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Make one of these involved Sunday cooking projects like roast pork or Peking duck and then reinvent the leftovers into fabulous new lunch and dinner recipes all week long. 

Some recipes and cooking projects are limited in their future applications. Chicken parmesan, as great as it can be, is sort of just chicken parmesan no matter how you slice it or dress it up. Others, however, are ripe for reinvention and can propel your meal planning in interesting ways all week and, so, even if they take some extra time to make, they give that time back—and then some—just when you need it most.

A Perfect pairingThe Most Popular Wine & Booze Being Delivered in QuarantineWe love the latter, especially when we’re bracing for a week that might not include a lot of extra time, energy, or enthusiasm for cooking. (Hey, it happens to the best of us. Even in quarantine). Here are four big cooking projects that you can make on Sunday (or Monday) and re-imagine all week long in new and interesting ways. As often is the case, we were inspired to share these ideas via a robust community post. Check it out here for even more ideas.

Pernil or Roasted Pork

Slow-roasted pork is a true thing of beauty on its own. Factor in all the amazing things you can do with the juicy pernil meat and crackling skin after the fact, and we’re talking about a hall-of-fame food here. Chowhound associate editor Amy Schulman knows a thing or two about roasted pernil. Back in December, she reported on one of New York City’s best new pernils at the Cuban outpost Que Chevere. Find the recipe for Que Chevere’s Pernil recipe here

pernil recipe

Andrew Bui

What to Do with the Pernil Leftovers

Pork Tacos

You can make tacos with endless cuts of meat, but this roasted pernil has so much deep flavor from the sofrito and adobo that it’s an especially good candidate to pile into warm corn tortillas and drizzle with fresh cilantro, lime juice, and pickled onions. Want to blow any other tacos out of the water? Finely chop some of the pernil skin, quickly re-fry it, and put a few on top of the tacos. You will not regret it. Get our Carnitas Tacos recipe here.


This hearty and ancient Mexican soup is exactly what you should make with the rest of your roasted pork. Wait for the chilliest, cloudiest day of the week—then pounce. There are lots of variations on pozole or its cousin, the Mexican beef soup known as menudo, as outlined in this post about the difference between pozole and menudo (with recipes!) by Chowhound contributor David Klein. 

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Roast Chicken or Turkey

Roast turkey or chicken is a classic Sunday meal and one that has delicious implications all week long. The best part? Making either one is fairly easy, and if you’re an avid cook, it’s likely you’ve made at least a few in your day. If it’s a big turkey you’re making (with Thanksgiving sides, of course), you’ll likely have lots of leftovers to make soup and sandwiches. Roasted chicken affords even more applications for recipes in nearly every cuisine you can think of.

easy roast chicken recipe


What to Do with roasted Chicken Leftovers

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken soup is a tried and true winner but go for this creamier, spicier Mexican version to keep things fun and interesting. Get our Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe.

Creamy Rigatoni with Chicken & Mushrooms

An easy pasta dish is another crowd-pleaser to utilize any roasted chicken. With the roasting done days before, you’ve already completed the most laborious step, and the rest of this dish takes mere minutes to finish. Get our Creamy Rigatoni with Chicken and Mushrooms recipe.

Related Reading: Where to Buy Humane & Organic Chicken | 15 Recipes for Leftover Chicken

Roasted Duck or Peking Duck

Of these cooking projects, roasted duck or Peking duck is the most laborious, but it will also pay dividends long after the first meal. Not only is the meat of a well-prepared roast duck tasty and flavorful, but it won’t dry out as fast, compared to less fatty meats, and thus will be nearly as good in the days to follow. See here for a brief history of Peking duck, along with a recipe to try. If you nail the duck, we’d suggest serving it in the traditional style with flour pancakes and hoisin sauce, but then see more ideas below to keep your duck dishes interesting throughout the week. If you want something simpler than Peking duck, try our Marmalade-Glazed Duck recipe instead.

Decoy NY peking duck


What to Do with the Roasted Duck Leftovers

Duck Stir Fry with Green Onions 

Quick stir fry with duck and vegetables served over white rice is a no-fuss way to reinvent the dish a few days later. Add a little Chinese five spice to bring out the deep, rich duck flavor. Get the Duck Stir Fry recipe.

Cherry and Duck Pressed Sandwiches

Roasted duck and dark fruit is a combination you’ll find on some of the finest restaurant menus in the world. This panini version is much more approachable and rather easy to execute, especially if you’ve already got the roasted duck lying around. Get our Duck and Cherry Pressed Sandwich recipe.

Roast Leg of Lamb

We don’t eat as much lamb in American as in some other countries, but it happens to be both flavorful and versatile. Make a roasted lamb leg early in the week and you’ll have some seriously good options for meals later on. If you don’t have much experience with roasting lamb, we’ve put together a primer for roasting the perfect leg of lamb. Serve with couscous, rice, or potatoes and mint sauce.

roast leg of lamb recipe tips and tricks


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What to Do with the Lamb Leftovers.

Tunisian Lamb & Quince Stew

Since you’ve already got your lamb cooked to perfection in this scenario, whipping up this ultra-flavorful stew is super easy. Add the caraway, coriander, and other spices into the soup directly instead of marinating the meat overnight, as called for in the recipe. Get our Tunisian Lamb and Quince stew recipe.


Because the lamb is already roasted, you don’t have to do much other than flash fry it to get that crispy shawarma crust,then serve it stuffed into a warm pita with onions, pickles, hot sauce, and a tahini garlic sauce or traditional white yogurt sauce to cool things down. Get the Lamb Shawarma recipe.

Indian Curry or Vindaloo

Lamb lends itself well to curries or other Indian classics. With the lamb cooked, all you need to worry about is the sauce. Add the diced lamb meat at the end to warm through and serve over rice. Get our Pumpkin Curry recipe.

Related Video: Our Spicy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Will Last a While Too

Header image courtesy of Chowhound.

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