10 Make-Ahead Meals That Are Good For Busy Families

10 Make-Ahead Meals That Are Good for Busy Families

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. 

Anytime Turkey Chili

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

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.

Make-Ahead Spinach Phyllo Roll-Ups

Keep a few of these roll-ups in the freezer and pop one in the oven whenever you need a quick, easy appetizer. Fast and frozen can still be delicious! For the Make-Ahead Spinach Phyllo Roll-Ups recipe, click here.

Maple-Mustard Baked Chicken

Enjoy this crunchy chicken at home for a family supper. For best flavor, shop for locally raised natural chicken and grade B maple syrup. You can make the chicken the night before, place it in a Tupperware, and rewarm in the oven the next night. For the Maple-Mustard Baked Chicken recipe, click here.

Organic Mac and Cheese

We all know kids love eating mac and cheese, so why not serve them a healthy one and make it a win-win for both parents and kids? This recipe from Chelsea Table's chef David Seigal uses organic ingredients to make a mac and cheese that's nutritious and delicious. For the Organic Mac and Cheese recipe, click here.

Quick Chicken Pot Pie

You can put a delicious pot pie on the table quickly and easily. A combination of cooked chicken, frozen veggies, and creamy herb and garlic soup is topped with biscuit crust and baked to golden perfection. Give it a try; this is comfort food that's sure to become a family favorite! If you want to plan ahead, make the pot pie filling days in advance and bake with the biscuit crust when you're ready to serve. For the Quick Chicken Pot Pie recipe, click here.

Skillet Baked Penne

This baked pasta dish is simple to make and uses just one skillet. It's filled with creamy cheese and al dente pasta. Make this dish the night before and warm it on the stove or in the oven. For the Skillet Baked Penne recipe, click here.

Southwestern Meatballs

Since I love all things spicy, I decided to make Southwestern meatballs. A healthy dose of serrano chiles gives some serious kick. Be careful with them, though — they are typically about five times hotter than jalapeños! I served my meatballs with some whole-wheat pasta and marinara sauce. You can make these a few days in advance, freeze them, and when you are ready to serve, warm them through in the sauce. For the Southwestern Meatballs recipe, click here.

Spinach Salad with Aduki Beans and Tangerine Vinaigrette

To make ahead, simply prepare the vinaigrette and satsumas, pack everything separately, and toss all together just before serving. For an entrée salad, add raw vegetables and double the beans. For the Spinach Salad with Aduki Beans and Tangerine Vinaigrette recipe, click here.

Wheat Berry Salad

Healthy, chewy, fun-to-eat wheat berries are the base for this delicious salad recipe that you can make ahead of time for the week. Try making a batch on a relaxed Sunday afternoon for a lunch you can take to work for the next few days or use as an appetizer for busy weeknights. For the Wheat Berry Salad recipe, click here.