Cook once and eat all week; 20 batch lunch and dinner recipes for summer

One of our most popular food galleries is a curated list of the best batch cooking recipes. It's clear that our lives are increasingly busy, demanding and hectic.

However, that was in the midst of October when the evenings grew dark, cold and dreary. It was full of gooey pasta bakes and hearty soups to comfort us through the winter months. But now that the evenings are long and the sun is beaming, it feels slightly redundant, which is why we've created a summer edition. 

This time our gallery is packed with refreshing dishes such as lettuce wraps and Mediterranean classics that can be eaten warm or cold. 

Here's to ending those 'what shall we eat for dinner?' conundrums and spending more time out in the sun. 

  • Courgette and sweet potato fritters

    For a light meal, throw these crispy patties over fresh, crunchy salad of spinach and tomatoes or pack them into a bun for a healthy yet hearty dinner. 

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  • Thai Cauliflower Rice Salad with Peanut Butter Sauce

    In need of a detox? Swap rice for the vitamin C-packed cauliflower. The secret to retaining a cauliflower's nutrients is to cook it for only five minutes on low heat and then, when you're ready to devour it, mix it with red cabbage, onions and nuts and smother it in a delicious ginger-peanut butter sauce. Prepare it all on Sunday night and throw it together for the rest of the week. 

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  • Bruschetta chicken

    When tomatoes are given time to soak in a marinade, they become increasingly juicy and really absorb the flavour. With that in mind, pre-grilled or baked chicken breast bruschettas are brilliant for week night meals when you have little time (or patience) for the kitchen. 

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  • Asian chicken salad

    For anyone who finds a salad a little too basic for an evening meal, try this sweet, salty, colourful, textured and all-round addictive bowl of baked chicken and vegetables. If your fridge doesn't have enough space to keep a large dish, divide the salad into multiple tupperware boxes and trickle them out through the week. 

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  • Summer Vegetable Torta

    It might take 1 1/2 hours for this vegetable-packed savoury cake to cook, but once it's done it will last you all week. The best part? "You don’t need a side salad or any such thing," says Carolyn of blog All Day I Dream About Food. "I found one large slice enough for my whole dinner, but you could pair it with bread for a bigger meal."

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  • Caprese Tarts

    These mini pizza-like parcels will see you through Sunday lunch and work-night dinners all week. Eat with mixed leaves or two or three on their own.

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  • Summer cabbage slaw salad

    When nutrition coach Sarah Adler found herself making dinner for friends with only 20 minutes on the clock and not enough ingredients to complete her favourite dishes she decided to fuse two recipes together. She had no idea she would end up eating it three times in one week - it was that delicious. Her refreshing recipe can be adapted using chicken, fish or prawns. 

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  • Pasta Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

    On a warm and balmy summer's evening we want to eat as the Mediterraneans do. This pasta salad will keep you satisfied for at least three lunches in the week.

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  • Chicken Katsu

    The wonderful thing about Japan's signature Katsu chicken (fried chicken cutlet) is that it tastes great eaten hot or cold and can be served with a bowl of rice, in a salad or in a bun. Perfect for anyone who easily tires of the same tried and tested meals. 

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  • Chicken pot pie on toast

    While pies are stodgy comfort foods for winter that doesn't mean they have to become redundant when the mercury goes up. As Christina at blog Dessert For Two suggests, why not serve it over toast? Once the filling is batch-cooked, this is the easiest and quickest dinner around.

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  • Rainbow power salad with roasted chickpeas

    If you're in need of something to brighten your week, blogger Lindsay swears by this mix of carrots, courgettes and chickpeas. She pulls it all together with her signature 5-minute green sauce, which can also be made in advance. 

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  • Grilled salmon with avocado salsa

    Rub a few delicious spices into salmon and cook on a grill. Next chop up a few avocados, onion and coriander for the salsa and you're essentially done. Load up the fridge and enjoy within three to four days. Top tip: Keep the avocado seed in the salsa to keep it from going brown. 

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  • Chilled Persian Yogurt Soup

    On a particularly hot evening when all you want to do is stick your head in the freezer, this yoghurt soup will come in handy. It contains cucumber, mint, walnuts and raisins and goes well with grilled bread.

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  • Black bean lettuce wrap

    Lettuce doesn't only have to be used in salads. It's a refreshing alternative to bread in the summer. While you can fill it with pretty much anything that takes your fancy, this writer uses black bean burgers full of plant-based proteins which you can cook in advance. 

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  • Rava dosa

    Dosas are Indian crepes made from rice and semolina flour. When cooked little wholes pop open across the pancake allowing it to be easily reheated when needed. This squash and tomato chickpea filling is just the right amount of colour you need for summer. 

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  • Spicy pineapple chicken skewers

    There's nothing like a fusion of sweet and spicy flavours for BBQ season. You won't tire of these skewers marinated in sweet pineapple marinade. Serve with batch-cooked couscous. 

    Find the recipe here

  • Aubergine pizzas

    Fill you fridge with as many aubergine pizzas because you'll want to eat them as a main, side and snack. Decorate with all your normal favourite toppings. 

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  • Baked pesto chicken

    Pesto is a versatile flavour that tastes just as good in a salad or with potatoes as it does in pasta.

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  • Salmon sliders with a fresh cucumber-dill sauce

    It looks elaborate but these little salmon burgers are far from it. Make them for friends on a Sunday afternoon and eat them for lunch all week. 

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  • Loaded baked potato salad

    When you're in the mood for a jacket potato but have no appetite for beans and cheese, this recipe proves to be a delicious alternative. It's great with a slab of meat cooked on the barbecue on a weekday evening.

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