Tabbouleh Salad (Easy to Make Side Dish & Meal Prep!)

This bright and zingy tabbouleh salad is an incredibly easy to make side dish since it can be thrown together in as little as 15 minutes!

Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern salad typically made by combining bulghar wheat (also known as cracked wheat), cucumbers, parsley or mint, fresh tomatoes, and lemon juice.

I’m changing the traditional version of this easy to make side by adding a few “extras” that I think brighten this dish as a whole.

I included bit of fresh mint leaves alongside parsley, sweet cherry tomatoes instead of the usual diced vine tomatoes, and lime juice in place of lemon. The mint adds a freshness that blends well with peppery parsley. Cherry tomatoes lend a pop of juicy sweetness, and lime juice is brightens with less of an acid overtone than lemon.

Depending on who makes it, it can be heavy on the veggies, or mostly parsley, or be made with a majority of bulghar. It’s super customizable and comes together crazy quick.

And speaking of customizable, just because there are traditional ingredients in a tabbouleh salad, it doesn’t mean you can’t play around with it. I don’t usually add cucumbers as I’m not a huge fan, but I will toss in diced bell peppers, cooked eggplant, grilled asparagus- namely, all the summer vegetables.

One thing that’s always served on top of my tabbouleh salad? A big dollop of Greek yogurt.

The tang of Greek yogurt paired with the zesty herbiness of a well-seasoned tabbouleh salad creates the perfect easy to make side.

But what really is my fave thing about a tabbouleh is this: while it comes together quickly, the real magic lies in letting this salad sit for a while. If you make a big batch of it and then portion it out into containers, you’re basically winning at life and meal prep. It’s a hearty and hardy salad that keeps, stored in a tightly covered container in the fridge, for up to 5 days.

Whip together this easy to make side dish for your next picnic, potluck, or meal prep session!

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Tabbouleh Salad
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

This is an easy to make side that comes together in under 15 minutes. Add in whatever fresh vegetables you have on hand for a fresh twist! 

Servings: 2
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
for the tabbouleh:
  • 1 1/2 cups bulghar wheat
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • 2 tablespoons torn fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoon roughly chopped Italian parsley leaves only
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • Salt to taste
for serving:
  • Greek yogurt to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat, then add the bulghar wheat. Boil, uncovered, for about 8-10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and drain the water. Fluff the wheat with a fork and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the bulghar wheat with the mint, parsley, cherry tomatoes and lime juice.
  3. Season to taste with salt, if needed.
  4. Serve chilled, with a dollop of Greek yogurt on top.

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Tabbouleh is an easy to make side and comes together in about 15 minutes! This simple version is tossed with torn mint, sweet cherry tomatoes, seasoned bulghar wheat, and lime juice.

Tabbouleh is an easy to make side and comes together in about 15 minutes! This simple version is tossed with torn mint, sweet cherry tomatoes, seasoned bulghar wheat, and lime juice.

Tabbouleh is an easy to make side and comes together in about 15 minutes! This simple version is tossed with torn mint, sweet cherry tomatoes, seasoned bulghar wheat, and lime juice.

DIY Freezer Meal Kits Will Save Your Unplanned Dinner Night (starting with these Chicken Enchiladas!)

Busy parents need all the help they can get in the evenings, which is why having a few DIY Freezer Meal Kits packed away will make your freezer your new BFF.

Having a freezer filled with ready-to-go freezer meal kits as a backup on busy nights means you can rest easy no matter what the week throws at you!

What’s a DIY Freezer Meal Kit, exactly? Think of it as though a freezer meal and a delivery meal kit had a baby. In your kitchen.

It’s way more awesome than it even sounds, trust me.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of delivery meal kits, like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, here’s how they work:

Once a week, a box arrives on your front step containing a recipe and all the ingredients you need to cook a few simple meals. Many of the ingredients are already broken down or at least have been packaged in a way that preparing them for cooking is a snap.

Cooking dinner from a meal kit may not look like less work from the outside – after all, you still have to cook, right?- but the energy it saves is huge!

This is energy saved not only in the physical labor of grocery shopping and much of the ingredient prep, but mental energy as well; deciding what to make, finding a recipe, seeking out the ingredients, figuring out what to do with leftover ingredients and leftovers from the meal, etc.

It’s a formula that works, and that’s why meal delivery kits are all the rage with busy parents.

