These make ahead side dishes are the best, family-friendly recipes to help you save time cooking whether you’re preparing a holiday feast or a weeknight meal!

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No matter the occasion it never hurts to save time while cooking, and these easy make ahead side dishes are the best recipes to do just that!

1. Perfect Baked Potatoes

Save oven space and speed up dinner by baking potatoes in advance and storing them in the fridge. Just pop them in the microwave when you’re ready to eat, add your favorite toppings, and enjoy!

Perfect Baked Potato
Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, this is how to make the perfect baked potato. Just add your favorite toppings and dig in!
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2. Cracker Barrel Fried Apples

These delicious cinnamon and sugar apples are a fantastic side dish to make ahead. Sauté the apples until they are nice and tender, and store them in the fridge until you are ready to eat! A quick trip back in the pan or in the microwave, and your apples will be ready to go and taste as good as new.

Cracker Barrel Fried Apples
Cracker Barrel Fried Apples are a Southern classic. Apple slices are skillet-cooked in sugar and cinnamon for a buttery, incredibly delicious way to make the best of apple season. And they take just a few minutes to make!
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3. Tomato Salad

The best thing about this tomato salad is that it gets better with time. The longer the tomatoes, onions, and homemade dressing marinate, the better it tastes!

Tomato Salad
Simple ingredients shine in this flavorful tomato salad recipe that's always welcome at BBQs as well as on the dinner table.
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4. Southern Baked Mac and Cheese

A classic recipe, this mac and cheese is rich, flavorful, and loved by kids and adults alike. Bake it a day or so in advance, and warm it in the oven so the topping stays nice and crisp!

Southern Baked Mac and Cheese
Southern baked mac and cheese is a classic! You'll love the rich, creamy cheese sauce and the crispy panko topping that browns to perfection in the oven.
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5. Crockpot Cheesy Potatoes

Make this easy side dish in the crockpot, let it cool, and wrap it up right in the bowl. When you are ready to eat, simply pop the crockpot bowl back in, and set it to warm or low to heat back up. Super simple and very delicious!

A wooden spoon lifting a scoop of cheesy potatoes from a crockpot.
Crockpot Cheesy Potatoes
This recipe for crockpot cheesy potatoes is going to quickly become your new favorite potato side dish. They are fast, loaded with flavor and perfectly cooked every single time.
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6. Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows

We are obsessed with this sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and love to make it ahead of time. The crunchy pecan topping and sweet, fluffy marshmallows are a match made in heaven, creating a dish that will disappear fast!

easy sweet potato casserole
Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe With Marshmallows! This classic Thanksgiving side dish is the ultimate holiday side that is sweet, savory and comforting!
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7. Parmesan Vegetable Tian

Not only is this parmesan vegetable tian gorgeous, but it is also a perfect side dish to make ahead. Great for any season or occasion, it’s always a welcome addition to the dinner table.

Parmesan Vegetable Tian
Our all-time favorite side dish! Layered potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes and squash, baked ’til tender & crisp with a cheesy Parmesan topping. Healthy, colorful and delicious on the side of roasted meats!
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8. Cheesy Mushroom and Onion Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole is the absolute best. We love it on Thanksgiving, for Christmas, and just as part of a weekday meal. Add the crunchy onions right before you eat so they stay crisp and delicious!

Cheesy Mushroom and Onion Green Bean Casserole
This classic dish becomes a new family favorite that everyone at your Thanksgiving table will love. It will be a must every holiday.
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9. Yam Casserole

Yam casserole is a delicious addition to any meal. This easy make-ahead recipe is perfect for serving a crowd and fantastic for Thanksgiving. It will be a family favorite for sure!

Yam Casserole
This yam casserole recipe is made with fluffy sweet potatoes topped with a crunchy, candy-like topping. It's the ideal Thanksgiving side dish to make in advance! 
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10. Cauliflower Au Gratin

Make this delicious vegetable side dish in advance, and you will be very glad you did. You can reheat and serve cauliflower au gratin with just about any meat or seafood for a restaurant-worthy mela that comes together quickly.

Cauliflower au Gratin
This cauliflower au gratin recipe is going to be your favorite cauliflower recipe ever. It's cheesy, a little crispy, super creamy, and pretty easy to make. It really has it all!
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11. Duchess Potatoes

Whip up a batch of duchess potatoes, and your family and friends will be stunned. Easy to prepare in advance, these potatoes are pillowy clouds of golden perfection that taste every bit as impressive as they look.

Duchess Potatoes
Duchess Potatoes are an easy to make side dish that will wow friends and family this holiday season! Pillowy clouds of mashed potatoes are baked to golden perfection as individual servings which makes them ideal for entertaining. A great make ahead recipe!
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12. Sausage and Apple Stuffing

This sweet and savory side dish is ideal for the Thanksgiving table or as part of a Christmas dinner. It is a true cold-weather, comfort food recipe that you can make a few days ahead of time and reheat to perfection.

