It’s an annual paradox: The meals we enjoy at the holidays tend to involve more dishes, complicated methods, and longer cooking times—all tying cooks to the kitchen precisely when they want to spend some quality time with their guests. That’s where our make-ahead menus come in. We’ve pulled together some of our favorite holiday dishes that let the cook do most of the work in advance.
Impressive Make-Ahead Menus
Check out our elegant dinner menu, starring phyllo-wrapped filet mignon (pictured above) and chocolate mousse. Or for a more low-key approach, have the family over for a holiday brunch that won’t have you up at dawn. If you’d rather put together your own menu, choose from our list of festive make-ahead recipes, from appetizing nibbles and main courses, to show-stopping desserts.
More Make-Ahead Recipes
Drinks, Hors d’oeuvres, & Starters
Soups & Side Dishes
Main Courses & Crusty Breads
For the ultimate in menu planning, don’t miss our bonus download of Fine Cooking‘s Top Ten Make-Ahead Dishes—available free of charge when you register with your email address. From individual beef Wellingtons to twice-baked potatoes to pear-cranberry tart, these memorable dishes are made doable with a little advance planning.