Make-Ahead Sandwiches Recipe

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"I developed these 'fun buns' about 20 years ago when our four children were preteens," explains Marie Hass from Madison, Wisconsin. "Once they started high school, I kept some in the freezer for quick suppers when after-school activities kept them from eating with the rest of the family."
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
MAKES:12 servings
Quick Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup chopped dill or sweet pickles
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 12 hot dog buns, split

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 each) equals 295 calories, 12 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 49 mg cholesterol, 908 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 18 g protein.


  1. In a large saucepan, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the ketchup, pickles, salt, pepper, garlic powder and pepper sauce; heat through. Stir in cheese.
  2. Place about 1/3 cupful on six buns; serve immediately. Cover and refrigerate remaining meat mixture until cool.
  3. Fill the remaining buns; wrap individually in heavy-duty foil and seal tightly. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  4. To use frozen sandwiches: Bake in foil at 400° for 30-35 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 1 dozen.
Originally published as Make-Ahead Sandwiches in Quick Cooking September/October 1998, p35

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Reviewed Nov. 22, 2009

"So easy and great to have in the freezer. Love how crispy the buns are when baked in the foil. My husband general doesn't like pickles, but he loved these! I used dill pickles."

Reviewed Aug. 13, 2009

"I'm gonna use burger buns, can't wait to make them."

Reviewed May. 21, 2009

"These sound great for Memorial Day!


Reviewed May. 20, 2009

"These were so easy to make and my whole family loved them. Next time I will definately make a double batch so I can try freezing some since we had hardly any leftovers! YUMMY!!"

Reviewed Apr. 9, 2009

"These are great!! Easy to make and when you take them out of the freezer and cook them they are just as good!! We will make more of these to keep on hand for busy nights!!"

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