When you feel like cooking, take advantage of your energy and put together a few meals that will feed your family for days. These make ahead meals are easy, delicious, and nutritious.
Make sure that you cool the food you are going to store very quickly. You can use an ice water bath or place the baking dish or skillet in the refrigerator until the food is cold. Then cover or wrap the food well and be sure to label the food so you know what you've got in your treasure trove!
Store the food in the refrigerator, or freeze for longer storage; then all you have to do is heat it. What luxury.
Most casseroles, soups, and marinated meats take very well to this type of cooking. Just be sure that the meats you use are either fully cooked when refrigerated, or not cooked at all. Partially cooking meats then refrigerating them is just asking for trouble. To adapt a recipe that doesn't give you make-ahead instructions, just assemble it up to the final cooking time, then refrigerate. The baking time will be a bit longer when the food is right out of the refrigerator; figure 1/3 more time, but watch carefully in the final minutes!
You could also think about packaging casseroles or soups in individual serving containers, then your busy family can pull out a healthy meal and eat in minutes, whenever they're in the mood. Enjoy.
Make Ahead Meals
- Overnight Lasagna
This delicious recipe is so easy to make. Just pop it in the oven and sit down to a wonderful dinner.
- Pizza Spaghetti Style
This fabulous old-fashioned family recipe is one I make whenever I want something comforting, warm, and so good.
- Chicken Ziti Casserole
Just five ingredients are all you need for this rich and comforting recipe.
- Tuna Alfredo Casserole
Another five ingredient winner! This simple recipe is colorful and delicious.
- Chicken Manicotti
Cubed chicken thighs and cheese are the filling for this delicious main dish recipe.
- Updated Meatball Stew en Casserole
I love this homey recipe and make it often in the winter. You'll love it too.
- Marinated Steak
This simple recipe for a steak marinade is one you'll use all summer long.
- Chili Rice Casserole
I love this easy vegetarian, spicy dish. You could add some cooked chicken or meatballs to it for a heartier dish.
- Overnight Meatball Casserole
And finally, this simple recipe is full of flavor and color, using convenience foods.