4 dinner recipes that make great leftovers

pork ribs braised with soy sauce

Pizza. Stir fry. Mac and cheese. Some dinners just taste better the next morning. And yet, leftovers are usually an afterthought. But if you’re wondering what you’re going to eat for lunch this week, maybe you should make leftovers your top priority. We can help you get started. Here are four recipes that you can supersize and eat for lunch (or dinner again) all week long.

  1. Slow-cooker veggie curry. If there’s anything nearly as convenient as leftovers, it’s cooking dinner in the Crockpot. Slow-cookers have enjoyed a recent return to the spotlight thanks to their ability to do all the hard work while you’re at the office, and make cheap, healthy meals to boot. This slow-cooker recipe is a shining example of what this handy tool can do for you, and there will be plenty of leftovers for lunch tomorrow (and the next day, and the next day). You begin by whisking together coconut milk, flour, and curry paste for a slightly spicy base, then add onion, potatoes, cauliflower, squash, and bell pepper to the mix. Let it all simmer until the veggies are tender, then throw in cooked basmati rice for a feast.
  2. Shepherd’s pie. A fluffy layer of mashed potatoes. Tender ground beef. Corn, carrots, and celery. These are the building blocks for shepherd’s pie, a classic comfort food that somehow tastes even better after it’s been refrigerated and microwaved. Sear the beef, mash the potatoes, and make the beef-veggie blend for the bottom of the casserole, then spread it all out in a glass or ceramic casserole dish and wait while the mashed potatoes on top transition slowly from creamy white to golden brown. The dense potatoes and tender meat hold up well in the refrigerator and reheat easily in the microwave.
  3. Cheesy vegetarian lasagna. If you like cold pizza, you’ll probably enjoy a slice of this cheesy vegetarian lasagna straight from the fridge. But first, you’ll actually have to make it. This version of lasagna skips the meat in favor of a colorful medley of veggies instead. Baby bella mushrooms, eggplant, yellow squash or zucchini, red bell pepper, and garlic mingle with tomato sauce and an array of herbs and spices, all layered between ricotta and mozzarella cheese and sheets of pasta.
  4. Supersize meatballs in marinara sauce. Cold pasta is perhaps one of the tastiest leftovers out there. And if you didn’t get enough of it from the vegetarian lasagna, scoop some of this spaghetti-and-meatballs creation out of the fridge and eat it straight. Or stick it in the microwave—that’s up to you! The massive meatballs are made by hand using breadcrumbs and milk, onion, garlic, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper, and egg. Cook them on the stovetop, then stir in some marinara sauce, and you’re ready to eat—but not too much, because you want those leftovers to last.