8 Make-Ahead Recipes that Will Change Your Menu Planning

8 Make-Ahead Recipes that Will Change your Menu Planning via Clean Mama

Menu planning is one of those things that if you do it you can’t stop talking about how great it is and if you don’t menu plan, you can’t stop complaining about why you need to start.  If you’re looking for a few new winning recipes or looking to start simplifying your meal times, this little round up is the perfect thing to get you started.  The majority of the recipes are in our dinner rotation and I think you might add them to yours too!  (Recipes appear in order – top down and left to right.)  Here’s a link to a FREE printable to use for your make-ahead menu planning!

  1. Shredded BBQ Chicken Burgers – Place some of this slow cooker goodness on a bun, slather it with guacamole and shredded cheese. What’s not to love? Via What’s Gaby Cooking
  2. Homemade Frozen Pizza– This fan favorite is just about the easiest in the book. Make a batch of these homemade pizzas to stash in the freezer for those busy nights. Dinner is on the table in under half in hour! Via Love and Olive Oil
  3. Olive Garden Minestrone Soup – All you need to round out this homey, delicious and vegetarian soup is a salad or some bread. Put everything in the slow cooker in the morning and have a tasty dinner waiting for you come supper time. Via Cooking Classy
  4. Rotisserie- Style Whole Chicken – Who doesn’t love the ease of the classic rotisserie style chicken? Rather than stopping to pick one up on your way home for dinner, have one ready for you courtesy of your slow cooker. Via Design Mom
  5. Slow Cooker Turkey with No-Fuss Gravy – Who says turkey is just for Thanksgiving? Save the leftovers from this dinner for quesadillas or a salad the next day. Via Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
  6. Crockpot Brown Butter Marinara Sauce – Make your own marinara sauce rather than using a jar with this delicious homemade marinara sauce. Make a double batch and freeze half for the ultimate in easy dinners. Via Half Baked Harvest
  7. All-Purpose Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken – Nothing beats the versatility of shredded chicken for making all sorts of dinners. Perfect for pulling out of the freezer on a busy night for an easy meal. Via Mountain Mama Cooks
  8. Slow Cooker Ham with Maple Brown Sugar Glaze – Perfect for feeding a crowd or freezing leftovers, this ham is ideal for a “fancy” dinner without much fuss. Via Number 2 Pencil

Have a favorite make-ahead recipe or tip?  Share in the comments!

If you like these recipes, you’ll love my make ahead + freeze pinboard!


  1. These look delicious Becky! Can’t wait to try them.

  2. How do you freeze your shredded chicken so that it doesn’t get freezer burn? That is my one big problem with freezing chicken.

  3. Thank you! I so needed to see this on FB tonight as I was telling my husband I am in a major cooking rut! Can’t wait to try some of these out!

  4. One of the things that I do for my family is to buy organic ground turkey from Costco and make a large batch of taco meat to be used in taco salads(lunches), paleo enchilada bake(we use shredded chicken for this too), and for a quick protein for my kiddos in burritos and quesadillas. It’s also good on our “loaded” sweet potatoes(we bake a batch of sweet potatoes in the slow cooker when the weather gets colder).

  5. Frozen dough for pizza do you par bake the crust before you put stuff on it? How well will it keep in the freezer?

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