Easy, Big-Batch Meals That Will Feed You Over and Over

By Carolyn Williams, PhD, RD | May 7, 2020 | Rally Health

Baked Penne

For many of us lately, making our own meals every day has become less of a choice than a daily necessity. All of that prepping, cooking, and cleaning up starts to take a toll, even on the most accomplished, eager home chef. If you’re craving a night (or seven!) off from cooking, we hear you. One solution for kitchen fatigue? Making meals in large batches that can be stored for days — or months — for future use.

Preparing enough food to feed a crowd allows you to cook a meal once, but eat it several times, and not necessarily three nights in a row. Leftovers are fabulous, but no one wants to eat the same dinner all week long. The five recipes below — all of which are family-friendly, make six to 10 servings, and freeze well or hold in the fridge — are designed to be parceled out. The next time you’re ready for a break from cooking, try one.

Baked Penne With Roasted Vegetables

This cheesy pasta casserole is classic comfort food similar to lasagna. But it’s a lot healthier — and quicker to prepare, too — thanks to a few simple ingredient swaps. Everyone at my house is happy to see this Baked Penne on the dinner table. Myself included, because I know it’ll yield enough leftovers for another meal or two.


Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Move over, Taco Tuesday: There’s a new Mexican dinner favorite in town. This easy dish makes a handy, quick lunch when reheated and served over a bed of crisp greens. You can freeze it, too — pull out and thaw when you’re strapped for time, or need a night off from cooking.


Lemony Chicken Soup

Lemon juice adds a burst of freshness to this creamy yet dairy-free soup. Skinless breast meat from a rotisserie chicken keeps the prep work here quick. Fresh herbs and mirepoix — the onions, carrots, and celery combo that forms the basis of many stews and soups — add lots of flavor without excess sodium. Another nutritional plus? Whole-grain orzo boosts this dish’s fiber content — good for both your heart and your waistline.


Tortellini, White Bean, and Spinach Soup

I know I’ve got a winning dish on my hands whenever my kids forget they’re eating their vegetables. Featuring a rich tomato broth, this soup also happens to be one of the easiest big-batch recipes you can whip up to refrigerate or freeze for later.


Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Tossed in a simple red wine vinaigrette, this hearty, filling grain-based salad has staying power: It’ll hold in your fridge for up to five days without getting soggy. I like to make a batch at the start of a busy week to serve on its own as a side, or top with grilled shrimp or chicken when I need a fast, healthy lunch or dinner.


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