5 mid-week meals you can prepare in advance

I’m getting into the habit of spending my Sunday afternoon batch cooking our meals for the rest of the week and I’m not gonna lie, it’s pretty life changing. Last weekend, I made butternut squash soup and a meaty ragu and we were good to go four nights of the week (plus I had lunch sorted for one of those days!).

The slow cooker is a huge help with this but it’s not essential. What is essential, however, is planning the types of meals you’ll make in the one day. I like to mix it up so we’ve got a bit of varitey but also so that several things can happen at the same time without too much cross-pot contamination or bored-chef syndrome. For example, a stew and a tart work well ’cause you’ll have a casserole dish or slow cooker bubbling away, while the pastry does it’s thing in the oven. Here are a couple of ideas for this weekend’s batch cook…

Hemsley + Hemsley ragu

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I got about 4 portions out of this, plus 1 courgette for the courgetti per portion. It’s a really hearty choice for cold and hungry days and tastes even better the day after it has been cooked.

Butternut squash soup

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This is super easy and will make 4 or 5 portions depending on how hungry you are and how much cream you want to use (you can use none if you want healthy mid-week options!)

Puff pastry tart

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Cook this while you’re doing one of the one-pot or slow-cooker meals above as it’ll make the most of the free oven. This is nice hot or cold and really you only need the basics from my recipe above and then you can change the toppings to suit your tastes. Feta and pea, chicken and leek, tomato and mozzarella with a bit of balsamic, three cheese, squash and chilli…

 

Risotto

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An oldie but a goodie, risotto is so great for batch cooking. There are rumours that reheating rice isn’t smart but this girl has been doing it for years and I ain’t dead yet.

Choose from Three Cheese and Ham Risotto (pictured above), Pork and Apple Risotto with Truffle, Goat’s Cheese, Asparagus and Red Onion Risotto, or opt for Red Wine Risotto with Chorizo, Proscuitto and Peas.

Ox cheek goulash

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Or any kind of meat stew for that matter. Or perhaps a black bean chilli. Something that’ll work on it’s own with a piece of bread, in a jacket sweet potato or with rice.

 

Are you a Sunday afternoon batch cooker? What are your favourite prepare-in-advance meals?

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Freelance writer, eater, drinker and cook living in London.

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