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Make-Ahead Casseroles for Easy Weeknight Meals

Enchilada casserole on a plate

While I’d love to prepare a four-course meal every night for dinner, that’s not happening. Even though I don’t have school-age kids, there are still activities that get me home late. When I’m out a little later than normal, I love to have a casserole prepared for dinner.

Casseroles are great because most can be made ahead of time. When I get home, I can take it out of the fridge, pop it in the oven, and dinner is served. Or, if I leave instructions I can come home to a hot casserole. These make-ahead casseroles are easy to make and always a favorite with my family.

“This was one of mamma’s recipes,” explains Shelley Simpson (Swartz Creek,  MI). “And one of our favorite wholesome meals growing up.”

Once you brown the beef for this Chinese-Style Hamburger Casserole, everything else is a breeze. Thanks to soy sauce, it’s filled with Asian flavor. Super creamy and hearty, serve with a side salad and you have a meal the whole family will love.

Erin Bamberger’s (Lansing, MI) Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole is simple and full-flavored.

“Everyone LOVES this recipe,” shares Erin. “It’s a personal one of mine that I have tweaked to perfection. The casserole is even great the next day… if there is even any left.”

This is guaranteed to be a family pleaser with its layers of amazing chicken cordon bleu-inspired flavor.

Starting with the herb stuffing covered in Swiss cheese, then smothered in a hearty layer of creamy chicken and ham, it’s finished off with a layer of Muenster cheese. This is a beautiful casserole that can be served as an easy weeknight meal but is impressive enough to serve company too.

“This gets made weekly at our house,” reveals Michelle Griggs (San Diego, CA). “My hubs should probably join an enchiladas support group he asks for it so often!”

Easy and cheesy, this Creamy Cheesy Gooey Enchilada Casserole is great. I love the idea to layer the tortillas rather than rolling them. Saves a step and makes this so simple to prepare.

It’s is a great canvas to make the recipe your own. I opted for black olives and tomatoes in this casserole, but add ingredients your family likes. If you like your food to have more of a kick of flavor, add some taco seasoning to the chicken mixture for an added punch.

“Easy to make and very appetizing,” thinks Gail Welch (Carthage, TX) of her Italian Casserole. “This tastes like a cross between a meat lover’s pizza and lasagna.”

The bits of ooey, gooey cheese are perfect throughout this casserole. Filled with tomato flavor, it really packs a big punch of flavor. Just add some garlic bread for a tasty Italian meal.

How do you make a shepherd’s pie recipe even better? Add cheese! That’s what Brenda Downey (Hollywood, FL) did with her Shepherd’s Cheesy Pie and it’s quite tasty.

“My husband and I personally really love this shepherd’s pie recipe,” says Brenda. “This is one of our favorites.” One bite and I know why they enjoy this.

Brenda tops her recipe with a layer of cheddar cheese that, when baked, adds a nice crust on top of the creamy mashed potatoes. Layered with meat and mixed vegetables (corn, peas, and carrots) this is a simple casserole. You probably have the ingredients in your kitchen already.

This weekend, take the time to do some meal prep. Then, during the week when things are hectic, or you don’t feel like cooking, pop one of these Blue Ribbon casseroles in the oven, and dinner is served. Happy Pinching!