Save Time : Make-Ahead Baking Mixes

How to Turn a Recipe Into a Baking Mix main via Clean Mama

I love baking but sometimes I like things to come together a little more quickly so I will pre-mix baking mixes that I can throw together in a hurry.  I find that the key to making baking mixes WORK for me is to mix up a couple ahead of time so I have a handful of baking options ready to go.  Make-ahead baking mixes are perfect for this time of the year – get a jump on your holiday ‘baking’ by pre-mixing some ingredients now.

How to Turn a Recipe Into a Baking Mix via Clean Mama

Baked Goods that work well for Make-Ahead Mixes:

  • muffins
  • quick breads
  • scones
  • pancakes
  • waffles
  • biscuits
  • cookies
  • brownies


Put Zip Top Bag in Large Measuring Cup to Easily Combine the Baking Mix via Clean Mama

Curious how you can turn just about any baked good recipe into a baking mix?  It’s so easy!

  • Simply choose your favorite recipe and read it over to make sure it can be broken down into dry and wet ingredients.
  • LABEL a zip top bag with the recipe title, the date, the wet ingredients you’ll need to add later – put specifics on it so you don’t need to grab the cookbook to bake the mix.  Add baking instructions like bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.
  • Gather the DRY ingredients and portion them into the zip top bag.  As long as you are mixing up the mix, portion out 2-3 bags of the recipe so you can make the baked good more than once.
  • Press out the air and seal the bag.  Just about any dry baking mix will easily keep in your freezer for up to 6 months.
  • Ready to bake?  Let the mix come to room temperature on a kitchen counter.
  • Use a whisk to blend/fluff up the dry ingredients.
  • Mix in the wet ingredients and bake as the recipe directs.

How to Make a Baking Mix via Clean Mama


You can take the baking mix to a different level and mix up a large batch of an all-purpose baking mix (think Bisquick) and keep that in your pantry or freezer to use for pancakes, biscuits, waffles, scones, etc.

I like this mix from King Arthur Flour – there are so many variations, you can really make this fit just about any diet or taste.

If you like this post, you’ll love the make-ahead cookie tip in this post!

Cookie Dough Tip Close-Up via Clean Mama

Make Ahead Cooking : Ground Turkey 3 Ways

Ground Turkey 3 Ways with Printable Guide via Clean mama

Make ahead cooking and bulk cooking is a must for getting dinner on the table in our home.  One of my favorite methods is to figure out a couple recipes that can be made semi-simultaneously in an hour or so.  Ground turkey 3 ways is just that – three basic components with simple ingredients that create a handful of meals to stock the freezer.

Simply follow these step-by-step directions and you’ll have made three different types of turkey meals for the  for at least 6-8 meals for 4-6 people in the freezer in about an hour!  (Don’t worry – I have a step-by-step printable guide at the end of the post for you!)

Start with these ingredients:

  • about six pounds of ground turkey – divided in half (I used a 6+ pound package of 93% lean ground turkey from Costco)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepperBrown and Season Ground Turkey - via Clean Mama


Scramble half of the ground turkey with garlic, salt and pepper – cook thoroughly.  TIP:  use a potato masher to stir and mash the ground turkey as you are cooking it.

Drain any liquid.

Take out half of the cooked ground meat and place in a freezer safe container or bag. Allow to cool completely before putting in the freezer. This is your all-purpose ground turkey mixture – use in tacos, pasta sauce, chili, burritos, burrito bowls, etc.

Simple Turkey Lasagna via Clean Mama


Gather ingredients:

  • about a pound and a half cooked ground turkey – this is what you have left in your pan
  • 1 jar red sauce
  • 1 jar white sauce
  • ½ cup pesto
  • 30 oz. ricotta cheese
  • no-bake lasagna noodles
  • 4 cups mozzarella cheese and 1 package (12 slices) sliced provolone cheese
  • parmesan cheese

Taste the cooked meat and add salt and pepper and Italian seasonings if necessary. Add white and red sauce to leftover meat in saucepan. Simmer on low for 15 minutes.

Combine ¼ – ½ cup pesto with 30 ounces ricotta cheese.

Use 2 baking dishes – I used a 9×13 pan and an 8×8 baking pan – add sauce to bottom of each pan. Layer noodles, ricotta/pesto, grated cheese and repeat until all ingredients are used up. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on the top.   Add plastic wrap and foil to seal; label and freeze.

Baked Turkey Meatballs via Clean Mama


Gather ingredients:

  • 3 pounds ground turkey
  • ¾ cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup half and half
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon dry parsley
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined, but don’t overmix.

STEP 10:
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

STEP 11:
Line 2-3 baking sheets with foil and parchment paper – spray with cooking spray.

STEP 12:
Scoop with a small scoop or use a tablespoon and form into balls with your hand.

STEP 13:
Place turkey meatballs on baking sheets and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.

STEP 14:
Cool thoroughly and place in 2-3 zip top bags and freeze until needed. I like to put the meatballs in barbecue sauce and serve as an appetizer or as an entrée with mashed potatoes or a meal with pasta sauce. You can also make a cream sauce and make it Swedish meatball style. The options are endless!

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Go here to grab your 2 page FREE step-by-step guide for making ground turkey 3 ways.

(Please note: You’ll need to put the printable in your cart and checkout – it’s still FREE – once you create an account it will save any free printables and you can come back and access them anytime. Upon checkout you’ll see the link for the free printable AND it will also be emailed to you automatically!)