But they’re expensive. You don’t get to choose the individual recipes. And sometimes, you dont get a chance to make the recipe, meaning you’ve got to figure out what to do with those leftover ingredients!

That’s where DIY Freezer Meal Kits come in. You choose the price point that works for you. You choose the individual recipes. And you choose when to make the dish, so you’re not on anyone’s time clock but your own.

Guess what!? We’re making make a big batch of DIY Freezer Meal Kits JUST LIKE THIS in my new membership site, Uncomplicated Kitchen! Click the banner below to learn more and save your seat!

How exactly do you create a DIY Freezer Meal Kit, though? Can you just throw the ingredients of any dish in the freezer and call it good?

Well, kind of. While it’s true that not every dish is amenable to being made into a freezer meal kit, the fact is that yes- you can freeze just about any ingredient.

Here are a few unexpected ingredients you can totally freeze:

  • Eggs? Sure, if they’re out of the shell and raw.
  • Sour cream? Yep!
  • Milk? Yep!
  • Breadcrumbs? Of course!
  • Cheese? Yes- especially if it’s been shredded and cubed to cut down on moisture.
  • Vegetables? You bet!

And while most of these items won’t thaw and revert back to their original state prior to freezing, they will cook up perfectly fine- which is why DIY Freezer Meal Kits lend a ton of flexibility.

Let’s take the example of Chicken Enchiladas, one of my favorite meals to make into a freezer meal kit.  

Step One: Look at the recipe and see what happens right before it gets put in the oven. You’re looking for what components, if any, are prepared in a separate way before everything gets combined and cooked. So, with Chicken Enchiladas, you’ve got shredded chicken, cooked and seasoned black beans, and salsa verde, all made (or purchased!) and then it’s all rolled up in tortillas and topped with cheese before baking.

Shredded chicken, salsa verde, seasoned black beans, tortillas and shredded cheese are the components of Chicken Enchiladas, so that’s what gets frozen in separate bags or containers.

Step Two: Divide those components into separate, freezer-safe containers or ziplock bags. No matter whether you’re purchasing ready-made salsa verde or making it from scratch, put it in a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag and label it with the date. Do the same with each component. Then, place each wrapped component in the final baking dish (a casserole dish, either reusable or disposable) and wrap tightly. You can also pack everything together in a big gallon ziplock bag, if it’s big enough to hold everything. Clearly write the name of the recipe and the date on top with a Sharpie, and place it in the freezer

Step Three: When you’re ready to cook, pull the whole dish out, thaw the items (here’s a primer for thawing) and then assemble and cook as directed.

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A’s to common Q’s on Freezer Meal Kits:

  • Why wouldn’t you just throw everything in the freezer and find it later? The organization helps your brain on busy nights. You’re not looking in the freezer and trying to think, “ok, I see ricotta, what can I do with that?” Nope. You’re expending less mental energy on the long days by seeing that bag of prepped, frozen items all grouped together and thinking, “oh, lasagna! I can make that tonight!”
  • Won’t this take the same amount of time as just, like, cooking? Individually frozen items thaw faster than when they’ve already been assembled with everything else. “Faster” as in 20 minutes under cold running water, instead of overnight in the fridge (though that always works, too). If you wanted to cook the dish from fresh, it would take you longer in the kitchen to prepare those individual components and then assemble and cook than it would to just thaw, assemble, and cook. Those first few steps of prep work are already done for you, and you can thaw without needing to be in the kitchen!
  • What kind of difference does freezing this way make? Wholly cooked, frozen meals usually taste…. not as good as they were when they were freshly made. But if you freeze these items separately, then assemble, it takes just about the same amount of time as reheating from frozen, and it tastes way better. Cooked-from-fresh better. With the same amount of work!
  • Why would I bother having these kits instead of just cooking dinner from scratch? You’re in charge of what you’ve got on hand. It’s like having Blue Apron at the ready for whenever you want, not when they tell you their delivery times are. Plus, freezer meal kits make great options for the nights when you haven’t gotten to the grocery store and you have a hungry family waiting, or you’ve got a friend who just had a baby and you want to drop off some food but you don’t have time to cook much. It’s a great backup plan to keep for times when you need it.

