In a large family, there’s always more work and the holiday season is no exception. We can give ourselves the gift of time with our family by making holiday recipes ahead of time. In this post, I have compiled 100+Large Family Make-Ahead Meals for the Holidays that are recipes you can make ahead for the holidays so you will spend your time enjoying the moments.
We know having family and friends over for the holiday meals means more than just one meal. This is why I have compiled easy recipes to cover every meal for a crowd during the holiday season. Below, you will find recipes for Christmas dinner, holiday morning breakfasts, easy make-ahead freezer-friendly lunches for a crowd, and many more!
Large Family Make Ahead Meals for the Holidays
Make your entrees weeks or months ahead and store them in the freezer. If your running short on time, you can also make them days ahead and store them in the fridge. Slow Cookers are great because they allow you to begin your meal hours ahead of time and they do the work for you without taking up room in your oven or on your stovetop.
What can I make ahead of time for Christmas dinner?
There are no rules about what has to be on the menu for Christmas dinner, and since people gather at all different times and different ways, so we’ve included lots of recipe options! Almost anything can be made ahead from the main dish (ham, turkey, chicken, or seafood) to sides like mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and vegetables. Finally, desserts like cookies, cakes, and pies can also be made ahead. You will find links to 100+ Large Family Make-Ahead Meals below. When cooking a holiday meal to feed a large crowd, make-ahead meals and sides is a huge time-saver.
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Large Family Make-ahead Main Dish Ideas
Making the main dish doesn’t have to be stressful. There are so many things you can make from meats to casseroles. Our Large Family Make-Ahead Slow Cooker Lemon Herb Turkey Breast and Large Family Slow Cooker Turkey Breast are two easy slow cooker recipes that are also freezer-friendly. Here is a different version of Make-Ahead Roast Turkey from Culinary Hill.
Bacon-Wrapped Turkey is another twist on a classic turkey recipe. I think it’s safe to say that adding bacon to anything makes it better!
You can try something new with our Turkey Meatloaf in the crockpot recipe.
Here are more meat options for Large Family Make-Ahead Meals:
- Stove Top Roast
- Whole Frozen Chicken in the Instant Pot
- Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- Peppered Lemon Chicken
- Low Carb BBQ Bacon Wrapped Chicken
What side dishes can be made ahead and frozen for Large Family Make-Ahead Meals?
There are many holiday side dishes that feed a crowd that can be made ahead of time for Large Family Make-Ahead Meals. This saves you time and can even spread your holiday meal budget out over several months by freezing sides after making them ahead. Stuffing to mashed potatoes, cheesy potatoes, and green bean casserole, there’s a great number of delicious holiday side dishes that can be prepared in advance.
Large Family Make-Ahead Stuffing is a freezer-friendly recipe that allows you to prepare this favorite holiday recipe ahead of time and storing it for days or even weeks in the freezer.
Try Make-Ahead Freezable Gravy Recipe to have your delicious gravy already prepared. You can also prepare your mashed potatoes for your large family holiday meal ahead of time and store them in your freezer.
- Large Family Make-Ahead Green Bean Casserole from Scratch
- Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce can be frozen.
- Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- Low Carb Stuffing Recipe
- Easy Homemade Biscuits for the Freezer – Skip those refrigerated rolled biscuits and stock your freezer with some tasty homemade biscuits instead.
- Classic Dinner Rolls
There are lots of delicious potato options to make-ahead, too!
- Twice Baked Potatoes for the Freezer
- Homemade Freezer Mashed Potatoes is a must-have holiday side dish. Freezer mashed potatoes are delicious and so convenient.
- Large Family Make-Ahead Cheesy Potatoes is a large family holiday favorite. Cheesy potatoes for a crowd are easy to make in advance and store in the freezer. This can be baked right up easily from the freezer.
Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole is a casserole that would make a great side dish with your Ham or Turkey.
Twice Baked Sweet Potato Casserole with Bacon – What would make sweet potato casserole better? Bacon.
If you’re looking for a fun, hands-on recipe to spend some time with your children in the kitchen, try these adorable Mini Turkey Cheese Balls. They come together with simple ingredients that we usually have on hand, and they are tasty and adorable.
Sometimes making bread and slicing it is a better use of time and energy when you’re already preparing so many different things. Try making some homemade French bread, our Homemade White Bread, or our White bread without Yeast.
Large Family Sweet Potato Biscuits are a delicious twist on a classic biscuit recipe. They are tender and flavorful. Perfect to go with your holiday meal.
Vegetable Sides can be quickly prepared from frozen using your Pressure Cooker:
- Easy Pressure Cooker Steamed Carrots
- Garlicky Green Beans and Tomatoes
- Green Beans Casserole
- Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
- Squash, Zucchini, and Tomato Bake
What is a good meal to feed a large crowd?
