One of the best things you can do for yourself is make dinners that leave you with plenty of leftovers — especially when you’re totally over cooking. As much as I enjoy cooking fresh meals as many nights of the week as I can, you just can’t beat the satisfaction of opening the fridge (or freezer!) when you’re too busy or entirely too lazy to cook, and being greeted by a meal that simply needs to be reheated.
So consider these meal plans gifts to your future self. Some are meal prep sessions that leave you with weeks of freezer meals, while others are daily dinners that are large enough to roll over to the next day and then some. Each of these eight big-batch meal plans includes recipes and helpful tips for prepping and stashing away the leftovers.
1. A Week of Big-Batch, Pantry-Friendly Dinners
2. A Week of Freezer-Friendly Meals
When what you need is a flexible family meal plan, opt for meals like breakfast frittata sandwiches, black bean veggie burgers, and baked rigatoni to eat now or freeze for later.
3. 5 Easy One-Pot and One-Pan Dinners (for Minimal Dish-Washing)
4. Here’s How I’m Prepping 25+ Family Meals from My Pantry
5. How I Transform a Turkey into 9 Freezer Dinners
Thanksgiving may be firmly in the rear view, but don’t sleep on turkey for your meal prep. Use roasted turkey to make 9 dinners (plus rich turkey stock) that all happen to be freezer-friendly.
6. A Week of Big-Batch, Family-Friendly Dinners
There are so many good leftover opportunities here — things like baked ziti, enchilada casserole, and pulled pork. Most of them freeze exceptionally well, too, so you can also tuck some away for weeks or months later.
Get the plan: A Week of Big-Batch, Family-Friendly Dinners
7. How I Prep a 2-Week Supply of Freezer Meals in Just a Few Hours
8. How I Prep 2 Weeks of Freezer Snacks for My Whole Family in Just 2 Hours
What to do when you have dinner down to a science, but the midday munchies catch you off guard? Supplement prepackaged snacks with homemade muffins, smoothie packs, energy bites, pizza bombs, and more for any hour hunger strikes.