8 Make-Ahead Meals I’ve Been Relying On!

I’ve been a little quiet these last few weeks without a lot of new recipes to share, and that’s for a reason. Our family has been busy almost every single night since school started a few weeks ago. I honestly don’t like being this busy (chill nights at home can be so nice!), but I know it’ll be short-lived so I’m trying to roll with it.

Between my kids’ practices and games, my own occasional evening tennis matches, and the random parent meeting/orientation that comes up  … I am currently on a new dinner trend. And that’s no longer getting creative with recipes and experimenting with new ideas (to share on the blog!). It’s instead all about what super easy dinner I can make any time of day that my family can eat whenever they have the chance. Never before have I had a season where I find myself repeatedly making dinner at 4:30 PM (or sometimes even earlier) and then just having to leave for the rest of the night so people can eat when they have a moment.

8 images of make-ahead meals.

So today, I thought I’d share a list with some of what I’ve been making and how I’ve been getting homemade dinners to still work, even in the midst of such a busy schedule. (Of course, working from home helps a great deal on the days where I need to get something going really early!). But, no matter how crazy it is for us over the next couple of months, we have continued to stay committed to eating as many real food, wholesome, homemade dinners as possible! That is definitely helped with my sanity a little. Can anyone else relate?

Tuna Poke Bowls

Four Tuna Poke Bowls plated on a table.

Make these in advance, cover with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge.

Tomato Pie

A Tomato Pie in a dish with a bowl of couscous salad on the dinner table.

Make in advance and good at room temp for a couple of hours.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup + Corn Muffins +Slaw

A bowl of Black Bean Soup and a side of corn bread on a table with a glass of water and decorative napkin.

Can all be made well in advance. All three of these recipes are from my 2nd cookbook, Fast and Fabulous (the blue one).

Crab Cakes over Salad with Roasted Potatoes

Crab Cakes being made in a frying pan.

Assemble the crab cakes in the morning or the night before, and fry them in the pan when ready to eat.

Macaroni Casserole with Broccoli

Macaroni Casserole in a baking dish.

Assemble and bake the casserole in advance and reheat individual portions when ready. This recipe is from my first 100 Days of Real Food cookbook (the white one).

Flank Steak Bowls

Flank Steak Taco Bowls plated on the dinner table.

Make and assemble in advance, cover with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge.

White Chicken Chili

A bowl of White Chicken Chili topped with cheese and avocado, with a side of tortilla strips on the side.

Make in advance and reheat individual portions when ready. This recipe is also from my 2nd cookbook, Fast and Fabulous.

Ramen Bowls

Three decorative bowls with homemade ramen on a table.

Make in advance and reheat individual portions when ready.

Also key right now … leftovers! For leftovers to truly work, only double your family’s most favorite recipes or think of easy ways to reinvent leftovers in order to keep them interesting. What sort of meals do you make on nights when you have no time?

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