10 Make-Ahead Meals That Are Good for Busy Families

Stews, casseroles, and baked pasta are great make-ahead meals for busy families
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Photo Modified: Flickr / John / CC BY-SA 4.0

Flaky and delicious chicken pot pie recipe.

After a long day at the office, picking up the kids, and shuttling them to soccer practice, the last thing you want to think about is making dinner. You’d rather just lie down and relax, but your family has to eat, right? There’s always take-out, but it's costly and usually unhealthy, so you’re forced to drag yourself into the kitchen and make dinner. Your family probably won’t eat until about nine o’clock, but dinner is on the table eventually, and that’s all that matters.

The Daily Meal is here to take your stress away and get food on the table a little quicker — when you make your meals ahead, you can stop worrying about dinner every night. Yes, some foods taste most delicious when they’re fresh, like fried chicken, seafood, or steak, but there are plenty of tasty meals that you can put together the night before — or even a few days in advance.

Click here for 10 Make-Ahead Meals That Are Good for Busy Families slideshow.

Mac and cheese, meatballs, and pot pies are perfect make-ahead meals. Meatballs are a great example — take your favorite blend of ground beef, roll it into balls, and either bake the meatballs or cook them on the stovetop. If you plan on serving them for dinner the next night, put them in Tupperware, then warm the balls in a sauté pan with pasta sauce when you’re ready to serve. Alternatively, freeze them in a Zip-Lock bag for up to a week.

Don’t sacrifice good home-cooked meals just because you’re busy. Make your meals a few days in advance and rewarm when you’re ready to serve. Intrigued about make-ahead meals? We have 10 recipes to ease your weeknights.

Anytime Turkey Chili

 Photo Modified: Flickr / Scatteredmom / CC BY 4.0

Hearty turkey chili topped with Cheddar.

Turkey is a lean, healthy source of protein that’s great at all times of the year. Try this as an alternative to pork or beef chili. You can make the chili a day in advance and rewarm it on the stove when you get home from work — it’s that easy. For the Anytime Turkey Chili recipe, click here.

Baked Quinoa with Spinach, Red Peppers, and Cheese

Thinkstock / rez-art

Delicious summer quinoa casserole.

For a healthy twist on summer casseroles, bake quinoa with spinach, red peppers, and cheese. It’s perfect for a hot summer evening. Casseroles are great make-ahead meals because you can make them, rewarm them the next day, or put them in the freezer for a later date. For the Baked Quinoa with Spinach, Red Peppers, and Cheese recipe, click here.

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