Save Time and Stress this Thanksgiving with Make-Ahead Dishes
When your family and friends gather for Thanksgiving, don’t miss out on cherished moments, by being stuck in the kitchen. Preparing some appetizers and side dishes ahead of time will give you a little extra time to mingle and catch up with loved ones. With these simple beef recipes, you will be sure to score big with your guests of all ages as they grab a quick bite or scoop a heaping portion amongst the other fixings around the turkey.
When guests arrive, having a few appetizers handy will ease their stomachs as they await the main dinner. Creating a simple platter of finger food that they can grab on the move like these Smoked Gouda and Beef Pinwheels will be sure to be a hit and can be made the day before in little time.
Number of Servings: Makes 72 appetizers
Total Recipe Time: 30 minutes
- 1 package (16 to 24 ounces) fully-cooked boneless beef pot roast with gravy
- 1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese
- 1 package (17.3 ounces) frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), defrosted
- 4 green onions, cut in half lengthwise, then cut into thin long strips
1 – Heat beef pot roast with gravy in microwave according to package directions. Remove pot roast from container; discard gravy. Shred pot roast in large bowl with 2 forks; stir in cheese. Set aside.
2 – Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 2 metal baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray. Unfold each puff pastry sheet onto lightly floured surface.
3 – Cut in half with sharp knife or pizza cutter to make four 10 X 4-3/4 inch rectangles.
4 – Working with 1 rectangle at time, place a long side in front of you. Place 1/4 of the beef mixture onto pastry, leaving a 1/2 inch border on the long side closest to you. Lay 1/4 of the green onion strips lengthwise over beef mixture. Roll up pastry jelly-roll fashion starting with long side opposite you. Brush water along border and seal pastry. Repeat with remaining pastry, beef mixture and green onions.
5 – Cut pastry rolls crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices, forming pinwheels. Arrange 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake in 400°F oven 15 to 17 minutes or until golden brown, rotating pans halfway through baking. Transfer pinwheels to wire rack; cool slightly. Serve warm.
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If you are looking to add a side dish that is easy to make and can be made ahead, consider a beef recipe that brings substance in addition to the potatoes and stuffing dishes. A beefy, cheesy pasta dish is easy to make and a great option to have on the table, especially for those little eaters. Grab this recipe for a quick dish that you can make ahead of time and not take away from the other time-sensitive dishes.
Number of Servings: Makes 8 servings as a side dish
Total Recipe Time: 35 minutes
- 1 pound Ground Beef
- 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 can (13-3/4 to 14-1/2 ounces) ready-to-serve beef broth
- 1-1/2 cups uncooked wagon wheel pasta
- 1 cup prepared hickory-flavored barbecue sauce
- 1/2 cup finely shredded Cheddar or Colby cheese
1 – Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add Ground Beef, bell pepper and onion; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Pour off drippings.
Cook Tip: Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed Ground Beef. Ground Beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Color is not a reliable indicator of Ground Beef doneness.
2 – Stir in broth, pasta, barbecue sauce and 1/4 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until pasta is almost tender. Uncover; cook 5 to 7 minutes or until pasta is tender and sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with cheese.
3 – If making ahead of time, cover and refrigerate. Reheat immediately before serving.
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Whether you are having a grand gathering or a smaller holiday get together, be sure to allow for time to visit with friends and family. Preparing small dishes or appetizers the day before will get you ahead the morning of. When your guests are arriving, take the time to catch up while the main dishes are cooking, greeting them with some beef appetizers.
For more beef recipes, perfect to prepare for friends and family this holiday season, visit the Minnesota Beef Council website.