make ahead meals for a small group

We have family coming to stay with us at for a week. Any ideas for a couple meals to make ahead or that are really easy that would feed 8 people? My brother-in-law isn't an adventurous eater. No sweet/savory combinations, likes casseroles. All I'm coming up with are meatballs which do not scream "post beach dinner". Any thoughts????



Sam1148 July 18, 2012
A corn and black salad. Use frozen kernels, or fresh cut off the cob. Drain the black beans---rinse..mix with corn. Make a lime, garlic, salt, olive oil dressing. Chopped tomatoes, and parsley (or cilantro).

It'll keep the fridge a few days.

Another "Go to" for me for a group is a zaratrains shrimp boil bag. Start it with a couple of lemons (and a beer) simmer to extract the spice...fill pot with water, salt it bring to boil. Add Kilbasa sausage boil, add new potatoes--boil, Add some corn on the cob cut in thirds--Boil. When potatoes are tender...add peal on shrimp and reduce heat and let it sit a bit until the shrimp are done. Drain and dump out on a outside table with news paper. (or a big salad bowl lined with news print). Serve with cocktail sauce, soft butter, lemon wedges..and a bagged side salad or slaw.
MTMitchell July 18, 2012
Caveat -- this idea requires that people eat pork. Read no further if they don't...I make this -- -- a lot. First night is tacos, second night I mix it into homemade pasta sauce and call it "bolognese-y," third night I mix it with my favorite BBQ sauce and serve it as sandwiches with appropriate sides (usually bought since time is of an essence). Once I made a little of the leftovers into egg rolls but I wouldn't recommend that. It wasn't great (might have been user error though to be fair). I usually double the recipe and freeze some but you might need to for 8 people.
SKK July 18, 2012
Just asked a form of this question and I ended up cooking ahead, or at least the components were ready,
Taco salad - I put out greens, pre-made beans, cherry tomatoes, sliced radishes and cucumbers, olives and avocado slices. The sauce I made was Mrs Wheelbarrows I did not can it however, I froze it. The meat was roasted chicken, taken off the bone and sliced.

For breakfast I had bacon jam, great with toast and eggs and didn't have to have the mess of bacon.

At this time of year I always have my greens in the fridge cleaned and ready to toss a salad. Meats I have roasted and sliced.

Also, lasagna freezes beautifully.

And this recipe was a huge hit - I made the components ahead of time and just mixed in the eggs at the last minute.
Kristen W. July 18, 2012
HalfPint, I think lumber queen was saying no sweet savory combos, and that he also LIKES casseroles, not "sweet/savory combos, like casseroles". Hopefully I'm right :).
Sadassa_Ulna July 18, 2012
A long time ago I brought a large container of pasta salad and a large container of curried chickpeas that were both nice to have around for rounding out meals.
Maybe some pulled pork for tacos? Grain salads, gazpacho, shortribs.
I am leaving tomorrow for several days in Vermont with a limited kitchen. I am bringing hummus, some salads... I will be interested to check back on the responses to your question, thanks!
HalfPint July 18, 2012
I'm a bit puzzled by "No sweet/savory combinations, likes casseroles". What casseroles are sweet/savory combos? I can only think of savory casseroles. Just wondering.

My go-to make ahead foods (some of which I currently have in my freezer):

gumbo (which tastes far better the next day and the day after that...) - keep it to chicken & sausage and even the picky eater will like it.

jambalaya - same as the gumbo

King Ranch Casserole - this is a pretty good recipe:



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