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Make-Ahead Recipes

Looking for more make ahead recipes? Find many more make ahead recipes to make a great dinner, appetizer, or dessert.

Recipe Spotlight

When I made these rich butter cookies for a neighborhood event, one neighbor thought they were so attractive that she kept one in her freezer for the longest time so she could show it to friends and relatives. —Sue Ann Benham, Valparaiso, Indiana
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Nanny's Fruitcake Cookies

Nanny's Fruitcake Cookies

Nanny's Fruitcake Cookies

My grandmother always made a holiday fruitcake. I took her recipe and made it a cookie that’s perfect any time with a cup of tea. —Amanda Digges, South Windsor, Connecticut

Overnight Layered Lettuce Salad

Overnight Layered Lettuce Salad

Overnight Layered Lettuce Salad

This layered salad is a family favorite from a church cookbook I've had for 40 years. The bacon adds a fabulous crunch. —Mary Brehm, Cape Coral, Florida

Icebox Potato Rolls

Icebox Potato Rolls

Icebox Potato Rolls

These melt-away rolls are a family favorite, and we sometimes have more than 20 people around the table. Make the dough in advance and bake when you're ready. —Barb Linnerud, Boiling Springs, South Carolina

More Make-Ahead Recipes

Orange Charlotte

Orange Charlotte

Orange Charlotte

"Mom prepared this light and fluffy citrus dessert whenever Dad grilled outdoors," recalls field editor Sue Gronholz of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. "It gave our meals a fresh-tasting finish!"

Tropical Rainbow Dessert

Tropical Rainbow Dessert

Tropical Rainbow Dessert

Classic ribbon gelatin salad gets an up-to-date makeover with this tropical treatment. Cream of coconut creates the creamy layers in these showstopping parfaits. I like to surprise my nieces and nephews with this Jell-O mold done in neon colors. —Dan Kelmenson, West Bloomfield, Michigan

Summertime Barbecue Sauce

Summertime Barbecue Sauce

Summertime Barbecue Sauce

When my daughter was seven, she would come home from school and eat this sauce by the spoonfuls. Company loves it, too, on pork chops or ribs. Every time I make it, someone asks for the recipe! —Diane C Shipley, Mentor, Ohio
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Frozen Raspberry Delight

Frozen Raspberry Delight

Frozen Raspberry Delight

Light and refreshing, here's a dessert created with busy holiday hostesses in mind. It's easy, lovely, serves a crowd and can be made days ahead for convenience.

Simple Marinated Ribeyes

Simple Marinated Ribeyes

Simple Marinated Ribeyes

When spring comes to our house, out comes the grill! My husband does a great job cooking these steaks to perfection. They taste so terrific, we often have them once a week.—Sonja Kane, Wendell, North Carolina

Holiday Fig Torte

Holiday Fig Torte

Holiday Fig Torte

Meet the Cook: Since we entertain my family - around 25 people - each December, and I do most of the cooking, I appreciate dishes like this I can prepare ahead of time. I'm a home economics teacher...my husband is a teacher, too...and now our daughter, who's in her last year of college, is doing her student teaching! -Judy Trott, Goldsboro, North Carolina

Crusty Homemade Bread

Crusty Homemade Bread

Crusty Homemade Bread

Crackling homemade bread makes an average day extraordinary. Enjoy this beautiful loaf as is, or stir in a few favorites like cheese, garlic, herbs and dried fruits. —Megumi Garcia, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Toffee Caramel Ice Cream Pie

Toffee Caramel Ice Cream Pie

Toffee Caramel Ice Cream Pie

This delicious pie is easy to make and so pretty. It comes together in under 30 minutes and since you can make it in advance, it’s ideal for entertaining. --Diane Lombardo, New Castle, Pennsylvania

Spicy Zucchini Relish

Spicy Zucchini Relish

Spicy Zucchini Relish

I can’t seem to make enough of this zippy, chunky relish. Zucchini creates a nice change of pace from the usual pickle relish, and the assortment of peppers adds a tongue-tingling bite.—Amy Martin, Bellefontaine, Ohio

Walnut Apple Cider Salad

Walnut Apple Cider Salad

Walnut Apple Cider Salad

This cool, refreshing salad with crunchy nuts and apples makes me think of my mother and Thanksgiving. Mom prepared it each year for that holiday since apples were plentiful. She served it in a beautiful cut-glass bowl that belonged to my grandmother. -Jeannette Mack, Rushville, New York

Tomato Chili Dip

Tomato Chili Dip

Tomato Chili Dip

"This fresh-tasting dip is excellent for summer barbecues and picnics," relates Rachael Santarsiero of Orange City, Iowa.

Sesame Sirloin Steak

Sesame Sirloin Steak

Sesame Sirloin Steak

The first time I tried this recipe was years ago when we were going to my in-laws for a Mother's Day dinner. We've made a few adjustments to the original recipe, only improving on the great taste. -Paulette Barnett, Guelph, Ontario

Grilled Flank Steak

Grilled Flank Steak

Grilled Flank Steak

My sister, Kathy, and I often exchange recipes - I give her my desserts, and she gives me her entrees. This recipe is from her, and it's become a favorite of mine for serving to company. The meat and vegetables can be prepared ahead of time...when the company arrives, I just fire up the grill!

Frozen Berry Fluff

Frozen Berry Fluff

Frozen Berry Fluff

"My family loves this cool, refreshing dessert no matter what flavor pie filling I use," Donetta Brunner of Savanna, Illinois comments, "but I must admit raspberry is their favorite."
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