97 Freezer Meals That Are Ready When You Are

Updated: May 14, 2024

Soups, stews, sandwiches, casseroles, main dishes, quick bites ... with these great freezer meals prepped and waiting, a delicious, homemade meal is always at your fingertips.

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Bacon Tortellini Bake

I stirred up this easy tortellini bake and figured if we all like it, others might, too. Broccoli and bacon add color and crunch to this creamy casserole. —Amy Lents, Grand Forks, North Dakota
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New England Lamb Bake

This dish is hearty and perfect for warming up on a chilly winter evening. The aroma is almost as delightful as the dish itself. —Frank Grady, Fort Kent, Maine
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Greek Tomato Soup with Orzo

My recipe for manestra, which means orzo in Greek, is effortless and very easy to make. You need only a few steps to transform simple ingredients into a creamy one-pot wonder. —Kiki Vagianos, Melrose, Massachusetts
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Macaroni and Cheese with Chicken

Prep once and feed the family twice when you double this chicken mac and cheese and freeze half of it. I created it for the people I love most, using ingredients they love most. —Angela Spengler, Tampa, Florida
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Mini Pork Pies

As a child, I discovered my love of pork pies. I used to help my father deliver oil on Saturdays, and we would stop at a local place to have the meaty pastries for lunch. —Renee Murby, Johnston, Rhode Island
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Chicken and Swiss Stuffing Bake

I love to cook but just don't have much time. This casserole is both comforting and fast, which makes it my favorite kind of recipe. I serve it with a green salad. —Jena Coffey, Sunset Hills, Missouri
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Crispy Sriracha Spring Rolls

While in the Bahamas, friends suggested a restaurant that served amazing chicken spring rolls. When I got home, I created my own version. Such a great appetizer to have waiting in the freezer! —Carla Mendres, Winnipeg, Manitoba
8 / 96

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

A beloved Mexican dish gets a spoon-friendly spin in this slow cooker chicken enchilada soup— it's hearty, cozy and suited for groups or quiet weeknights.
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Bavarian Pot Roast

Since all my grandparents were German, it's no wonder that so many Bavarian recipes have been handed down to me. Because the Midwest has such a large German population, I feel this recipe represents the area well. —Susan Robertson, Hamilton, Ohio
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Classic Crab Cakes

Our region is known for good seafood, and crab cakes are a traditional favorite. I learned to make them from a chef in a restaurant where they were a bestseller. The crabmeat's sweet and mild flavor is sparked by the blend of other ingredients. —Debbie Terenzini, Lusby, Maryland
11 / 96

Sausage Manicotti

This classic Italian entree comes together in a snap but tastes as if it took hours. It's so tasty and easy to fix. My family always enjoys it. —Carolyn Henderson, Maple Plain, Minnesota
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Chipotle Chili Sloppy Joes

My husband didn't like sloppy joes until he tried my rendition with its smoky heat. If you need to dial down the fiery zip, cut down on or eliminate the peppers. —Brittany Allyn, Mesa, Arizona
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Jamaican-Style Beef Stew

This delicious stew makes a hearty supper with a lighter touch. The leaner cut of meat, herbs and seasonings and fresh vegetables make it so flavorful, you'll want another bowl! —James Hayes, Ridgecrest, California
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Black Bean Turkey Enchiladas

My best friend and I created this recipe together because we wanted a meal that’s easy to prepare, affordable and nutritious. We both have hectic schedules, so when we’re feeling crunched for time, it’s a relief to have these wholesome enchiladas waiting for us in the freezer. —Holly Baber, Seattle, Washington
15 / 96

Barbecue Pork and Penne Skillet

I'm the proud mother of wonderful and active children. Simple, delicious and quick meals like this BBQ pork skillet are perfect for us to enjoy together after school activities, especially if I have leftover pulled pork. —Judy Armstrong, Prairieville, Louisiana
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Bacon-Cheddar Potato Croquettes

Instead of throwing out leftover mashed potatoes, use them to make this potato croquette recipe. The little baked balls are yummy with ranch dressing, barbecue sauce or Dijon mayonnaise for dipping. —Pamela Shank, Parkersburg, West Virginia
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Tart Cranberry Chicken

My husband loves chicken when it’s nice and moist, as in this autumn recipe. I serve it over hot rice with a salad and warm rolls. The ruby red sauce has a wonderful sweet-tart flavor. —Dorothy Bateman, Carver, Massachusetts
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Scalloped Sweet Corn Casserole

This is my Grandma Ostendorf's corn recipe I grew up enjoying. Now a grandmother myself, I still serve this comfy, delicious side as a family classic. —Lonnie Hartstack, Clarinda, Iowa
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Moroccan Empanadas

