Especially when you have a busy schedule, it can be tough to make a home cooked meal every night when you get home from work. I’ve learned that it is very easy to plan out delicious and sometimes intricate meals you’ll make when you get home from work each night at the beginning of the week, but it’s tough to actually stick to that plan. The last thing I want to do most nights when I get home is spend the time cooking and then I definitely don’t want to spend the time cleaning.
With that being said, I’ve discovered it is a lot easier to make things ahead of time that simply need to be reheated and cooked through on a weeknight. I’ve gathered some of my favorite make ahead meal recipes that are easy to make, don’t require a ton of ingredients, and that taste great.
Buffalo chicken bake – this is a favorite, especially in the winter. I love it because it is a little bit spicy. I make it ahead of time, cooking it completely, and leave then reheat it in the oven in the next few days when we have it for dinner. It also makes great leftovers for lunch!
Taco bowls – these are a healthy alternative to regular tacos, and the best part is that you can make them ahead of time! I typically make the taco meat ahead of time and chop of most of the veggies the morning of and leave them in little covered prep bowls in the fridge (aside for things like onions that should just be chopped right before). Easy and yummy!
Stuffed peppers – I got this idea from my mom, because she cooks these all the time as a make ahead meal. The best thing about stuffed peppers is that you can sub any meat (ground turkey, ground beef, shredded chicken…) and also sub the other ingredients to suit your tastes. Make the filling ahead of time, stuff the peppers, put them in the fridge, then bake them in the oven before serving and you’re done!
Chili or soup – there are so many soup and chili recipes out there to choose from, and I’m a big fan of these foods – especially in the winter. Many of these can even be made in the crock pot, and then the leftovers can always be frozen afterwards to eat at a later date. I like to make these with cornbread (chili) or homemade Italian herb bread, too!
Making meals ahead of time usually takes some work on Sunday and towards the beginning of the week, but I never regret it when I get home and barely have to lift a finger, but still don’t have the guilt of ordering takeout. Plus, most of these make big servings which allow us to take the leftovers for lunches, which is an added plus.