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Busy days make for frazzled nights. Having a jam-packed schedule usually means something has to give, so it’s not surprising that many of us frequently choose not to prepare dinner. One too many trips to the drive-thru though, and you’ll notice the effects on both your wallet and your waistline.

Luckily, with a little planning, you can still have all the benefits of a home-cooked meal without the nightly preparation. Just use your kitchen’s secret weapon: the freezer. Many meals are perfect for freezing and saving for those days when you only have time for a quick reheat.

Any time of the year, take an hour or two to make a few casseroles and freeze them for the busy days ahead. Whether you choose a fancy casserole perfect for entertaining, or a simple hearty recipe your family will love, your freezer can be your best friend in the kitchen. These frozen casserole recipes are like money in the bank.

Inspired by the classic Greek comfort dish known as pastitsio, this pasta casserole Greek Baked Ziti uses fresh and flavorful ingredients, which give it a lovely, refreshing quality. It’s hearty and filling, but the flavors of oregano and garlic add a lilting lightness to the Mediterranean-inspired dish. It mixes the classic flavors of ground beef, onion, and garlic, with oregano and two rich cheeses: Parmesan and mozzarella. So bake a dish of this comfort-food favorite, and in under 30 minutes you can settle in for a warm, delicious, family meal. For an easy weeknight dinner, you can even make this ahead and freeze it. A great tip: Make 2, serve one tonight and freeze the other!

Cook’s Note: When freezing a casserole, always allow to cool to room temperature before freezing.

“The table is a meeting place, a gathering ground, the source of sustenance and nourishment, festivity, safety, and satisfaction. A person cooking is a person giving: Even the simplest food is a gift.”
~ Laurie Colwin

Greek Baked Ziti Photo