Make-aheads are great! They ease kitchen messes/clean-up and are just *easy*. :) My plans include both make-ahead breakfasts and lunches — convenient for sending away with the “school” kids, and for feeding a bunch of hungry toddlers here at home. Most of these recipes came from various “once-a-month cooking” or “freezer cooking” sites on the internet.
Ham & Cheese Sandwich
½ an apple
Bran Apple Muffins
Bacon Hash-Brown Roll-ups
Make-ahead Scrambled Eggs
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
On-The-Run Sausage Muffins
Salsa, Sour Cream
Ham & Cheese Sandwiches Freezer Cooking Recipe
A ham and cheese sandwich can be frozen. Placed in a lunch box in the morning, it will be perfectly thawed by lunchtime.
Loaf of bread
Ham (any style)
Spread Miracle Whip on bread (VERY IMPORTANT – do not use regular mayonnaise, only use Miracle Whip). Add ham and cheese, seal in individual freezer bags or vacuum seal. Freeze.
On lunch day, take it out of the freezer in the morning and it will be thawed in time for lunch.
Pizza Bagels Freezer Cooking Recipe
12 bagels – plain or sundried tomato
Assorted pizza toppings
Cut bagels in half and place them face up on workspace. Spread tomato sauce in a thin layer, then add toppings. By making a variety of toppings, they won’t get boring in lunches. Sprinkle with cheese then broil in oven until cheese melts.
Cool completely and package them individually (half a bagel per bag). Freeze.
Can be put into school lunches frozen, and they will thaw by lunchtime.
These are also great for after-school snacks. You can also switch to whole wheat bagels to make them healthier.
Younger kids love helping to make these, so they can add their own toppings.
Bran Apple Muffins Freezer Cooking Recipe
1 cup bran cereal
1 cup untoasted wheat germ
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 large eggs
12 oz frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup salad oil
muffin tins, either with paper lined cups or greased
In a large mixing bowl, combine cereal, wheat germ, flour, milk, baking powder, raisins and walnuts. In a smaller bowl, combine eggs, apple juice concentrate and oil, beating well. Then add this mixture to dry ingredients, mixing well. Allow to stand 5-10 minutes so dry goods can absorb wet.
Preheat oven to 375F. Spoon mixture into muffin tins, filling to rim. Bake for 30 minutes or until a dark golden brown. Cool and freeze, then transfer to large freezer bag.
To serve, allow to thaw before serving.
Zesty Italian Pasta Salad Freezer Cooking Recipe
1-1/2 cups dry vegetable rotini
1 cup Zesty Italian Salad Dressing
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 red pepper chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1 yellow pepper chopped
Cook rotini until barely cooked al dente (VERY IMPORTANT, do not overcook)
Freeze in single portion servings in freezer bags or containers. Great for lunches! Put into the lunch box frozen, and it will be thawed for lunchtime.
Bacon Hash Brown Roll-ups
These delicious roll ups are stored in your freezer, then reheated in the microwave when you want to eat them. Perfect make ahead recipe for breakfasts on the go!
1 Tbsp. olive oil
6 slices Canadian bacon, cut into small pieces
2 cups frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed and drained
1/2 cup salsa
16 (6″) flour tortillas
1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
In large skillet, heat olive oil and brown bacon and hash browns. In large mixing bowl, combine eggs and salsa; beat well until combined. Pour into skillet with bacon and potatoes and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until eggs are set.
Spoon egg mixture into flour tortillas, sprinkle with cheese, and roll up. Place roll-ups in freezer bags and freeze.
When ready to serve, place burrito in microwave, covered with a microwave-safe paper towel, and heat for about 1-2 minutes on high power for each burrito. You may have to adjust heating time for your microwave. 16 servings
Chewy Oatmeal Cookies
1-1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Quaker® Unprocessed Bran
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
2-1/2 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1-1/3 cups diced dried mixed fruit or raisins (omit)
- Heat oven to 375° F.
- Beat brown sugar, margarine and granulated sugar with electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, bran, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; mix well. Add to margarine-sugar mixture; mix well. Stir in oats and dried fruit; mix well.
