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33 Make-Ahead Christmas Recipes

Keep calm and get your meal prep on. This batch of make-ahead Christmas recipes takes the chaos out of having company over.

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Overnight Reindeer Rolls

Kids love helping in the kitchen. This year, have a little fun making these reindeer-shaped rolls with your little bakers. And make sure to take pictures because the treats will be gone before you know it! —Chris O'Connell, San Antonio, Texas
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Roasted Beef Tenderloin

An overnight marinade provides a savory seasoning for this tenderloin. I've served this simple elegant roast on many special occasions. —Schelby Thompson, Camden Wyoming, Delaware
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Make-Ahead Eggnog

Sipping homemade eggnog is a holiday tradition for many families. Our slow cooker version of the classic drink couldn’t be easier to make. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Overnight Baked Eggs Bruschetta

I like to spend as much time as I can with my guests when they stay with me for the holidays, so I rely on make-ahead recipes to help make that happen. Because most overnight brunch casseroles are so similar, I came up with a breakfast bruschetta for a fun change of pace. —Judi Berman-Yamada, Portland, Oregon
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Make-Ahead Turkey and Gravy

Ease the holiday time crunch with a make-ahead turkey recipe that's ready to serve when you are. It's a great choice for potlucks, too. —Marie Parker, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Christmas Day Chicken

I've been fixing this delicious chicken for Christmas dinner for over 10 years. It's convenient since you refrigerate it overnight, then simply coat with crumbs and bake. It comes out crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. —Marcia Larson, Batavia, Illinois
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Creamy Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

With five different dairy products, you know this make-ahead mashed potato casserole is going to be super rich and, of course, delicious. It gets even better topped with onions and bacon! —JoAnn Koerkenmeier, Damiansville, Illinois
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Make-Ahead Butterhorns

Mom loved to make these lightly sweet, golden rolls. They're beautiful and impressive and have a homemade taste that makes them memorable. —Bernice Morris, Marshfield, Missouri
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Twisted Eggs Benedict Salad

Salad for breakfast? Absolutely. You can prep everything except the dressing and chill it overnight. In the morning, dress the salad and poach the eggs. —Noelle Myers, Grand Forks, North Dakota
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Frozen Mud Pie

Here's one of those "looks like you fussed" desserts that is so easy it's become a standard for me. I love the mocha version, but pure chocolate lovers may prefer using chocolate chip ice cream. The cookie crust is a snap to make. —Debbie Terenzini-Wilkerson, Lusby, Maryland
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Overnight Pancakes

Our kids love waking up to these golden, fluffy pancakes. The buttermilk batter is refrigerated overnight, making them perfect for busy mornings and special occasion breakfasts alike. —Lisa Sammons, Cut Bank, Montana
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Make-Ahead Cornbread Dressing

Being from California, my family has always been big veggie eaters. I wanted to share a little taste of home with my in-laws so I created this dish for Thanksgiving. You don't have to let it sit overnight, but it's a nice make ahead Thanksgiving option and the flavors mesh more that way. —Patricia Broussard, Lafayette, Louisiana
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Ginger Pear Freezer Jam

At dinner with friends one evening, one of our hosts served some pears she had preserved with ginger and lemon. The flavor was so heavenly I decided to use the fresh pears she gave us to try my hand at a ginger and lemon freezer jam.—Jeni Pittard, Commerce, Georgia
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Broccoli Salad Supreme

People can't get enough of the sweet grapes and crunchy broccoli in this colorful salad. I appreciate its make-ahead convenience. —Terri Twyman, Bonanza, Oregon
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Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

My family loves gravy, so I can never have enough homemade gravy on hand for a holiday dinner. The base for this one is prepared with turkey wings and can be prepped in advance. —Linda Fitzsimmons, Fort Edward, New York
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Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

I like to try different fun fillings in these soft rolls, and each one is packed with cinnamon flavor. They are definitely worth the overnight wait. —Chris O'Connell, San Antonio, Texas
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Classic Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