My family goes for Moroccan flavors, so I make empanada pastries using beef and apricot preserves. It's a flaky hand pie with a spicy dipping sauce. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois
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White Bean Chicken Chili

My sister shared this white bean chicken chili recipe with me. I usually double it and add one extra can of beans, then serve with cheddar biscuits or warmed tortillas. The jalapeno adds just enough heat to notice but not too much for my children. —Kristine Bowles, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Buffalo Turkey Burgers

Celery and blue cheese dressing help tame the hot sauce on this turkey burger recipe. For an even lighter version, pass on the buns and serve the burgers with lettuce leaves, sliced onion and chopped tomato. —Mary Pax-Shipley, Bend, Oregon
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Italian-Style Lentil Soup

I cook with lentils often because they're a nutritious, inexpensive source of protein. This low-fat soup is one of my favorite ways to use them. To make it even heartier, add ground beef, cooked sausage or leftover cubed chicken. —Rachel Keller, Roanoke, Virginia
23 / 96

Contest-Winning Greek Pasta Bake

When I take this dish to potlucks, there's never so much as a morsel left! It’s a simple, healthy, hearty supper made with ingredients that are easy to find. Add a salad and a crusty loaf of bread for a quick meal solution. —Anne Taglienti, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
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Freezer Burritos

I love burritos, but the frozen ones are high in salt and chemicals. So I created these. They're wonderful to have on hand for quick dinners or late-night snacks—I've even had them for breakfast! —Laura Winemiller, Delta, Pennsylvania
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Saucy Chicken & Tortellini

This heartwarming dish is something I threw together years ago for my oldest daughter. When she's having a rough day, I put on the slow cooker and prepare this special recipe. —Mary Morgan, Dallas, Texas
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Chiles Rellenos Quiche

To me, nothing sparks up a meal more than the smoky flavor of roasted green chiles. This is a quick and easy recipe, and I usually have the ingredients on hand, so when I don’t know what to fix for dinner, I make this quiche. —Linda Miritello, Mesa, Arizona
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Barley Corn Salad

A terrific alternative to pasta salad, this colorful side dish adds refreshing herb flavor to corn, barley, and red and green peppers. Bring it to your next get-together and see how fast it disappears! —Mary Ann Kieffer of Lawrence, Kansas
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Quinoa Turkey Chili

This heart-healthy turkey quinoa chili is not only tasty, it's a vitamin and protein powerhouse! —Sharon Giljum, San Diego, California
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Low & Slow Pork Verde

My family loves this versatile pork dish. We like to have it over a serving of cheesy grits, but it also goes well with rice or potatoes. Leftovers make an excellent starter for white chili. —Val Ruble, Ava, Missouri
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Italian Sausage Calzone

My teenage daughter and I have been experimenting in the kitchen to re-create some old-time family dishes. This calzone with spinach and sausage is definitely a favorite. Using a refrigerated pizza crust, it’s a cinch to prepare one for us or several for a crowd. —Terri Gallagher, King George, Virginia
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De-Lightful Tuna Casserole

This mild, homemade tuna casserole will truly satisfy your family's craving for comfort food without all the fat! —Colleen Willey, Hamburg, New York
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Asian Chicken Thighs

The thick, tangy sauce makes this dish one of my favorite Chinese chicken recipes. Serve the chicken over long grain rice or with ramen noodle slaw. —Dave Farrington, Midwest City, Oklahoma
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Hearty Butternut Squash Soup

The comforting combination of squash, meat, beans and veggies makes this my go-to soup in fall. It's full of freshness. —Jaye Beeler, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Egg Burritos

Zap one of these frozen burritos in the microwave and you'll stave off hunger all morning. This recipe is my family’s favorite combo, but I sometimes use breakfast sausage instead of bacon. —Audra Niederman, Aberdeen, South Dakota
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Harvesttime Chicken with Couscous

Even on busy days, I can start this chicken in the slow cooker and still get to work on time. When I come home, I whip up a spinach salad and crescent rolls to round out the menu. —Heidi Rudolph, Oregon, Illinois
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Spicy Bean and Beef Pie

My daughter helped me come up with this recipe when we wanted a one-dish meal that was different than a casserole. This pie slices nicely and is a fun and filling dish. —Debra Dohy, Massillon, Ohio
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Wintertime Braised Beef Stew

This easy beef stew is incredibly rich. Since it's even better a day or two later, you may want to make a double batch. —Michaela Rosenthal, Woodland Hills, California
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Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake

