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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

It's believed the Greeks served cheesecake at the first Olympics, so why not rewrite history with a Greek cheesecake appetizer? Ingredients in this version "tame" the Kalamata olives, so even if you shy away from Kalamatas, you'll be glad you tried this one. For a milder flavor, use the more common black or green olives. —Theresa Kreyche, Tustin, California
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Roasted Banana & Pecan Cheesecake

Roasted Banana & Pecan Cheesecake

Roasted Banana & Pecan Cheesecake

We keep bananas on hand, but with just two of us in the house they ripen faster than we can eat them. That makes them perfect for roasting and baking into this cheesecake with a nutty crust. —Patricia Harmon, Baden, PA

Bagel Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

Bagel Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

Bagel Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

I worked in a health club where bagels arrived daily, so I experimented with leftovers. I wasn’t a bread pudding fan until I tried it with bagels. —Kathy Hawkins, Ingleside, IL

Roasted Fresh Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted Fresh Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted Fresh Pumpkin Seeds

I learned how to roast pumpkin seeds from my mother, who learned it from her mother. Keep an eye on the seeds so they don’t scorch. —Margaret Drye, Plainfield, NH

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Chili & Cheese Ham Strata

Chili & Cheese Ham Strata

Chili & Cheese Ham Strata

Don’t you just love it when you find a holiday recipe that can be folded into the everyday repertoire? This strata, layered with sourdough, cheddar and savory ham, is egg-cellent for Easter but just as wonderful for any other brunch! —Theresa Kreyche, Tustin, California

Not-Fried Ice Cream Cake

Not-Fried Ice Cream Cake

Not-Fried Ice Cream Cake

We created this ice cream cake to mimic the popular dessert in many Mexican restaurants without the deep frying. It’s a no-fuss treat that feeds a crowd. Plus, it’s conveniently made ahead. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Lemon Rice Salad

Lemon Rice Salad

Lemon Rice Salad

This refreshing salad is wonderful served year-round. I have taken it to potluck suppers and made it for family barbecues, picnics and dinner parties. People seem to enjoy the combination of flavors in this dish. I like that it can be made ahead and still taste like I really fussed. -Margery Richmond, Lacombe, Alberta
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Bagel Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

Bagel Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

Bagel Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

I worked in a health club where bagels arrived daily, so I experimented with leftovers. I wasn’t a bread pudding fan until I tried it with bagels. —Kathy Hawkins, Ingleside, IL

Norwegian Coleslaw

Norwegian Coleslaw

Norwegian Coleslaw

This tasty recipe was give to me by a friend whose ancestors were from Norway. I especially enjoy bringing this salad dish to family get-togethers since I can make it days ahead. A pint of it also makes a nice gift.

Sesame Beef 'n' Veggie Kabobs

Sesame Beef  'n' Veggie Kabobs

Sesame Beef 'n' Veggie Kabobs

This is a favorite with my entire familyChalk it up to the fact that this recipe delivers great flavor, tender chunks of meat and a presentation as pretty as a picture! Frances Klingemann-Omaha, Nebraska

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

Roasted Banana & Pecan Cheesecake

Roasted Banana & Pecan Cheesecake

Roasted Banana & Pecan Cheesecake

We keep bananas on hand, but with just two of us in the house they ripen faster than we can eat them. That makes them perfect for roasting and baking into this cheesecake with a nutty crust. —Patricia Harmon, Baden, PA

Popcorn Candy Cake

Popcorn Candy Cake

Popcorn Candy Cake

This fun cake's made of popcorn. It's sweetened with gumdrops and miniature marshmallows, so kids loves it!—Roberta Uhl, Summerville, Oregon

Turkey Lime Kabobs

Turkey Lime Kabobs

Turkey Lime Kabobs

My husband loves to grill these deliciously different turkey kabobs, and everyone gets a kick out of the zingy taste from the limes and jalapenos. Its tongue-tingling combination of flavors makes this one company dish that always draws compliments.

Two-Grain Yeast Rolls

Two-Grain Yeast Rolls

Two-Grain Yeast Rolls

Our weekly menu features these homemade oatmeal-potato rolls at least once. Depending on the meal, I may sprinkle them with cinnamon and brown sugar or brush on garlic butter. The possibilities are endless.

Cheese-Filled Shortbread Tartlets

Cheese-Filled Shortbread Tartlets

Cheese-Filled Shortbread Tartlets

Bite-size treats are a nice addition to a dessert buffet. You can store cooled, baked tart shells in an airtight container at room temperature overnight or in the freezer for a few weeks.

Cajun Gazpacho

Cajun Gazpacho

Cajun Gazpacho

Horseradish, spices and slightly sweet balsamic vinegar give this gazpacho its Cajun flair. Served chilled, it’s one of the best starters you can have in the heat of the summer.—Denise Klibert, Shreveport, Louisiana

Homemade Banana Split Ice Cream

Homemade Banana Split Ice Cream

Homemade Banana Split Ice Cream

Summer celebrations with my family aren't complete until I dish out tasty homemade ice cream. This recipe from my mom is a favorite.
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