If you are a meal prepper, then these recipes will be sure to please. Looking to save some time in the kitchen with two meals instead of just one as a result? If you are shredding blocks of cheese for homemade macaroni and cheese, then you might as well shred some extra cheddar or Swiss and make a bowl of pimiento cheese to have for sandwiches the following day. When you have leftover cornbread, do you freeze it for when you want to make a pan of chicken and dressing? The supermarket has lean ground beef on sale, so you buy an extra pack or two to put in the freezer. That way you have it on hand for making tacos or maybe you go ahead and cook the beef and make a pot of chili to freeze in small containers. Convenience is the main idea. Buy extra beef or chicken, prepare it ahead of time, then you have the cooked and prepared meat to use for casseroles or soups at a later time.

For the following two chicken dishes, bake or roast at least 3 ½ lbs. of chicken breasts in a pan. Sprinkle the breasts with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, or other seasoning and about ½ cup of water, then cover loosely with foil and bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until done. For the beef recipes, brown 4 ½ lbs. of lean ground beef and drain well; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Greek Chicken Pasta Salad

2 ½ cups cooked and shredded chicken breasts

½ cup chicken broth

2 TBSP. extra-virgin olive oil

1 TBSP. red wine vinegar

2 garlic cloves, minced

¼ tsp. dried mustard powder

¼ tsp. dried oregano

¼ tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. all-purpose Greek seasoning

Black pepper to taste

Kosher salt to taste

1 small green bell pepper, diced (optional)

2 TBSP. sundried tomatoes, chopped

2 TBSP. sliced black olives

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

12 oz. rotini pasta

Cook the pasta according to the package instructions; rinse under cold water and drain well. In a bowl, whisk together the broth, olive oil, vinegar, minced garlic, mustard powder, oregano, thyme, Greek seasoning, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken, bell pepper, sundried tomatoes, black olives, feta cheese, and pasta noodles to the bowl and toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Note: Drizzle additional olive oil to the salad as needed.

Gnocchi with Chicken and Broccoli

3 ½ TBSP. salted butter

½ TBSP. minced garlic

3 TBSP. all-purpose flour

2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth

3 cups chopped fresh broccoli florets

1 lb. gnocchi

2 ½ cups cooked and shredded chicken breasts

1 heaping cup shredded Gruyère cheese (no substitutions)

Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

½ cup Parmesan-Romano cheese, grated

In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the garlic; cook over medium-high heat for about one minute. Whisk in the flour. Add the broth. Bring to a boil and cook for one minute. Add the chopped broccoli, cover, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Uncover and add the gnocchi; cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and gently stir in the chicken, Gruyère cheese, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture into a well-greased 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle the Parmesan-Romano cheese evenly over the top, and bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove after 10 minutes and cover with foil if necessary. Bake until bubbly.

Baked Lasagna with Meat Sauce

2 ¼ lbs. lean ground beef

½ tsp. Italian seasoning

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

1/8 tsp. salt

1 (16 oz.) container small curd cottage cheese

8 oz. ricotta cheese

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups Kraft Mozzarella Cheese with a Touch of Philadelphia Cream Cheese

½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

2 (24 oz.) jars marinara pasta sauce

12-14 pieces lasagna noodles, uncooked

1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese, for the top

¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, for the top

Brown the ground beef in a skillet; drain well and season with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt. Stir together both jars of pasta sauce with cooked and drained ground beef and set aside. In a bowl, combine the eggs, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, 2 cups Kraft Mozzarella with Cream Cheese Blend, and ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese. Spread one cup of the pasta sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 pan (or 11x15 pan), and top with 4 lasagna noodles. Pour one cup of the sauce over the noodles and then add half of the cheese mixture on top; repeat the layers. Top the layers with the remaining 4 uncooked lasagna noodles and the remaining sauce; be sure to cover the noodles with the sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 55 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove from oven and sprinkle with 1 cup shredded Mozzarella and ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, and return to the oven uncovered for an additional 10 minutes. Let stand for about 10 minutes.

One-Pot Beef and Cabbage

Casserole

2 TBSP. olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ cup onion, chopped

2 ¼ lbs. lean ground beef, cooked and drained

½ tsp. Creole seasoning

1 (24 oz.) jar Rao’s Homemade Marinara sauce

2 ¼ cups low-sodium beef broth

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

¼ tsp. oregano

5 ½ cups chopped cabbage

1 cup rice, uncooked

1 cup Colby-Jack cheese, shredded

In a large sauce pan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic and onions; add the Creole seasoning to the pan. Add the marinara sauce, beef broth, salt, pepper, oregano, cabbage, and rice to the pan. Stir well. Bring this to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low; stir in the cooked beef and garlic and onions. Cover with a lid, and simmer for 35-40 minutes, or until rice is cooked and cabbage is soft. Sprinkle the top with Colby-Jack cheese and cover with the lid until cheese has melted. Note: Can substitute riced cauliflower for the regular rice.

Recommended for you