I got this easy chicken cordon bleu recipe from a friend years ago. I freeze several half recipes in disposable pans to share with neighbors or for when I'm pressed for time myself. —Rea Newell, Decatur, Illinois
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Grilled Pork Tenderloins

We do a lot of outdoor cooking during the summer months, and this grilled pork tenderloin recipe is one my entire family loves. —Betsy Carrington, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee
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Cassoulet for Today

French cassoulet is traditionally cooked for hours. This version of the rustic dish offers the same homey taste in less time. It’s easy on the wallet too. —Virginia Anthony, Jacksonville, Florida
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Polish Casserole

When I first made this dish, my 2-year-old liked it so much that he wanted it for every meal! You can use almost any pasta that will hold the sauce. —Crystal Bruns, Iliff, Colorado
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Dijon Veggies with Couscous

Coated in a tangy Dijon sauce, these tasty veggies and fluffy couscous make for a delightful side. —Juliana Dumitru, Fairview Park, Ohio
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Pork Burritos

As a working mother, I depend on my slow cooker to help feed my family. We all love the spicy but slightly sweet flavor of these tender burritos. —Kelly Gengler, Theresa, Wisconsin
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German Meatballs

This is one of our favorite main dishes. Because we raise our own pork and beef, the meat we use is always freshly ground. For variety, these meatballs can be cooked with a sweet cream gravy or steamed with tomatoes. But we prefer them with homemade sauerkraut. —Iona Redemer, Calumet, Oklahoma
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Baked Two-Cheese & Bacon Grits

In the South, everyone loves three things: bacon, cheese and grits! After playing around with this recipe, I took it to my first family party as a newlywed, and it was a huge hit. This recipe has become a family tradition that I'm sure will be passed down for generations. —Melissa Rogers, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
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Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

When I have leftover ham in the fridge, I like to make this slow-cooker split pea soup. Just throw the ingredients in the slow cooker, turn it on and dinner is done. —Pamela Chambers, West Columbia, South Carolina
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Oven-Fried Fish Nuggets

My husband and I love fried fish, but we're both trying to cut back on dietary fat. I came up with this oven-baked version. He likes it as much as deep-fried fish, so I know it's a winner. —LaDonna Reed, Ponca City, Oklahoma
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Creamy Hash Brown Casserole

This versatile side dish is so good with grilled steak, and is delicious with other meats as well. A creamy cheese sauce and crunchy topping make this potato casserole popular for family dinners and potlucks. —Teresa Stutzman, Adair, Oklahoma
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Italian Turkey Sandwiches

I hope you enjoy these tasty turkey sandwiches as much as our family does. The recipe makes plenty, so it's great for potlucks. Plus, the leftovers are just as good. —Carol Riley, Ossian, Indiana
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Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

Gumbo goes back to 1700s Louisiana; today's version is just as hearty using andouille sausage. Serve with cornbread or crusty French bread. —Billy Hensley, Mount Carmel, Tennessee
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Muffin-Cup Cheddar Beef Pies

My kids love these beef rolls so much. I always make extra since they heat up so quickly. I give the kids their choice of dipping sauces—spaghetti sauce or ranch dressing are the top picks. —Kimberly Farmer, Wichita, Kansas
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Mexican Chicken Alfredo

One family member likes Italian; another likes Mexican. They’ll never compromise when this is on the menu. —Tia Woodley, Stockbridge, Georgia
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Chicken Thighs with Shallots & Spinach

What could be better than an entree that comes with its own creamy vegetable side? This healthy supper goes together in no time flat and makes an eye-catching presentation. —Genna Johannes, Wrightstown, Wisconsin
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Hawaiian Pork Roast

Bananas, liquid smoke and soy sauce flavor this fall-apart-tender pork roast. It's just like the kind I enjoyedat the luaus I went to in Hawaii. —Mary Gaylord, Balsam Lake, Wisconsin
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Broccoli Beer Cheese Soup

Whether you include the beer or not, this soup tastes wonderful. I always make extra and pop individual servings into the freezer. —Lori Lee, Brooksville, Florida
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Mini Shepherd's Pies

I’m as confident serving these little pies to company as to family. If I have enough time, I’ll use homemade biscuits and mashed potatoes. —Ellen Osborne, Clarksville, Tennessee
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BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

With four small children at home, I need quick yet filling meals. This family-favorite BBQ chicken sandwich filling is a cinch to make. For a spicier taste, eliminate the ketchup and increase the amount of salsa to 1 cup. —Leticia Lewis, Kennewick, Washington
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Mozzarella Baked Spaghetti

