Take the stress out of holiday meal planning by making some of my favorite make-ahead recipes for Christmas entertaining and family gatherings.
I love love love make-ahead recipes, especially during the holidays! When my freezer and fridge are full of casseroles, cakes, quiches, pies and marinaded meat, I am in hospitality heaven:-) Even drop-in company is welcome if I know I have food to pull out as needed.
Below is a list of what I make most every year just before the holidays. In fact most everything on the list below is already made, frozen, and ready to roll starting next week.
Since all of these make-ahead dishes are for entertaining, I am bypassing the easy and disposable aluminum pans for freezer to oven to table baking dishes. My fave dishes to make/freeze/bake ziti, tetrazzini or any breakfast casserole are this Emile Henry and/or this Le Creuset. I chose white, but there are other colors available. Both brands are solid and built to withstand extremes in heat and cold.
My Favorite Make Ahead Casseroles
Best Baked Ziti for a Crowd is a winner on all fronts. First and foremost, it is delicious. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t love this dish. Second, it is easy to make. Third, it is crowd sized, as the recipe makes two large casseroles (these can be divided into smaller ones as well). Finally, it freezes beautifully. Just pull out to thaw a night or two before baking. Add bread, salad and dessert, and you’ve got a meal fit for company.
Favorite Chicken Tetrazzini is an equally crowd pleasing Southern favorite that literally everyone loves. My kids beg for me to make this. This recipe makes 2 casseroles as well, and it goes perfectly from the freezer to the oven. My favorite sides to serve with this tetrazzini are these Mississippi Green Beans (also make ahead) and this Easy Peasy Baby Bleu Salad. Delicious!!!!
My Favorite Make Ahead Meat Entrees
Beef Brisket You Won’t Believe makes a company size portion of tender, succulent beef that can be shredded/pulled or chopped and served with white or red BBQ sauce. It is great served as a meat entree or put with buns for sandwiches. I have a marinaded brisket frozen in marinade that I will thaw 2 days before cooking for a holiday dinner.
Company’s Coming Roast Beef Tenderloin is a regal entree for any holiday table. It can be marinaded a day or two before a party and cooked a few hours prior to guests arrival. This absolutely must be served with these Gourmet Gruyere Cheese Grits, which can be made and refrigerated several days ahead as well.
My Favorite Desserts to Make for the Holidays
This Quadruple Chocolate Bundt Cake is the best, easiest cake ever. You get chocolate flavor from the rich Devil’s food cake mix, the chocolate pudding mix, the semisweet chocolate chips, and the ganache glaze. I have one in my freezer now~glazed and ready to thaw for a party.
Gluten Free Sugar Cookies with Buttercream and Sprinkles are pretty and perfect for those who are gluten intolerant.
Easy Make Ahead Breakfast for Christmas
Spinach & Bacon Buttermilk Quiche is one of my fam’s favorites. It can be baked and frozen for up to a month or made (up to the point of baking), refrigerated up to two days ahead, and baked. It is perfect with this strawberry nut bread (currently in my freezer for Christmas morning).
I bought tart shells yesterday to make Spinach, Gruyere & Bacon Quiche Tartlets. The smaller size makes it easy to pull out what is needed for one or more person (rather than baking an entire quiche). These are good for grab and go after the holidays but when folks are still home.
This Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole is perfect for the non-quiche peeps in your family. This can be made ahead and frozen (up to a month) or refrigerated (up to two days). To bake from frozen, thaw a day or two ahead in the fridge; bake as directed.
I so hope one or more of these recipes works for you this holiday season. If you have any questions about any of the recipes, just put in the comments of the post and I’ll get back quickly.
And please visit our Family Savvy storefront to see my amazon faves and must-haves for you, your home and your loved ones.
As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Wishing you a joyful, blessed and savvy holiday!!