So what do you think? Are DIY Freezer Meal Kits a great backup option for your family? Try the Chicken Enchilada recipe below as a DIY Freezer Meal Kit, and let me know how it turns out for you!

 

Chicken Enchilada with Black Beans and Salsa Verde
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

This simple weeknight dish of chicken enchiladas, packed with shredded chicken and black beans and smothered in salsa verde and melty cheese, also makes a perfect DIY Freezer Meal Kit. Siply freeze each component of the dish in separate containers and store together in the freezer. The ingredients thaw faster this way, and the dish tastes like it's made from fresh- with less of the work on the night of! 

I usually cook big batches of chicken breasts all at once in the crockpot, then shred and store for recipes like these. If you're starting from scratch, poach the chicken in water until cooked thoroughly, then shred using two forks or a hand mixer on low. 

I really recommend using flour tortillas in this recipe as opposed to corn; they're more durable and hold up to cooking much better, meaning there's fewer enchiladas falling apart while you're trying to serve. 

Servings: 4
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
for the salsa verde:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8-10 large tomatillos papery shells discarded and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro optional if you're a cilantro hater
for the enchiladas:
  • 2 cups shredded chicken about 16 ounces cooked chicken breast
  • 13.5 ounces black beans cooked and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8-10 large flour tortillas
  • 12 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Make the salsa verde: Halve the tomatillos. Heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering, then add the tomatillos and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have started to brown and soften. Add the lime juice and cilantro and stir to combine. Transfer to a food processor or blender and process until smooth, then set aside. 

  2. Preheat the oven to 400*F. 

  3. Roll the enchiladas: In a large bowl, combine the shredded chicken, black beans, salt, and cumin. Stir to mix. 

  4. Place 1/2 cup of chicken and black bean mixture in the center of a flour tortilla and roll the tortilla around the mixture in a long cylinder. Transfer the tortilla cylinders to a 9"x13" baking dish, nestling them next to each other in one long row.  

  5. Once all the tortillas have been rolled and placed in the dish, pour the salsa verde over the tortillas, using a spoon to smooth the salsa verde into any cracks and crevices. 

  6. Sprinkle the enchiladas evenly with cheese and place the dish in the oven. 

  7. Bake until the cheese has melted and is bubbly, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let col slightly before serving. 

YES! Free Meal Planning Kit!

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Busy parents know that freezer meals are lifesavers on busy nights. Here's how to put them together, what to look for, plus an easy Chicken Enchilada recipe to get you started!

Busy parents know that freezer meals are lifesavers on busy nights. Here's how to put them together, what to look for, plus an easy Chicken Enchilada recipe to get you started!

Busy parents know that freezer meals are lifesavers on busy nights. Here's how to put them together, what to look for, plus an easy Chicken Enchilada recipe to get you started!

This is How Working Moms Can Wash LESS Dishes This Week

Scheduling in a working moms’ meal prep routine can seem tricky at first but I’ll let you in on this secret: meal prepping is my number one timesaving strategy and some weeks, the only way I manage to keep my sanity!

Want to know why? It’s not because it saves you time cooking (although is fully does) It’s because it saves you time washing dishes. 

By far and large, whenever I talk to my fellow busy parents riding the struggle bus during weekday meal times, their biggest complaint is this: I freaking hate washing dishes.

This is even more so in New York City, where so many apartments come dishwasher-free. If you’re raising kids and doing it without a dishwasher, I say to you: I’m with you, and I salute you and isn’t it just the worst!?

I’ve been living without a dishwasher for almost three years now, and in that time I’ve launched a cooking company, scaled up my recipe testing and recipe development freelance work, and continue to raise two kids, one of whom eats like a horse.

I hand wash a lot of dishes.

Like, seriously a lot.

My hands are constantly dry and battered, and a few weeks ago when I went for a manicure, the manicurist peered down at my hands, with their cracked skin and nicks and cuts and raggedly nails, and then gave me a funny look.

“Your hands are in rough shape,” she told me. Yeah, thanks for that.

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Over the years, especially my years without a dishwasher, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to mitigate the overwhelming-ness of my sink:

  • I listen to podcasts or books on tape to make the time go faster.
  • I buy nice-smelling dish soap.
  • I get the good sponges. (these are legitimately amazing
  • I clean as I go.

Basically, I do #allthethings that cut down on my time spent at the faucet, elbow deep in sudsy water.

