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Batch Cooking for Leftovers

Stop Food Waste Blog

Batch Cooking for Leftovers

Jun 13, 2019

Stop Food Waste Blog

Planning for leftovers and storing safely in the freezer can save precious weeknight time and energy. Parents across Alameda County shared their own similar tips to keep their families fed and happy.

If finishing leftovers is a constant struggle in your home, consider planning ahead and being strategic with portion sizes and storage to avoid the inevitable "tired-of-eating-this-every-day" syndrome. At the same time, you can make life a little easier by having a ready-made meal that everyone loves prepared for a busy weeknight. 

We’ve received this tip from a number of parents throughout Alameda County. It seems that many are already making use of this time and food saver, whether it’s curry, soup, lasagna, or enchiladas:

 If I make a big pot of curry, I try to freeze half so we can eat it next week rather than trying to finish or throwing away in two days. My family gets variety the next day, too. -Fremont Mom

I will often freeze half a batch of soup or make double of freezable casseroles (enchiladas, shepherd's pie, etc.) since we aren't always the best at using up leftovers right away. -San Leandro Mom


*Remember to always label and date the leftovers you put in the freezer to avoid confusion (see freezer container tips below). Food can look very different once it's frozen!



Some recipes freeze better than others. Here is a list of 10 Big Batch Dinners that taste just as good the second time around.

Here is a helpful food-safety chart that shows how long leftovers (and other frozen ingredients) will last in the freezer.

Over at The Kitchn you can find a helpful guide for different types of packaging for freezing.