Shared from Food & Wine
From beef stew and chicken cutlets to cookies and rolls, these recipes deliver plenty of leftovers for the days, weeks, and months to come.
We’ve all felt the frustration of not having enough time (or energy) to cook. So when we do get those bursts, why not channel them into big-batch recipes that can be stretched for several meals, ready to pull out of the fridge or freezer? Baked pasta dishes like lasagna and macaroni and cheese are a good place to start; dumplings, meatballs, chicken cutlets, and fish fillets are also easy to portion. Read on for all of those recipes and more, with tips for cooking and scaling to your needs, as well as freezing if applicable.
Soups and Stews
Photo Credit: © JOHN KERNICK
It’s always helpful to have a big pot of soup in the fridge, and better yet, some stocked in the freezer. Dan Kluger’s vegetarian farro and white bean soup makes 18—yes, 18—servings, so you’ll definitely want to keep some frozen in quart containers. You can also freeze the herb oil in portions in an ice cube tray, if you’d like. For a classic beef stew, on the other hand, our slow-cooker version can be doubled from six servings to 12 servings seamlessly. Once it’s cooked, it can be frozen, too.
As the name suggests, Swiss Army Stew is designed to yield generous portions, and it’s made with simple ingredients—cabbage, beef chuck roast, waxy baby potatoes, carrots, celery root, and more. Or, try lentil and smoky eggplant stew, which yields 12 servings of food in an hour and a half.
For slightly smaller-batch stews and soups, JJ Johnson’s oxtail and white sweet potato stew recipe is luscious, tender, and delicious (enough for four to six servings), and this soothing Yucatán lime and chicken soup also serves six.
Get the Recipe: Farro and White Bean Soup with Swiss Chard and Herb Oil
Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Classic Beef Stew
Get the Recipe: Swiss Army Stew
Get the Recipe: Lentil and Smoky Eggplant Stew
Get the Recipe: Oxtail and White Sweet Potato Stew
Get the Recipe: Yucatán Lime and Chicken Soup
Photo Credit: © FREDRIKA STJÄRNE
The beautiful thing about meatballs is you can make as many (or as little) as you like. Fredrika Stjärne’s recipe for Swedish meatballs with a simple cream sauce yields nearly five dozen; if you’re craving tomato sauce, our slow-cooker meatballs serve six. And our Vietnamese lemongrass meatballs and spicy cumin lamb meatballs make easy weeknight dinner solutions. (Double as needed.)
Get the Recipe: Swedish Meatballs
Get the Recipe: Slow Cooker Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
Get the Recipe: Spicy Cumin Lamb Meatballs
Get the Recipe: Vietnamese Lemongrass Meatballs
Meat Main Courses
Photo Credit: VICTOR PROTASIO
Crispy chicken Milanese is delicious on its own, but even better with a butter, sage, and lemon sauce. The recipe calls for eight cutlets, and therefore, produces eight servings—scale as needed. You can always freeze the cooked breaded chicken cutlets and the sauce separately and take them out at your convenience. Pot roast also produces a hefty eight servings, and if you serve it over buttered egg noodles, you can stretch it even further.
Feel free to double the sheet pans in our roasted merguez sausage recipe (it serves four to six) if you want more; for pork, our spice-roasted tenderloin recipe should definitely give you leftovers. And Sana Javeri Kadri’s spiced lamb kebabs serve eight. You can batch the patties and freeze them before cooking, and they’ll thaw fast.
Get the Recipe: Chicken Milanese with Sage-and-Lemon-Butter Sauce
Get the Recipe: Classic Pot Roast
Get the Recipe: Roasted Merguez Sausage with Apples and Onions
Get the Recipe: Spice-Roasted Pork Tenderloin
Get the Recipe: Spiced Lamb Kebabs with Fresh Herbs
Photo Credit: JENNIFER CAUSEY / FOOD STYLING BY RISHON HANNERS / PROP STYLING BY AUDREY DAVIS
Nigel Slater’s fast, simple baked flounder fillets are just as easy to batch and freeze. Bake them through, let them cool completely, and freeze each fillet individually—wrapped in parchment paper, and then stored in either a resealable plastic bag or plastic wrap. You can also double Susan Spungen’s sheet pan salmon recipe to yield 12 instead of six. (Just use two sheet pans, placing them on the upper and lower racks of your oven, and swap them halfway through baking.)
For fans of shrimp, Grace Parisi’s shrimp with lemon and dill recipe turns three pounds of shrimp into 12 servings, which could be paired with everything from salads and pasta to warm pita bread.
Get the Recipe: Baked Flounder with Parmesan Crumbs
Get the Recipe: Roasted Honey-Dijon Salmon with Spring Vegetables
Get the Recipe: Shrimp with Lemon and Dill