Wanted: Make ahead recipes

nightnurse1968August 19, 2007

I have house guests coming next weekend (Thursday-Monday nights) and we will be out and about sightseeing while they are here. I'd like to have 2-3 meals pre-done or at least prepped and quick to throw together for when we come home in the evening. I suspect we will eat out at least 2 of those nights and probably barbecue another. Anybody care to share your favorite make ahead recipes? Nothing too complicated. These are not "gourmet" type people. Thanks so much in advance!


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If you have a crockpot, these first two can be made ahead & then reheated the day you want to serve. The third is a quick to make recipe.

2 cups water
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 whole peppercorns
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp garlic powder (had none so used 1 minced garlic clove)
3 lb boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed
8 French or sourdough rolls, split

Combine water, soy sauce, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme & garlic in a slow cooker, stirring until well blended. Place roast in cooker & cover.
Cook on high for 5-6 hours or until beef is tender. Remove meat from broth & shred with a fork. Serve beef on rolls. Pour broth in small bowls for dipping.~~ Good topped with Swiss cheese or sauteed onions, peppers or both. I like mustard on the rolls, too.~~

One 3-4 lb roast beef (rump roast or sirloin tip)
1 jar pepperochini peppers, juice & all
1 can beer
1 can beef bouillon
Combine all ingredients in a large crockpot. Cook on high 30 minutes; reduce heat to low. Cook until beef is tender. For supper, start cooking before work. If you want it for luch cook at bedtime.)
Remove meat from juices, slice thinly & return to pot. Serve on hoagie buns & dip sandwiches in juice.~~

And this one takes no time to put together:
8 small boneless chicken breasts
16 oz can sauerkraut
4 slices Swiss cheese
8 oz Thousand Island salad dressing
1 TBL chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 375°. In a 9x13" baking dish arrange chicken breasts in 1 layer. Rinse sauerkraut & press out water. Cut cheese slices. Sprinkle sauerkraut on chicken breasts. Top w/dressing & cheese. Bake 40 minutes covered or until tender. Garnish w/parsley.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 4:53PM
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Melt in Your Mouth Chicken Pie

1 fryer, cooked, meat taken off bones, cut in bite-sized pieces
2 hard-boiled eggs
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, melted
fresh ground black pepper

Heat oven to 375 F. Grease a 9x113 casserole. Put chicken in the bottom of the casserole. Top with sliced eggs. Bring broth and soup to a boil in a saucepan. Pour over chicken and eggs. In a bowl combine the flour, buttermilk, butter, and pepper. Mix well. Pour over chicken/sauce. Bake 45 minutes at 375F.

Serve with a green vegetable or salad and don't forget the cranberry sauce.

Freezer Stash Meatballs

3 lb.s lean ground beef
1 1/2 c. soft bread crumbs
3 eggs
6 TB minced onion
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper

Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl mix all ingredients together. Shape into 1 1/2 inch meatballs. Arrange in 2 large shallow baking pans. Bake in preheated oven until meat is browned with no trace of pink and juices run clear, 10-13 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Let cool to room temperature, Store one day in frig or longer in freezer.
Makes 48 meatballs to serve 8.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Heat 12 oz. grape jelly and 1 bottle chili sauce in a saucepan until jelly is melted. Add in meatballs, let them heat 15-20 minutes in sauce on low. Serve over cooked rice. You may add some dried onion soup mix to the sauce at the beginning, but I don't like a whole package as it is too strong.

Meatball Hoagies
Simmer cooked meatballs in Preggo spaghetti sauce (or your favorite brand of sauce). Put on toasted hoagie rolls, top with grated mozzarella cheese. Serve with fresh veggie sticks and a dip for a quick dinner.

Green Chile Enchiladas

1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
3/4 c. finely chopped onion
1 TB chili powder
8 to 12 flour tortillas
3 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 c. sour cream
1 small can chopped green chiles

Brown ground beef with onion. Drain fat off. Stir in chili powder, s&p. Spoon meat mixture and some grated cheese on each tortilla. Roll up, put in a greased baking dish. Combine soup, sour cream, and green chiles, spoon over enchiladas. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes, top with more cheese, bake 10 minutes more.

Can be made ahead and frozen. Thaw completely before final baking.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 6:59PM
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Make sure the chicken mixture is completely covered by the stuffing so it doesn't dry out. The stuffing gets crunchy and is delicious. I adapted this recipe from many other chicken casserole recipes so I'm guessing at the amount of Worcestershire, garlic powder, paprika...I just start sprinkling (we like a little "zip" in the soup sauce). This is a very forgiving casserole when company arrives a little late. If you can find frozen cranberries, the cranberry "salad" is wonderful (have no idea why it's called salad but it is the best cranberry sauce I've ever had).

Chicken Casserole w/ Crunchy Top

Make Topping First:

Two boxes of Stove Top stuffing (herbal or chicken)
1 tablespoon of minced celery leaves
1 tablespoon of minced parsley

Follow directions for making the stuffing. Just before pouring the stuffing mix into the boiling water, add the butter, minced celery leaves and minced parsley. Let stuffing cool. (If making a day ahead, place cooked stuffing in storage container and refrigerate).


3 chicken breasts, poached, cut into bite size pieces
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 mild white onion, chopped
2 cans cream of celery soup
1 soupcan filled with milk (or Half & Half or combination)
1 cup of mayonnaise
Dash of garlic powder
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Dash of hot sauce (optional)
Dash of paprika
salt & pepper to taste

In a 9 x 13" casserole dish place chicken pieces, celery slices and chopped onion.

In large bowl blend soup, milk, mayonnaise. Add garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce (if desired), paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over chicken mixture in casserole dish.

Cover chicken mixture completely with stuffing and sprinkle paprika over the stuffing. Bake uncovered at 350 for one hour.

Cranberry "Salad"

1-1/2 cups water
1 lb bag of cranberries (can use frozen)
Bring water to a boil. Add cranberries and simmer 8-10 minutes or until they pop.

Add to cooked cranberries:

2 cups sugar
1 cup crushed pineapple
1 seeded orange, separated & chopped
2 tablespoons grated orange peel
1/2 cup orange marmalade

Simmer mixture for 20 minutes. Let cool. Add 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 4:01PM
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Thanks all for the great suggestions and recipes! I will be going to the grocery store tomorrow after work then whipping a couple of things up so I will take all under great consideration!! I think I'm leaning towards one of the chicken dishes. Either way I will be saving all of these for future reference. I made spaghetti tonight, and a really great soup this weekend. I made enough to put some aside for the weekend so I do have a bit of a head start. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 2:04AM
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