5 Perfect Dinner and Dessert Ideas to Make Ahead

Ina Garten offers the ultimate Thanksgiving menu that guarantees delicious food while taking the vacation stress out of preparing a big meal. The barefoot countess star has discovered that the secret to a perfect Thanksgiving meal is having menu options to prepare ahead of time.

Ina Garten | Mike Smith / Getty Images

Ina Garten’s Thanksgiving menu saves a lot of time and stress

A Food web article on Garten’s Thanksgiving menu for the Big Feast included an insightful quote from barefoot countess Star. When she changed her mind, she found that she didn’t sacrifice any flavor in her recipes.

“For years, I believed food was better if you prepared it right before eating it,” she explained. “I had to force myself to start doing things differently.”

Garten told Food Network that when she made the menu ahead of time, it gave her more time to interact with her guests. “People started to come in and I had nothing to do. It was so strange! she explained.

Garten’s Thanksgiving menu includes 5 courses that can easily be prepared ahead of time.

  • Roast Turkey and Prepare Ahead Sauce
  • Baked Farro and Butternut Squash
  • Leek and artichoke pudding
  • Mashed Potatoes With Goat Cheese
  • Lemon Ginger Molasses Cake with Whipped Cream

Roast turkey and sauce in advance

Garten’s Easy Roast Turkey Recipe includes a sauce that can be made a week in advance and refrigerated (or frozen for up to 3 months). “No one wants to sit around and hope that their sauce won’t be lumpy by the time the turkey comes out of the oven,” she explained. “With this recipe, that will never happen!”

In an Instagram post from November 15, Garten shared his delicious turkey and gravy recipe. “After years of stressing the turkey, I discovered that roasting it and slicing it ahead of time, placing it on a baking dish on a bed of gravy, then putting it in the oven before dinner is so much more. easy than trying to carve a hot turkey at the table! »She explained in the caption. “It’s also the best turkey I’ve ever made.”

The full recipe is available on Food web website.

Baked Farro and Butternut Squash

The barefoot countess star farro and baked butternut squash are a gorgeous side dish bursting with fall flavors. “It’s a recipe from California chef Maria Sinskey,” Garten noted. “The flavors and textures are amazing.”

The dish, made with onions, thyme, farro, chicken broth, bacon and Parmesan, can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Then it’s as easy as cooking the side dish right before serving it.

You can find the full recipe on Food web website.

Leek and artichoke pudding

Next on the menu, Garten Leek Artichoke Bread Pudding can be assembled and refrigerated for up to 2 days. It’s a wonderful side dish made with pancetta, leeks, dry white wine, artichoke hearts, chives, tarragon, cream, broth, nutmeg and Swiss cheese. It is the perfect accompaniment to replace the traditional stuffing.

The full recipe is on the Food web website.

Mashed potatoes with goat cheese

The Food Network host has a delicious twist on classic mashed potatoes – she adds a splash of flavor with goat cheese, sour cream and Parmesan cheese. Garten recommends assembling the dish and storing it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, then baking it before serving.

The recipe won rave reviews, including one fan who wrote, “This is my make-ahead mashed potato recipe for fun. Simple and foolproof and I have yet to meet a guest who hasn’t liked it. Simply perfect!”

Visit the Food web site for the recipe.

Lemon-Ginger Molasses Cake with Whipped Cream

Finally, for his Thanksgiving dessert option, Garten bakes a lemon ginger molasses cake. She bakes the cake a day in advance so it’s ready to decorate on Thanksgiving Day.

The barefoot countess star even has an easy tip for whipped cream that won’t deflate. “If you add just a little crème fraîche to stabilize the whipped cream, you can make it a few hours in advance,” she explained. Garten garnishes with whipped cream, ginger and lemon zest.

The cake recipe is available on the Food web website.

RELATED: Ina Garten Explains Why She Never Cooks Stuffing in Thanksgiving Turkey

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