School is back in session which means go-to recipes need to be readily available. And let’s be honest, even if school wasn’t in session, we can always use a stash of good recipes!
We rounded up 8 recipes that will have your family begging for more (and not just the cookies). From sliders to pasta bakes to banana bread we’ve got you covered. The best part? Most of these recipes can be used as make-ahead meals and stored in the freezer!
1 package Hawaiian-style sweet rolls
9 oz thin-sliced deli ham
10 slices Swiss cheese
1/2 cup poppy seed or honey mustard dressing
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon dry minced onion
1 teaspoon coarse-ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon poppy seeds
- Remove rolls from the package, lay flat, and slice in two (so you have one single top piece and one bottom piece). Separate and lay side by side. Spread with dressing.
- Layer Swiss cheese slices over both sections of sandwiches, covering as much as possible.
- Layer ham over the bottom section of sandwiches. Carefully pick up the top and flip over onto bottom section. Place sandwich rolls into an aluminum pan. (Or if baking fresh, place into foil-lined 9×13 dish.)
- In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and stir. Brush or pour over the tops of sandwiches.
- Cover aluminum pan tightly with lid or aluminum foil. Label (be sure to include reheating instructions.) Place in freezer and store for up to two months.
- Thaw overnight in the refrigerator (skip this step if cooking from fresh).
- Bake in 375F oven, covered, for 20-25 minutes until centers are heated through and cheese has melted.
2. Make-Ahead Breakfast Burritos
8 oz. cheddar
1 yellow onion
1 bell pepper
2 Tbsp butter, divided
2 pinches salt and pepper
1 lb. cooked ham
12 large eggs
8 large flour tortillas (burrito size)
- Begin by preparing all of the filling ingredients for the breakfast burritos. Shred the cheddar, if not purchased pre-shredded.
- Dice the onion and bell pepper. Add the onion and bell pepper to a large skillet with ½ Tbsp butter and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent (about 5 minutes). Season the bell pepper and onion with a pinch of salt and pepper. Transfer the bell pepper and onion to a bowl.
- Dice the ham, then add it to the skillet with another ½ Tbp butter. Sauté the ham over medium heat until it is browned (about 5 minutes). Transfer the ham to a separate bowl and clean the skillet.
- Crack 12 eggs into a bowl and lightly whisk. Add the last tablespoon of butter to the skillet and heat over medium. Once the skillet is hot, spread the butter to coat the surface, then pour in the whisked eggs.
- Push the eggs in toward the center of the skillet as they set on the bottom until most of the eggs have set, but the eggs still look moist. Do not overcook the eggs or they’ll become dry. Season the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- To assemble the burritos, add a scoop of scrambled eggs to the middle of each tortilla, then top with a scoop of cooked bell pepper and onion, a handful of cheese, and some of the cooked ham.
- To roll the burritos, first, fold the tortilla up from the bottom, then fold in the sides, and then finish rolling the burrito up until it has closed. Wrap each burrito in parchment paper using the same folding and rolling method (bottom-up, sides in, finish rolling up). Label each burrito on parchment paper or on masking tape
- Transfer the wrapped burritos to freezer bags, label and date the bags, then place them in the freezer.
To Reheat Breakfast Burritos
- Transfer the breakfast burrito to the refrigerator the day before to thaw. Once thawed, microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or heat in a skillet over medium-low, about 5 minutes on each side, or until the tortilla is crispy and the insides are warm.
- To reheat from frozen, use the microwave’s defrost setting for about 5 minutes, then microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through.
3. Italian Pasta Bake
Great last-minute dinner idea. Also good when you need to take a meal to someone’s home.
1 pound ground beef or Italian sausage (or spicy!)
4 cup cooked penne pasta
1 jar spaghetti sauce
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 package chopped frozen leaf spinach, well-drained (optional)
Brown & drain meat. Cook noodles according to package.
Add sauce and 1/2 cup parmesan and spinach. Add enough pasta so as to make it the consistency you desire. Spoon into a 9×13 greased pan. Top with mozzarella and remaining parmesan.
Once assembled cover well and freeze prior to cooking.
When ready to use, thaw completely and cook the same as above. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.
I have also tried it with a jar of alfredo sauce, chicken, and broccoli. Very flexible.
4. Chicken Pot Pie
Just the basics here!
4 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
1/3 cup butter
1 chopped onion
2 chopped carrots
2 chopped celery stalks
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
1-2 cup milk (can mix with part cream)
1 cup diced potato (or one small can)
2 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1 unbaked pie crust
Melt butter in a large skillet or pot and fry onions, carrots & celery. When onions are brown, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons flour and cook until incorporated, about one minute.
Slowly add broth, milk, salt, and pepper. Stir frequently and simmer until desired thickened consistency, about 5-10 minutes. Don’t expect that baking it will make it thicken. Consistency needs to be such that if a spoonful was put on a plate – it will stay nicely formed. Add remaining vegetables and chicken.
Pour filling into 9 inches greased baking pan. Top with crust. Cut a few slits into the top of the crust to release steam. Bake uncovered 30 minutes at 350F or until lightly browned. Put back in for 5 minutes at a time until nicely golden crust.
Any variation of vegetables could be used. Also, you can use double crusts if desired.
This is incredible to have on hand in the freezer. Just shred and divide into desired amounts in a ziplock
5. Cafe Rio Chicken
Shredded Chicken For a Variety of Options
2 lbs chicken breasts
1/2 – Small bottle of zesty Italian salad dressing
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1 packet ranch salad dressing mix (mixed with 1/2 cup of water)
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
Place all of the ingredients in a crockpot. Cook on High 5-6 hours OR on Low 8 hours. Shred with a fork and serve in salads, burritos, tacos, etc. You can also double or triple this to make extras for freezing. Then simply thaw and reheat for a quick meal.
For freezer, I prefer to make it into muffins so you can pull one serving out at a time.
6. Banana Bread
Servings: 2 loaves
5-6 very ripe bananas
1 cup softened butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease 2 – 9×5 inch loaf pans or 12-15 muffin tins. In a medium bowl, mash bananas and stir in the eggs until well blended. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat softened butter and gradually add sugar. Stir in vanilla and banana mixture. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; blend into batter. Add walnuts or pecans if desired. Divide between the prepared pans.
Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
(Muffins: 40 minutes)
*Cooked muffins freeze well. One at a time can be taken out and eaten as needed.
On cookies make dough balls. Put on a cookie sheet in the freezer. Leave for one hour and then transfer to an airtight container.
7. Mom’s Lemon Sugar Cookies
Prep Time: 25 min | Cook Time: prep: 25 min. bake: 15 min./batch
Servings: 28 cookies
2 cups unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
4 tablespoons lemon juice
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
8 teaspoons coarse sugar
Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Beat in lemon zest and juice. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar; gradually beat into creamed mixture.
Shape 1/4 cupfuls of dough into balls. Place 6 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Flatten to 3/4-in. thickness with the bottom of a measuring cup. Lightly brush tops with water; sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake until light brown, 12-15 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Store in airtight containers.
1 cookie: 340 calories, 14g fat (8g saturated fat), 65mg cholesterol, 147mg sodium, 51g carbohydrate (31g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.
8. Snickerdoodle Cookies
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Cream butter, sugar, and eggs well together.
Mix dry ingredients together (not sugar mixture) and then add to the above mixture.
Roll dough into walnut-size balls and roll into sugar mixture.
Bake 400* 8-10 minutes – do not overcook.
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