Even though the Spring hours are giving us more daylight to work with, most of us are packing more plans into our already busy schedules. It’s always a fantastic idea to making versatile meals; delicious dishes that translate from flavorful midweek dinners to awesome work-week lunches mean less time anchored to the stove and more time savoring the fruits of your (minimal) labor.
If you’re into large-batch cooking, you may have noticed that the internet is clogged with freezer-friendly recipes for casseroles and enchiladas, suggesting that if you intend to eat your meals over the course of a couple days, you’re limited to living on canned creamed soups and melted cheese. Although we’d never turn up our noses at gooey melty goodness, there are times you deserve to have a lunch with more freshness, color, and whole ingredients. Each of these recipes can be made for dinner tonight, and reheated for lunch tomorrow; or you can cook everything on Sunday afternoon, portion it all out, and actually enjoy your lunch breaks all week long. This roundup of easy dishes kicks those old frozen standbys to the back of the icebox and brings vibrant flavor back to your leftovers.
Light and fresh, yet packed with protein, this zesty tabbouleh salad really hits the spot. Eat it straight from the bowl or tuck it into a pillowy pita with a smear of hummus for a mediterranean sandwich. (Recipe and photo: Eat, Spin, Run, Repeat)
This tangy side dish is amazing as dinner’s sidekick, but toss it with some brown rice, farro, or quinoa for lunch the next day and it’s transformed into a flavorful all-day-energy showstopper. (Recipe and photo: The Fitchen)
The spices in this dish make it famous for tasting even better when served the second time around. (Recipe and photo: Vintage Mixer as featured on NoshOn.It)
Who cares if the snow is melted away? This soup is downright delicious, and completely versatile for anytime you’re craving a little warm comfort in a bowl. (Recipe and photo: A Thought for Food as featured on NoshOn.It)
Leafy greens, crunchy almonds, hearty quinoa, and pomegranate seeds bursty with juicy sweetness completely redefine how we think of salad. Served hot, cold, or anywhere in between, it’s tasty and filling any way you eat it. (Recipe and photo: Little Market Kitchen)
These aren’t your mama’s basic pork chops. Juicy with just the right amount of spices, these are perfect served as an evening entree, or you can slice it up and serve it cold later on in a wrap or atop a bed of greens. (Recipe and photo: Lovely Little Kitchen)
These colorful wraps will challenge your definition of the old fashioned sandwich. And with a few tricks for keeping the tortilla from getting soggy during travel, it’s sure to taste just as good out of the fridge as it did off the cutting board. (Recipe and photo: The Cheesy Kitchen)
This creative (and yummy!) pesto sauce is a play off the traditional recipe but with more flavor complexity, and it’s both vegan and gluten free. Perfect as a pasta sauce, you can also use it as a homemade pizza topping, sandwich spread, or veggie dip. (Recipe and photo: My Darling Lemon Thyme as featured on NoshOn.It)
Layered lasagna noodles with sweet roasted butternut squash puree, cheese, and a cashew cream sauce, this is a healthier, more vibrant take on traditional lasagna. It’s always worth keeping a spare batch in the freezer. (Recipe and photo: spabettie)
These cute little dumplings pack a lot of flavor into a little bite-sized package, and they’re perfect for making in large batches and freezing for later. (Recipe and photo: Damn Delicious)
Packed with protein and veggies, you won’t miss the meat in these little monsters. And you can freeze them individually to feed your little monsters on a busy school night. (Recipe and photo: Veggies Don’t Bite)
Let’s take a second and get excited about these juicy salmon burgers dripping with Hawaiian barbecue sauce. Relive the goodness sans the bun and try tossing the ingredients over salad greens. (Recipe and photo: Half Baked Harvest)