Batch cooking. Our secret weapon for feeding your household well without having to cook something new every night. Here’s how to use batch cooking as a time-saving meal prep tool to make healthy, delicious batch meals for your family.
Cooking for a family isn’t an easy feat, especially when your goal is to create healthy meals that don’t take too long and won’t make certain members turn up their nose.
We’re all too familiar with the “what’s for dinner?” conundrum, which usually ends up with us standing in front of an open fridge door or pantry for 30 minutes with no ideas. And when you’re strapped for time, too? Ugh.
Luckily, we’ve come up with a tried and true, reliable tactic to keep this scenario at a minimum: batch cooking.
After many nights of struggling with ideas, we now both dedicate a chunk of time each week to make batch staples for our family. What we make, we can then repurpose in other ways to provide nutritious, tasty family meals that also aren’t boring.
Today we want to share the simple magic of batch cooking with you, so you can immediate start reaping the benefits in your own home.
What is batch cooking?
Batch cooking is a time-saving method of meal planning that involves making one large “main” recipe that can be reused to create multiple different recipes.
For instance, if you make a large pot of cheeze sauce, you could then use it as a pasta sauce, dollop it onto burritos, or thicken it a little and use it on grilled cheeze sandwiches. Three meals, done!
This approach to meal prep is a great way to make several healthy, delicious meals for your family without having to create an entirely new recipe – or come up with a new idea – every night of the week. You have the main ingredient all ready, with ideas to use it already planned.
Plus, you might be able to use up some of those pantry staples you’ve been wondering what to do with. Items like canned or dry beans, grains and pastas can work well in batch cooking.
We love that, with just a few hours of dedicated time, batch cooking helps us reduce the amount of meals we have to come up with on a weekly basis.
How to do batch cooking + examples
We recommend setting aside a few hours of time at the beginning of each week to prepare 1-2 main batch recipes, and plan ahead what all you’re going to make with them.
Usually the main recipe can be repurposed for 2-3 additional meals.
Once you’ve come up with your batch recipes and scheduled time to make them, write a grocery list and plan your trip to the store to grab all of the ingredients you’ll need.
We recommend making a double or triple batch of your main recipe so that you have enough to use later on.
Freeze any leftovers you know that won’t use right away or within a couple of days, so that they’re easy to grab and repurpose when you’re ready.
Some good examples of leftovers that might be best frozen right away are extra veggie meatballs, homemade burger patties, or part of a large vat of pasta sauce.
Remember that batch cooking doesn’t just have to be for dinner either. For instance, Alex likes to prep Tofu Nuggets early in the week for one weeknight dinner and to use as part of her son’s lunches.
Batch cooking is a simple time-saving meal prep tool you can use to feed your household well. It allows you to make batch meals that are healthy and delicious, while preventing boredom.
Chime In: Have you tried batch cooking before? What was your experience like?
If you enjoyed this post, we think you’ll like some of these others:
- 4 Ingredient Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- PB3 Plate: What is it and how do you use it?
- Cheezy Walnut Pasta
- Blueberry Walnut Muffin Tops
Be sure to grab your copy of our new Batch Cook Ebook for more batch cooking tips for families, which includes 25+ easy, delicious recipes for the whole family! Plus, family-friendly feeding guidance, tips for making recipes safe for babes under 12 months, and a list of our must-have feeding products.