Easy Ways to Cook Once – Eat Twice (Some Pictures of My Kitchen Last Week)

I have taken it upon myself to write what I consider to be insightful kitchen proverbs worth living by. I highly recommend that you pick your favorite and immediately begin to stitch it into a needlepoint creation for your wall.

Life is full. Cook extra chicken.

Life is Full. Cook Extra Chicken.


 You Cook Some. You Cook Some More.

You Cook Some. You Cook Some More.

Ain’t that the truth?


And my personal favorite:

Why dirty up more dishes tomorrow
when tomorrow will have enough
dirty dishes of its own?

Dirty Dishes Proverb. So profound, yes

This is so beautiful. We all want this in our homes. 

None of what I am about to tell you or show you is all that impressive. (I’m pretty sure my stitched proverbs have the impressive part of this post covered.) The following tips are simply how I survive in the kitchen. It is what makes sense to me.

When preparing any food, I always think to myself, “Self? If I cooked at least twice as much of this particular food, how might that make my work load lighter?”

It was in asking myself this question that I came up with several ways I find myself working half as hard for twice the outcome. (Perhaps we should stitch that one also.)


Cooking Once, Eating Twice (or More) Ideas

Cooking once and eating twice or more is my most productive way to multitask. Here are a few tricks that worked in my kitchen last week when cooking for my family:

1. On Saturday, I cooked three pounds of hamburger meat with two pounds of chopped bacon and a bunch of onion. I put 1/3 of this cooked mixture away to make Calico Beans another day. I stirred the remaining mixture into two huge Bacon Cheeseburger Casseroles (from {Healthy} Make-Ahead Meals & Snacks eBook) to serve to guests on Sunday.


2. A few days later, I soaked enough beans for two big meals (plus a few leftovers). I cooked all the beans the next morning. That night we had Calico Beans. While that dish was cooking, I put the remaining beans in a large pot and made a huge batch of Chili.

multitasking 5


3. For lunch that day, I cooked several plain, boring chicken breasts. I chopped a couple of them up for a chef salad bar to eat immediately. Then I chopped up the rest and made a big bowl of Chicken Salad for the following day’s lunch. 

multitasking 2


multitasking 1

But perfect for a chef salad.


And Chicken Salad.


4. I made a batch of Whole Wheat Stir-and-Pour Bread on the night I served Calico Beans. While we could have eaten both loaves in that one meal, I intentionally set one aside to use for the following day’s Chicken Salad lunch.

The thing about bread is that if I let us go crazy with it, we will go crazy with it (I feel a cross-stitch coming on). I want us eating more fruits and veggies than bread, so I’ve found that putting out a limited amount is best for us.

5. Friday morning we scrubbed and baked about 15 pounds of potatoes. We ate some for lunch that day (see #6 below), then put the rest in the fridge to eat in a variety of ways during the next week. This will save so much time and offer so many meal options!

6. On Friday, I also I made a triple batch of Real Food “Velveeta” and Rotel Dip. We ate one round of it on our baked potatoes for lunch that day (see #5 above). I set aside the second round for an easy nacho meal. Then I’ll use the third round for Spicy Mac and Cheese. I love how versatile this dip is…and how delicious.


7. Last but not least, I made three rounds of Gatorade. We had quite a few weekend soccer games and plenty of bottles to fill. I’ve started making at least two if not three or four batches of Gatorade at once just to get on top of our needs. Plus, just like everything else, if I’m already getting out the ingredients and I’m already dirtying a few dishes, I might as well save myself time and energy later by tripling up now!

multitasking 12

If you have any athletes in your house, I very much recommend you make this Gatorade. We have gone through many gallons already and have saved sooo much money since I learned to make it. This recipe incredible. (We also learned that it’s very nice to have this on hand if you have a stomach bug going around your house. It’s so much better to replenish electrolytes with than the sugary variety!)

Are you a “Cook Once, Eat Twice” kind of cook? What are your favorite ways to get ahead in the kitchen? Which of the above proverbs is your fav?


  1. Melissa M. says

    I am inspired by your cross stitches lol. And by your chef salad and chicken salad bars. And the bacon cheeseburger casseroles.


  2. Shaela Haney says

    I just quadrupled the stir and pour bread recipe. I plan on freezing the loaves for busy weeknights. I also have enjoyed freezer cooking and stocking up the freezer and a weekend. It’s so worth it to not have to think about it sometimes.


  3. Jill says

    I TRY to be a cook once, eat twice person. But if I don’t specifically tell my husband “half of that is to pack up for the freezer,” he’ll see the big pile of food and help himself to thirds.

    I guess that’s a testament to my good cooking, but I really have to be fast if I have any hope of creating a freezer stockpile!


  4. says

    I love those proverbs! With a six-month-old, I am definitely subscribing to the cook-once-eat-twice tactic! I often do this with chicken by cooking a batch in the crockpot for a couple recipes and freezing the rest. I also like to do it with chopped veggies. If I know I have other recipes (like omelets) that I am planning on making, I will chop extra onion and peppers to have ready in the fridge or freezer, because when you are in a hurry, chopped veggies can really slow you down! ;) I also like to double bread recipes and freeze (or give away) the extra loaf. I also do this with homemade cookie dough.


  5. Vickie Houser says

    I cook extra every evening. We eat our dinner and have the rest at lunch the next day. I also try to cook extra large batches when I can to put into our kitchen freezer for later. These frozen meals are real handy when I am sick and can’t cook or when we have a very busy day.

    And yes, I too have to pack it up quick or my husband sees so much and tries to go back for more. Not that he’s hungry or needs more, just likes it. Yea :)

    Our favorite freezer meal would be oven roasted pork or beef. It is so versatile that we can eat on it for several days and not get bored. Serve it “as is” with vegies & potatoes, shredded with sauce on a bun, chopped and stir-fried with vegies. mixed into noodles & sauce, or how about tacos? The options seem endless and allow for either of us to throw together a quick and easy, delicious meal.


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