Add these make ahead meals to a quiet afternoon, evening, or weekend afternoon – the small amount of time invested is totally worth it!

Interested in other posts about menu planning and make ahead cooking?  Go here to see other posts!

Ground Turkey 3 Ways via Clean mama

Game Changing Make-Ahead Cookie Tip

So…I can’t take credit for this tip but I will give credit to my sister’s friend Tiff for this awesome tip.  Tip is being used with permission 🙂 .

Want to be the mom with the cookies fresh from the oven when the kids grace the threshold?  Want to bring cookies to a friend’s house but don’t want to make them ahead of time?  Want to get a jumpstart on those Christmas cookies – start now!  Or how about just for those days when you want one or two cookies fresh from the oven and don’t want to make a whole batch?  This tip has you covered for all of those instances and probably some more.  Best thing about this tip?  I’m pretty sure you can use this tip/technique for any drop cookie in your repertoire.Game Changing Make-Ahead Cookie Tip via Clean MamaReady for the tip?  Of course you are!

Start by making your favorite batch of drop cookie – I used my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe from The Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook.

Chocolate Chip Cookies Prep via Clean Mama

The Best Make Ahead Cookie Tip:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough via Clean Mama

Instead of dropping the cookies on a cookie sheet you’re going to scoop the dough into a 1 gallon zip top bag and freeze it.

Put Dough in a Zip Top Bag via Clean Mama

Press out the air, seal the bag, and flatten the dough into a square disc.

Squish Dough Into a Zip Top Bag via Clean Mama

Label and freeze – keep in your freezer for one to two months.

Cut Coookie Dough Out of Bag via Clean Mama

When you are ready to bake the cookies, take the out of the bag and put on a cutting board.  Do this when it’s slightly frozen – it’s easier to cut and remove from the bag.  Using a large knife, cut the dough into the squares.

Cookie Dough Tip Close-Up via Clean MamaIf the recipe calls for 24 cookies, cut the dough into 24 squares, or make them cookies smaller or larger to suit your needs.

Place Dough On Parchment-Lined Cookie Sheet via Clean Mama

Place the cookie ‘pucks’ on baking sheets and bake in your preheated oven for the allotted time.  (I let them sit for a few minutes to thaw before putting them in the oven, but I have found that they bake better when they are still very cold.)  The cookies come out perfectly round and beautiful EVERY time!

Bake as Usual via Clean Mama

Enjoy!  Don’t you just love this tip?

Game Changing Cookie Tip via Clean Mama copy

Make Ahead Baked Goods for the Holiday Table

Make Ahead Baked Goods for the Holiday Table via Clean Mama

I love to bake.  I also love to bake ahead and fill the freezer with yummy baked goods for the holidays.  It would most definitely be easier to purchase rolls from your local bakery or grocery store for Thanksgiving dinner, but if you made the rolls ahead of time and froze them that would fall under the ‘seasonal’ shortcut’ category.  So if you were going to bake something for the holiday table anyway, why not make it ahead and freeze it and take that shortcut.  Today I’m rounding up my favorite recipes perfect to bake ahead for holiday meals or just to make your kitchen smell like it should this time of year.  Enjoy!

Seasonal Shortcuts - Simple Ways to Save Time and Enjoy the Season via Clean Mama

This is part of a series all about seasonal shortcuts – go here to see all the posts in the series.

Holiday Shortcuts : Make-Ahead (and Freeze) Squash

Make-Ahead (and Freeze) Squash via Clean Mama

One of my favorite side dishes for Thanksgiving is squash.  In my opinion, it’s the perfect side.  Adults and kids alike love the subtle flavor and texture.  Better yet, it can be made ahead and frozen until Thanksgiving.  The recipe is super easy to adapt to flavor palettes and diet restrictions as it can be prepared gluten and dairy free as well as paleo.  Make up a batch for dinner some night this month and reserve half to freeze for your Thanksgiving dinner.

Cut in half and scoop out seeds via Clean Mama

Cut in half and scoop out seeds.

Place flesh side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet via Clean Mama

Place flesh side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 450 degrees for 30-45 minutes via Clean Mama

Bake at 450 degrees for 30-45 minutes – pierce through the skin with a fork to test for done-ness.  When the fork doesn’t meet any resistance the squash is done.

Place ingredients in heat proof bowl via Clean Mama

Place ingredients in heat proof bowl – choose either savory or sweet ingredients or make some of each:

  • SAVORY | salt and pepper to taste, a tablespoon or two of butter or olive oil, sage and thyme to taste
  • SWEET | salt; a tablespoon or two of butter or coconut oil; a tablespoon or two of brown sugar, maple syrup, or coconut sugar, pumpkin spice or cinnamon to taste

Make your squash sweet or savory via Clean Mama


Scoop out Squash via Clean Mama

Use a large spoon and scoop the squash out of the shell – I place the squash on a hot pad to scoop because it’s pretty hot.


Make Ahead (and Freeze) Squash via Clean Mama

Mix by hand or with a hand mixer or an immersion blender.  Serve immediately OR freeze for up to 3 months.  Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat in the microwave or stovetop before serving.  I used acorn squash for this recipe but you can use your favorite squash.

Seasonal Shortcuts - Simple Ways to Save Time and Enjoy the Season via Clean Mama

This is part of a series all about seasonal shortcuts – go here to see all the posts in the series.

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