Meals that can be prepared the night before

Written by mary johnson-gerard, ph.d.
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Meals that can be prepared the night before
Prepare meatballs ahead of time for meatball sandwiches. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

When making meals that can be prepared ahead of time or frozen, always keep certain items on hand. Having a well-stocked kitchen pantry and refrigerator-freezer can make preparation easier and faster. Cooked minced meat and shredded chicken can be stored in the freezer for months. Frozen vegetables are another item that is often called for in recipes that can be prepared the night before serving. Spaghetti sauce freezes well and can be used in many recipes. Sour cream and pasta are not especially good after being frozen, so add them the night of the meal.

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Meatball Sandwiches

To prepare meatball sandwiches ahead of time, mix one pound of hamburger in a large bowl with one egg, a half cup of breadcrumbs, a pinch of salt and pepper and a half teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce. Using your hands, roll the mixture into 30 one-inch balls. Bake them on a baking tray in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes. When they are done, put them in a tightly sealed storage container in the refrigerator. The next day, heat them on the stove with homemade spaghetti sauce that has been thawed from the freezer or use a jar of spaghetti sauce. When hot, spoon six meatballs onto a hoagie roll cut in half lengthwise. Spoon the sauce on top. Add provolone cheese. Meatballs can be frozen in a resealable bag for up to three months after they are baked .

Meals that can be prepared the night before
Make meatballs ahead of time. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Chicken, Mushroom and Green Bean Casserole

Follow package directions for a six-ounce package of wild or brown rice. In a large bowl, add four cups of cooked cubed or shredded chicken, two cups of frozen green beans, one can of cream of mushroom soup, one can of cream of chicken or broccoli soup, one can of drained mushroom pieces, a quarter cup of chopped onion and one envelope of dry onion soup mix. Stir the ingredients together well and spread into a nine-inch by 13-inch greased baking dish, or two smaller baking dishes. Top with one cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Bake at 177 degrees Cor 30 minutes. If making two smaller casseroles, one can be covered and frozen for up to three months. Add fried onions in the last five minutes of baking for a crunchy topping.

Meals that can be prepared the night before
Freeze chicken and green bean casserole. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Breakfast Casserole

Make this casserole the night before serving and pop it in the oven the next morning. Cook one pound of sausage and drain. In a large bowl, mix six eggs, a pinch of salt and pepper, two cups of milk, one teaspoon of dry mustard, six slices of bread torn into small pieces, and one cup of shredded cheese. Pour into a greased eight-inch by 12-inch pan and cover. Store the casserole in the refrigerator overnight. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes. Add more shredded cheese to the top in the last ten minutes of cooking time for a cheesier flavour.

Meals that can be prepared the night before
Make breakfast casserole the night before. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

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