Casseroles are a great Large Family Make-Ahead Meals to feed a large crowd because they consolidate all of the sides and protein into one dish. Casseroles are crowd-pleasers and save you the time and energy both beforehand in prep work but also afterward, with fewer dishes. Soups and stews, pasta dishes, and even pizzas are great meals to feed a large crowd because of the large quantities that can easily be made and served out of the same dish.
Make-Ahead Casseroles for Large Family Make-Ahead Meals
Many people enjoy different traditions for their holiday meals. Whether your holiday family tradition is Surf & Turf, a Mexican Fiesta, classic and traditional, or breakfast for dinner, these delicious freezer-friendly Large Family Make-Ahead Meals casseroles will help you feed a crowd during the holidays. You will also enjoy these 75+ Make Ahead Casseroles that Freeze Well!
Instant Pot Cowboy Casserole and Low Carb Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole Bake are great recipes to grab pre-prepared and frozen ground beef and quickly prepare a meal for the holiday guests in your home.
Shepherd’s Pie Freezer Meal is a great option for a make-ahead holiday freezer meal because it’s a one-dish wonder. This hearty dish is easy to prepare, feeds a large crowd, and includes all of the healthy vegetables and meat all in one.
Chicken Pot Pie – This classic recipe freezes perfectly which allows you to make it ahead of time and prepare it for dinner easily with no fuss.
Seafood or Meat Casseroles
- Make-Ahead Seafood Casserole
- Low Carb Philly Cheesesteak Casserole
- Low Carb Ground Beef Casserole
- Cheeseburger Casserole
- Sloppy Joes Casserole
More classic casseroles your family will enjoy during the holidays!
- Low Carb Chicken and Green Bean Casserole
- Cheesy Ham and Pasta Casserole
- Baked Millionaire Spaghetti Casserole
- Manicotti Freezer Meal
- Baked Macaroni and Cheese Freezer Meal
- Chicken, Broccoli, Alfredo, Noodle Bake
- Kielbasa Cheesy Broccoli Bow Tie Bake
- Double Layer Chicken Parmesan Bake
- Cajun Chicken and Sausage Casserole
Pizza Options for overnight holiday guests
Have a house full of guests for the holidays? Pizza Night is a budget-friendly large crowd pleaser. Homemade pizzas can be made to suit all different diets and personal tastes. Deep dish pizzas, low carb pizza recipes, casseroles, and homemade freezer pizza dough help you to feed a crowd that is home for the holidays without having to spend the money on carrying out.
Make-ahead pizza can be as easy as making your homemade pizza dough and storing it in the freezer to be ready to make pizza any time!
Low Carb Pizza Casserole is gluten-free, sugar-free, and low carb! To freeze this meal, prepare as directed but don’t bake it, cover and wrap in your casserole dish and place in the freezer until you’re ready to defrost and bake.
Pizza Casserole Oven Bake is a pasta casserole with delicious pizza flavors that can easily be made ahead of time for your holiday gatherings and stored in the freezer until you’re ready to prepare. You might also try our Low Carb Deep Dish Pizza Casserole or our Low Carb Pizza Stuffed Chicken.
Pepperoni Pizza Muffins, English Muffin Pepperoni Pizzas, or Pepperoni and Cheese Pinwheels are all perfect to stock your freezer for those days when you need easy to serve pre-made and budget-friendly foods for your large family during the busy holiday season.
Mexican Fiesta Themed Holiday Meals
Taco Bars with Slow Cooker Taco Meat are a great way to feed a large crowd. Set up a buffet line with shells and tortillas, shredded lettuce, guacamole, diced tomatoes, cheese, corn, black beans, and any other tasty taco fixings. This is a great Christmas Eve option!
Try one of these unique recipes:
Large Family Beef Fajitas – This Instant Pot Freezer Meal is a great way to feed a crowd during the holidays.
Can you make Christmas Cookies ahead of time and freeze them?
Christmas cookies are one of those holiday gathering staples when thinking of Large Family Make-Ahead Meals. But who has time to make all of those different types of holiday cookies and prepare all of the meals as well? Try making your cookies ahead of time. Not only do you save time, but your cookies are also more flavorful because they have time to develop flavor in the freezer. Cookie dough can freeze for months, so you can make your holiday cookies months in advance.
For the chocolate cookie lovers, try these delicious cookies:
- Big Family Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
- Large Family Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
- The BEST Oreo Cookie Balls for a large family
- Keto Thin Mints
- Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
- No-Bake Chocolate Cookies
Large Family White Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Cookies are a decadent cookie that looks fancy and tastes delicious and they make a great holiday cookie gift, as well.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are a classic delicious cookie for those looking for something healthier.
MEGA Lots of Large Family Desserts for Large Family Make-Ahead Meals
Aside from cookies, pies and other desserts can be made weeks in advance and stored in the freezer until ready to bake. Other desserts will store for days in the fridge to allow you to stagger all of your cooking over several days and even weeks in order to make sure you can enjoy your holidays.
