Winning weeknight meals that make great leftovers for lunch, too

September madness, we've got you.

September madness, we've got you.

Managing the back-to-school madness requires some serious strategy — especially at meal time. To keep kicking out healthy, made-from-scratch meals, you have to broaden your thinking. But planning dinners that you can stretch into two, maybe even three meals (the dream!), makes the prep time on a busy night well worth it.

To save you time searching for quick and easy weeknight recipes, we've rounded up the best of the best right here. Pack up the leftovers and you've secured lunch for the next day, too! Even the pickiest little eaters won't complain if you package these right (shoutout to colourful bento boxes for making lunchtime fun).

Chicken Scaloppine with Lemon and Capers

Ask your butcher to pound the chicken breasts flat and you're twenty minutes away from a winning meal. Lemon and thyme are a heavenly match, but go ahead and ditch the herb if you don't have it on hand, because who has thyme for an extra grocery stop? While the sauce is the tastiest part, the best way to transport this dish for lunch is to cut up the poultry and pack it on top of this Simple Coleslaw without the caper sauce. You'll be surprised at how good the cold chicken tastes too!

Farfalle with Beans and Swiss Chard

Pasta's always an easy option when you're in a hurry and this vegetarian Farfalle with Beans and Swiss Chard is an excellent choice all around. Because this dish is not too saucy, it becomes more like a pasta salad the next day, and is delicious served cold for lunch. Start the sauce while the pasta's boiling so everything's ready at once. 

Chicken Curry

Make this curry in a hurry when a craving for South Asian flavours hits. Healthier than takeout, you'll eat clean while saving money as well. And since we always suggest stocking up on the ever-versatile ingredient that is coconut milk for dishes like Shrimp Curry or a tropical Coconut Mango Smoothie, you'll probably have most of the things you need for this in your pantry already!

Rainbow Trout with Lentil Salad

Fuel yourself with heart-healthy foods that are anything but bland. If the microwave at work is just too close to others to heat this up without filling the office with fish smell and becoming that co-worker, you can always eat it cold as a delicious trout salad. If you do choose to reheat, make sure to cover your fish with aluminium foil so it doesn't dry out.

Giant T-Bone Steak with Radicchio and Walnuts

Flex your grill-master muscles on weeknights with this Giant T-Bone Steak with Radicchio and Walnuts  — it's protein and salad all in one! Speed up the process by marinating the meat in the morning and getting the grill going the minute you're home. Swap arugula for the radicchio to change things up and don't be afraid to experiment with different cheeses.

Chickpea, Quinoa and Sweet Potato Curry

Going veg for a few meals a week will save you money while keeping your diet balanced. This Chickpea, Quinoa and Sweet Potato Curry is loaded with flavour and delivers solid satisfaction to vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Bonus: it comes together all in one pot, so there's less dishes to do at the end. Like most stews, the flavour improves with time, so your leftover lunch may actually taste BETTER than dinner did.

Sausage Jambalaya

Already-seasoned sausage is the perfect meat when you're in a rush. This Cajun dish cooks all in one pot too, so you've got a hearty meal with way less cleanup. To get ahead, chop all the veggies the night before and pack them in air-tight containers in the fridge. Go ahead and double this recipe — it reheats and travels well, so really, what's stopping you?

Spinach and Ricotta Lazy Lasagna

Enjoy vegetarian lasagna without the all work thanks to this lazy version we love. If you want to get really "plan-y plan-y", make Red Pepper & Almond Pesto Penne on Monday night and boil extra penne for this Spinach and Ricotta Lazy Lasagna on Tuesday. Strategic thinking like that will get you two dinners and at least one lunch with barely any work, crowning you master of weeknight meals and earning you an A+ in crowd-pleasing menu design to boot!