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Food

The best dishes to make and freeze ahead for dinner

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Cheesy, comforting baked mac ‘n’ cheese is a great dish to make and freeze for dinners later in the week. Prop styling by Nidia Cueva.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Even though you have all the time in the world right now to cook, you’ve probably already realized that cooking every meal every day is, well, a chore! I’m sure you don’t want to devote every waking minute you have to stirring things in a pot then washing a million dishes even when all you have is infinite minutes.

So, here are some one-pot recipes you can make this weekend, then wrap up and freeze for dinners next week and beyond. Cheesy, saucy baked pasta dishes like lasagna, Greek moussaka and pastitsio, and mac ‘n’ cheese work wonderfully here. As do old-fashioned casseroles and stuffing (yeah, it’s not Thanksgiving, but it’s carbs and comfort, and that’s what we need right now).

Whenever you’re ready to eat, pop them in the oven (assemble them in disposable foil pans if you want to keep cleanup easy, though you have more time than ever to scrub your dishes) and do something else with the hours you’ve gained back in your day, like, ya know, put together a jigsaw puzzle or finish that novel you started four years ago that you swore you’d get around to on Monday.

Lasagna Bolognese

Time 4 hours
Yields Serves 12 to 16
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Mexican lasagna

Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Yields Serves 8 to 12

Papa Cristo's meat moussaka

Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Yields Serves 12 to 16

Pastitsio

Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Yields Serves 8 to 10

Best-Ever Mac 'n' Cheese

Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields Serves 12 to 16

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Baked pasta with spinach and sausage

Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields Serves 6 to 8

Pasta Shells With Ricotta-Spinach Filling and Fresh Basil

Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields Serves 4

Southern stuffing

Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields Serves 6 to 8

Tamale pie casserole

Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields Serves 8

Turkey casserole

Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields Serves 4 to 6

Homey Tuna Noodle Casserole

Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Yields Serves 6


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