Cooking Once and Eating Twice

Do you find yourself constantly throwing away leftovers that aren’t being eaten? There is the leftover roast chicken or the fried-up ground beef for hamburgers. It’s not been eaten yet, but now it’s time to toss it out.

You might find yourself feeling like your wasting food. A couple of years ago I was constantly finding myself in this situation. I was tossing out the leftover food that no one was easting, but I then discovered this cooking method called “Cook Once and Eat Twice”.

The idea of “Cook Once and Eat Twice” is to plan ahead by creating a meal plan that is based around cooking larger amounts of key ingredients for a use in one recipe and then used in an entirely different recipe over the next few days. The key ingredients I cooked in large quantities were chicken, turkey, beef, pork, and eggs.

I love this double-duty cooking method because it’s a great way to save on cooking time – it practically cut my cooking time in half!

Make a plan by deciding what meals your family will want to eat this week using one of those key ingredients listed above. Then you will want to plan another meal the day or two to use the extra meat you have prepared.

Here are some great ideas for cooking once and eating twice.


Using a roast chicken for your first meal is a great start. You can pick up rotisserie chickens at your local grocery store or buy a couple of chickens (about 3 pounds each) and roast them yourself. Use one of the roasted chickens for your first meal and then save the other one for your next meal. The second chicken you can always shred or slice into cube sizes.

Chicken recipe ideas are:

  • Chicken Enchiladas
  • Chicken and Rice Skillet
  • Chicken Pot Pie
  • Chicken Fajitas
  • Chicken Alfredo
  • Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Chicken Teriyaki
  • BBQ Chicken Shredded Sandwiches


The same can also be done with turkey. Get extra turkey cutlets and cook them together for one meal and then save the extra cooked turkey for the next night.

Turkey recipe ideas:

  • Turkey Enchiladas
  • Turkey Sandwiches
  • Turkey Noodle Soup
  • Turkey Primavera
  • Turkey Stroganoff

Roast Beef

If your family loves pot roast for dinner, then this is going to be easy for some leftover ideas to use with beef. For your first meal you can put together a pot roast in your crockpot, along with potatoes and vegetables. You can even just slow cook a pot roast all day to have roast beef for dinner.

With the leftover roast beef, you can make:

  • French Dips
  • Beef Stroganoff
  • BBQ beef Sandwiches
  • Hearty stews that use beef (great idea for slow cooking in the crockpot all day)


You can easily prepare up a large quantity of ground beef (even ground turkey too) and split up to be used in different meals. Maybe the first night you make tacos or hamburgers for your family dinner. The next night you can make all sorts of different recipes with the ground beef or turkey.

Here are some recipe ideas:


For pork, you can bake pork chops for your family’s first meal then cube the leftovers to be used in different recipes. Here are some ideas for the second night to use leftover pork:

  • Pork and veggie stir-fry
  • Pork Chop Fried Rice
  • Taco Pork Chops
  • Scalloped Potatoes and Pork
  • Ham and Pasta

For ham, you can bake a spiral-sliced ham for dinner and the extra ham will be great in these other recipes the next day:

  • Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
  • Ham, Cheese, and Potato Casserole
  • Ham Sandwich
  • Ham and Pasta
What are some meals you love to cook once and eat twice? Share your recipes with us!

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