5 Weeknight Dinners that Make Delicious Leftovers

When dinner can double as the next day’s lunch or the next night’s repurposed leftovers, that’s a busy weeknight win. Make it easy on yourself with Instant Pot Stew, Creamy Polenta with White Beans and Broccoli, or a hearty Puerto Rican dish loaded with shrimp, rice, and peas.

This meal plan is written in partnership with Perdue

This month, we welcome back Marta Rivera for more of her meal plans. Marta is a trained chef, mom of twins and Army wife, and a Simply Recipes recipe tester and developer!

The closer to winter we get, the more I’m looking for recipes that will provide warmth (inside and out) and can carry over to the next day’s lunch. I mean, have you ever been upset about going to the fridge and discovering you have leftovers for lunch? Yeah, me either.

Most of the meals in this week’s plan become great money-savers because they provide leftovers for tomorrow’s midday meal. Well, as long as you have a family that can restrain themselves (unlike mine, we like to eat, so sometimes I have to double the recipe)!

If you’re not keen on lunchtime leftovers, each recipe in this week’s meal plan freezes spectacularly well to use for future meals. Go ahead, thank your future self for being one step ahead of the game!

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Pressure cooker Beef Stew made in the instant pot and served in bowls

Guinness isn’t only for St. Patrick’s Day (plus, I’m a fan of eating my beer.) It tastes like liquid bread to me, so using it in a dish is my preference. In addition to being a comforting dinner for tonight, this stew is freezer-friendly.

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Vegan Polenta with Broccoli

Polenta needs to have its moment. Add in white beans and roasted broccoli and you've got a legit cozy situation on your hands. Even better? Serving your polenta with PERDUE® SHORT CUTS® Carved Chicken Breast for an extra boost of protein, and to really elevate the meal to memorable status.

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Slices of homemade stromboli on a cutting board

Turn a favorite sandwich into a crowd-friendly meal! Once you’ve become comfortable with preparing the ham and cheese version, venture onto more unique combos. My favorite is pastrami and swiss, or roast beef with cheddar. If you need a vegetable to pair with it, try a simple garden salad. This makes a great next day work lunch.

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Puerto Rican Stew with Pigeon Peas

Millions of Puerto Ricans can’t be wrong when they say this stew full of rice, shrimp, and peas is pure comfort food. Especially on those blustery, cold days when you need something to warm you up from the inside out. Sliced avocado and tostones (twice-fried plantains) are popular accompaniments.

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Homemade Chicken Pot Pie with a golden crust has a serving removed and set on a white plate to the right.

I polled a few of my friends on what dish is the quintessential comfort food, and Chicken Pot Pie won by a landslide. Something about a whole chicken swimming in a savory gravy with veggies and topped with baked dough screams, “Gimme a hug! Let me cuddle with you!” and I’m here for it.

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Weekend Baking

Easy Pecan Pie Bars

Transforming the popular pie into bar form makes this recipe easy to share. You get more portions for the same amount of time it takes to bake a pie. As an added bonus, they freeze magnificently.

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Marta Rivera

Marta Rivera is trained chef with over 20 years in the culinary field and the blogger behind Sense & Edibility. She graduated from the Baltimore International Culinary College with degrees in Culinary Arts and Classical Pastries. Her cookbook is Taste and See Cooks.

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One Comment

No Image5 Weeknight Dinners that Make Delicious Leftovers

  1. Ed

    Wow! This all looks fantastic, can’t wait to get into this week