Party Menu: A Make-Ahead Meal You Can Cook the Day Before

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Or two days before, if you need to. All of these dishes are flexible and actually benefit from sitting around in the fridge for a bit. The lineup: tacos, slaw, sorbet. You can make them the day before the party or the morning of—either way, all you have to do to serve dinner is pull out some tortillas and pour one of these.

This is the perfect menu for a party when you’ll be out all day or rushing home from work. It is literally zero-prep. We’re giving you three recipes for each part of the meal. Pick and choose what sounds good to you!

For the main dish… Tender, shredded taco meat is one of the most foolproof dishes we know. You can make it in the slow-cooker or on low heat in the oven, and it keeps and freezes beautifully. Buy some tortillas, sour cream, salsa, cilantro, and maybe a can of black beans. Put everything in pretty bowls, and you’re set.

For the side… Slaw goes great with tacos; you can serve it on the side or pile it into the tortilla. It’s colorful, healthy, and keeps for at least a day or two.

And for dessert… Sorbet—any ice cream, obviously—is a no-brainer for a good make-ahead sweet. It’s refreshing after a spicy meal, and you can buy some simple shortbread or a bar of good chocolate to serve with it.

• 4. Crunchy Peanut Slaw
• 5. Tri-Color Slaw with Lime Dressing
• 6. Broccoli Slaw (We think this would be delicious stuffed into a soft taco, but you could also use toasted pepitas instead of almonds if that sounds more taco-ish.)

• 7. Irresistible Clementine Sherbet
• 8. Strawberry and Honey Sorbet
• 9. Almond Berry Sorbet

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