What’s for dinner? Chicken! Make the most of your time with this go-to list of large family make-ahead chicken dinners. Having large family meals prepared ahead of time is a sanity saver and really makes busy evenings flow much smoother.
Can you prepare chicken ahead of time?
Chicken can be prepared ahead of time very easily. Chicken is a very versatile meat. You can do air-fryer chicken, baked chicken, fried, boiled, pressure-cooked chicken, slow-cooker chicken, roasted and sheet pan chicken, and grilled chicken. Chicken can be frozen raw or cooked and it can be frozen by itself or in a marinade. Chicken can also be frozen in a pre-made recipe! The Large Family Make-Ahead Chicken Dinners we have compiled here combine many of these preparation options with a variety of flavors and make-ahead meals for large families.
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Large Family Make-Ahead Chicken Dinners
What should I make for a large family gathering?
Large family gatherings require mega make-ahead meals. That means doubling or tripling recipes is the easiest way to feed a crowd and chicken dinners you can make ahead are the perfect option. Try making Casseroles that you can make-ahead and store in the freezer until your large family gathering. Here are some of our best chicken casseroles to get you started.
Make-Ahead Chicken Dinners Using Large Family Chicken Casseroles
Poppyseed Chicken Casserole is a buttery and flavorful dish is a great way to mix up your menu.
Chicken and Spinach Artichoke Dip Casserole – Think your very favorite restaurant style appetizer, now add in hearty chicken and healthy spinach to make this dish a full meal in a casserole.
Cajun Chicken and Sausage Casserole – This cajun seasoned dish is hearty and delicious.
Chicken & Green Bean Casserole – Easy and freezer friendly, this chicken dinner would be perfect to make ahead.
Buffalo Chicken Casserole – Prepare this chicken dinner in advance and store in your freezer until ready to bake!
Chicken Tater Tot Casserole – A childhood favorite recipe.
Chicken and Brown Rice Bake – Sometimes the easiest thing for dinner to make ahead is a tasty casserole.
What can I feed a large group for dinner?
Good meals to feed a large crowd are something that saves you time. We discussed making big family casseroles ahead, but did you know that you can also make Instant Pot and slow cooker meals for make-ahead chicken dinners? Using these allows you to focus on other parts of the meal or getting your home ready for company. Of course, if you have a large family every day like me, then making use of slow cookers and easy Instant Pot dinners will allow you more time with your family on a daily basis. Try these delicious slow cooker and Instant Pot chicken meals to get you started.
Large Family Make-ahead Chicken Dinners using Slow Cooker and Instant Pot Meals
Greek Chicken Pasta – Feta cheese pairs with chicken and fresh vegetables and pasta to make this delicious dinner.
Chicken, Broccoli, & Rice Casserole – This home cooked meal is easy to prepare in advance.
Orange Chicken – Slow cookers make the best make ahead meals.
Ginger Lime Chicken – This recipe can be made in the slow cooker or the instant pot.
Peppered Lemon Chicken – Make your chicken and store in the freezer until you’re ready to prepare.
Spicy Chicken Legs – This low carb meal can be cooked in the instant pot or slow cooker.
Garlic and Lemon Chicken – Slow cookers do the cooking for you so you can prepare ahead of time for your meal.
Chicken Teriyaki – Delicious teriyaki chicken freezer meal recipe.
Bacon Parmesan Garlic Chicken and Potatoes – Flavorful but could not be more simple. Toss everything into the slow cooker and let the appliance do the work for you.
Chicken Parmesan – Serve over your favorite noodles for an easy make ahead chicken dinner.
Pulled BBQ Chicken – Great for the freezer, serve up on rolls.
Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie – Craving that homestyle chicken pot pie and having a busy day? Slow cooker to the rescue.
Italian Chicken – Could not be easier, Frozen chicken and your favorite Italian dressing make this delicious and easy chicken dinner.
Chicken Broccoli Alfredo – I love this slowcooker recipe because it’s hearty for the family and easy for me to throw together.
