Making a kid-friendly dinner doesn’t have to be stressful especially with these make ahead meals for busy moms.
Get a jump on dinner while the little guys are sleeping, at school, outside or otherwise occupied earlier in the day–with these make ahead meals for moms.
Quick and Easy Make-Ahead Meals
Prep during whenever you have time in the afternoon, then let dinner cook or just hang out in a warm oven until you’re ready. All of them will wait patiently. They’re good like that.
And possibly best of all, each recipe below has been kid-tested by moms like me. Sure to please.
We have over 25 easy recipes your entire family will love, plus a bonus recipe.
A lot of these are comfort food or family favorites packed with lots of flavor and hearty enough to fill the belly!
Plus, many of them are healthy, even better!
Easy Make-Ahead Chicken Dinners
Oven Roasted Lemon Whole Chicken with Potatoes and Carrots
This is a lick-the-plate favorite at our place. Spend 15 minutes putting it together, then the whole thing slowly cooks all afternoon in the oven. via Foodlets
Make Ahead BBQ Wings
One of my favorite ahead recipes is this tasty and tangy BBQ idea. Great flavor in a kid-friendly portion: Love and love. via Beauty Through Imperfection
White Chili One Dish
Full of juicy chicken and white beans, this chili is the best way to serve chili to kids who aren’t into the tomato-based kind. via The Sweet Potato Chronicles
Busy Weeknights Chicken Adobo
Chicken thighs in a thick, rich and tangy tomato sauce sounds great, but knowing you can meal prep it days ahead of time sounds even better. via Elsie Marley
White Chicken Chili
Brimming with protein-packed white beans, this easy-to-make delicious meal is one that waits right on the stove. via The Realistic Mama
Stove Top Broccoli, Chicken & Rice One Pot
I am a firm believer in one pot meals! A one-pot dish that cooks–and waits–on the stove until dinner time (Note: If my kids didn’t love it the first time, they’re believers now). via Foodlets
Biscuit-Topped Turkey Pot Pies
A can of store-bought biscuits makes quick work of a dish that typically takes much longer to make which is great news for the end of the day. via Foodlets
Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
Two beloved flavors come together in this family favorite of all healthy recipes, Rotel Chicken Tortilla Soup. You know this one’s gotta be good and the whole house smells amazing because of the slow cooker! Oh, and don’t forget the lime juice (or lime wedge) and fresh cilantro.
Moroccan Chicken Slow Cooker Casserole
I love introducing our kids to new flavors and the sweet cinnamon in this dish helps bring a bit of familiar flavor to a new experience. via Beauty Through Imperfection
Easy Whole Chicken in the Crock Pot
Nothing waits better than a slow cooker meal, and this one’s a one-pot meal in the making. This recipe also makes an easy freezer meals! via The Realistic Mama
Delicious Make-Ahead Meatless Dinner Ideas
Sweet Potato & Apple Soup
Pureed soups don’t get more flavorful than this one, full of our kids’ two favorite fall flavors including my favorite, sweet potatoes! via The Sweet Potato Chronicles
Simply Best Oven Potatoes
What’s easier than a side dish that cooks itself in the oven? I think this would be even more amazing with a little sprinkled cheddar cheese on the top. via The Realistic Mama
This vegetarian version of a beloved classic includes eggs, nuts, cheese and three different kinds of something you’d never guess. via Kids Activities Blog
Baked Macaroni & Cheese (with Carrots!)
There are times when sliding a few carrots into an otherwise gooey pasta dish is the perfect way to combine delicious and nutritious! This is one of them. via Foodlets
Amazing Make-Ahead Dinners for Busy Days & Busy Nights
Fried Cabbage with Crumbled Bacon
If you (or the kids) think you don’t like cabbage, make this one tonight. The cabbage gets soft and buttery, the bacon’s salty and crispy, together it’s heaven. via Foodlets
Tex-Mex Rice, Beef & Beans
All the flavor of beef tacos in a one-pot meal. This is one of those meals we have regularly on a Sunday afternoon or early dinner. via Foodlets
Baked Eggs with Cream, Ham & Swiss Cheese
This is one of our easiest, fastest meals that ALSO waits patiently in a warm oven until everyone is ready to eat. What? How is that possible? It is one of the most simple recipes at Kids Activities Blog
Bacon & Swiss Quiche
Our kids love eggs. And bacon. And Swiss cheese. But when they find out there’s a pie crust involved with dinner? There might be cheering and I believe we have identified one of the ultimate comfort food! via This Heart of Mine
Fritatta with Spinach, Pancetta and Ricotta
An easy-to-make egg dish with rich Italian flavors kids love. Just add dinner rolls! via Foodlets
Bonus: Baked Risotto with Bacon and Peas
Nope, no stirring over the stove here. Just a rich and creamy rice dish that is an easy way you can park in the oven until you’re ready to call the rascals for dinner. via Foodlets
That makes 22 dinners you can make ahead of time, whether it’s earlier in the day or in the month. Take advantage of your slow cooker, instant pot meal, oven, freezer and a little plan ahead time!
More Easy Dinner Recipes
- This Rainbow Pasta will make dinner exciting! Your kids will be so excited to eat all these colorful noodles.
- This is such a flavorful and easy dinner. This One Pan Fish and Veggies both delicious and healthy.
- Chicken Fried Rice is a family favorite! Rice, chicken, veggies, you can’t go wrong.
- Get healthy with these Easy Salad Recipes.
- More kid-friendly dinner ideas!
What is your favorite make ahead meal?