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17 Easy Dinners That You Can Cook And Eat For A Whole Week

Treat yo' (future) self.

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Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

If you are only making enough food for one night, you are doing it wrong.

Instead of spending hours at the stove and with the dishes, or giving up on your best-laid plans and grabbing McD's on the way home, you should batch cook — or cook enough for several meals so that you can save some for later. The recipes below are designed to make 6 to 10 servings, so that you can eat tonight and later in the same week. Most are also freezer-friendly, so you can even eat them later in the season.

1. Stew a vegetarian chili that feeds a table of six with just five ingredients.

Freeze the leftovers in muffin tins and separate the servings into baggies. When you are ready to defrost them, the smaller volumes will heat up a lot faster. Don't forget to let your leftovers cool before freezing them so that you aren't warming up the freezer. Get this vegetarian chili recipe on Minimalist Baker. If you're a carnivore, here is a five-ingredient chili that answers the question, "Where's the beef?"
minimalistbaker.com

Freeze the leftovers in muffin tins and separate the servings into baggies. When you are ready to defrost them, the smaller volumes will heat up a lot faster. Don't forget to let your leftovers cool before freezing them so that you aren't warming up the freezer.

Get this vegetarian chili recipe on Minimalist Baker. If you're a carnivore, here is a five-ingredient chili that answers the question, "Where's the beef?"

2. Build "meal components" if you want to prep breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the week on Sunday.

Nutrition Stripped recommends cooking foods dry and adding sauces, dressings, or seasonings later to avoid making them soggy.
Nutrition Stripped

Nutrition Stripped recommends cooking foods dry and adding sauces, dressings, or seasonings later to avoid making them soggy.

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3. Slow-cook this Bolognese sauce and serve it over pasta or zoodles.

Spend With Pennies

The slow cooker is the crème de la crème of batch cooking. This Bolognese is legit, and even though it takes a few hours to cook, most of it happens in the slow cooker, which doesn't require too much attention — plus it makes 10 servings and freezes well. Spiralize some zucchini if you want to pack in a few more veggies.

See how to make it on Spend With Pennies.

4. Blend a week's worth of green smoothies to get your morning greens without waking everyone up.

This piña colada green smoothie from Hello Glow makes five servings. Pour them in mason jars, freeze them (see how here), and put one in the fridge before you go to sleep so it will defrost by the time you are zooming out the door.
helloglow.co

This piña colada green smoothie from Hello Glow makes five servings. Pour them in mason jars, freeze them (see how here), and put one in the fridge before you go to sleep so it will defrost by the time you are zooming out the door.

5. Dump and bake this chicken fajita casserole for a meal that is kid-friendly and adult-healthy.

This casserole from The Seasoned Mom is veggies, chicken, and quinoa so it's a perfectly suitable option if you are in a time crunch but don't want to resort to unhealthy options. You can either refrigerate the whole casserole dish and rewarm it in the oven, or separate into portions and refrigerate or freeze it. Get more casserole tips from 13 Smart Ways To Improve Any Classic Casserole Recipe.
theseasonedmom.com

This casserole from The Seasoned Mom is veggies, chicken, and quinoa so it's a perfectly suitable option if you are in a time crunch but don't want to resort to unhealthy options. You can either refrigerate the whole casserole dish and rewarm it in the oven, or separate into portions and refrigerate or freeze it.

Get more casserole tips from 13 Smart Ways To Improve Any Classic Casserole Recipe.

6. Chop up a "lazy man's ratatouille" that tastes even better the next day.

This easy take on a classic serves six to eight portions that are filling (thanks to the veggie stock and eggplant) but totally veggie-based. Get the recipe from Our Food Fix.
ourfoodfix.com

This easy take on a classic serves six to eight portions that are filling (thanks to the veggie stock and eggplant) but totally veggie-based. Get the recipe from Our Food Fix.

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7. Skip the expensive salad bar and pack your greens into mason jars.

This hipster tradition is a classic for a reason. All you need to do is prep a protein or cook a grain and layer in any variety of salad toppings. Why not just throw it all in storage containers like mason jars? The ~layers~ keep the ingredients separated, so nothing gets soggy before it's time to eat. Pouring the dressing on the bottom keeps it separate from the greens without the hassle of an extra container. Once you are ready to eat, shake up the jar to mix in the dressing and pour everything into a bowl.Find the recipes for these mason jar salads on Jessica In The Kitchen.
jessicainthekitchen.com

This hipster tradition is a classic for a reason. All you need to do is prep a protein or cook a grain and layer in any variety of salad toppings.

Why not just throw it all in storage containers like mason jars? The ~layers~ keep the ingredients separated, so nothing gets soggy before it's time to eat. Pouring the dressing on the bottom keeps it separate from the greens without the hassle of an extra container. Once you are ready to eat, shake up the jar to mix in the dressing and pour everything into a bowl.

