Thanksgiving is an incredibly stressful day, generally involving one person who’s trying to cook a spread for a dozen hungry family members. It doesn’t get much more stressful than that. But there are some clever shortcuts to make this day a little more enjoyable for you.

The best way to take off some of that turkey day pressure? By preparing some dishes in advance. The worst thing you can do is leave too much to be done on Thanksgiving morning; this can overwhelm even the most advanced cook.

While some dishes can’t really be prepped weeks in advance (the turkey, for instance), there are some parts of the meal that are best made in advance. Mainly, your amazing desserts!

Pies, in particular, are extremely easy to make ahead of time and will keep good for weeks at a time, depending on how you package them. America’s Test Kitchen demonstrates this fool proof way to keep a pie fresh for up to a month on our favorite kind of pie, pecan pie.

How To Keep a Pecan Pie Fresh

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  1. Pour the pecan pie filling into a pre-made pie crust.
  2. Stick it in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to harden.
  3. Remove the pie from the freezer and wrap it in one layer of plastic wrap and a tight layer of tin foil.
  4. The pie can go back in the freezer for up to a month.
  5. On Thanksgiving Day, you can remove the pie from the freezer and cook it as you would. Make sure to bake the pie for 30 minutes longer than the recipe requires.


This is a brilliant way to prepare for Thanksgiving! It might seem a little crazy to be prepping Thanksgiving Day food a month in advance, but you’ll be glad you did when you’re trying to mash potatoes, baste a turkey, and dress a salad all at once. At least you can rest assured knowing that your delicious desserts are sitting in the freezer, ready to be baked.

Any small relief from this day of mayhem is a welcome one!

Unfortunately, this technique doesn’t work on all types of pieces. The texture of pumpkin pie, for instance, doesn’t keep well when stored for a long period of time. Pecan pie (besides being delicious) has the perfect consistency for this freezing technique.

What do you think of this method? Will this help take some of the Thanksgiving stress off of you? Share your thoughts, and any Thanksgiving tips you swear by, in the comments section below.