This satisfying easy baked spaghetti recipe comes together and will please everyone at your table. Add a salad and breadsticks, and dinner's done. —Betty Rabe, Mahtomedi, Minnesota
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Ham & Collards Quiche

I love quiche and wanted to make something that incorporates my southern roots. With eggs, cheese, ham and nutritious collard greens in a flaky crust, it’s a complete meal. —Billie Williams-Henderson, Bowie, Maryland
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Hungarian Short Ribs

This is a special meal in our house—as soon as I get ribs, I know which dish my family will ask me to make. My husband and I have three children, so I've learned to be a versatile cook! —Joanne ShewChuk, St. Benedict, Saskatchewan
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Loaded Chicken & Gouda Calzones

When I had my daughter, I tried to have a lot of meals in the freezer to make those first few weeks easier. These calzones were one of our favorites! We loved being able to pull them out and have dinner in minutes. I've dipped these in spaghetti sauce, pesto and ranch dressing, and they were all delicious! —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Forgotten Jambalaya

During chilly times of the year, I fix this jambalaya at least once a month. It’s so easy—just chop the vegetables, dump everything in the slow cooker and forget it! Even my sons, who are picky about spicy things, like this dish. —Cindi Coss, Coppell, Texas
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Tasty Burritos

My cousin is of Mexican heritage, and I’ve watched her make this crunchy beef burrito recipe for years. The very first time I made them for my own family, they instantly became a favorite meal. They’re even better warmed up the next day in the microwave. —Debi Lane, Chattanooga, Tennessee
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Chicken Enchilada Bake

Your family is going to gobble up this cheesy, southwestern and easy chicken enchilada casserole…and will ask for it again and again. It’s real comfort food! —Melanie Burns, Pueblo West, Colorado
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Three-Cheese Turkey Manicotti

This is my husband’s favorite dish. He always requests it, even for holidays! You’ll love the variety of cheeses and spices that jazz it up. It’s restaurant-quality, but at a quarter of the price! —LuAnne Wallace Bennett, Powder Springs, Georgia
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Minestrone with Turkey

I remember my mom making this soup; now I make it for my kids as often as I can. It's a good way to use up leftover vegetables. Sometimes I add a can of rinsed and drained kidney or garbanzo beans. —Angela Goodman, Kaneohe, Hawaii
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Penne and Smoked Sausage

This pasta is a must-try smoked sausage recipe. It just tastes so good when it’s hot and bubbly from the oven. The cheddar french-fried onions lend a cheesy, crunchy touch. —Margaret Wilson, Sun City, California
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Buffalo Chicken Pockets

Here’s my idea of pub food made easy: biscuits flavored with Buffalo wing sauce and blue cheese. They're my Friday night favorite. —Maria Regakis, Saugus, Massachusetts
70 / 96

Thai Coconut Beef

My husband and I love Thai food, but going out on weeknights can be challenging with busy schedules. I wanted to create a Thai-inspired dinner that could double as an easy lunch the following day. The beef is fantastic in this dish, but chicken or pork would be equally delicious! —Ashley Lecker, Green Bay, Wisconsin
71 / 96

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Fans of spicy chicken wings will love this rendition that turns it into pizza. Serve it up with blue cheese dressing and crisp celery, just like the tasty original. —Shari DiGirolamo, Newton, Pennsylvania
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Chicken Florentine Meatballs

Served over squash and a chunky, mushroom-tomato sauce, these tender meatballs are tops when it comes to great flavor. —Diane Nemitz, Ludington, Michigan
73 / 96

Sausage Bread Sandwiches

I make these sandwiches in my spare time and freeze them so they’re ready when needed, such as for tailgating parties when we attend Kansas State football games. —Donna Roberts, Manhattan, Kansas
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Slow-Cooked Chunky Chili

Pork sausage, ground beef and plenty of beans make this chili a marvelous meal. I keep serving-size containers of it in my freezer at all times so I can quickly warm up bowls on busy days. —Margie Shaw, Greenbrier, Arkansas
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Vegetable Strata

We always serve food at our Bunco games, and since one of us is a vegetarian we like to make fun meatless dishes we can all enjoy. This strata can easily be doubled and tastes fantastic hot or at room temperature. —Doris Mancini, Port Orchard, Washington
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Pepperoni Pizzazz

I've fixed this hearty main course for buffets, potluck dinners and even for company at my home. Keep the recipe handy, because you'll certainly be asked for it when you contribute it to an event. —Marge Unger, La Porte, Indiana
77 / 96