Find the recipes for these mason jar salads on Jessica In The Kitchen.

8. Bake eggs and roasted veggies in muffin tins for a quick bite.

Egg muffins will keep for about five days. Eat them cold or reheat them in the toaster oven or microwave. Find the recipe on The Gantzery.
Natalie And Cody Gantz

Egg muffins will keep for about five days. Eat them cold or reheat them in the toaster oven or microwave. Find the recipe on The Gantzery.

9. Top off lentils and spinach with sweet potato for a vegan shepherd's pie that rivals the original.

This vegan shepherd's pie from One Ingredient Chef makes six servings so you can eat healthy comfort food for days.
oneingredientchef.com

This vegan shepherd's pie from One Ingredient Chef makes six servings so you can eat healthy comfort food for days.

10. Reheat beef bourguignon, which, legend has it, tastes better a few days later.

This recipe makes six to eight servings. See Food52 for reheating instructions.
food52.com

This recipe makes six to eight servings. See Food52 for reheating instructions.

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11. Stuff peppers for a dinner that portion controls itself.

These peppers are Whole30-sanctioned if you are in the midst of "pushing the reset button." This recipe from Farmstead Chic makes six dinners. Learn how to reheat stuffed peppers here.
farmsteadchic.com

These peppers are Whole30-sanctioned if you are in the midst of "pushing the reset button." This recipe from Farmstead Chic makes six dinners. Learn how to reheat stuffed peppers here.

12. Simmer some chana masala for a stew that is vegan, gluten-free, and yummy.

Chana Masala is a chickpea curry that is from Indian and Pakistani cuisines. Store it in the fridge for four days or in the freezer for a month. When you are ready to eat your frozen stew, put the container in hot water so that you can easily pour it into a saucepan or microwave-safe bowl. See the recipe on Minimalist Baker.
minimalistbaker.com

Chana Masala is a chickpea curry that is from Indian and Pakistani cuisines. Store it in the fridge for four days or in the freezer for a month. When you are ready to eat your frozen stew, put the container in hot water so that you can easily pour it into a saucepan or microwave-safe bowl.

See the recipe on Minimalist Baker.

13. Buy a whole salmon instead of fillets to reduce waste and keep it fresh.

Salmon is safe to eat for up to three days after it’s cooked, but if you don't want to be ~that person~ reheating fish in an office microwave, you can definitely try it cold — like in mason jar salads. Check out a few ways to use leftover salmon here. This recipe from Clean Food Crush makes six to eight portions.
cleanfoodcrush.com

Salmon is safe to eat for up to three days after it’s cooked, but if you don't want to be ~that person~ reheating fish in an office microwave, you can definitely try it cold — like in mason jar salads. Check out a few ways to use leftover salmon here.

This recipe from Clean Food Crush makes six to eight portions.

14. Build a stir fry by individually freezing veggies, protein, grains, and sauce. Dump everything in the pan when you're ready.

You obviously want to do your dumping in stages (which you can find in the recipe from The Kitchn), but the dumping is dumping all the same.
thekitchn.com

You obviously want to do your dumping in stages (which you can find in the recipe from The Kitchn), but the dumping is dumping all the same.

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15. Mix up beans and sweet potatoes for a veggie burgers that rival Trader Joe's.

ruchiskitchen.com

This recipe from Ruchi's Kitchen cooks 16 patties so you'll have plenty of leftovers to freeze.

16. Make freezer burritos with whatever the hell you want.

Bon Appetit offers some words of wisdom for how to prep Emergency Freezer Burritos (EFBs). You can even use leftovers from other big-batch meals.
bonappetit.com

Bon Appetit offers some words of wisdom for how to prep Emergency Freezer Burritos (EFBs). You can even use leftovers from other big-batch meals.

17. Fill a baking tray with chicken and butternut squash to cook a bunch without cleaning a bunch.

Get this recipe (that makes six servings) from Food and Wine and get a few others at 30 Easy One-Tray Oven Dinners. Chicken (like most leftovers) stays good in the fridge about three to four days. To make it last up to four months, tightly wrap the chicken in plastic wrap and a freezer bag, and stick it in the bottom of the freezer.
foodandwine.com

Get this recipe (that makes six servings) from Food and Wine and get a few others at 30 Easy One-Tray Oven Dinners. Chicken (like most leftovers) stays good in the fridge about three to four days. To make it last up to four months, tightly wrap the chicken in plastic wrap and a freezer bag, and stick it in the bottom of the freezer.

Do you like batch-cooking on the weekend? Share your favorite cook-and-freeze recipe in the comments!

See the whole chart of foods to freeze (and not freeze!) on Freezer Labels.
freezerlabels.net

See the whole chart of foods to freeze (and not freeze!) on Freezer Labels.