Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Favorite Things: Make Ahead Meals

I'm so excited to linking up with The Teaching Trio girls for the Favorite Things Linky!  

This month, I am sharing a few of my favorite make ahead meals.  I have found that I do better eating at home and not grabbing take-out if I cook ahead on Sunday for the week.  This includes packing lunches and making dinners.  

Now, I must tell you...if you are looking for health, whole foods, etc., then move on sister (or brother)!  My favorites are not necessarily the healthiest, however, all good things in moderation, right?

1.  Chicken Noodle Casserole.  This is SO easy to make and reheats really well.  I have little stone crocks with lids that I portion it out in for easy reheating in the oven or microwave.  Here's what you need:

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast (depends on the size)
6 oz. egg noodles
1/4 - 1/2 cup each of diced carrots, onions, and celery (whatever you do, don't leave these veggies out!)
1 small can of your favorite cream of whatever (I like mushroom, but seriously, whatever floats your boat)
1 - 1 1/2 cups sour cream (I don't measure when I make this, but I'm pretty sure I go heavier on the sour cream)
1 sleeve Ritz crackers (or in my case, whatever brand Aldi's carries)
1/2 cup of melted butter

Cook the chicken...I think the original recipe said to poach it...WHATEVER!  I throw those babies in the crockpot on Sunday morning.  Shred or chop up the chicken and set aside.  Cook the egg noodles according to the directions on the package.  In a pan, saut√© the diced veggies.  Season them very lightly as the canned soup has a lot of salt already.  Mix the veggies in with the chicken when cooked.  In a bowl, mix the soup and sour cream together.  Combine the chicken, veggies, noodles, and soup/sour cream mixture together and dump into a 2 quart baking dish (I like to spray mine with cooking spray).  Crush Ritz crackers and sprinkle over the top.  Drizzle butter over the crackers.  Bake at 350 for around 30 minutes.

2.  Crockpot Buffalo Chicken.  This recipe comes from the Frugal Girls and can be found HERE.  I love this one.  I do shred mine up once it is done cooking.  One night I can have it on a bun, another night I may have it on a salad, sometimes for lunch in a, so, SO good!

3.  Cheeseburger Soup. I know the name sounds totally weird, but this soup is so good!!

1 pound ground beef or turkey
¾ cup chopped onion
¾ cup shredded carrots
¾ cup diced celery
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
4 tablespoons butter, divided
3 cups chicken broth
4 cups peeled and diced potatoes
¼ cup all purpose flour
2 cups of Velveeta processed cheese cubed (I used 16 ounces)
cups milk
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ to ½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup sour cream

1.Brown the ground beef in 3 quart saucepan. Drain and set aside.

2.In the same saucepan add 1 T butter and add onion, shredded carrots, parsley flakes, basil and celery. Saute until tender.

3.Add the broth, potatoes and beef and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

4.In small skillet melt remaining butter (3 T) and add the flour. Cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly. Add to the soup and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

5.Stir in the cheese, milk, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat and blend in sour cream.

Do you have any favorite make ahead meals that reheat well??  If so, please share in the comments!  I am always looking for something new.


  1. I LOVE new recipes! I meal plan, so although I don't make anything ahead, just knowing what I'm having for supper saves a lot! Our favourite side dish here are sweet potato fries - cut them up in french fry shape, drizzle with olive oil, season with whatever (I LOVE steak spice on them) and bake for 35 minutes at 400. I have a pan that has holes in it so that the fries crisp up on both sides, but I have also baked these on a cookie sheet without too many issues (you'll just have to flip them halfway through).

    The Purple Teacher

    1. Yummo! I will be making those soon!!! Thank you for sharing.

  2. I love all things buffalo chicken....Thank you for sharing this recipe I am going to have to try it this week! I like to make buffalo chicken shred it up and eat it with tostitos :) I am a huge chip girl and together it is a great snack!

    1. Great's like Buffalo Chicken Nachos! I'm on board with that!!!

  3. Thanks for sharing these recipes. I like recipes that are "real" meals that my kids won't turn up their noses at.

    1. Yay! So glad you like these...I like "real" meals too (obviously)!

  4. Oh my gosh! Cheeseburger soup is awesome. My sister made it once when we were visiting, and I failed to ask for the recipe. I am so glad you posted it. It gave me a great reminder.

  5. I REALLY need some new crock pot recipes! Thanks for the ideas!