These make-ahead mashed potatoes save me a ton of time on Christmas day. No more frantically whipping the potatoes while hungry family and guests hang around the kitchen! —Marty Rummel, Trout Lake, Washington
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Overnight Cherry Danish

These rolls with their cherry-filled centers melt in your mouth and store well, unfrosted, in the freezer. —Leann Sauder, Tremont, Illinois
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Make-Ahead Tiramisu

This variation of the popular Italian dessert is so easy to assemble. It's convenient, too, since you can make it the day before your dinner party or potluck. —Linda Finn, Louisville, Mississippi
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Overnight Cranberry-Eggnog Coffee Cake

To use up leftover eggnog, cranberries and pecans from the holiday season, I added them to a classic coffee cake recipe. Mix it all together the night before, and bake it in the morning. —Lisa Varner, El Paso, Texas
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Sage & Prosciutto Pinwheels

I love, love, love to make appetizers and I especially like this recipe because I can make the rolls ahead, freeze them, and then slice and bake when needed. —Kate Dampier, Quail Valley, California
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Overnight Baked Oatmeal

My husband and I spent a long weekend at a bed-and-breakfast not far from our home. The owners shared this delicious recipe with me, which I've made my own after a couple of simple changes. —Jennifer Cramer, Lebanon, Pennsylvania
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Make-Ahead Biscuits & Gravy Bake

Biscuits and gravy are usually prepared separately but served together. I created a way to bake them all at once in this scrumptious casserole. —Nancy Mcinnis, Olympia, Washington
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Spicy Sausage & Apple Overnight Casserole

For many years I’ve hosted Mother’s Day brunch. One year I didn’t make this delightfully spicy casserole and thought the family would toss me from my own house! —Dawn Vance, Geneva, Illinois
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Almond Cheddar Appetizers

I always try to have a supply of these appetizers on hand in the freezer. If guests drop in, I just pull some out and reheat to serve. They work great as a snack, for brunch or along with a lighter lunch. —Linda Thompson, Southampton, Ontario
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Overnight Vegetable & Egg Breakfast

My overnight eggs and veggies make a hearty breakfast for those who have to rush out the door. I use sliced potatoes, but frozen potatoes work, too. —Kimberly Clark-Thiry, Anchor Point, Alaska
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Overnight Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

Recipes that don't tie me to the kitchen—that’s what I’m all about. I make this luscious dish the night before breakfast or brunch with guests. —Patricia Harmon, Baden, Pennsylvania
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Make-Ahead Sausage Pinwheels

Filled with sausage, sweet pepper and cream cheese, these roll-ups are excellent for unexpected visitors, a cocktail party or a halftime snack. Besides being easy to make, they can be done way ahead and kept in the freezer. All you have to do is pop them into a hot oven! —Cindy Nerat, Menominee, Michigan
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Make-Ahead Maple & Sage Gravy

Save those turkey wings! Then use this richly flavored stock in my pour-it-on-everything herbed gravy. —Angela Lively, Conroe, Texas
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Holiday Brunch Casserole

If you'll be having overnight company during the holidays, you may want to consider this hearty casserole. Guests will be impressed with its bountiful filling and scrumptious flavor. It's the perfect Easter breakfast or Christmas casserole. —Nelda Cronbaugh, Belle Plaine, Iowa
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Easy Citrus Ham

I created this recipe many years ago with items I already had on hand. Since then, it has become a family favorite. The ham is succulent with a mild citrus flavor. I was asked to share the recipe with a church social and there were so many raves, I knew the recipe was a winner! —Sheila Christensen, San Marcos, California
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Make-Ahead Creamy Potatoes

For the holidays, I usually serve the traditional foods with a new spin or two on family favorites. I put together these creamy potatoes the night before and simply bake the day of to save precious holiday time. —Wendy Ball, Battle Creek, Michigan
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Freezer Strawberry Shortbread Dessert

When I’m planning party menus, I appreciate dessert recipes like this; you can make and freeze it up to two weeks before serving. A refreshing slice is welcome after a big meal.—Cassie Alexander, Muncie, Indiana

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