18 Make-Ahead Recipes for Christmas Dinner

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

There’s often a lot happening on Christmas Day, which makes it really tough for the designated cook to get Christmas dinner ready. More often than not, they have to forgo at least part of the gift-giving, carol-singing, and brisk-walk-in-the-snow-ing that everyone else is merrily enjoying. Unless, of course, they plan carefully and get the bulk of the meal done ahead of time. Here are several recipes to help with that, from beet-pickled deviled egg appetizers to creamy panna cotta for dessert.

Appetizers

Dips and marinated vegetables are perfect make-ahead options since they can be tucked away in the fridge and pulled up when you need them — no reheating required.

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Main Dishes

Main dishes that can be prepared in the slow cooker or fully cooked and rewarmed for dinner are your best options. Things like a pasta bake and brisket are especially great as they often taste better the next day.

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Creamy Spinach Bake(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

Side Dishes

The slow cooker is your friend for side dishes, too. Or opt for vegetable casseroles that can be prepped ahead of time.

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Gingerbread Bundt Cake(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Desserts

There are plenty of desserts that can be made ahead of time, but for something extra festive, we love classic gingerbread cake or sweet and sticky bread pudding.

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