What’s for Dinner? 5 Dinner Ideas that Make Great Leftovers

Making dinner each night can sometimes seem like a chore. Make this week’s meal plan work for you! Each dinner idea creates exceptional next-day lunch leftovers. If the recipe doesn’t make enough, don’t worry — each one is easy to double!

Weeknight sausage and chicken paella in white bowls

As I look ahead to dinnertime, I want this week’s meals to work their magic for dinner as well as the next day’s lunch. My 9-year-old will eat most leftovers cold, so that makes packing his lunch easy. My husband and I aren’t as flexible. I want a hot lunch and hot dinner, thank you very much!

Each recipe in this week’s meal plan is spectacular the next day. You’ll have enough for tasty dinners, as well as fuss-free lunches. They microwave beautifully and can easily be transported in a single container. No need to separate the components.

I’m calling dibs on the leftovers from the Garlic Herb Steak Bites. I’ll toss them on top of the Quinoa, Arugula, and Feta Salad for lunch steak salad. Win!

I’m capping February by eating cozy homemade meals and feeling thankful for the time spent around the table. Enjoy!

  • Instant Pot Paella with Chicken and Sausage

    A serving of instant pot paella on a plate
    Coco Morante

    The pressure cooker takes this famous Spanish rice dish from weekend to weeknight. A bevy of ingredients transforms into a scrumptious, full-flavored meal. Look for saffron in the bulk spice section or substitute with turmeric.

  • Pesto Pasta with Spinach and Avocado

    Pesto Pasta with Spinach and Avocado
    Elise Bauer

    I adore pasta but often find myself eating either marinara or cream sauces. Pesto is a great option to brighten and freshen up my weekly pasta game. A dash of vinegar along with fresh spinach, peas, and avocado make this a total taste bud pleaser.

  • Chana Masala

    Best Chana Masala bowl of chana masala with rice, and lemon wedge
    Prerna Singh

    Packed with warming Indian spices, simple chickpeas transfigure into a comforting, vegan main dish. This recipe moves quickly, especially once the spices hit the hot oil. Serve with rice and naan.

  • Garlic Herb Steak Bites

    Garlic Butter Steak Bites
    Nick Evans

    Steak sans steak knives is exactly what I want out of a weeknight dinner. To easily chop raw steak, wrap in saran wrap and place it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. Fork-sized and flavored with fresh garlic and herbs, this recipe cooks in a scant 15 minutes. Serve with Quinoa, Arugula, and Feta Salad.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • Baked Shrimp in Tomato Feta Sauce

    Baked Shrimp with Tomato and Feta
    Elise Bauer

    Buying shrimp that has already been deveined and shelled makes this recipe even easier. Pasta is the perfect vehicle to transform this dish into a full meal.