The Best-Make Ahead Dinners of 2017

The Best-Make Ahead Dinners of 2017

Kelli Foster
Dec 26, 2017
(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

For anyone who has a busy schedule — which, let's face it, is all of us — make-ahead meals feel like a total savior. With some upfront prep, you can feel good walking in the door at the end of a long day knowing that dinner is prepped, cooked, and just needs to be heated. And then there are those recipes that taste even better on the second or third day after the flavors have had a chance to really meld.

From chili and burrito bowls, to take-out inspired meals and casseroles, these recipes were the best make-ahead meals in 2017.

1. How To Make Slow Cooker Fajitas

Add these hands-off chicken fajitas to your Sunday meal prep, and you have a leg up on Monday night's dinner. What a way to start the week!

(Image credit: Guy Ambrosino)

2. Vegan Slow Cooker Chickpea Tikka Masala

With a little upfront work, this vegan tikka masala cooks all day while you work, and rewards you with a hearty meal better than takeout. It makes a lot, which means you've also got lunch figured out for a couple days.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

3. Slow Cooker Vegan Lentil Chili

Lentils are the perfect candidate for a meat-free chili. They cook up earthy and meaty, and there's no browning or precooking necessary.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

4. Easy Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowls

If you're starting with a whole head of cauliflower, get a head start by ricing it, and even cooking it, along with the beans and corn, a day in advance. When dinner rolls around, all that's left to do is reheat and dig in.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

5. Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad

This salad is even better when made in advance, and the fresh, tangy flavors of the dressing have ample time to work their way into the quinoa and veggies.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

6. Make-Ahead Chicken and Veggie Chopped Salad

Add this salad to your next Sunday meal prep session. The vinaigrette will easily keep for a week, and you can count on the chopped veggies to stay fresh for several days.

(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

7. Dill Pickle Chicken

If you make a habit of saving leftover pickle juice, good for you! If not, these chicken thighs are all the convincing you'll need. Brined in the leftover juice, they're infused with a bright and tangy, lightly spiced aroma that's totally irresistible.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

8. The Best Pesto Chicken Salad

If you struggle with lunch prep, you'll want to get this make-ahead recipe on your radar. It'll keep for several days in the fridge, so add it to your Sunday meal prep routine, and boom — you've got lunch for the week.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

9. Slow Cooker Honey Teriyaki Chicken

Since this recipe has the option to cook up in just an hour or two (super quick for the slow cooker!), I like to make it a day ahead, then reheat it and cook up a pot of rice the following night.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

10. Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Here's one to keep on the sidelines for those nights you know you won't have time for dinner prep. The whole thing can be made in advance, stashed in the fridge, then popped in the oven right before dinner.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

11. Slow Cooker Pork and Cider Stew

I didn't think this savory-sweet stew could possibly get any better — then I tasted the leftovers. Next time I cook it, I plan to make it a day in advance so the flavors have even more time to mingle together.

moving--truck moving--dates moving--dolly moving--house moving--cal Created with Sketch. moving--apt