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3 Easy make-ahead Christmas entrees

A fun loving drama queen who is head over heels in love with food. Culinary school hopeful (Le Cordon Bleu - Paris), full time recipe creator, food, home and travel writer for She and "mom" to a furbaby. Wife of a social media ...

Easy main dishes for the holidays

The holidays are stressful enough, the last thing you need to worry about is what you're going to make for Christmas dinner. Why not give yourself a break, pour a big glass of spiked nog and toss one of these meals you already made into the oven?

We know, we like that idea a lot, too. These easy, incredible and delicious make-ahead meals take the stress out of holiday meal planning and make spending time with your family a lot easier (and more delicious, too!).


Roasted butternut squash lasagna

Easy main dishes for the holidays

Serves about 9


  • 4 pounds butternut squash, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • About 3-1/2 cups Alfredo sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped and cooked
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh thyme and rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place the squash in a glass baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for 45 minutes, or until soft. Place in a food processor with 3/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup water and salt and pepper. Puree until smooth and creamy. Mix the butternut squash mixture with the Alfredo sauce and chopped bacon. Stir to combine.
  2. Bring lasagna noodles to a boil and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Rinse in cold water. Mix the ricotta cheese with 1 cup of mozzarella.
  3. Reduce oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch glass baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour about 1/2 cup of the sauce into the glass baking dish and spread evenly to coat. Top the sauce with a layer of lasagna noodles.
  4. Spread ricotta mixture over the noodles. Top with more sauce and another layer of noodles. Repeat until you end with a layer of noodles. Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
*When making ahead, store PREBAKED lasagna in the fridge for up to 3 days covered tightly with plastic wrap. When ready to serve, simply bake as instructed.

White wine, garlic, onion and lemon chicken

Easy main dishes for the holidays

Serves about 8-12


  • 1 (5-6 pound) roasting chicken
  • 2 lemons, 1 sliced and 1 juiced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2-3 tablespoons rosemary
  • 2-3 fresh basil leaves
  • Fresh tarragon
  • Dashes salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Remove giblets from chicken and thoroughly rinse. Place on slightly greased roasting pan.
  2. Liberally salt and pepper inside of chicken. Place 1 whole lemon, 1/2 rosemary, basil, tarragon, garlic cloves and onion into the cavity of the chicken.
  3. Rub outside of chicken with the butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and remaining rosemary. Using the juice of 1/2 lemon, spritz the top of the chicken. Be sure to spritz a little into the cavity. Use the remaining second half of the lemon as garnish on the roasting pan.
  4. Pour white wine over the chicken. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and fresh herbs.
  5. Roast for about an hour, or until a meat thermometer reads 175-180 degrees F.
*We found this tasted the best when made a day ahead. Simply warm in the oven the day you're ready to serve.

Cranberry and pistachio crusted pork tenderloin

Easy main dishes for the holidays

Serves about 6


  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped pistachios
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Mix the breadcrumbs, olive oil, cranberries and pistachios together. Liberally coat the tenderloin with salt and pepper.
  3. Press the crumb mixture over the tenderloin until no more pink is showing. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reaches 175 degrees F. Let sit for 10 minutes before you cut.

More make-ahead meals

Quick and easy make-ahead meals for fall
3 Make-ahead meals for busy moms
Make-ahead recipes for busy back-to-school weeknights

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