Cook Once, Eat Twice meals are just what you need, especially if you’ve been struggling to make a family dinner every single night. How would you like to cook one meal tonight and be able to turn it into a completely different meal tomorrow? This is the perfect way for busy moms to win in the kitchen.
When you’re crunched for time, planning your week around Cook Once, Eat Twice meals will help you get dinner on the table in a hurry.
Imagine getting a head start on cooking dinner.
I’m not talking about eating leftovers … these are two unique dinners.
With a busy schedule, preparing food ahead of time is a great time saver.
Cook once, eat twice meals only take a little bit of planning and are quite easy. They don’t even have to add to your prep time during the first night’s dinner.
Aren’t Cook Once, Eat Twice Meals the Same as Eating Leftovers?
Not at all.
I love leftovers … most of the time. I love their convenience, how they save me time, and I figure if I liked the dish last night, why wouldn’t it be good to eat again? You can even use leftovers to help you save money on groceries.
I know, though, that some people just don’t like them. For many different reasons.
I have one friend in particular, whose husband just refuses to eat them. No. Matter. What … Won’t …Eat … Leftovers.
Using leftovers in the right way can save a ton of time and money. It’s worth it to try and expand your understanding of leftovers and make them work for you. But, anyway, that’s not why we’re here.
Consider the Cook Once, Eat Twice Meals method more like food prep than leftovers.
Whether you love leftovers or hate ‘em, you can cook ahead and repurpose food to save yourself a ton of time in the kitchen.
In this Cook Once, Eat Twice concept, you’ll end up with dinner tonight and a plan for how to use these ingredients later in the week.
The first dinner requires minimal preparation and the second one comes together quickly, too … making your time in the kitchen even shorter.
For this edition, the base recipe is going to be Chicken Breasts. I chose chicken breasts because they are so versatile and easy to cook. There are a million recipes out there for chicken, so it’s a great way to dip your toes in the water.
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How to Prepare Chicken Breast for Your Cook Once Eat Twice Meals
- Start by finding Chicken Breast when it’s on sale.
- Place your chicken on a cookie sheet and brush with vegetable oil.
- Cover your pan with this parchment paper for really fast clean-up.
- Generously sprinkle it with my favorite chicken seasoning. I absolutely love using this seasoning and actually use it on much more than chicken. Cook roughly 1 ½ breasts per person in your family. At my house, I would cook 9 chicken breasts, because there are 6 of us.
- Bake in the oven at 400 for 25-35 minutes for medium-sized chicken breasts. Make sure juices run clear when the thickest piece is cut. Check to make sure it is 165 degrees.
- Serve half of the chicken tonight for dinner, along with a salad and your favorite sides, like potatoes, pasta, or rice.
- Then after dinner store the extra chicken in the refrigerator for the next chicken meal that you plan to make.
- Pick a quick and easy chicken breast recipe for your second night.
15-Minute Meals for Your Pre-Cooked Chicken
- Chinese Chicken Salad Kit – Mix up a kit from the grocery store and top with chopped chicken.
- Quick and Easy Leftover Chicken Quesadillas from Gimme Delicious
- Chicken Alfredo – Boil pasta and serve with Creamy Alfredo Sauce.
- BBQ Chicken Sandwiches – Chop or shred chicken and mix with your favorite BBQ sauce. Serve on buns with coleslaw and potato chips.
- Instant Cheesy Chicken and Rice – Follow box instructions to make 4 cups of Instant Minute Rice, stir in chopped chicken, 1 can Cream of Chicken Soup and 1 cup of shredded cheese.
- Chicken Nachos – Empty a bag of tortilla chips onto a cookie sheet, top with chopped chicken, 1 can of rinsed pinto beans and lots of shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is bubbly and serve with salsa, sour cream, guacamole, or whatever else you like.
Try making a big batch of chicken breast this week. If you save enough chicken, you can even make a third meal from the chicken. I bet no one in the family will even know they’re eating leftovers when you repurpose the chicken this way.