Chicken Fajitas – Slow cookers make chicken fajitas easy to make ahead for dinner.
Low Carb Spicy Garlic Chicken and Broccoli Dinner – This recipe is perfect to make ahead. Easily freezable in a plastic container and tastes even better once reheated.
Southwestern Chicken Wraps – Make the chicken ahead and freeze. Pop the chicken still frozen in the instant pot and this delicious and healthy meal is pulled together in a jiffy!
Chicken Cacciatore – This recipe is full of flavor and freezes well making this a great make-ahead dinner.
Spinach and Mushroom Chicken Spaghetti – The savory combination of spinach and mushrooms paired with chicken makes a satisfying meal.
Cashew Chicken – This low carb, dairy free meal is going to replace your take out!
Hawaiian Chicken – This is a perfect freezer meal to prepare in advance, put all of the ingredients into a gallon freezer bag and when you’re ready to eat, pour into the instant pot and let the instant pot do all of the work!
Chicken and Dumplings – The quickest way to whip up chicken and dumplings is in the instant pot!
Ranch Chicken and Rice – Cheesy and creamy and delicious!
Spicy Garlic Chicken and Broccoli – Flavorful, full of veggies and low carb! Easy to freeze and reheat later!
Creamy Garlic Parmesan Chicken – Low carb recipe if served over zucchini noodles, or if you’d like you can serve over egg noodles or rice.
Hawaiian Chicken Sliders – This instant pot recipe is perfect to make ahead and reheat when you need it!
Chicken Bacon Stew – This make ahead chicken dinner can be prepared before hand and frozen and then added directly to the instant pot!
White Chicken Chili – This hearty chicken dinner is even more delicious when made ahead of time! Freeze fully prepared or store in the fridge, warm up in the instant pot.
Chicken Cauliflower Curry – Perfect to freeze and pour into the instant pot when ready to eat!
Coconut Lime Chicken – Make-ahead chicken dinner by preparing in a freezer bag.
Lime & Cilantro Chicken – Easy freezer meal! Perfect for a make-ahead chicken dinner.
Buffalo Chicken Wraps – Spicy and flavorful low carb wraps are easily prepared ahead and stored in the freezer.
Greek Chicken Dinner – Perfect make ahead chicken dinner, put this in a freezer bag in the freezer until you’re ready to prepare.
How to Cook a Whole Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot – This is one of those make ahead chicken dinner short cuts that is super helpful.
Teriyaki Chicken – This meal is great to throw together with frozen chicken in your instant pot. Full of flavor and easy, and a large crowd pleaser.
Sesame Orange Chicken – It’s quick, easy, and freezer friendly, too.
Honey Garlic Chicken – Easily cooked and prepared all in the instant pot.
Rosemary Garlic Chicken – Rosemary is the perfect chicken compliment.
White Chicken Chili – A simple and quick recipe that comes together in the instant pot.
Mandarin Chicken – Marinated chicken with mandarin oranges and sugar snap peas!
Pad Thai Chicken – Using this recipe I’m giving you and your Instant Pot, you’ll be able to make Pad Thai from scratch. While I enjoy eating out and having this dish, it’s so much better when you can make it yourself.
Jalapeno Popper Soup – Try this flavorful chicken soup recipe in your instant pot.
What foods can be prepared ahead of time?
Most make-ahead chicken dinners can be prepared ahead of time in their entirety and placed in the freezer ready for the oven, slow cooker, or Instant Pot (learn how to get started freezer cooking here). Chicken can also be cooked and shredded and put in a freezer bag in the freezer. Look at each of your individual ingredients to determine what can be done in advance and how far in advance each can be done. These easy big family make-ahead meals are meals that we have already tested and know they work great as make-ahead meals and include instructions to freezing them.
Freezer-Friendly Make-Ahead Chicken Dinners
Teriyaki Chicken Casserole – Tasty casserole that freezes well and remains full of flavor.
