7 Easy Dinner Ideas With Leftovers

As a woman on a budget, I understand the importance of making cost effective, delicious, healthful meals that can feed my family for more than one meal. Two of my favorite cookbooks are “The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook” by America’s Test Kitchen (The healthiest option) and “Easy Everyday Cooking” by Better Homes and Gardens (The tastiest option for beginners). In addition, here are a few of my all time favorite recipes:

Homemade Organic Vegetarian Chili

1. Turkey Chili


  • 1/2 lb Ground Turkey
  • 1 6oz can Tomato Paste
  • 1 28oz can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 15oz can Black Beans, rinsed
  • 1 15oz can White Beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup Frozen Corn
  • Seasonings to Taste: Cumin, Chili Powder, Salt, Pepper, Paprika, Garlic Powder, Cayenne Pepper, Morjoram
  • 2 tbsp Dark/Balsamic Vinegar (Optional)
  • Plain Greek Yogurt (Optional)
  • Shredded Cheese (Optional)
  • Chopped Onion as garnish (Optional)


  1. Brown turkey in olive oil in a medium skillet and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile in a slow cooker, add tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, black beans, white beans, corn, and seasoning.
  3. Once turkey is browned, add to the slow cooker. Cook in slow cooker for 3-4 hours on high or 5-6 hours on low.
  4. Once ready to serve, add 2 tablespoons of dark vinegar and stir. Serve in bowls and top with greek yogurt, cheese, and onions. Enjoy!

Note: I like to use these slow cooker liners for easy clean-up: Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners 2 Pack


spaghetti bolognese closeup

2. Spaghetti Bolognese


  • 1/2 lb Ground Turkey or Beef
  • 1/2 medium Yellow Onion (Optional)
  • 1 tsp Chopped Garlic or 1/4 tsp of Garlic Powder
  • 1 jar Pasta Sauce (or make your own)
  • 3/4 lb Whole Wheat or Multi Grain Spaghetti
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
  2. In medium skillet, brown turkey or beef in 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Once turkey is browned, add onions and chopped garlic or garlic powder and cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant.
  3. Meanwhile, empty pasta sauce into a large microwave-safe container and microwave until hot, stirring every minute (Pasta sauce can alternatively be gently brought to a simmer in a large sauce pot on medium heat).
  4. Once pasta sauce is heated, add browned turkey/beef and onions and set aside.
  5. Once water comes to a boil, add spaghetti and cook to instructions on the package. Drain the spaghetti and add it to the sauce mixture.
  6. Serve in bowls and enjoy!


stir fry with chicken

3. Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry


  • 2 cups Cooked Chicken
  • 2 cups Stir Fry Veggies (Fresh or Frozen)
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 2 cups Cooked Rice
  • 2 tbsp low sodium Soy Sauce


  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and sesame oil over medium-high heat and add stir-fry veggies and cooked chicken. Heat until veggies are cooked through and chicken is heated – about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add Soy Sauce and cook until heated through – about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Place rice in bowls and top with chicken and veggies. Top with additional soy sauce, if desired. Enjoy!

Healthy food fried rice chicken with egg and green onion

4. Chicken Fried Rice


  • 1 pound Cooked Chicken
  • 2 cups Cooked Brown Rice
  • 2 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 small Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1 cup Frozen Peas
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 Eggs, lightly beaten


  1. Preheat a large skillet on medium heat. Pour sesame oil in the bottom and add onion and peas and cook until tender and cooked through.
  2. Move the onion and peas to the side of the pan, and pour the beaten eggs onto the other side. Using a spatula, scramble the eggs. Once cooked, mix the eggs with the vegetable mix.
  3. Add the rice and chicken to the mixture. Pour the soy sauce on top. Stir and fry the rice and veggie mixture until heated through. Enjoy!

Homemade Ground Beef Meatloaf

5. Turkey Meatloaf 


  • 1 large Egg
  • ¼ cup Tomato Sauce
  • ¼ cup Milk
  • 1.5 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 cup Italian Style Bread Crumbs
  • 2 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • ½ medium Sweet Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1 lb Ground Turkey
  • 2 tbsp Ketchup (Optional)
  • 2 tsp Brown Sugar (Optional)
  • 1 tsp Mustard (Optional)


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a loaf pan or place foil on a baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the egg, ketchup, milk, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Stir in the bread crumbs and then add the garlic and onion; mix until all ingredients are well combined.
  3. Add the turkey and mix just until incorporated. Transfer the mixture to loaf pan or baking sheet lined with foil.
  4. Combine the ketchup, brown sugar and mustard in a small bowl. Brush the loaf with the sauce mixture.
  5. Bake until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F, about 40 to 45 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve with a side of Cooked Broccoli or your favorite vegetable and Enjoy!

Stuffed Peppers

6. Stuffed Bell Peppers


  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 lb Ground Turkey
  • Salt
  • 1/2 large Yellow Onion, diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1.5 cups Cooked Brown Rice
  • 1 cup Marinara
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar
  • 4 Green Bell Peppers, tops removed and hollowed


  1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat and brown the turkey, season with salt. Add onion and garlic and cook until turkey is cooked through and onions are tender. Season with salt.
  2. In a large bowl, mix browned turkey, cooked rice, marinara, and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese.
  3. Fill peppers with mixture and top with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake until peppers are tender and mixture cooked through – about 30 minutes.

chicken quesadilla with salsa

7. Chicken and Broccoli Quesadillas


  • Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Frozen Broccoli
  • 1/2 medium Yellow Onion
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 cups Cooked Chicken
  • Whole Wheat Tortillas
  • Shredded Sharp Cheddar
  • Plain Greek Yogurt (Optional)
  • Salsa (Optional)


  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium-high heat and add frozen broccoli. Heat until broccoli is heated through, about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add cooked chicken and cook until heated through, about 3-4 minutes
  3. Add Onion and cook until onion is translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Set mixture aside.
  4. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Place 1 tortilla in the skillet and place the chicken mixture and cheese and one side. Fold the other side of the tortilla over the mixture. Cook until browned on one side and then flip and brown on the other side.
  5. Serve and top with greek yogurt and salsa, if desired. Enjoy!


Shredded Chicken

Easy Shredded Chicken Recipe 


  • 2 lbs  Frozen Raw Chicken
  • 1.5 cups water
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder or minced garlic


  1. Add chicken and water to a slow cooker and season as you like.
  2. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 5-6 hours until chicken is cooked through to 165 degrees.
  3. Once cooked, shred using two forks.

-This recipe is great to make ahead of time and freeze into smaller portions for future use.



Disclaimer: This post is the opinion of the author. The information provided in this post is for entertainment purposes only and is not intended to provide medical, legal, or other professional advice. Read and/or use any of the information from this post at your own risk. Some or all of the links displayed on this site may be affiliate links.


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