This Comforting Duo of Dinners Is Here to Save Weary Home Cooks
Welcome to Rollover Dinners, a series to help you make smart use of leftovers. Step 1: Make a family-friendly big-batch recipe for the first night. Step 2: Cook a meal later in the week that transforms the leftovers into a new dinner with minimal extra work.
When I started cooking Rollover Dinners, I had no idea how much I would rely on the strategy of cooking once to eat twice over the coming months. Most weeks, I’m tired of cooking by Tuesday night and am tempted to sail through the week on takeout or boxed mac and cheese. Having a family to feed is my biggest motivation for cooking, and Rollover Dinners makes it easier.
This is the first Rollover Dinners that has you prep the second meal at the same time you cook the first, if you like. You make a giant pot of turkey Bolognese, and once that’s finished you can serve it with pasta and assemble super creamy stuffed peppers that go straight into the oven later in the week. Not only are both meals the kind of cozy bowl food we all need right now, but they’re also both incredibly easy on us weary cooks.
Up First: Big-Batch Turkey Bolognese with Linguine
Rollover Recipe Number 1: Big-Batch Turkey Bolognese with Linguine
Traditional Bolognese is made with beef or lamb and cooks slowly on the stovetop all day. While it’s absolutely worth the effort and expense, ground turkey Bolognese is cheaper and can be made in less time (since ground turkey is already quite tender). I know many people enjoy the meditative experience of chopping the carrots, onions, and garlic for this type of thing, but I’m not one of them, so instead I made quick work of chopping all the vegetables for this recipe in a food processor. If you go the hand-chopped method, try to get the vegetables as finely chopped as possible — this helps makes for a smoother sauce with fewer vegetable chunks for picky eaters.
This Bolognese takes just 45 minutes from start to finish and easily feeds six with additional leftovers, but reserve two cups of the Bolognese for the Rollover Dinner.
Roll It Over: Creamy Turkey and Rice Stuffed Peppers
Rollover Recipe Number 2: Creamy Turkey and Rice Stuffed Peppers
Most Rollover recipes are designed for you to reserve the leftovers and make a meal later in the week, but this one can be made after you’ve prepped the turkey Bolognese, so that you can just pull out a baking dish and stick dinner in the oven later in the week. Plus, if you do prep this dish in advance, you’ll only have to clean the kitchen once.
Take the reserved Bolognese and add cream cheese and cooked rice (I like the precooked, shelf-stable packs for this) and then use that mixture to fill halved peppers. Line the peppers in a baking dish and cover before stashing in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat, add a little water to the baking dish and bake the peppers until tender.
Rollover Dinners will win over your whole family with their flavor and ease, and you’ll avoid wasting food and cooking fatigue. Look out for more of these smart, delicious recipes each month here on Kitchn.