Sausage & apple stuffing in a white casserole dish.
Sausage & Apple Stuffing
Sausage & Apple Stuffing is the perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors, with fragrant herbs, Italian sausage, and tender baked apples. You’ll love it for Thanksgiving or any time of year!
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12. Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Make these Brussels sprouts in the oven, and store them in the same baking dish in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat, just pop that pan back in the oven, and they’ll be ready in minutes!

roasted brussel sprouts
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
These Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts are easy to make with only 4-ingredients! A simple side dish for dinner or Thanksgiving and Christmas!
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13. Super Simple Southern Green Beans

Get these delicious green beans ready a day or two in advance, and check the veggie side dish off your to-do list! I recommend doubling the recipe so you can eat tasty green beans for days to come.

Southern Green Beans
Southern green beans are packed with the savory flavors of bacon, garlic, and onions. They are an incredible vegetable side dish that may taste better than the main meal!
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14. Broccoli Salad

This tasty broccoli salad with bacon is delicious when served cold or hot. Vibrant and flavorful, it’s full of nutrients and tastes even better the next day!

Broccoli Salad
This classic broccoli salad recipe is the perfect side dish for just about anything and a favorite potluck pick.
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15. Easy 5 Ingredient Corn Casserole

Corn casserole is quick to put together and perfect to reheat. I like to heat corn casserole in the oven so that the edges stay crisp while the middle is warm and soft. However, if you’re in a hurry the microwave works too.

Corn Casserole
Whole kernel corn, cream-style corn, sour cream, butter, and Jiffy Corn muffin mix makes this yummy Corn Casserole Recipe amazingly good…and EASY!
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16. Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Make a big bowl of loaded mashed potatoes. Then, wrap it up, and refrigerate it for up to 4 days. You can quickly reheat them in the microwave and have them warm and ready to accompany your meal in minutes!

Loaded Mashed Potatoes
These loaded mashed potatoes have it all! With bacon, sour cream, chives, cheese, and garlic, they’re absolutely packed (or loaded!) with flavor.
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17. Honey Glazed Carrots

These carrots may just be my all-time favorite vegetable side dish. They are sweet and savory and reheat beautifully. I serve these on every holiday and my family adores them. I also love that I can make them a few days in advance!

A plate full of honey glazed carrots topped with thyme.
Honey Glazed Carrots
Honey glazed carrots are the perfect sweet side dish for a weeknight dinner, and are easy to scale up for a holiday celebration! You’ll love the tender carrots and buttery honey glaze.
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18. Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole

I love to make a big batch of this cheesy broccoli rice casserole to keep on hand and feed my family for several days. Comforting and hearty, it’s tasty with all your favorite main courses and can even be turned into a complete meal!

Cheesy broccoli rice casserole in a baking dish with servings missing.
Broccoli Rice Casserole
This easy Broccoli Rice Casserole recipe combines rice and broccoli in a creamy, cheesy sauce for a dish that’s always a hit, whether you serve it for a weeknight dinner or bring it to a potluck! It’s a classic casserole you’ll make again and again.
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19. Squash Casserole Recipe

Here’s another incredible, crowd pleasing side dish that is great to enjoy year-round. Make this squash casserole with fresh summer squash. Or, add it to your Thanksgiving table. It reheats beautifully and has the perfect balance of flavor and texture in every bite.

Squash Casserole
Squash Casserole is a crowd-pleasing side dish made with summer squash, onion, cornbread stuffing mix, and sour cream. It’s perfect for a potluck and excellent for holiday dinners!
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20. Make Ahead Creamy Vegetable Casserole

This veggie-packed side dish was designed with make-ahead meals in mind. You can reheat it again and again without it ever losing flavor. Keep this recipe in your back pocket for years to come!

Make Ahead Creamy Vegetable Casserole
A make ahead casserole consisting of vegetables and a creamy sauce – served as a side or a main, this casserole will most certainly get vegetables onto your table and into the bellies of your loved ones. This dish can easily be reheated without losing any of the creaminess, cheesiness, or texture!
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21. Baked Beans

These drool-worthy baked beans are great for a summer barbecue or as a side to Christmas dinner. They are loaded with flavor and will reheat perfectly time and time again.

Baked Beans
Sweet, smoky baked beans are the best side dish for a backyard barbecue, but you'll love this baked beans recipe any time of year!
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22. Potatoes Au Gratin

This is a classic potato side dish that people have been making and reheating for decades. Creamy, cheesy, and oh-so delicious, it’s a make ahead side dish your family will request by name.

potatoes au gratin served in a square white casserole dish
Potatoes Au Gratin
This easy potatoes au gratin recipe layers thinly sliced potatoes with a rich, creamy cheese sauce. So good!
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About Kasey Schwartz

For over 15 years, Kasey Schwartz, the mastermind behind All Things Mamma, has been the ultimate go-to for mouthwatering family recipes. Her work has been featured on, Buzz Feed, Better Homes and Gardens, and more, making her your go-to mom next door for all things delicious and family-friendly.

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