Make-Ahead Meals: Comfort Food Classics

These four recipes keep and stretch well, and they’re always good for round two with a little reheating.

October 30, 2015
make ahead meals

If you’re a nine-to-fiver, making dinner is probably the last thing you want to worry about when you get home, especially if you’ve got a long commute, yoga class after work, and kids to pick up from soccer practice. But that’s exactly why you need healthy, filling meals to keep you going.

Related: What’s Safer: Thawing Meat In Water Or The Microwave?

Instead of resorting to TV dinners, make these meals ahead of time, freeze or refrigerate, and then heat them up in a pinch. With a little creativity, you can even make them stretch for a second night.

veggie chili
Vegetarian Chili

Chili keeps well in the refrigerator, and you can eat it plain or over rice to stretch it out on night two. We love making this recipe in the slow cooker because the house smells so good when we get home in the evening. If you're a meat-lover, make it your own by adding beef or chicken, and serve with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese on top. This dish freezes great, too, so consider cooking ahead of time! 


potato cauliflower casserole
Potato Cauliflower Casserole

Topped with cheese and bacon bits, this recipe is the ultimate comfort food classic. The casserole might take a bit of time to assemble, but you can freeze it right in the baking dish until you’re ready to eat it. Just let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight, and slide it in the oven as soon as you walk in the door. While it’s baking, you can always whip up a side salad, too.

BBQ Beef Brisket And Beans

A classic brisket is an obvious go-to for slow-cooker lovers. This recipe has the right amount of sauce, so it’s always tender and juicy. If you’ve got leftover beef, put it on a roll the next time with your favorite cheese, and pop it under the broiler for a few minutes for a savory sandwich on night two. Or, chop up the leftover beef for a hearty stew with vegetables and noodles. 

Salmon Chowder
Salmon Chowder

We love coming home to this warm, comforting soup. Throw this recipe together over the weekend so all you’ll have to do is heat it up at the end of your busy day. You can even make an extra-big batch and keep half in the freezer for later.