Make once, eat twice: Our best batch-cook recipes
Batch-cooking is a brilliant way to save you extra time and money while helping minimise the amount of food waste you throw away. It’s comforting to know there’s a meal on standby in your freezer or that last night’s leftovers can be reworked into something just-as-spectacular during the week.
Here, we’ve listed 10 brilliant batch-cook recipes with lots of ideas on how to revamp each dish second time around. Transform a classic bolognese sauce into a rotolo pasta bake or use yesterday’s meatballs to fill our tantalisingly cheesy sub rolls. Yes, these really are recipes that keep on giving.
A really good, slow-cooked ragù is a wonderful thing. It doesn’t have to require a lengthy list of ingredients to be a success because the secret to its brilliance is in the cooking – low and slow to let the flavours infuse. You’ll love it first time round, served with buttery mashed potato and greens, then again in this peppered pie with extra mushrooms and a pastry lid.
Both of these meals are seriously handy weeknight dinners to have up your sleeve. Get involved with meat-free Monday and stir up a nourishing batch of dhal (we love it served with warm flatbreads), then look forward to Tuesday’s meal – this time topped with fried lamb chops. You could of course omit the lamb if you prefer, or try it with roasted chicken thighs or fried tofu instead.
Everyone should have a good sausage casserole recipe on standby – so why not make it this one? The good news is you can use it again in these nifty pies, padded out with a tin of beans and topped with cheesy mash.
Swap your usual Sunday roast for this lighter, whole-poached chicken recipe, drizzled in a garlic and mustard dressing. Then, rest safe in the knowledge that Monday’s dinner is taken care of too –hello herby chicken pilaf bowls!
Our easy curry sauce recipe is as fragrant as it is colourful – and it’s gluten and dairy-free too. Make a big batch and store half in the freezer to whip up a speedy curry midweek. We recommend our egg and potato recipe for a veggie 20-minute meal, but feel free to get creative and make up your own!
A classic bolognese sauce serves as a starting point for numerous family dinners. Please everyone at the table with spaghetti bolognese or pile spoonfuls into jacket potatoes for a filling lunch or dinner. Try adding a tin of kidney beans along with a teaspoon each of ground cumin and chilli flakes to make a quick-fix chilli con carne, then serve with rice or cheesy cornbread.
All are fail-safe options, but if you’re looking for something a little different, then our rotolo pasta bake is the way to go. The sauce is wrapped in pasta sheets, arranged in a dish, topped with a creamy feta sauce and baked until bubbling and oozy. You’re going to love it.
Don’t forget – lunch needs taking care of too! And we’d certainly whip up an extra big batch of meatballs in tomato sauce just to make these epic cheesy subs. If you don’t like taleggio, simply swap for mozzarella which has a milder flavour but similar stringy effect.
Our easy chicken stew makes for wonderful year-round eating. Simultaneously cosy yet light and fragrant, a deeply garlicky chicken stew is topped with crispy lemon and herby breadcrumbs. You can’t blame us for wanting to eat it again, so we have, in this fruity chicken tagine.
This one might not strictly be a meal, but it will certainly serve you again and again as the base to so many recipes. From fish pie to macaroni cheese to myriad of sauces, there’s so much you can do with a simple white sauce. Take this easy chicken and broccoli pie for example: simply stir through a few extra ingredients, top with shortcrust pastry and bake until golden. Easy peasy.
What makes the ultimate pie topping: potato or pastry? Luckily, you don’t have to decide with this perfect pie combo. Use half the sweet potato, pepper and chicken filling to make this easy but impressive hotpot, then top the rest with nests of crispy filo pastry to make these mini pot pies.