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45 Make-Ahead Freezer Meals for Super-Busy Nights

When all you have time for is a quick reheat in the oven, these delicious lasagnas, soups, enchiladas, pot roasts and more will get to the table in a flash. They're super easy to make ahead and stock in the freezer to love later on.

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Zucchini Pizza Casserole

My husband has a hearty appetite, our two kids never tire of pizza and I grow lots of zucchini, so this tasty tomato casserole is absolutely tops with us throughout the entire year. Once you've tried the recipe, you may even decide to grow more zucchini in your own garden next summer! —Lynn Bernstetter, White Bear Lake, Minnesota
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Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells

Here's a kid-friendly dish so flavorful and fun, nobody is likely to guess that it's also lower in fat. It's a great family supper for busy weeknights! —Anne Thomsen, Westchester, Ohio
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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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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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Rustic Italian Tortellini Soup

This is my favorite tortellini soup recipe. It's one of those
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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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Chicken Crescent Wreath

Here's an impressive-looking dish that's a snap to prepare. Even when my cooking time is limited, I can still serve this delicious crescent wreath. The red pepper and green broccoli add a festive touch. —Marlene Denissen, St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin
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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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Forgotten Jambalaya

During chilly months, I fix this slow cooker jambalaya recipe 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 easy jambalaya. —Cindi Coss, Coppell, Texas
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Skillet Shepherd's Pie

This is the best shepherd's pie recipe I've ever tasted. It's very quick to make, and I usually have most—if not all—of the ingredients already on hand. —Tirzah Sandt, San Diego, California
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Favorite 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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Italian Stuffed Shells

A dear friend first brought over this stuffed shells recipe. Now I take it to other friends' homes and to potlucks, because it's always a big hit! —Beverly Austin, Fulton, Missouri
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Southwestern Casserole

I've been making this mild family-pleasing southwest casserole recipe for years. It tastes wonderful, fits nicely into our budget and, best of all, makes a second one to freeze and enjoy later. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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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
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Make Once, Eat Twice Lasagna

Our family loves this recipe along with a green salad and garlic bread. It's so handy to have an extra pan in the freezer when unexpected guests drop in or you need to take a main course to a charity event. —Geri Davis, Prescott, Arizona
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Stuffed Chicken Rolls

Just thinking about this dish sparks my appetite. The ham and cheese rolled inside are a tasty surprise. Leftovers reheat well and make a perfect lunch with a green salad. —Jean Sherwood, Kenneth City, Florida
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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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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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Traditional Meat Loaf

Topped with a sweet sauce, this traditional meat loaf recipe tastes so good that you might want to double it so everyone can have seconds. It also freezes well. —Gail Graham, Maple Ridge, British Columbia
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Chicken & Cheddar Biscuit Casserole

I always get rave reviews when I bring this casserole to my son's Cub Scouts meetings. It's the perfect comfort meal after a long day. —Sarah Phillips, East Lansing, Michigan
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Thai Beef Stir-Fry

A distinctive peanut sauce complements this colorful combination of tender sirloin strips, cauliflower, carrots, broccoli and mushrooms. I like to dish it up over spaghetti, but you could use fried noodles instead. —Janice Fehr, Austin, Manitoba
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Miniature Meat Pies

I make these handheld pies in advance, keep them in the freezer, then bake them the day of the party. They are always a hit at tailgate and potlucks. —Gayle Lewis, Yucaipa, 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
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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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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
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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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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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Slow-Cooker Sweet-and-Sour Pork

Chinese food is a big temptation for us, so I lightened up a favorite takeout dish. As the pork cooks, the aroma is beyond mouthwatering. —Elyse Ellis, Layton, Utah
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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
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Beef Taco Lasagna

This recipe makes two big pans. Freeze one or both to enjoy later. —Stacey Compton, Toledo, Ohio
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Honey Pineapple Chicken

I adapted a dinnertime favorite for my slow cooker because it’s so much easier to do the preparation in advance, then let the chicken cook on its own while I do other things. Your family will love the combination of sweet and savory flavors. —Carol Gillespie, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
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Moroccan Braised Beef

Moroccan Braised Beef

Curry powder is a blend of up to 20 spices, herbs and seeds. Add a pinch of curry to your favorite soups, stews, salads and even rice for an exotic flavor. In this Moroccan stew, begin with 2 teaspoons of curry, then add more to your taste. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Contest-Winning Broccoli Chicken Casserole

This delicious chicken and broccoli casserole recipe is a twist on chicken divan that came from an old boss. It’s quick, satisfying comfort food. —Jennifer Schlachter, Big Rock, Illinois
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Mexi-Mac Casserole

I typically have most of the ingredients for this dish in my pantry. Green chiles give it a little bite, but it’s easy to swap in a can of spicier tomatoes to turn up the heat. —Jan Conklin, Stevensville, Montana
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Mushroom Beef Stew

Top this hearty stew with crumbled blue cheese just before serving to add a burst of flavor. Serve some now and store the rest in the freezer for another meal. —Nancy Latulippe, Simcoe, Ontario
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Deep-Dish Pizza

My family devours this crusty pan pizza with easy-to-swap toppings. Use a combination of green, red and yellow peppers for extra color. —Patricia Howson, Carstairs, Alberta
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Sweet-and-Sour Meat Loaf

My husband and I like basic, hearty meat-and-potatoes meals. The sweet-and-sour flavor adds a deliciously different twist to this longtime standby. —Debbie Haneke, Stafford, Kansas
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Pork, Bean & Rice Burritos

The combination of spices is key to this slow-cooked pork—it's my family's favorite burrito filling. The aroma that fills the air as the pork slowly simmers is like a Mexican restaurant. A perfect recipe for tailgate parties. —Valonda Seward, Coarsegold, California
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Grilled Marinated Ribeyes

These juicy steaks are a favorite meal of ours when we go camping. Let them sit in tangy, barbecue-inspired marinade overnight and you've got a rich and hearty dinner ready to grill up the next day. —Louise Graybiel, Toronto, Ontario
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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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Breadstick Pizza

Not only do refrigerated breadsticks lend a fun twist to pizza, but they make this dish a weeknight staple at my house. Feeding kids? Slice pieces into small strips and let the kids dip each strip into marinara sauce. They’ll love it! —Mary Hankins, Kansas City, Missouri
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Greek Pork Chops

My in-laws taught me a lot about cooking, so any time I come across a great new recipe, I enjoy making it for them. These bright, lemony chops quickly became a favorite. —Geri Lipczynski, Oak Lawn, Illinois
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Lone Star Pot Roast

Pot roast becomes especially delicious with the addition of chopped green chiles and taco seasoning. —Helen Carpenter, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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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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Chipotle Shredded Beef

This beef is delicious whether you serve it all rolled up in a tortilla, with corn salsa in a burrito, in a bun or over rice or mashed potatoes. So many options! —Darcy Williams, Omaha, Nebraska

Rachel Seis
As senior editor for Taste of Home magazine, Rachel has her hand in everything you see from cover to cover, from writing and editing articles to taste-testing recipes to ensuring every issue is packed with fun and fabulous content. She'll roll up her sleeves to try any new recipe in the kitchen—from spicy Thai dishes (her favorite!) to classic Southern comfort food (OK...also her favorite). When she's not busy thinking of her next meal, Rachel can be found practicing yoga, going for a run, exploring National Parks and traveling to new-to-her cities across the country.

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