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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

Easy Texas BBQ Brisket

Mom came to visit and told me my brisket was even better than the version we used to eat back in Texas. Use the leftovers for sandwiches and tacos. —Audra Rorick, Blanca, Colorado
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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

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

Creole Shrimp & Crab Cheesecake

Creole Shrimp & Crab Cheesecake

Creole Shrimp & Crab Cheesecake

We live on the beach and love to eat seafood. A stay-at-home mom, I also love to experiment in the kitchen. I came up with this savory spread as a special appetizer.—Christy Hughes, Sunset Beach, North Carolina

More Make-Ahead Recipes

Two-Cheese Tossed Salad

Two-Cheese Tossed Salad

Two-Cheese Tossed Salad

Colorful, hearty ingredients and a delectable dressing make second helpings of this salad hard to resist. Cottage cheese is an unusual but tasty addition. I never have to worry about storing leftovers. -Barbara Birk, American Fork, Utah

Grilled Ginger Pork Tenderloin

Grilled Ginger Pork Tenderloin

Grilled Ginger Pork Tenderloin

Michelle Sanders of Fraser Lake, British Columbia says that this pork tenderloin is absolutely delicious and great for entertaining. Why? The quick prep is done ahead of time, and the grilling is so simple. "This dish is fool-proof!” she adds.

Toffee Truffle Cheesecake

Toffee Truffle Cheesecake

Toffee Truffle Cheesecake

I combined two of my favorite cheesecake recipes and added the delicious homemade caramel sauce for a cheesecake that's now my favorite! —Hannah Halstead, Blair, Nebraska
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Colorful Bacon & Egg Bake

Colorful Bacon & Egg Bake

Colorful Bacon & Egg Bake

Whip this tasty breakfast casserole up the night before to make the morning meal a snap. Our Test Kitchen uses peppers, bacon and cheese to lend home-style appeal.

Fruit Salad with Citrus Yogurt Sauce

Fruit Salad with Citrus Yogurt Sauce

Fruit Salad with Citrus Yogurt Sauce

Making this fruit salad the night before gives me one less thing to think about during the rush of gift opening on Christmas morning. —Wanda Peterson, Lindsay, Ontario

Easy Festive Fruit Salad

Easy Festive Fruit Salad

Easy Festive Fruit Salad

As colorful as the leaves on the autumn trees, this fruit salad disappears fast down to the last spoonful. The light dressing doesn't hide the refreshing flavors of the fruit. Pecans add crunch and the rich flavor of the harvest season. -Julianne Johnson, Grove City, Minnesota

Marinated Vegetable Salad

Marinated Vegetable Salad

Marinated Vegetable Salad

This recipe is so versatile because you can use whatever vegetables you family prefers. It's a nice change from typical mayonnaise-based salads. —Rita Wagers, Emporia, Kansas

Perky Parsleyed Tomatoes

Perky Parsleyed Tomatoes

Perky Parsleyed Tomatoes

"I was given this delightful recipe many years ago by my mother with a notation, 'Oh, so good!'", says Marie Melchert from Las Vegas, Nevada. "You can make it ahead, and it is so attractive."

Holiday Salsa

Holiday Salsa

Holiday Salsa

You know it’s an amazing salsa when your guests hover around the serving bowl ’til it’s scraped clean! This boasts fresh cilantro, cranberries and just a hint of heat. —Shelly Pattison, Lubbock, Texas

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.

Strawberry Sundae Sauce

Strawberry Sundae Sauce

Strawberry Sundae Sauce

“My husband and kids simply love this recipe over their ice cream! It may also be used in banana splits. If you choose not to use liqueur, replace 1-1/2 cups of the mashed strawberries with 1-1/2 cups mashed raspberries instead.” Peggy Townsend - Florence, Colorado

Flavorful Beef Brisket

Flavorful Beef Brisket

Flavorful Beef Brisket

A memorable part of my wedding day was the supper my mom prepared. This moist fork-tender brisket is a popular entree hearty appetites appreciate.

Frosty Lemon Pie

Frosty Lemon Pie

Frosty Lemon Pie

Meet the Cook: This pie is a nice light and refreshing finish to a summer picnic or patio supper. I like that it can be made ahead. Married for 35 years, I've always enjoyed cooking. We have two grown sons and three small granddaughters. -Judith Wilke, Dousman, Wisconsin

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!"
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