Once a Week Cooking Ideas -Menu Planning

With once a week cooking you will be able to prepare a batch of different foods and enjoy them later. This does not mean you will eat the same foods every day, as some believe because you can prepare whatever you want.

Once a week cooking will save your time, money, and bring you a week without stress in the kitchen.
Before you start, you should have a plan. Planning once a week is the first thing you have to do. You need to put a list and a weekly grocery list together. This will be your starting point. Once you have your ingredients you can start cooking.

How to Prep for Once a Week Cooking

Prep your fridge to help you through the week. Cut vegetables ready for snacking, fresh lettuce ready for salads, fruit ready accessible is great to have on hand all week. You can even prep ahead pasta or rice so you can pull it out and add a sauce or create fried rice faster. Then prepare a few favorite recipes to use during the week.

Recipes for Leftovers

These recipes are great for leftovers to use through the week.

Chicken Black Bean Chili

Serving: 6
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
40 oz. tomato sauce
30 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed
2 diced shallots
2 teaspoons garlic powder
4 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat chicken well.
Freezing method:
Place ingredients in a zip-lock bag and shake once again to coat the chicken.
Set in the freezer and keep until ready to use.
Cooking method:
Set the chicken in the refrigerator overnight to thaw.
Place all ingredients in the large pot or saucepan and cook for 30 minutes.
Serve while still hot.

Seafood Chowder

Serves: 6
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Reheating time: 25 minutes
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
4 cups chicken or fish stock
1 ½ cup corn kernels
1 ¼ lb. marinara seafood mix
1 cup thickened cream
2 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Fresh ground salt and pepper –to taste

Place potatoes, carrot, stock, and celery in a large pan.
Cover and bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and using a hand blender, mix until smooth.
Add corn kernels to the soup and simmer again for 10 minutes.
Reduce the heat and add seafood mix and cream.
Stir and cook, without boiling for 5 minutes or until seafood is cooked.
Season to taste and add chives and parsley.
Set aside to cool.
Freezing method:
Pour the cooled chowder in airtight container and place in the freezer; keep until ready to use.
Reheating method:
Place the airtight container in the bowl filled with hot water.
Transfer the chowder to the pot and heat over medium heat.
Stir the stew, gently to distribute heat evenly, but do not press because you may break the seafood and end up with the mush.
Bring stew to boil (you will need 25 minutes) and remove from the heat.
Serve immediately.

Roast Chicken Recipe

Try this roast chicken recipe and then recreate  different meals through the week such as a chicken salad, chicken sandwiches or chicken casserole.

More Resources

Freezer Meals- stock up your freezer for easy meals throughout the week
Leftover Recipes- recreate meals all week using your leftovers

Menu Planning Guide and 4 Week Menu Plans