A Keto Thanksgiving prep-ahead menu and schedule

The first thing I would like to mention is that all of the recipes I make are keto, grain free and sugar free. Secondly, each and every recipe is also intended to be enjoyed by everyone, not just those of us in a keto or low carb lifestyle.

Growing up with a European chef as a mom, I would have the amazing privilege of enjoying the great meals she made from day to day, but her skills really shone for any special occasion. Those special occasions were, in the true sense, a feast. However, there was a down side to all the amazing food she made. My mom would start very early in the morning and basically cook all day for the evening dinner. By the time she finally sat down, she was exhausted. As her eldest child (my siblings were much younger) I had the distinct privilege of washing all the dishes and pots, since we did not have a dish washer. If anyone is aware how a true chef cooks (use utensils only once, not to cross-contaminate) they will understand that there were lots of dishes, cutlery and pots to clean. So for many years I had a love-hate relationship with dinner parties, or formal family meals. So, wanting to have the best of both worlds, the great food and not being in the kitchen all day, and the big mess to clean up, I have tried my best to make planned meals for which I can spread the work and clean up over several days. Here is how I handled my Thanksgiving Dinner this year.  I chose a soup, dessert and a vegetable side dish that could be made over several days. I also made the butter mustard glaze and prepped the ham the night before. We chose to have my Maple Butter and Mustard Ham – Keto, Sugar free, Gluten Free this year instead of a turkey.  On Thanksgiving day, I just took the ham out of the refrigerator and let it get to room temperature, as I made the vegetable side dish. This resulted in minimal work and mess on Thanksgiving day, yet my family and I enjoyed a variety of delicious food, that emphasized the feast of thanks-giving, for all our bounty.

I hope the following mix and match menu ideas will be helpful in your holiday meal prep.

These are the prep-ahead Ideas,  so that you can enjoy a perfect holiday or special occasion dinner with your family and/or guests while also enjoying a relaxing holiday too!

 

Suggestions are as per menu below:

There are several items you can make ahead.

MAIN DISH: All the prep can be done the day before and baked in the oven the day of the dinner. However, the ham can be served cold – made up to 2 days ahead.

DESSERTS:  All of the dessert options can be made 2 days ahead. Just cover to prevent drying out and store in the refrigerator.

SOUP & SALADS: all the suggestions in the menu can be made either one or two days ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator

VEGETABLE SIDE DISHES:  I would suggest that the vegetables be made the same day that they will be served. All the side dishes should be served warm.

 

Suggested Holiday menu options: Choose one or more items from each category:

 

Main course Soup or Salad Options Vegetable side dish

Options

Dessert

Options

Maple Butter and Mustard Glazed Ham

Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup

 

Easy Keto Grilled Zucchini Spears

 

 

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse

 

Keto Roasted Carrot, Squash and Ginger Soup 

 

Celeriac Puree – Keto “mashed potatoes” 

 

Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Cream

 

Keto Cream of Broccoli and Cheese Soup

 

Ratatouille (Pixar Style) – Confit Byaldi

 

Keto Lemon Panna Cotta

 

Italian Bocconcini and Mixed Vegetable Salad

 

Oven Roasted Spring Vegetables

 

Spicy Pumpkin and Hazelnut Cream Custard

 

 

Storage tip for leftover ham:

To store leftover ham on the bone, cover with cling wrap to prevent the ham from drying out and refrigerate. The roast ham will keep for 2-4 days in the fridge. Alternatively, pre-slice the remaining ham and place into freezer bags (separate with sheets of parchment for easy separation). Thaw in the refrigerator and use as desired.

 


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