I don’t know about you, but after a long day at work, I’m ready to just collapse on the couch with the hope that some magic fairy will pop out from around the corner with a home-cooked meal ready to go on a silver platter. Unfortunately, that hasn’t quite happened yet (though I’m still keeping my fingers crossed!), so I have to make do with finding time to cook the meals I want on my schedule. If I know my week is going to be jam-packed, I’ll cook ahead on Sunday night, so I don’t have to worry about prepping during the week. My life saver? Make-ahead casseroles.
I don’t have a ton of extra room in my freezer, especially living with my roommate, so freezing casseroles ahead of time can be a bit of a challenge since they can be a bit bulky. I did learn a helpful secret, however, to make sure I’m not taking up an entire shelf on my own. Before putting ingredients in your casserole dish, line it with aluminum foil. Pop the dish into your freezer just until it’s frozen solid. Remove the bakeware from the freezer and pop out the aluminum foil insert. Wrap up your frozen block and return that to the freezer until you’re ready to cook it. Not only does it save a ton of room, but you get to use your casserole dish for other things, like making our mega popular King Ranch Casserole.
If I make a casserole dish on Sunday night, I can usually eat the leftovers at lunch throughout the rest of the week. I’m a big pasta fan—a week doesn’t go by without at least one plate of mac ‘n’ cheese—so I love trying casseroles that have different pasta variations, like Mom’s Tuna Noodle Casserole. (The potato chip topping is a fun touch!)
If you’re more into chicken than seafood, then I recommend checking out our Make-Ahead Chicken. It’s got practically everything you could ever want in a single dinner: chicken, noodles, veggies, and CHEESE! Seriously, put cheese on just about anything, and you’re guaranteed to have someone in your household salivating just around the corner.
Make-ahead casseroles come in handy especially during spring and summer. If you see that you’ve got a spring potluck coming up, prep a vegetable dish, like our Chopped Broccoli Casserole, ahead of time and throw it in the freezer until you need it. That way, you don’t have to worry about chopping and washing dishes when you’re running around that morning.
We’ve got plenty of other fantastic make-ahead casseroles for you to check out to in our recipe collection, Best Make-Ahead Casseroles: 10 Frozen Casserole Recipes You Need. Whether you’re trying to backlog dinners for the month or you’ve got a busy spring and summer ahead, it’s always useful to have a few make-ahead casserole recipes handy. We’ve even thrown in a few helpful freezing tips to help your casserole become the star of the show.
Do you like to cook dinner ahead of schedule? Tell us about it in the comments below!