Get ahead for busier days with our easy food prep ideas – we’re talking freezer-friendly soups, batchable bakes and leftovers that are lovely for lunchboxes. And the best bit? You’ll only need five ingredients, every time!
We’ve rounded up our favourite batch-cook recipes from Jamie’s bestselling new book 5 Ingredients Mediterranean and the original 5 Ingredients, so that you can get ahead, saving yourself time, money and energy. So, whether you’re feeding a crowd or simply looking to take the hassle out of midweek meals, these recipes are sure to serve you well. Happy prepping!
Using halloumi in a pasta recipe is a revelation, and this one is sure to go down a storm with kids and adults alike. Plus, it serves 8, so it’s the gift that keeps on giving (depending on how big your family is!). Just make sure you pop any leftovers in the fridge and eat within 3 days.
Bigging up budget-friendly ingredients like frozen peas, pasta and potatoes; you’ll want to add this comforting pasta recipe to your repertoire. Feel free to swap in Parmesan or mature Cheddar if you can’t get hold of pecorino. Leftovers will keep happily in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Celebrating the super-healthy ingredient cavolo nero, Jamie’s created the most vibrant, delicious sauce that’s ideal for batch cooking. Double or triple the sauce recipe and keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days; or portion up and pop in the freezer for up to 3 months, ready to stir through pasta for a quick midweek meal.
Lunchtime just got a whole lot more exciting with this perfectly portable frittata. Feel free to swap in peas, artichokes or mushrooms if peppers aren’t your thing. Refrigerate any leftovers and enjoy within 3 days.
Roast a cauliflower (or two!) and any leftovers will be great tossed through salads or pasta dishes. You could also batch up Jamie’s easy romesco recipe and keep it in the fridge to pair with steamed fish, roast chicken or lamb. Both will be good in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Double or triple this super-easy recipe to make a cracking vegetarian dinner that’s ready to reheat in no time. Stash it in your freezer for up to 3 months, or keep in the fridge and use within 5 days.
Roasting a whole chicken with the intention of leaving leftovers is a great way to make your ingredients go further. Use within 3 days to create epic chicken sarnies, complete with fondant potatoes, dollops of herby salsa and crunchy lettuce – now that is a next-level lunch.
Paprika-spiked crispy chicken, beautifully cooked veg and fragrant thyme – this dish is a joy to make and eat (especially if you end up with leftovers). Check out our easy ideas for using leftover chicken for inspiration – we’re talking pasta bakes, salads and even dim sum! Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
You’ll only need to do 10 minutes of prep for this lip-smacking soup, then you can let the hob do all the hard work. What’s more, it’s a great recipe to batch up and freeze, so you’re always prepared for a rainy day. Happy in the fridge for up to 3 days, or up to 3 months in the freezer.
You’d never guess that this beautiful stew is made of only five ingredients – it’s so jam-packed with flavour. Riffing on Tunisian-style casseroles and a French cassoulet, it really is a thing of beauty! Use any refrigerated leftovers within 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Mini sausage meatballs and creamy beans teamed with a sweet tomato sauce and feta – this is proper comfort food. Jarred butter beans are utterly delicious; but you can swap in any type of bean you’ve got in the cupboard – jarred or tinned. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
As winter warmers go, this is definitely up there! Cook this shin of beef low and slow to create the most meltingly tender meat that falls off the bone. It feels like such a treat, but it’s only 8 minutes of prep. Pop leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Making the most of store-cupboard flavour shortcuts, this recipe is all about using minimal ingredients to create maximum flavour. Let the oven do the hard work here – just 10 minutes of prep gives you something seriously impressive. Freeze for up to 3 months, or keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Food prep ideas aren’t all about easy midweek meals – these store-cupboard biscuits are a great recipe to have up your sleeve! Keep a batch handy for unexpected visitors, an afternoon pick-me-up or lunchbox treats. Simply store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
You’ll only need a handful of ingredients for these dead-easy delicious cookies. Bake for a big family get-together, or bring them into work to put a smile on everyone’s faces! Keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days – if they last that long!
BATCH-IT-UP FREEZER PRINCIPLES
Just remember – if you’re batch cooking, let food cool thoroughly before freezing. Break it down into portions so it cools quicker, and get it into the freezer within 2 hours. And make sure everything is well wrapped and labelled for future reference so you’re not playing freezer roulette! Simply thaw in the fridge before use, and use within 48 hours. If you’ve frozen cooked food, don’t freeze it again after reheating it.
Looking for more 5-ingredient recipes? Find them and bag yourself a copy of 5 Ingredients Mediterranean while you’re at it!