Hawaiian Chicken and Rice Casserole – So delicious and so simple. This is a perfect freezer meal to make ahead.
Baked Creamy Chicken Spaghetti – Make this chicken dinner ahead of time and store in the freezer.
Large Family Chicken Pot Pie – This chicken pot pie recipe is a great make-ahead chicken dinner that feeds a large crowd.
Double Layer Chicken Parmesan Bake – This is a great freezer meal for large families.
Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Noodle Bake – A crowd pleasing delicious and adaptable freezer meal.
Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole – Flavorful and healthy make ahead chicken casserole for your freezer.
Chicken Enchiladas – A quick an easy meal that is great to have in your freezer meal stash.
What to feed a large group when you are short on time?
You might be short on time and don’t have the time to make casseroles or make-ahead chicken dinners for the freezer. Maybe your guests are arriving today or tomorrow and you need to feed them right now. Yikes! No worries, I’ve got you covered. Here I have stovetop meals, skillet meals, air fryer dinners, sheet pan chicken meals, and big easy meals for the oven that you can make right away. (Note that most of these can be frozen, too, as make-ahead meals. Check the instructions.)
Chicken and Green Bean Stir Fry – Ginger, rice wine vinegar, and sesame seeds make this green bean stir fry an easy and fast chicken dinner.
Creamy Baked Chicken with Mushrooms and Artichokes – Low carb and full of flavor!
Pizza Stuffed Chicken – This low carb meal is a great way to switch up your every day bland chicken dinner.
Unstuffed Chicken Burrito – Low carb burritos are fantastic!
Marinara Parmesan Chicken – Pair this with a salad, riced cauliflower, or spaghetti squash for a complete meal.
Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Zucchini Boats – Low carb and keto-friendly, try this flavorful chicken dinner.
Chicken Fried Rice – Skip the take out with this simple recipe to stock your freezer to have Chicken Fried Rice any time you’d like.
Chicken Fajita Quesadillas – These taste wonderful re-heated or if you’d like to make them fresh the day of, you can prepare the ingredients in advance and just throw it all together!
Fall Chicken and Vegetables Sheet Pan – Sheet pan recipes are some of the easiest to make ahead of time because all of the ingredients go on one pan and are cooked at the same time.
Air Fryer Chicken Thighs – Prepare your chicken ahead of time by marinading it and having all of your side dishes ready to go.
BBQ Bacon Wrapped Chicken – Prepare this chicken ahead to cook on the grill.
Italian Bone in Chicken Thighs Sheet Pan – Budget friendly and easy to prepare.
Sesame Ginger Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner – Easy to prepare ahead of time and warm up in the oven when ready to eat.
Roasted Chicken Legs and Red Potatoes Sheet Pan Dinner – Cook ahead of time and heat up in the oven.
Chicken, Sausage, and Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner – Sheet pan chicken dinners are some of the easiest meals to prepare and serve.
Baked Parmesan Ranch Chicken Leg Quarters – Baking the whole meal on a sheet pan makes this chicken dinner quick to prepare.
Freezer Chicken in Bulk – This post shows you how to batch cook a lot of chicken which will be very helpful when throwing together a healthy home cooked meal.
Homemade Chicken Soup – Chicken soup freezes very well and is perfect to make ahead for dinner.
Thai Coconut Peanut Stew – This Thai coconut peanut stew is sure to become a family favorite. It’s super easy to prepare as well as quite delicious.
Jamerrill’s Stir Fried Cauliflower Rice – This recipe combines freezer friendly ingredients with a low carb twist.
Lemon Peppered Drumsticks with Brussel Sprouts – This sheet pan dinner is easy to prepare ahead of time.
Make-ahead Meals Save Time
Taking the time to prepare and menu plan for make-ahead chicken dinners will make your evenings run smoother if you are a large family and help you feed a crowd. This list will help you meal plan ahead or make something quickly if you’ve been surprised or had a busy day and your freezer is empty. It is also a great resource to fill your freezer with large family make-ahead meals!
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