8 Make-Ahead Holiday Meals That Will Lower Your Stress Level

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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.

Get the full recipe here.

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.

Get the full recipe here.

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.

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Get the full recipe here.

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.

Get the full recipe here.

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.

Get the full recipe here.

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.

Get the full recipe here.

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.

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Get the full recipe here.

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.

Get the full recipe here.

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