Cook Once, Eat Twice!

As days get shorter and schedules get tighter, there seems to be less time to spend preparing dinner every night. While you’re in the kitchen chopping and simmering, why not make something you can pull into service again one day down the road – transformed into something different the next night or frozen for months, ready to pull out on a cold winter’s night when you don’t have time to cook? Roast two chickens instead of one, assemble two lasagnas and freeze one for later, or cook extra rice to fry up another day… here are some delicious ways to make your dinner do double duty.

  • Slow Cooker Pulled Pork 1 of 12
    Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
    It takes just as much effort to roast (or slow cook) a big pork shoulder as it does a small one - the more you cook the more you'll have to freeze and reheat to serve on biscuits with slaw on a day you may otherwise resort to takeout.
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Classic Roast Chicken 2 of 12
    Classic Roast Chicken
    It takes just as much work - and time, and energy - to roast two chickens as it does to roast one. Put them side by side in a 9"x13" pan to roast, then treat the second as you would a deli chicken - reheat it, or use it in sandwiches, salads, fried rice, fajitas, pasta, or any number of quick dishes.
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Slow Cooker Ham & Black Bean Soup 3 of 12
    Slow Cooker Ham & Black Bean Soup
    Use the last of a roast ham to make a rich, meaty black bean soup in your slow cooker - the batch is big enough to freeze half for dinner on another night.
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Fried Rice 4 of 12
    Fried Rice
    When you make rice for dinner, double the amount you need - leftover rice is perfect for turning into fried rice, as the grains separate once chilled and won't lump together. Fried rice is quick to throw together using ingredients from your fridge, and most kids love it!
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Baked Manicotti Florentine 5 of 12
    Baked Manicotti Florentine
    Like lasagna, only faster to prepare - stuff pasta tubes with an easy, cheesy mixture, then slather with tomato sauce and cheese and bake one, freeze another.
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Homemade Burgers 6 of 12
    Homemade Burgers
    When you make burgers, shape a few extra patties and freeze with squares of parchment or foil between them... when you need dinner quick, you can cook them up and toss them into buns in no time.
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Easy Lasagna 7 of 12
    Easy Lasagna
    While you're at it, why not assemble two pans side by side? Throw one in the oven, and cover the other and freeze. When you need an easy meal, uncover and bake from frozen, adding about 10 minutes to the cooking time.
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Loaded Potato Soup 8 of 12
    Loaded Potato Soup
    Soup is perfect for freezing - make a big batch of potato soup, then reheat and top with fresh toppings - grated cheese, crumbled bacon and sliced green onions - to make it seem like you aren't eating leftovers!
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Pumpkin Chili 9 of 12
    Pumpkin Chili
    The combination of ground beef, kidney beans and pumpkin puree, simmered with chiles and other spices, makes for a perfect fall meal. Chili is a great dish to make in large quantity - while you're at it, simmer a huge pot, then freeze large or small containers for lunches at work or dinners on cold nights once winter hits.
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Slow-cooker Pot Roast 10 of 12
    Slow-cooker Pot Roast
    A 3 lb. beef pot roast will always leave leftovers - turn the rest into fajita filling or toss with barbecue sauce for pulled beef sandwiches.
    Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Chicken Pot Pie with Winter Vegetables 11 of 12
    Chicken Pot Pie with Winter Vegetables
    Use leftover roast chicken to make a pot pie, then assemble two - bake one, then freeze the other and bake it from frozen. Nothing warms the house like a chicken pot pie!
    Brooklyn Supper has the recipe!
  • Grilled Butter Chicken Pizza 12 of 12
    Grilled Butter Chicken Pizza
    Make butter chicken for dinner on one night, with enough to transform into a pizza sometime down the road. It's a delicious combination! (Pizza dough can be made in larger quantities and frozen, too!)
    Dinner with Julie has the recipe!

Top photo credit: altered from Ole & Shaina Olmanson

For more delicious ideas, check out Julie’s other Family Kitchen posts or visit her blog, Dinner with Julie! Join Julie on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for updates!


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Article Posted 4 years Ago
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