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One Plan, Three Meals

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-
By Alyssa Vance

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.

CHICKEN

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

GROUND BEEF

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

GROUND PORK SAUSAGE

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!



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