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8 make-ahead dinners to make your week nights stress free

We’ve rounded up 8 of the best prep-ahead recipes that will make your weeknight dinners quick, easy, and delicious.

Busy weeknights often leave little time for cooking, leading many to opt for quick but often less healthy meal options.

However, with a bit of planning and prep over the weekend, you can enjoy wholesome and delicious dinners throughout the week without sacrificing taste or nutrition.

By prepping meals and ingredients ahead of time, you can streamline your cooking process and make dinnertime stress-free.

In this article, we'll explore eight healthy and easy dinner ideas that you can prep ahead, ensuring you have satisfying meals ready to go when life gets hectic.

Recipe via The Wimpy Vegetarian

Cauliflower Tetrazzini with Poblano Peppers

For a delicious vegetarian dish that will keep in the refrigerator for several days, try this cauliflower tetrazzini. Dishes with creamy sauces (either from sour cream or a healthier yogourt) don’t freeze and reheat well, so this option is great if you’d like the comfort food feeling of a rich pasta bake. Vary the amount of poblano peppers to cater to your family’s taste for spicy food.

Recipe via Land O' Lakes

Mini Turkey Meat Loaves

Meatloaf is a family favourite, but mixing the ingredients and then baking can take a lot of weeknight time. You can make the individual meatloaves in this recipe ahead of time and either refrigerate or freeze. The smaller-sized loaves make thawing and baking faster, too!

Recipe via Food Network

Chicken Fajita Stir-Fry

Stir-fry is a great meal—you can customize the meat, vegetables, and starch to match your family’s preferences—but the prep work can be a burden on busy weeknights. Making this chicken fajita version ahead of time and freezing can almost eliminate your work at dinnertime. Just throw the mix into a freezer bag, then cook on the stovetop when you’re ready to eat.

Recipe via MyRecipe; Photo Credit: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Claire Spollen

Turkey and Vegetable Stew with Whole Grain Biscuits

This delicious stew is a great make-ahead option if you don’t have a crockpot or instant pot for reheating and you don’t want to thaw everything a day before you’re ready to eat. Cook the stew and biscuits ahead of time, then freeze in separate containers. On meal day, pop the stew into the microwave to thaw, then cook on the stovetop for about 20 minutes to finish heating. The biscuits can reheat in the oven in the same amount of time.

Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Stroganoff Sandwiches

These sandwiches are rich and creamy and perfect for colder autumn nights. By prepping the filling ahead of time, you’ll only have to assemble the finished product when it’s dinnertime! For the best results, cook the meat mixture with all ingredients except the sour cream and then freeze. After you’ve thawed overnight, reheat the meat for dinner and add sour cream during this step. Toast the buns for a little bit of added crunch!

Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Bacon and Cheese Quiche

This cheesy, delicious quiche is easy to make ahead of time if you use pre-made pie crust. Bake on the weekend and then freeze individual slices for reheating throughout the week. You can easily add other vegetables to this quiche for a healthier option, as well!

Recipe via Sweet Peas and Saffron

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chicken Curry

This curry is on the sweeter side, so it’s a great option for kids who dislike traditionally strong flavours. Curries taste best when you’ve toasted the spices, onions, and garlic, so prepping this step ahead is a great way to have well-developed flavours on busy nights. Dump everything into a crockpot with some chicken stock to cook all day, and you’ll come home to a delicious meal.

Recipe via 100 Days of Real Food

Easy Homemade Crab Cakes

For a quick burst of protein that you can pair with salad, rice, or pasta on a busy night, make these crab cakes ahead of time and either refrigerate for 1-2 days or freeze. Using canned crab meat is a great option to save time, too! A quick fry on the stovetop and a squeeze of lemon will make this meal taste fresh and decadent.

Take some time this weekend to prep these meals for easy weeknight dinners in the days ahead!