With three kids and a busy home, I count on having #dinnerdoneby9am: a system of delicious recipes, quick food prep, and simple scheduling techniques making it easy to plan and prep your way to a more present life. Regardless of the day’s activities, #dinnerdoneby9am guarantees our family will spend dinnertime around the table together.
Now that we’ve covered the reasons why I cook dinner by 9 am and the techniques that help me do this we’ll cover some of my favorite make-ahead dinners and breakdown what steps I do in the morning and what I do just prior to meal time. (Click the link on the name of each dish to see the recipe.)
Baked Chicken Fajitas (gluten free)
-In the morning I slice and season the chicken and wash and chop the veggies and cilantro. Then I cover everything and refrigerate all day.
-Just before serving I bake the meat and veggies, set out the tortillas and topping and sprinkle lime juice and cilantro over the cooked meat and veggies.
Slow Cooker Beef Ragu over pasta or polenta (gluten free)
-In the morning I put everything in the slow cooker except the balsamic.
-Just before serving I shred the meat, stir in the balsamic and cook the polenta or pasta.
Spicy Chicken Enchiladas (gluten free)
-In the morning I fully assemble the enchiladas, top with sauce and cheese and chop the cilantro and scallions, then cover and refrigerate everything all day.
-Just prior to serving I bake the enchiladas then top them with the cilantro and scallions.
Chicken Pot Pie
-In the morning I fully assemble the pot pie and top with pastry, the refrigerate all day.
-Just prior to serving I brush the pot pie with egg and bake.
Baked Sesame Chicken over rice
-In the morning I make the sauce, chop the chicken and combine them in the baking dish before refrigerating all day. I also chop the scallion garnish.
-Just prior to serving I bake the chicken, make the rice and top with sesame seeds and scallions.
Caprese Quinoa Bake (gluten free, vegetarian)
-In the morning I assemble the quinoa through spreading in the dish and topping with cheese, chop the garnish tomatoes and make the balsamic reduction before refrigerating all day.
-Just prior to serving I bake the quinoa, wash and chop the basil and garnish the baked quinoa with the remaining tomatoes, basil and balsamic reduction.
Thai Quinoa Salad (gluten free, vegan)
-In the morning I fully prepare the salad and refrigerate.
-At dinner time I remove from the fridge and serve.
White Chicken Chili
-In the morning I completely make the chili then refrigerate.
-Just before serving I reheat the chili and set out any toppings.
Build your own taco/ burrito/ taco salad bar with Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken, Cuban Black Beans, Homemade Salsa and Guacamole (easily serves people who are gluten free, vegan, or picky since everyone gets to assemble their own)
-In the morning I cook the beans, put the chicken in the slow cooker and make the salsa.
-Just before serving I shred the chicken, re-heat the beans, cook rice (if using), set out all the toppings and make the guacamole. (To make the guacamole I simply stir a few Tbsp of the salsa with 2-4 diced avocados adding a little salt and hot sauce if needed).
Curried Chicken Salad on sandwiches or a bed of greens
-In the morning I completely assemble the pasta salad and refrigerate. Then I simply take this out of the fridge when it’s time to serve.
Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki, Hummus and Israeli Chopped Salad
-In the morning I marinate the chicken, make the tzatziki, chop whatever toppings I’m using, make the hummus,chop the salad ingredients and whisk the dressing ingredients and refrigerate everything.
-Just before serving I take everything out of the fridge, dress the salad and cook the chicken.
Korean Beef (gluten free)
-In the morning I completely make the beef in the morning, chop the green onions for topping and then refrigerate both.
-Just before serving I re-heat the beef, set out the onions and sriracha for topping and cook some rice.
Picadillo (gluten free)
-In the morning I completely make the picadillo, chop parsley or cilantro for garnish and refrigerate.
-Just before serving I re-heat the picadillo, set out the toppings and cook the rice.
Slow Cooker Indian Curry (gluten free, vegan)
-In the morning I throw all of the ingredients except the spinach in the slow cooker.
-Just before serving I stir in the spinach and cook rice to serve the curry over.
Chicken Tortilla Soup (gluten free)
-In the morning I fully make the soup and refrigerate.
-Just prior to eating I re-heat the soup and set out the toppings.
Sausage Potato Casserole (gluten free)
-In the morning I proceed through the first bake and stirring the sausage into the pan, then refrigerate.
-Just prior to eating I do the second bake and then drizzle with balsamic.
Vietnamese Noodle Bowls (vegan, gluten free)
-In the morning I make the dressing and prep the veggies, herbs and nuts and refrigerate.
-Just prior to serving I cook the noodles and set up an assembly bar of ingredients.
Stuffed Peppers (gluten free)
-In the morning I fully prepare the peppers, top with sauce and cheese and refrigerate.
-Just prior to eating I bake the peppers.
Hi - I'm Shannon! I'm a stay-at-home wife, mom to 3 boys and lover of all things culinary. I enjoy nothing more than a good meal paired with conversation with good people. With 3 kids and a busy home I like to prep dinner first thing in the morning (#dinnerdoneby9am) so that regardless of what happens during the day we have a delicious and nutritious meal ready to enjoy together. I want to provide you with simple techniques and nutritious recipes that will remove your dinnertime stress and free you up to enjoy healthy, delicious home-cooked meals with the people around you.Learn more