But you want to know the one thing that cuts down on my dishwashing throughout the week?

Spending 60 minutes on the weekend, busting through a meal prep power hour.

I first talked about the meal prep power hour around this time last year, when Caroline from a Butterful Mind guest posted here (with this post) and I wrote about my meal prep secrets over on here site with this post.

I also dive deep into the Meal Prep Power Hour in my ebook, The Weeknight Dinner Survival Guide.

The working mom’s meal prep routine is a huge timesaver, that much is true. But its secret superpower is how it cuts down on your dirty dishes throughout the week.

When you’ve already prepped for the week, you’ll only have your storage items and plates to wash after that- no pans, knives, cutting boards, pots, lids, etc. You don’t have to worry about bleaching down your countertops after you’ve prepped raw meats. 

See those cute little storage containers? They’re crazy easy to clean and dry. No funky corners or baked on grease. I’d rather zip through cleaning these guys than a million pots and pans on a busy Wednesday evening when I’d rather be curled up with my kids watching Boss Baby for the zillionth time.

Here’s an example: my meal plan for this week. I write it out in the margins of my Happy Planner because I’m mega Type A and that works best for me.

I’ll also add as an aside, this week was an odd meal plan for us (pizza bagels, I know!), because I’m in the middle of a recipe testing project for Peapod, and some of the items I’m testing have made their way onto our dinner table so I can make sure they work time wise.

So here’s how I broke down my Power Hour last week:

In 60 minutes, I:

  1. Formed 2 pounds of burger into patties for hamburgers
  2. Sliced 4 sweet potatoes into fries
  3. Combined the seasonings and liquids for Beef Stroganoff, since it’s a crockpot dish, and set aside (the meat had come already diced)
  4. Seasoned and cooked the sausage for Stuffed Peppers
  5. Combined panko and parmesan in one container, and egg wash and mustard in another, and chopped fish into fillets Roasted broccoli in a hot oven
  6. Roasted green beans in a hot oven and then tossed them with slivered almonds for a side

Guess how many pans and post and containers I skipped washing?

Like, a million.

Okay- I skipped the big pots and pans, to be fair. So many it wasn’t a million.

At the end of the week, in reality, I had washed only plates, silverware and cups/glasses, plus 2-3 daily containers.

I mean, I’d say that’s not too bad, right? No cutting boards, no pots, no sheet pans- they were all used and then washed in a big push on Sunday afternoon.


You can do this, too! Meal prep is a hassle- believe me, I KNOW THIS. But when you can push through and get it on your schedule and get it done, your tired ass self will thank you a thousand times over throughout the week. To come home to dinner made or mostly made- that is a good feeling. And if you’re stuck on meal prepping and where to start, check out my free prep sheet worksheet download!

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She's right: having a routine of working moms' meal prep saves SO MUCH TIME, and I know it helps with cooking, but it helps with washing less dishes, too! Such a good point. Has a handy downloadble meal prep worksheet included, too.She's right: having a routine of working moms' meal prep saves SO MUCH TIME, and I know it helps with cooking, but it helps with washing less dishes, too! Such a good point. Has a handy downloadble meal prep worksheet included, too.

She's right: having a routine of working moms' meal prep saves SO MUCH TIME, and I know it helps with cooking, but it helps with washing less dishes, too! Such a good point. Has a handy downloadble meal prep worksheet included, too.

She's right: having a routine of working moms' meal prep saves SO MUCH TIME, and I know it helps with cooking, but it helps with washing less dishes, too! Such a good point. Has a handy downloadble meal prep worksheet included, too.

She's right: having a routine of working moms' meal prep saves SO MUCH TIME, and I know it helps with cooking, but it helps with washing less dishes, too! Such a good point. Has a handy downloadble meal prep worksheet included, too.

She's right: having a routine of working moms' meal prep saves SO MUCH TIME, and I know it helps with cooking, but it helps with washing less dishes, too! Such a good point. Has a handy downloadble meal prep worksheet included, too.

Meal Prep Recipes for Beginners: Thai Larb Rice Bowls

This post sponsored by Farm Promise Pork

Are you new to the idea of meal prepping work lunches for the workweek? Easy meal prep recipes for beginners can feel hard to come by.

I mean, those pretty bowls on Pinterest look like they take forever to assemble!

