Can you help me with big batch meal planning ideas?

I work nights and need reheatable office dinners. So I'm looking for some big batch ideas that create repurpose-able leftovers, a la roast chicken. Any ideas/inspiration?

  • Posted by: Diana
  • July 27, 2019


Erin A. July 29, 2019
Hi Diana! This weekend I made a big batch of Instant Pot carne asada with veggies like bell peppers, red onion, and mushrooms. I plan to eat it throughout the week over steamed quinoa with shredded cheese and sliced avocado. Oh, and lots of hot sauce!
MMH July 28, 2019
I love roast chicken also. We find pork tenderloin very versatile as well.
Gammy July 28, 2019
There are so many recipes online especially here that serve 4 and could be repurposed for a single office meal, either hot or cold. When I was still single, I could make that roast chicken you mentioned stretch out most of the week: Hot roast chicken, cold chicken, stir fry, chicken salad (both standard with mayo and green salad with sliced chicken) and finally chicken soup from the bones, skin and a bit of saved meat. Same for turkey, try roasting a couple of turkey thighs. Make up some stuffing and gravy at the same time so you can use as a bed for the poultry when reheating and an automatic side dish. Are you not fond of straight leftovers? I find that some leftovers are better the second time around as the flavors have nicely melded. What about making a small meatloaf? Or meatballs, cooked and individually frozen. Cook up a package of bacon and freeze the cooked strips and you have toppings for a variety of dishes. What about pasta dishes that can be divided up and quickly reheated? Lasagna, baked ziti, etc. Finally, how about mixing up a variety of greens and drier raw veges (carrots, celery, jicama, etc.) and have a couple days worth of salads... you choose what to add in as you make up your meal earlier in the day and bag separately: meat, tomatoes, cheese, nuts, seeds, croutons. Don't forget to add in a small container of salad dressing. Or layer the ingredients, starting with the salad dressing, then tomatoes, veges and finally the greens. Gently shake to mix when ready to eat. For an office meal, I would definitely stay away from reheating most seafood and fragrant veges such as cabbage and broccoli.
Diana July 28, 2019
Thanks for the recs. I like straight leftovers for a day and then I want some variety. That's what I love about roasted chicken: It can be tacos, go in a grain bowl, or really anything else. Dishes like pasta and meatloaf are really just the same thing the next day.
Emma L. July 28, 2019
Hi Diana! Fun question. I always have a big pot of brown rice in my fridge, which I turn into lots of meals: egg-and-greens fried rice; rice bowl with tempeh, vegetables, and spicy mayo; soup with rice stirred in or alongside. I prefer boiled vegetables to roasted for meal prep because they don't lose their crispiness or get soggy as they hang out in the fridge. Also very useful to have around: these soy sauce eggs (
Diana July 28, 2019
Thanks for the recs! I definitely need some big batch grains. I usually eat roasted vegetables but you're right about them getting limp, so maybe a simple blanch is the way to go.
Happygoin July 28, 2019
If you’ve never tried it, I might suggest farro. It’s a good for you grain that many diabetics can eat in reasonable quantities because it’s low on the glycemic index.

I cook a few cups and keep it in the fridge for salads and grain bowl....easy nutritious suppers all week!
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