Bring on that classic pumpkin flavor for the holiday season with these delicious recipes:
- Make Ahead and Freeze Homemade Pumpkin Pie
- Large Family Instant Pot Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Banana Bread
Our low carb family and friends will appreciate having some desserts that are made specifically with them in mind. Try my Low Carb Pumpkin Cheesecake, Keto Pumpkin Pie, and Low Carb Peanut Butter Fudge to show your loved ones that you care for them and their dietary needs.
Large Family Fresh Peach Cobbler is a delicious dessert that you can freeze after you make it at the peak of the peach season to capture that wonderful peach flavor at the end of the summer.
Fruit Pizza Wreath is another great recipe that you can put together with children.
Andes Mint Brownies Lush combines chocolate and mint in a brownie.
Large Family Make-Ahead Meals Holiday Breakfast Ideas
Breakfast Holiday Meals are necessary if you have overnight guests. Make it a matching holiday pajama party and mix up your favorite breakfast casserole dishes to enjoy together. You can also utilize freezer breakfast meals to save time and provide a hot and homemade breakfast ready while you enjoy your hot coffee and guests. These Large Family Make-Ahead Meals freezer-friendly recipes will be perfect for the company.
- Denver Omelet Casserole
- Pecan Overnight French Toast Casserole
- Apple French Toast Casserole
- Large Family Slow Cooker Hashbrown Casserole
- Apple Challah French Toast Casserole
- Healthy Ham & Spinach Breakfast Casserole
- Homemade Biscuits and Gravy Casserole
Steak, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Casserole and the low Low Carb Spinach Mushroom and Ham Quiche are a great way to use up those leftover items in the freezer. You can make it in advance by storing the ingredients in the freezer and whipping it up on those busy holiday mornings.
Breakfast Hot Pockets – Homemade hot pockets to fill your freezer before your home is filled with hungry guests for the holidays. Easy French Toast Freezer Meal is great for a busy mom trying to pull together holiday meals for her own family. Feed your freezer, and your freezer can feed your people during the holiday rush.
Loaded Breakfast Biscuits delicious and freeze easily.
Make-ahead muffins for your freezer will make your holiday breakfast as easy as grab and go. Muffins pair well with coffee and fresh fruit, they are also very easy to serve on a platter to a large crowd. Try these muffin recipes:
- Baked Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Baked Oatmeal Apple Sauce Muffins
- Baked Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins
- Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
- Almond Poppyseed Tea Muffins
- Pumpkin Banana Muffins
- Mixed Berry Muffins
- Pear Pecan Muffins
- Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
- Apple Muffins
Homemade Protein Bites are fun and tasty.
A delicious and hearty breakfast casserole like Egg and Potato Breakfast Bowl Bake is perfect to make ahead for your large family holiday crowd.
Egg and Cheese Breakfast Burritos, Sausage, Egg, & Cheese Breakfast Burritos and Western Breakfast Burritos are easy to make big batches and store in the freezer. They can be heated up in the oven, microwave, or even air fryer.
Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches – Easily customizable breakfast sandwiches for all tastes and preferences.
Try a grab and go breakfast like Cinnamon French Toast Sticks for the Freezer.
Breakfast Cookies are a great make ahead breakfast that can be easily stored in the freezer until it’s time to serve. Try Cranberry Carrot Breakfast Cookies, Cherry Nut Spice Breakfast Cookies, Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Cookies, Apple Pie Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies, and Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies.
Large Family Make Ahead Pumpkin Pancakes are a festive breakfast that are very freezer friendly.
Oats are a large family’s best budget-friendly breakfast. They are customizable in so many ways, healthy and filling. Check out these creative and different oat recipes to make ahead for holidays:
- Apple Harvest Baked Oatmeal Recipe
- Brownie Batter Overnight Oats
- Banana Bread Overnight Oats
- Apple Pie Overnight Oats
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Overnight Oats
- Instant Pot Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal
- Jamerrill’s Baked Large Family Oatmeal
A good hearty breakfast to try is our Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole.
Large Family Make-Ahead Meals Lunch Ideas for the Holidays
Filling your freezer with homemade make-ahead lunches will help lower your stress level and workload during the busy holiday season. Here are a few to get you started:
- Grilled Cheese Sandwiches for the Freezer
- Corn Dog Muffins
- Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets
- Ham and Cheese Pinwheels
- Bean and Cheese Burritos
How many days ahead can you meal prep?
There seems to be no end to how far in advance you can make Large Family Make-Ahead Meals for the holidays. Many recipes can be made months, weeks, and days ahead of time. That’s the beauty of make-ahead holiday meals and recipes.
I hope you found lots of recipes and encouragement in this long list of holiday recipes to make-ahead. You don’t have to feel overwhelmed or like you have to do it all at once. Holiday meal prep can begin in July if that’s when you have the time to do it!
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