Our 10 Most Popular Make-Ahead Dinner Recipes

Our 10 Most Popular Make-Ahead Dinner Recipes

Kelli Foster
Sep 2, 2017
(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

I'm a firm believer that make-ahead dinners are one of the very best gifts you can give to your future self. Walking into the kitchen at the end of the day knowing that dinner is prepped, cooked, and just waiting to be reheated feels like a real treat. And not only that, but dinners like chili and braised meats also taste better a day, even two or three, after they're made.

From slow cooker chicken burrito bowls to red lentil soup, these are our 10 most popular make-ahead dinners.

1. Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls

Now this is how to do Taco Tuesday! There is so much to love about this recipe, and the fact that it can be made in advance is just the beginning. With just five minutes of prep time, you're treated a bowl of brown rice, black beans, corn, and shredded chicken, all topped with a layer of melted cheddar before serving.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

2. Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

When you have a recipe like this one by your side, there is no need for takeout. This version of the saucy Indian restaurant favorite hits the table with little effort and proves easy to make ahead when the slow cooker is involved.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

3. Slow-Cooked Brisket and Onions

Add this to your meal plan for next Monday because the beauty of brisket is that it is even better when made ahead of time. Prepare this slow cooker dinner on Sunday, then stash it in the fridge and gently reheat it in the oven before serving.

(Image credit: Coco Morante)

4. Red Lentil Soup

As we move into fall, this is a make-ahead favorite you will definitely want to cozy up with. It's a wholesome, hearty meal that's easy to pull together and immensely comforting. Pair it with a simple salad or a chunk of baguette and dinner is ready.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

5. How To Cook Flank Steak in the Oven

There's a good reason this broiled flank steak is one of our most popular make-ahead dinners: Not only is it ridiculously easy, but its versatility also cannot be beat. When dinner rolls around, slice it up and add it to anything from a quick panzanella salad to tacos (or quesadillas or faijtas) to a stacked sandwich.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

6. Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

When you know you'll be staring down a busy week, this is exactly the sort of meal you want waiting in the fridge to greet you for dinner. Chock-full of shredded chicken, white beans, and lots of veggies and herbs, it's wholesome, nourishing, and, best of all, totally comforting.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

7. Slow-Cooked Boeuf Bourguignon

Bourguignon is a French twist on classic beef stew that sounds super fancy, but when made in the slow cooker it's surprisingly easy. And like many stews, this one is even better when it's made ahead of time.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

8. How To Make the Best Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker

Pulled pork is basically the gift that keeps on giving all week long. It leaves you with a lot of meat, but it is so versatile and easy to repurpose into different types of meals so it doesn't feel like you're eating the same thing day after day.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

9. How To Make Easy Shredded Chicken in the Slow Cooker

Make a batch of shredded chicken on Sunday, and you can head into the week feeling good that easy-to-assemble dinners are on the horizon. Use this mild-mannered meat in everything from tacos and burrito bowls, to soups and salads.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

10. Slow-Cooked Bolognese Sauce

I don't make bolognese nearly as often as I'd like, but when I do I always make a double batch. This meaty sauce holds up well in the fridge, and is ideal for tucking away in the freezer for easy dinners during busy weeks.

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