- Drop by rounded measuring tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 9 to 10 minutes, until light golden brown. (Centers will be soft.) Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets, remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.
Recipe Yield: About 4 dozen
Serving Size: 1 cookie
Freezing Peanut Butter & Jam Sandwiches Recipe
Simply toss a frozen sandwich into the lunch box in the morning and it will be perfectly thawed by lunchtime.
Make a few dozen sandwiches:
Two or three loaves of bread
Think variety – different types of bread (ie. raisin bread one day, whole wheat bread the next) as well as different types of jam (try blueberry or orange marmalade rather than just the standard strawberry) to keep things from getting boring.
Cover one side of each slice with peanut butter, being sure to go to the edges. Then put jam on half of the slices, leaving about half an inch from the edge on all sides. Put the sandwiches together, and the peanut butter will “seal” the jam inside and keep them from getting soggy as it thaws. Seal in freezer bags or use a vacuum sealer.
On lunch day, simply put a frozen sandwich (straight from the freezer, no need to thaw before hand) when you make lunches in the morning, and it will be thawed by morning.
Make Ahead Scrambled Eggs
(DOUBLE THIS FOR OUR FAMILY)
Make it the night before, then just reheat in the morning.
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper
2 Tbsp. butter
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Beat eggs with cream in a large bowl. Stir in salt and pepper. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Pour eggs into skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until eggs are scrambled and set.
Remove pan from heat and stir in sour cream.
Spread eggs into a greased 12×7″ glass baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
When ready to eat, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Uncover the baking dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and eggs are hot. 8 servings
Teddy Bear Snack Mix
2 cups ramen noodles, crushed
5 cups Golden Grahams cereal
3 cups bear shaped graham crackers
1 cup peanuts or sliced almonds
1 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon orange juice
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Discard seasoning package from ramen noodles.
- In a large bowl, mix together noodles, cereal, teddy bear cookies, nuts and raisins.
- In a 4 cup glass measure, combine cinnamon, honey, butter and orange juice.
- Heat in microwave until melted and well mixed.
- Pour this mixture over the cereal mixture.
- Toss to coat well.
- Spread into a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, stirring once.
- Remove from oven and cool.
- Package in individual baggies, about 1/2 cup per baggie and then place in a larger freezer bag and freeze.
(Double this for our family)
1 lb ground beef
1 (1 1/4 ounce) envelope taco seasoning
2/3 cup water
1 lb frozen bread dough, thawed
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- Brown ground beef and add taco seasoning and water.
- Cook for 5-10 minutes; set aside.
- Roll thawed dough into a rectangle – about 20 x 8-inches.
- Spread ground beef over dough – leaving about 1-inch of dough on one long edge free of filling.
- Top beef with grated cheese.
- Roll up as for cinnamon rolls starting with the long edge closest to you.
- Pinch seam to seal.
- Slice the roll into 1-inch thick slices with a serrated knife. Place rolls 2″ apart onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
- If any filling falls out just press it into the top of the rolls.
- Bake at 350° for 25 minutes until golden brown.
- Serve with salsa, sour cream or guacamole for dipping.
- To freeze: Allow to cool completely. Flash freeze and then place in a ziploc bag when firm. Label, seal and freeze.
- To Serve: Thaw in fridge overnight or thaw/heat in microwave about 45 seconds on high.
Make-Ahead Breakfast-On-The-Run Sausage Muffins
10 English muffins
softened butter (or use mayonnaise)
10 breakfast sausage patties
10 slices American cheese
eggs (sunny-side up or scrambled)
Cook the sausage patties in a skillet.
- Toast each half of English muffin, then butter or spread with mayonnaise.
- Cool the patties and the muffins.
- Lay one sausage patty on top of half of a bun then top with cheese slice, top with remaining half of muffin.
- Wrap each one individually in heavy plastic wrap and freeze until solid.
- Remove the frozen sandwiches from freezer and wrap each sandwich tightly in foil to prevent any freezer burn, then return to freezer until ready to use.
- When ready to use; unwrap the sandwich from the foil and plastic wrap.
- Wrap in a paper towel and microwave on HIGH for about 50-60 seconds or until heated through.
- Add on an egg (if using) before or after warming the sandwich.