Photo credit Sonya Sanford

18 Make-Ahead Weeknight Jewish Dinners 

For busy people who still need to eat.

It’s hard to return home from a busy day of rushing around, only to be confronted by the next task on your to-do list: dinner. Still, once you push past the urge to burrow in your comforter and stay there until morning, it is really nice to sit down and eat a hot, home-cooked dinner from proper plates. 

The best way to dodge the end-of-day dinner dread is to prep ahead (e.g., during the weekend or that morning), so we’ve rounded up 18 of our favorite make-ahead Jewish weeknight recipes for you. 

Whether you’re in the mood for something rich and meaty, vegetarian or vegan; something to warm you up on winter nights or keep you cool in summer; or simply a meal that the whole family will agree to eat, there’s something here for you. 

1.Chicken with Preserved Lemons and Olives

Photo credit Susan Barocas

Blissfully low-maintenance, this Moroccan chicken dinner tastes even better when made a couple of days ahead. It can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd or store in your freezer for a later date. 

2. Slow Cooker Pot Roast

“Do the prep work the night before, and set the slow cooker in the morning. By the time dinner rolls around, your neighbors will be knocking on your door.” (Pro tip: The leftovers make excellent tacos.)

3. Iraqi Apricot Meatballs

Photo credit Vered Guttman

These summertime, sweet-and-sour meatballs are ready in an hour and keep for up to four days in the fridge. Certain to become a household favorite.

4. Easy Lachmagine (Syrian Meat Flatbread)

Photo credit Sheri Silver

Syrian lachmagine is made easy with this recipe using store-bought pizza dough. The traditional tamarind-laced ground beef topping can be prepped the day before (or frozen), and it’s easy to freeze the cooked dish, too. 

5. Chicken Fricassee

A cheap and cheerful Ashkenazi comfort food that will sit happily in your freezer. One for the meat lovers in your life.

6. Osavo (Bukharian Slow-Cooked Meat and Rice)

Photo credit Leanne Shor

Think of this traditional Bukharian dish as “a rich tomato-based risotto studded with meat.” It cooks for 10-12 hours in the Crockpot while you get on with your day. 

7. Easy Kibbeh Cherry (Syrian Meatballs in a Cherry Sauce)

Photo credit: Getty/Nikolay Donetsk

Easy to prep ahead, easy to freeze, easy to make — you need these tender, fragrant cherry meatballs on your dinner rotation. 

8. Pastel (Sephardi Meat Pie)

The simple, seasoned beef filling (which also makes a great moussaka or stuffed pepper mix) is topped with store-bought puff pastry for a welcome weeknight shortcut. Makes a great next-day lunch, too.

9. Chicken and Stars Soup

chicken soup and stars
Photo credit Chantell & Brett Quernemoen.

A whimsical take on Jewish penicillin to make on a slow Sunday afternoon and enjoy for days after. Freezes well, too. 

10. Pickle Soup

dill pickle soup recipe pickle soup recipe jewish pickle soup recipe
Photo credit Micah Siva

If you’re going down the soup-for-dinner route, it needs to be hearty. This tangy, creamy Ashkenazi soup was literally invented to warm you from the inside out on cold winter nights.

11. Moroccan Harira Soup

Photo credit: Sonya Sanford

Another hearty soup, this time via Morocco. Tomato-based harira is packed full of legumes and vegetables, and tastes even better the day after it’s made.

12. Guvech (Balkan Vegetable Stew)

guvech balkan soup recipe
Photo credit Vered Guttman

A rustic, veggie-forward stew to fill your belly and warm your heart. Endlessly riffable, depending on what’s lying around your fridge, and keeps in the fridge for up to four days.

13. Spinach Jibn (Syrian Frittata)

syrian frittata
Photo credit Sheri Silver

“Jibn is adaptable. It’s freezable. It’s make-aheadable!” This four-ingredient crustless quiche takes five minutes to throw together — a realistic dinner option for even the most chaotic of days.

14. Maakouda (Moroccan Potato Pie)

Moroccan potato pie
Photo credit Vered Guttman

This Moroccan potato frittata-y pie is perfect for summer evenings – enjoyed either warm or at room temp with a crisp green salad. Bookmark this one for Passover, too. 

15. Savory Mushroom Blintzes

Photo credit Sonya Sanford

If you’re the kind of fabulous (but busy!) person who entertains mid-week, this is the recipe for you! Both the crepes and the filling can be made a couple of days in advance, leaving you minimal work on the night. 

16. Zucchini, Potato and Cheese Pashtida (Israeli Quiche)

Photo credit: Leann Shor

A creamy, Israeli-style quiche made simple with a store-bought puff pastry crust. As good straight from the fridge on evenings you arrive home ravenous as it is fresh from the oven.

17. Baked Pumpkin Challah French Toast

Photo credit Sonya Sanford

As one 5-star review of this recipe says, “I’ve made this recipe many times in the past two years and it gets a wow reaction every time, even from my two year old grandson. It also freezes and reheats wonderfully.” 

18. Sutlach (Sephardi Rice Pudding)

sephardic rice pudding recipe sutlach recipe easy rice pudding recipe
Photo credit Susan Barocas

The ultimate quick, creamy, sweet comfort food. Ready in 20 minutes (and make aheadable), some days, only sutlach will do. 

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