Let’s face it. Feeding a family day in and day out can be exhausting, not to mention expensive! Carving out a little bit of time once per week to cook ahead of time may save you tons of time and hundreds of dollars. Sometimes batch cooking refers to cooking the basics in large amounts to eat all week and it sometimes refers to prepping and freezing large amounts of fully assembled dinners. Consider thinking beyond your evening meal, too. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks should be considered when you’re filling your fridge with ready-to-eat sustenance. But trust us — it’s worth the positive impact on your sanity and your wallet. Take a look at these recipes to cook once eat all week.
Chicken, Bean & Cheese Burritos for the Freezer
Source: Good Cheap Eats
Burritos are the ultimate make-ahead meal. No matter the dietary restrictions you’re working around, just about everyone loves a burrito! Easily transform this recipe to accommodate your gluten-free or vegetarian diet.
Baked Spinach & Ricotta Rotolo
Source: RecipeTin Eats
Rolls of pasta, spinach, and cheese please all of the senses. This dish makes for a great next-day lunch or dinner.
Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken & Potatoes
Roasted chicken is a versatile protein that you can eat all week. Try making chicken salad with these chicken leftovers- you won’t regret it.
Lazy Mom Mac & Cheese
Source: The Lazy Mom Cooks
Macaroni and cheese is a crowd pleasing meal that can easily be reheated to enjoy anytime.
Sunday Night Stew
Source: The Pioneer Woman
Stew is a perfect make-ahead meal, and this recipe is full of root vegetables for an extra healthy kick. If you want to fill your freezer with meals, make a few batches of stew, let it cool, and pour into large gallon-size Ziplock bags. Lay them flat in your freezer to take up less space. During a busy week, just thaw and reheat and you’ll see why batch cooking is so worth it.
Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches
Source: Love Grows Wild
Big flavor is packed into this slow cooker recipe that is great to keep in the fridge all week for a quick hot sandwich. Make ahead to have on hand for a game night or sports event! Find a great sale on beef and double or triple this recipe!
Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup
Source: Paleo Grubs
Soups are a batch cook’s dream meal. They are easy to prepare, easy to store, and easy to reheat — you couldn’t ask for more. Buy a few extra avocados and have a fresh one each time you indulge in this flavor-filled and healthy soup.
Easy Oven Fajitas
Source: Budget Bytes
Make a big batch of these oven fajitas and eat them all week- pack them for lunch, have dinner leftovers, or make a big fajita salad and top with sour cream or salsa. Or make a plate of basic nachos and let this fajita topping take them to the next level! Easy and delicious!
How to Freeze Pancakes
Source: Home Cooking Memories
Mornings can be hectic — if your kids love pancakes but you simply don’t have the time, make a huge batch ahead of time. Use your favorite pancake recipe since this works for gluten free, dairy free, or Paleo pancake recipes, too.
Cheddar, Egg & Potato Mini Casseroles
Source: The Good Stuff
These mini casseroles pack a powerful protein punch and are great for breakfast, snacks, or a brunch party.
Omelette in a Bag
Source: Favorite Family Recipes
This recipe makes it possible to have a healthy breakfast that’s full of protein each day of the week without losing precious time in the morning. Make a few days worth of omelettes, complete with your choice of ingredients, and only do the prep work once. Top with fresh avocado or cheddar cheese, and you’re ready to take on your day.
How to Pack a Salad in a Jar
Source: Mom to Bed by 8
Make a bunch of salads to have on hand during the week using a wide-mouth canning jar. Use tiny canning jars for salad dressing if you’re worried about your salad getting soggy!
How to Make a Month of Green Smoothies in an Hour
Source: Hello Natural
Assemble some healthy and delicious smoothies to have in your freezer any time you need a nutritious pick-me-up. Vary your recipe based on what you have on hand or what’s in season. This is a great way to take advantage of sale prices on berries that don’t tend to last long in the fridge.
No-Bake Energy Bites
Source: Smashed Peas and Carrots
When you’re planning your meals for the week, don’t forget healthy and convenient snacks. Batch cooking works really well when you remember to keep fast and convenient foods on hand. These super healthy (but delicious) energy bites are easy to make but store well and are kid-friendly. We all have those moments that demand a quick energy boost, and these are a great solution.
Make-Ahead Brown Rice for the Freezer
Source: Lauren’s Latest
Busy families know that brown rice takes awhile to make, and those convenience packs of microwavable rice are expensive. Make a large batch of brown rice and save yourself time and money — and have a great side dish on hand at all times. Freeze a few bags of fresh broccoli florets and you’ll be ready for anything.
Homemade Freezer Biscuits Recipe
Source: Money Saving Mom
Easily bake the exact number of biscuits you need by keeping a stash of these in your freezer. Homemade biscuits are more simple than you may think, and you can control the quality of ingredients yourself. These would be a great fit for biscuits and gravy or a good hearty vegetable soup.
Whether you are just getting started in the world of batch cooking or have been using these tactics for years, we hope you can find ways to feed your family well and keep your sanity. Do you prepare meals ahead of time? We’d like to hear about what works for you and the recipes you love.