creamy pumpkin soup, these recipes can all be made days or even weeks ahead of time.
Punchy flavors borrowed from Sri Lankan-style curries make this curried pumpkin soup a palate-awakening starter. The tamarind onion garnish, adapted from Chef Sam Fore in Lexington, Kentucky, is a showstopping condiment. If you have any left over, they'll make your next-day turkey sandwiches sing!
This sweet potato pound cake started out as a way to use up leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner, but quickly became its own reason to make sweet potatoes. The cake gets better as it sits, so it's a great make-ahead candidate for any occasion.
This creamy peanut soup lets the flavor of the peanuts truly shine, and fresh sage adds a nice autumnal flavor. While we often call for natural peanut butters in our recipes, they're not recommended here, as they can make the soup gritty and oily.
The bright tartness of this passion fruit mousse makes a lovely ending to a rich feast. A garnish of toasted almonds brings crunch, but toasted coconut flakes would be lovely as well. Here the mousse is layered in a large dish, which is easier to bring to potluck gatherings, but you could also make individual portions in ramekins or small dishes. By its nature, this dessert is best made ahead, to give the mousse a chance to really set up and the flavor to develop.
These cranberry-orange shortcakes are essentially a cross between a biscuit and a scone. They make a light base for a rich cranberry compote and a brown-sugar-laced crème fraîche topping. These are designed to be on the small side, since there are usually many desserts on offer on Thanksgiving, but you can make them any size you like, just adjust the baking time accordingly.
These crustless mini quiches are packed with savory caramelized onions and flavorful cheese. This technique for making caramelized onions uses way less fat, and by using sweet onions (like Vidalia, if you can find them), you don't need to add the sugar some recipes call for.
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