4 Make-Ahead Meals

    A Menu Planner's Paradise


    1. Chicken and Artichoke Bake 

    Cook 8 oz penne according to package. Sauté 1 small yellow onion (chopped) in a little olive oil until soft. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together 1¼ cups milk, 2 eggs, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in onion, cooked penne, 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, 2 cups cooked and chopped chicken, 1 jar drained artichokes, 10 oz chopped spinach (thawed!), and ¼ cup grated parmesan (option: add sundried tomatoes). Season with salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish and bake (covered) for 20 minutes at 350°F. Meanwhile, combine ¼ cup parmesan cheese, ½ tsp paprika, ½ cup breadcrumbs, and 1 tsp melted butter. Sprinkle over casserole and bake, uncovered, for 10 more minutes. Serves 6 to 8.

    2. Brunswick Stew 

    Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add 1 cup chopped red bell pepper, ¾ cup chopped yellow onion and ½ cup chopped celery.Cook for 5 minutes. Cut 1 lb boneless chicken thighs into ½-inch pieces. Toss in bowl with flour until coated. Add 1 more tbsp of olive oil to saucepan. Add chicken and cook for about 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in 3 cups broth and bring to a boil. Cook for a minute and then add 3 tbsp tomato paste, 1 tsp thyme, 1½ tsp kosher salt, ¾ tsp tabasco sauce, 10 oz frozen corn, and 10 oz frozen lima beans. Stir. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Serves 4.

    3. Easy enchiladas 

    Roast 4 chicken breasts (on bone with skin) at 350°F for about 40 minutes. Let cool, de-skin, shred. Sauté ½ chopped yellow onion in a swirl of olive oil until soft.Add ½ tsp cumin, 2 cups salsa, 3 tbsp cream cheese and chicken. Cook until cream cheese is smooth. Spoon mixture down center of flour tortilla and roll. Place seam side down in a lightly greased baking pan. Repeat with 7 more tortillas. Cover with 1 bottle of mild green taco sauce and 2 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. Serves 6.

    4. Prosciutto and Mushroom Stuffed Shells 

    Cook 12 jumbo pasta shells al dente in salted water, stirring occasionally so they don’t stick (8 to 9 minutes). Drain and set aside. Sauté 2 chopped shallots and 3 oz diced prosciutto in 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat for a few minutes. Add 8 oz chopped mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Combine ½ cup ricotta cheese with mushroom mixture and 2 tbsp fresh chopped basil. Pour 2 cups marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9”x13” dish. Fill shells with a large spoonful of mushroom and cheese mixture. Place in pan. Top with shredded parmesan. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Serves 4.