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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

Here's a gift that has bite! Include a festive tag that lists serving suggestions. For example, the spicy beer mustard is great with pretzels or as a condiment for bratwurst. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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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

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

Brenda's Baked Beans

Brenda's Baked Beans

Brenda's Baked Beans

When I was a kid, my mom made baked beans all the time. Sometimes we'd turn this side into a main dish by adding sliced hot dogs. —Brenda Brooks, Bowie, MD

More Make-Ahead Recipes

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

Peach-Blueberry French Toast

Peach-Blueberry French Toast

Peach-Blueberry French Toast

Our most-requested dish, this golden brown custard is stuffed with fresh peaches and blueberries. The toast has a crunchy outer crust and soft custard center. My own caramel sauce provides a sinful start to the day.

Always-Tender Roasted Turkey

Always-Tender Roasted Turkey

Always-Tender Roasted Turkey

For years I prepared my Thanksgiving turkey only to have it turn out dry. That's when I decided to give this recipe a try. Baking the bird in an oven bag keeps it moist and tender...and there's no basting involved.—Shirley Bedzis, San Diego, California
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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

Robust Marinated Steak

Robust Marinated Steak

Robust Marinated Steak

"Any time is a good time to fire up the grill and toss on a steak that has soaked up this great marinade," notes Betty Ann Ewert of Arlington, Minnesota. "One of our stock car racing buddies came up with the recipe, and we use it often."

Overnight Salad

Overnight Salad

Overnight Salad

A co-worker shared this recipe with me several years ago. It's never failed to be a hit when I serve it at a brunch or take it to a picnic or potluck. An added advantage is the fact you make it the day before - one less thing to worry about if you're entertaining or need to bring a "dish to pass" somewhere.

Peppermint Freezer Pie

Peppermint Freezer Pie

Peppermint Freezer Pie

Refreshing peppermint ice cream plus fudgy chocolate plus fluffy meringue equals the perfect pie for the holidays! Kelli Bucy of Red Oak, Iowa shares this lovely dessert that's become a Christmas tradition. You can make and freeze the pie well in advance.

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

Savory Marinated Mushroom Salad

Savory Marinated Mushroom Salad

Savory Marinated Mushroom Salad

Packed with mushrooms and loads of crunchy colorful ingredients, this salad is perfect at picnics and parties. It keeps so well in the refrigerator you can easily make it ahead of time. -Sandra Johnson, Tioga, Pennsylvania

Chocolate Eclair Delight

Chocolate Eclair Delight

Chocolate Eclair Delight

It's amazing how the layers soften overnight into a cake-like texture. Just before serving this dessert, I like to dust the top with cocoa. —Agnes Ward, Stratford, Ontario



Curried Three-Bean Salad

Curried Three-Bean Salad

Curried Three-Bean Salad

Cumin and curry powder give this chilled three-bean salad terrific zip. "I get a lot of compliments on it," says Howie Wiener, Spring Hill, Florida. Not only does it come together quickly, but at 70 cents a serving, it's economical, too.

Italian Subs

Italian Subs

Italian Subs

Olive lovers are sure to rejoice over this stacked sandwich! Delores Christner from Spooner, Wisconsin marinates stuffed and ripe olives in white wine vinegar and garlic before using them to flavor these speedy salami, ham and provolone subs.

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

Fruit-Filled Raspberry Ring

Fruit-Filled Raspberry Ring

Fruit-Filled Raspberry Ring

People love this fruity gelatin ring that gets extra flavor from an ambrosia-like mixture in the center. I've been bringing it to potlucks, buffets and showers for 20 years. While it looks like you fussed, it's easy to make the night before a special occasion. -Janice Steinmetz, Somers, Connecticut
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