There's nothing like coming together with family and friends for the holidays, but we'll admit it — cooking a major meal for a group can be overwhelming. This year, in order to maximize time spent with your loved ones rather than spending the whole day in the kitchen, consider prepping a few make-ahead dishes in the days leading up to the big event.
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Not sure what to whip up? Here are eight make-ahead recipes covering everything from appetizers to main courses and breakfast.
1. Happy Money Saver's Balsamic Rosemary Chicken
It takes just five minutes to prepare this delicious-looking chicken, and just 20 minutes to cook on serving day. Best of all, as a dairy-free and gluten-free recipe, it's perfect for a crowd with dietary restrictions.
2. I Heart Umami's Daikon Chinese Potstickers
These daikon (radish) Chinese potstickers were inspired by family tradition. Make them ahead of time, freeze the uncooked dumplings, and then boil or fry them when you're ready to chow down.
3. Kristine's Kitchen Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
This vegetarian riff on a classic stuffed pepper is a healthy and scrumptious side dish or appetizer. Prep everything up to the baking step, then toss them in the oven before dinner.
4. Millennial Kitchen's Cheesy Sausage and Hash Brown Casserole
Don't forget about breakfast on Christmas morning! This casserole can go in the oven while you sip coffee and open gifts.
5. Jessica Gavin's Baked Ziti
A make-ahead classic, baked ziti is always a good choice. Creator Jessica Gavin recommends pairing this so-easy-anyone-can-do-it recipe with garlic bread.
6. The Forked Spoon's Salmon Patties
These salmon patties are packed with lime, ginger, garlic, cilantro, and mint. Cook them before your holiday meal, stick them in the fridge or freezer, then reheat on a stovetop to get them nice and crispy.
7. Kitchen Sanctuary's Slow-Cooked Steak Diane Casserole
Forget the green bean casserole — try steak Diane casserole instead for a hearty meal. It's easy to scale up to make even larger batches, too, and can be refrigerated and then popped in the oven.
8. Mirchi Tales' Potato and Chicken Croquettes
These easy-to-make crunchy croquettes can be frozen and then served as an appetizer before dinner or even as a post-holiday lunch sandwich filling.