Weeknight CookingWhat to CookMake-Ahead MealsKidsAmanda & Merrill

10 of Clara's Favorite Make-Ahead Meals

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Merrill's daughter Clara has quite the appetite -- and it's all Merrill can do to keep up. Armed with her greenmarket bag, a wooden spoon, and a minimal amount of fuss, she steps into the fray.


Now that Clara has started mixing muffins, cookies, and biscuits, it's high time she upped her game by making dinner, and especially meals that can be made ahead since her mom might be a little tight on time with her new baby brother.

Okay, maybe Clara shouldn't be cooking the food (she can't even reach the stove), but it is true that dishes prepared ahead of time and stashed in the freezer are godsends for busy families. When there's work to be done, a train to catch, and a family to feed, a little extra cooking during the weekend pays for itself over time.

More: Your guide to freezer-friendly (and freezer-hostile) foods.


To help Clara welcome a new family member into her life, we're taking a look back at some of her favorite (and some of Merrill's best) make-ahead meals and snacks. These will probably be making an appearance on their family table, and if you make them now, they can be a part of your meal in the coming weeks, too. 

Homemade Fruit Yogurt


Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins with Flaxseed 


Strata with Greens and Sausage 


Brothy, Garlicky Beans 


Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage 


Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potatoes


A Simple Bolognese for Grownups and Babies 


Sweet and Savory Overnight Pork 



Beef in Barolo 



Trail Mix 

Tags: make ahead, cooking for clara, freezer