Next Week's Meal Plan

Next Week’s Meal Plan: 5 Recipes for Using Up BBQ Leftovers

updated May 29, 2019
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(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)

On the heels of Memorial Day barbecues and picnics, we have a ton of leftovers in the fridge. Not wanting to waste any of it — and hoping to cut myself some slack on meal prep this week — I’m basing my meal plan on what’s left in the fridge this week.

Not to worry — most of my leftovers are classic Memorial Day fare. Things like grilled chicken, salsa from a poolside picnic, and leftover hard-boiled eggs from a batch of a potato salad are things you might have on hand any given week this summer, so here are five meals that make the most of barbecue leftovers for the week ahead.

Welcome to This Week’s Meal Plan

Planning my weekly meals is a habit I enjoy. Since I’m frequently asked by friends and family what I’m cooking for dinner each week, I thought it’d be useful to share my weekly meal plan here. Whether you’re just learning to meal plan and looking for a real-life example of how this works or you’re an old pro on the hunt for inspiration, here’s a peek at how I’m feeding my family this week.

New to meal planning? Start here.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

This is basically a barbecue chicken salad that uses up both chicken and coleslaw from the weekend’s cookout. Adding a thinly sliced apple and something crunchy — almonds are called for here, but I’m using French’s fried onions (no shame!). I’ve got grilled chicken breast and a creamy coleslaw that will make this salad a 15-minute dinner that’s perfect for a busy Monday.

(Image credit: Danielle Tsi)

Learning to roast shrimp was a bit of game-changer for my weeknight cooking routine — it cooks quickly and evenly without any hands-on work. I’m using up some homemade salsa and guacamole that we didn’t finish during poolside happy hour this weekend and warming some corn tortillas for a super-fast taco night.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

This has been one of my family’s favorite dishes since we started doing this meal plan series. This week I’m mixing it up a little and using leftover pork tenderloin we grilled over the weekend. I’m also going to throw some leftover grilled vegetables in the mix too. Cooking the rice and making the sauce will be the most work we have to do for dinner this night.

(Image credit: Karla Conrad)

When cooking eggs for potato salad this weekend, I threw a few more than I needed into the Instant Pot for intentional leftovers. They will be perfect for a no-cook dinner on Thursday when we have to run between summer camps, home, and a friend’s house for a kid sleepover.

(Image credit: Karla Conrad)

Friday: Whole-Wheat Pizza with Whatever’s Left Over

This summer I’m working on a whole-wheat pizza dough my family will love, and I’m starting with contributor Tami’s recipe for this week’s pizza Friday. I don’t really have a plan for toppings — I’ll just throw on whatever needs to be used up from the week or keep it simple with tomato sauce and cheese.

Tell me — do you have Memorial Day leftovers to use up? How are you making the most of them?