Don’t feel like cooking for hours and hours on Christmas Day? Me neither! Skip the hassle, and try this delicious, make-ahead turkey dinner casserole. The best alternative to a traditional Christmas dinner!
I’m going to let you in on a little holiday family secret…
For the past couple of years, my family (my extended side of the family) has NOT made a traditional turkey dinner for Christmas. Yup—no cooking Christmas Day. Yet, we’ve eaten the most delicious turkey dinner ever.
Let me explain… A few years ago my mom and I were staring at the massive pile of dishes after Christmas dinner, feeling exhausted from cooking all day and deprived of real, good quality visiting time. As we made our way through the dishes (and a few glasses of wine later), we decided that the following Christmas we would do things differently. We would make turkey dinner into a casserole ahead of Christmas Day and heat it up Christmas night. Was it possible? We didn’t know!
Fast forward to the following year, and my Mom was on it. She roasted turkey thighs and breasts and then layered traditional turkey dinner sides such as stuffing, roasted veggies, and mashed potatoes. Oh. My. Gosh.
No joke, it was the BEST turkey dinner we’ve ever had and all family members agreed, the make-ahead turkey dinner is our new Christmas meal. My kids even loved it, and they’re not casserole lovers generally! That said, they do love my make-ahead carrot cake overnight French toast though because…cake.
Why this turkey casserole is genius:
- You make ahead so there’s no fuss on the 25th
- You get to visit with and enjoy your family
- The dishes are minimal (by the way, this is the casserole dish that I used and LOVE) and these are the mixing bowls I use time and time again
- You STILL get to enjoy every taste of turkey dinner.
If this appeals to you, you’re in luck. My mom never follows a recipe, but for me, she recreated this deliciousness and created a step-by-step recipe for us. Enjoy! Also, if you’re looking for some holiday baking ideas, check out my holiday baking post round-up here!