An urgent text popped onto my phone last week, a sort of parenting SOS from a neighbor grappling with a dinner crisis. With a new set of back-to-school activities this fall, she and her kids aren’t getting home until after seven most nights. “What do we have for dinner when everyone gets home so late?” she exclaimed. “You can’t have eggs on toast EVERY night!”

That’s a tricky one. You roll in at the end of a long day, kids are beyond tired and THEN you’re going to start cooking? Not ideal. SO, I put together a list of 12 make-ahead dinners, all vegetarian, that you can reheat in the oven or microwave and get on the table in no time. While dinner is warms up, pull out pre-washed salad greens or cut up some crunchy raw vegetables to serve with a dressing that you’ve made ahead of time. Dinner is done.

1. Enchiladas

The name says it all! Lazy Girl’s Enchilada Pie is an ideal make-ahead that kids tend to love as much as grown ups. You can also make (and dress) this slaw ahead of time.

2.Falafel

Grab your food processor and whip up a batch of these delicious Falafel Burgers with Dill Yogurt Sauce. Swap in pita or sturdy lettuce wraps for the burger buns if you prefer.

3.Mini Mac Cheese

Your family will be head over heels for these comfort food minis.  They’re also a great way to sneak in a few extra veggies.

4. Lentil Tacos

Spice things up with these Slow Cooker Indian Tacos. Lentils, spices and simple toppings keep this dish easy and budget-friendly. Since these are done in the slow cooker, you can set it to “warm” once the lentils are done, so everything is ready when you get home.

5. Zucchini Lasagna

Use up your farmers’ market finds with this No-Noodle Zucchini Lasagna. It’s low carb and gluten free if that is on your radar.

6. Farro Cakes

Make these Farro Cakes with Lemon Dill Yogurt Sauce ahead of time for a super speedy dinner.  Bonus: they are great as leftovers too.

7.Egg  Strata

Have breakfast for dinner with this Mediterranean Egg and Spinach Strata. It’s jammed full of protein, fiber and flavor and can be served cold, room temperature, or hot.

8.Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna is packed with protein and fiber, and will keep you feeling full and satisfied. Nobody seems to notice there are no noodle in here, it’s so good.

9. Butternut Squash Soup

Make a double batch of this Genius Butternut Squash Soup, because it’s always a hit. Bonus tip: Toss any leftover roasted veggies in for a vegetable soup with a creamy base. Reheat in a pot on the stove.

10.Tempeh Meatballs

These Tempeh Meatballs in Tomato Sauce are so good, you won’t even miss the meat. Serve with a side of crusty baguette and a salad.

11.Carrot Mac-n-Cheese

Put a new spin on a classic favorite with this Creamy Carrot Mac and Cheese  that’s got carrots blended right in.

12. Spinach & Feta Pie

Savory Spinach and Feta Pie is so deceivingly easy, you may want to make it twice in one week. It’s a good one for lunch the next day, too. This is best reheated in the oven.

 

 

 

make-ahead vegetarian dinners