Make Ahead

Your 10 Favorite Recipes to Turn into a Week's Worth of Meals

For more on how to master meal planning, check out A New Way to Dinner, a playbook for stressless weeknight dinners. Get your copy here.

Cooking every day seems as daunting as, uh, cooking every day. Especially after work. Especially when there are other things to do. Especially since, what the heck, there's only a couple hours until bedtime (assuming you go to bed at 9:30 PM—just me?).

This is where meal planning comes in. Our advice: Make a giant batch of something (tomato sauce! braised cabbage! soy sauce eggs!) at the beginning of the week, and use throughout the week for easier, faster, and, dare we say it, better dinners.

Here are your 10 favorite recipes from this past year to cook in a batch and eat all week long:


10

It'll be a few months before you can make anything with zucchini, but this butter is worth the wait: soft, freckly, and ready to be tossed with pasta or even stuffed into grilled cheese.


9

Or any haze, really. You can use canned chickpeas if you're pinched for time (or just don't want to cook dried chickpeas).


8

A week's worth of buttery tomato sauce? We don't need to be told twice.


7

We call this "letting your slow-cooker do the work for you."


6

Bake a ton of quinoa and chickpea flour falafel, then expand your falafel horizons by throwing them into tacos, sliders, and fried egg-topped toast.


5

We have a healthy obsession with Joan's on Third's Curried Chickpeas: the caramelized onions, the cozy spices, the bright pop of lemon and cilantro.


4

Cabbage isn't called King of the Crisper for nothin'.


3

And by "very adult" we mean enchiladas filled with whatever you like (plus chicken fingers), sandwiches as far as the eye can see, and ramen(ish).


2

You like soy sauce eggs. We understand this.

And the winner is...


1

The good news: This corn salad is fast, simple, and with a punch from Sriracha and lime. The bad news: You'll have to wait until summer to make it.

Do you have a favorite make once, eat all week meal? Tell us about it in the comments.

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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3 Comments

Amy P. January 17, 2017
Pulled pork. Good in tacos, breakfast hash, pizza, pasta, nachos, lettuce wraps...
 
Mrs B. January 16, 2017
Echoing what several other members have suggested in recent weeks, on similar posts on make-ahead cooking, I too would find quite helpful an article (or more than one!) on dishes that can be made in quantity and successfully frozen for future use. The pot roast piece included above is helpful. Using once a week from the freezer holds greater appeal than eating one item over and over -- even when used five different ways, that's still cabbage on the plate. Thank you.
 
Jennifer January 22, 2017
I'm with you on this (it was also one of my big complaints about A New Way to Dinner). Also helpful would be more info in recipes about what can be prepped ahead (hours ahead, or days ahead) so the recipe can be finished at the last minute.