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Sandra Lee whips up 2 make-ahead, easy-to-freeze dinners with ground beef

Use trusty pantry staples to make two magnificent meals you can freeze for later in the week.
/ Source: TODAY

People always ask me if there's anything special they can do with jarred marinara sauce and some leftover wine. Well, you can always drink the wine — of course! — but I like putting both of these awesome ingredients to work in two family-favorite recipes: hearty, three-bean chili and a meaty spaghetti sauce that will knock your socks off.

Each of these delicious dishes takes just 35 minutes to make and they serve six to eight people. Since they use a lot of the same ingredients, you can also make them at the same time, then freeze one for a meal later in the week. It's genius!

The base of any good chili starts with awesome seasoning. If you can't get to the store to pick up one of those handy packets, just combine chili, garlic and onion powders, cumin, cayenne and a little salt and pepper in a bowl and you're all set. I use three different kinds of beans in my chili to make it extra rich and give it some extra protein.

One of my all-time favorite comfort foods is spaghetti. You don't have to spend hours perfecting a sauce, let your favorite jar do the work! A useful tip here: Don't throw away wine that's several days old. It may not taste fine to drink, but it works wonders for food, making this spaghetti sauce rich in color and flavor. Add in your favorite seasonings (I like lots of garlic), then let that savory sauce just simmer away for about 15 minutes. You'll have dinner on the table in a jiffy.