One Plan, Three Meals

By Alyssa Vance
Created December 8, 2016
Grands! Mini Chicken Pot Pies
Stretch one main ingredient over three nights of dinner. These aren’t leftovers, they’re planovers. Here’s how to make it happen. MORE+ LESS-

We know you’re busier than busy. But that shouldn’t stop you from serving tasty weeknight dinners. Leftovers seem so … boring. We did the math and scoured our most-loved recipes to come up with a new game plan to help get dinner on the table in no time (without breaking the bank).

The concept: Prepare a batch of chicken, beef or pork one night, then use it to make three different meals. It’s called a planover, and it’ll make you look like a dinner superstar.


Grands! Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Prep: A 2- to 3-pound chicken will yield 3 to 4 cups of chicken. (And that means three nights of dinner.) There are two options here, and they’re both easy as can be. Option one: Roast a whole chicken at 375°F. for 1 3/4 to 2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 165°F. Option two: Pick up a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from your grocer. Choose your option, then carve the chicken, chop it into cubes and store it in your refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or freeze for up to 4 months.

Recipes: Use the cooked chicken to make these three meals:

  1. Night One: Grands! Mini Chicken Pot Pies
  2. Night Two: Grands! Fiesta Chicken Casserole
  3. Night Three: Broccoli, Chicken and Cheddar Hand Pies


Grands! Easy Taco Melts

Prep: To get ready for three nights of dinner, purchase 3 pounds of ground beef. Sauté it in a large skillet over medium heat, using a spatula and stirring often to break it up into pieces. Once it’s browned, no longer pink and reaches 160°F., you’re good to go! Cooked ground beef can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for about 4 months.

Recipes: Here’s a trio of dinner options for using cooked ground beef:

  1. Night One: Grands! Easy Taco Melts
  2. Night Two: Italian Crescent Casserole
  3. Night Three: Tasty Taco Soup


Baked Ziti Casserole

Prep: Three pounds of bulk pork sausage will be plenty for three easy, hearty dinner recipes. The hardest choice here will be choosing mild or spicy! Cook it in a large skillet over medium heat until it’s browned, no longer pink and the temperature reaches 160°F., using a spatula to stir. Cooked pork sausage can be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days or frozen for 2 to 3 months.

Recipes: Here are three meal options using cooked ground pork that your family will love:

  1. Night One: Baked Ziti Casserole
  2. Night Two: Chicago Deep-Dish Sausage Pizza
  3. Night Three: Grands! Crescent Cheesy Sausage Stromboli

To keep things fresh from meal to meal, buy a set of closed-top containers to store your main ingredient. (We like this 8-pieced storage set.)

Looking for other ways to beat the dinner rush? Read this article to learn how to stock your pantry.

Ready, set, planover!