12 Easy Make-Ahead Meals That Will Have You Rethinking the Way You See Frozen Foods

Making your dinner ahead of time doesn't have to result in soggy noodles and limp salads. By preparing meals the night before, you'll have a delicious dinner on the table in a minimal amount of time. Just take a look at these 12 meals that stay fresh in your fridge or freezer while you go about your day. All you have to do is reheat and enjoy.

These casseroles, stews, and more will inspire you to plan your meals out for the week. Your busy schedules and your stomachs will thank you.

Image: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

by Rebecca Deczynski

Quinoa Burrito Bowls

Chipotle may be your go-to for your burrito bowl craving, but thanks to A Beautiful Mess, now you can make them yourself — saving you time and money. Make them ahead of time, and throw some chopped avocado on top right before you dig in.

Image: A Beautiful Mess

Bourbon Chicken

Preparing a fancy chicken dinner doesn’t have to eat up your entire evening. Half-Baked Harvest explains how to alter this boozy recipe so you can make it in advance and just heat it up when you’re ready.

Image: Half-Baked Harvest

Baked Potato Casserole

I’ll say it: casseroles are basically the supreme make-ahead comfort food. And The Kitchn combines potatoes and cheese in a way that will totally blow your mind — and will get dinner on the table in no time.

Image: The Kitchn

Baked Penne with Chicken, Broccoli, and Smoked Mozzarella

Some days just call for a carb indulgence. Mel’s Kitchen Cafe’s baked penne is the cheesy stuff that dreams are made of.

Image: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Tequila Lime Fish Tacos

Can’t give up Taco Tuesday but don’t have the prep time to make it happen? Never fear — Love and Lemons’ citrusy fish tacos can be made the night before and assembled in a cinch.

Image: Love and Lemons

Crispy Chicken Taquitos With Avocado Crema

Prep some spicy tomato-simmered chicken the night before, and you’ll be able to make A Cozy Kitchen’s crispy taquitos in a hurry. Just pan-fry the tortillas, and top with zesty avocado crema for the final touch.

Image: A Cozy Kitchen

Broccoli Pasta Salad

Pasta salad doesn’t have to be reserved for picnics. A Beautiful Mess’ broccoli pasta salad makes for a refreshing dinner. Bonus: the leftovers make a perfect desk lunch.

Image: A Beautiful Mess

Orange, Apricot, and Carrot Couscous

For a fruity side or vegetarian main course, Cookie and Kate’s fruity couscous can be devoured cold or hot.

Image: Cookie and Kate

Potato Gratins With Bacon and Mushrooms

No need to fight over food portions. A Farmgirl’s Dabbles’ potato gratins are made in individual ramekins for easy serving. Top with crispy bacon, and you’re set.

Image: A Farmgirl’s Dabbles

Mesir Wat Lentil Stew With Ayib

This Ethiopian dish will inspire you to seriously take advantage of your spice rack. The vegetarian lentil-based meal by A Spicy Perspective makes for an aromatic comfort food.

Image: A Spicy Perspective

Mexican Lasagna

Filled with black beans, ground beef, and plenty of chili powder, Mel’s Kitchen Cafe’s Mexican-inspired dish makes the perfect change of pace from your usual lasagna recipe.

Image: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Skinny Shrimp Alfredo Pasta Bake

A cheesy pasta bake doesn’t have to be super unhealthy. Damn Delicious’ easy shrimp dish uses cream cheese for an Alfredo sauce that doesn’t sacrifice flavor for calories.

Image: Damn Delicious