Best Chicken Potpie

This is the best chicken potpie recipe! Chock-full of chicken, potatoes, peas and corn, this recipe makes two golden pies, so you can serve one at supper and save the other for a busy night. —Karen Johnson, Bakersfield, California
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Potato Chip Chicken Strips

This novel recipe is a fast and tasty change from fried chicken.—Sister Judith LaBrozzi, Canton, Ohio
79 / 96

West Coast Snappy Joes

Meet my California-inspired sloppy Joe. Load it up with whatever toppings you like, or pour the filling over noodles. It's incredible on mac and cheese. —Devon Delaney, Westport, Connecticut
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Sausage & Swiss Chard Lasagna

Rustic and comforting, I found this rich and cheesy lasagna to be a great way to get kids to eat healthy greens—it's such a tasty casserole they'll never know the Swiss chard is there! —Candace Morehouse, Show Low, Arizona
81 / 96

Korean Beef and Rice

A friend raved about Korean bulgogi, which is beef cooked in soy sauce and ginger, so I tried it. It's delicious! You'll dazzle the table with this tasty version of Korean beef and rice. —Elizabeth King, Duluth, Minnesota
82 / 96

Simple Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

This chicken enchilada recipe is one of the first dishes I created and cooked for my husband right after we got married. He was so impressed! We fix these creamy enchiladas for friends regularly. —Melissa Rogers, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
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Spicy Pumpkin & Corn Soup

A seriously quick dish, it can satisfy a hungry household in 15 minutes. My family loves sharing this soup with cornbread, or you can add a zesty kick with some Rotel. — Heather Rorex, Winnemucca, Nevada
84 / 96

Chicken Tater Bake

You'll please everyone in the family with this inviting and filling chicken Tater Tot casserole. It tastes like a chicken potpie topped with Tater Tots. —Fran Allen, St Louis, Missouri
85 / 96

Lemony Chickpeas

These saucy chickpeas add just a little heat to meatless Mondays. They're especially good over hot, fluffy brown rice. —April Strevell, Red Bank, New Jersey
86 / 96

Muffin-Tin Pizzas

I just baked these mini pizzas and the kids are already demanding more. The no-cook pizza sauce and refrigerated dough make this meal a snap. —Melissa Haines, Valparaiso, Indiana
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Three-Cheese Kielbasa Bake

My aunt originally made this hearty casserole for family gatherings, and now I enjoy fixing it for my family any night of the week. What a perfect way to sneak in some garden veggies. —Kate Beckman, Hemet, California
88 / 96

Fiesta Turkey Tortilla Soup

I'm always thankful when I can pull such a delicious soup together in under 30 minutes. —Amy McFadden, Chelsea, Alabama
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Chicken Broccoli Shells

This cheesy entree is a make-ahead dream. Just assemble it ahead of time and put it in the oven when company arrives. I round out the meal with a tossed salad and warm bread. —Karen Jagger, Columbia City, Indiana
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Chicken Neapolitan

I often prepare a weeks worth of recipes on the weekend and freeze them so I can quickly have dinner ready for our hungry teenage boys after one of their many sports activities. Served over noodles, this moist chicken with a flavorful sauce is a favorite.—Joan Williams, Baltimore, Maryland
91 / 96

Contest-Winning Greek Pasta Bake

When I take this dish to potlucks, there's never so much as a morsel left! It’s a simple, healthy, hearty supper made with ingredients that are easy to find. Add a salad and a crusty loaf of bread for a quick meal solution. —Anne Taglienti, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
92 / 96

Mushroom Broccoli Quiche

I take this dish to many of my family’s picnics because it's always such a hit. Serve it at any time of day. Quiche makes a great side or meatless main course—and, of course, it's a tasty addition to brunch. —Edie DeSpain, Logan, Utah
93 / 96

Ham & Swiss Stromboli

This is an excellent dish to take to someone for dinner. It's also easy to change up the recipe with your favorite meats or cheeses. —Tricia Bibb, Hartselle, AL
94 / 96

BBQ Country Ribs

I created this country ribs recipe many years ago when I adapted a sauce I saw in a magazine. The original called for much more oil. I usually triple the sauce and keep some in my freezer to use on chicken, beef or pork. —Barbara Gerriets, Topeka, Kansas
95 / 96

Cornbread Chicken Bake

To make the most of leftover cornbread, try this hearty main dish casserole. It's moist, delicious and good on any occasion. —Madge Britton, Afton, Tennessee
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Turkey Mole Tacos

In contrast to traditional tacos, these taste complete as is, without further garnishes or sauces. I’ve also made this using bite-sized pieces of chicken thighs and increasing the cooking time appropriately. —Helen Glazier, Seattle