Plus, I don’t know about you, but I’m not on any special diet or meal plan, like paleo, 21-Day Fix, Whole30, etc. And sometimes it seems like every meal prep recipe out there is geared specifically to some sort of diet or meal plan.

Don’t get me wrong; diets and special meal plans are awesome for some.

But when I go to search my Pinterest boards or Google for meal prep recipe ideas, I find myself wading through bodybuilder and paleo sites and have trouble finding what I want: a make-ahead lunch that is simple, tasty, and portable.

That’s why I’m starting a new series of recipes, for those of us who want make-ahead lunches but aren’t especially following a specific diet or meal plan. And to kick off this series, I’ve teamed up with Farm Promise pork to make these crazy easy, super delicious Thai Larb Rice Bowls.

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Thai Larb Gai is a traditional meal from Laos, an area in Thailand. On your typical Western-style Thai restaurant menu, it’s usually served as seasoned ground meat with red onions and other veggies, on a bed of lettuce and drizzled with a bright and zesty lime dressing.

I took that standard appetizer dish, layered it with rice, and turned into a perfect working lunch.

These Thai-style rice bowls make an awesome meal prep recipe for beginners, and they come together quickly. Plus, they taste even better as the week goes on!

Bonus: this meal prep recipe works as a hot or cold lunch option! This means you don’t have to have lunchtime access to a microwave or stove in order to enjoy it #LunchtimeWins

A big part of what makes these Thai Larb Rice Bowls so good is using quality pork from Farm Promise.

Farm Promise recently reached out to me to see if I would be interested in developing recipes highlighting their new pork products, which are sold in ShopRite stores throughout the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland.

Once I looked a little more into their standards and promises and discovered what a quality brand they are, the offer was an easy one to agree to.

You guys know that I’m not one to advocate for a specific brand or company unless I 1,000% believe in it. It’s simply not worth my time or yours to recommend a product I’m not excited about.

But Farm Promise is good stuff. Farm Promise farmers don’t use antibiotics in feed for their pigs. They’re raised humanely on family farms, fed a vegetarian diet, and are raised without growth promotants.

Basically, it’s farming like it should be, on local farms run by families that care about their products. And it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to buy, either.

To make these Thai Larb Rice Bowls, ground pork is browned in a hot pan with brown sugar, garlic, and lemongrass paste.

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After the pork browns in the pan, it’s taken off the heat and tossed with a simple lime juice, fish sauce, and basil dressing.

Divide the pork over cooked rice, and you’re good to go! If you’ve already got rice prepared, the whole dish comes together in about 10 or 12 minutes. (so easy!)  

It’s the perfect amount of food for 4 on-the-small-side lunches; if you’re serving this dish for dinner, it makes enough for 2.

Meal prep for work lunches = never easier.

Thai-Style Larb Gai Rice Bowls
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 
Servings: 4
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemongrass paste
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 pound Farm Promise ground pork
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 leaves basil roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoon fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Thai chili paste optional
  • 4 cups basmati or white long grain rice
Instructions
  1. Cook the rice according to the instructions on the package.
  2. Cook onions in the oil over medium heat until they have started to soften, about 3-4 minutes. 

  3. Add the garlic and lemongrass paste and stir, cooking until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the brown sugar and stir until melted, then immediately add the pork to the pan. Cook, breaking the pork up with a wooden spoon as it browns until the pork is cooked through completely and no pink parts remain.
  5. While the pork is cooking, combine the lime juice, basil, fish sauce and (optional) Thai chili paste in a small bowl, stirring to mix.
  6. After the pork is cooked through, remove the pan from heat and stir in the lime juice mixture.
  7. Divide the rice into four meal prep containers (or bowls, if serving immediately). Top each container with an even amount of the pork mixture.
  8. Cool to room temperature, then store, tightly covered and in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.
Recipe Notes

Serves 4 Time 15 minutes

If you’re new to meal prepping, you’ll LOVE my Meal Prep Power Hour Worksheet. It breaks down exactly how you can plan, prep, and cook a week’s worth of lunches and dinners- in only 60 minutes!

Leave your name and email below, and I’ll send it to you straight away.

These rice bowls are a great make-ahead work lunch idea! I was looking for meal prep recipes for beginners and I love how tasty and easy these are. They're a good work lunch either hot or cold, too. These rice bowls are a great make-ahead work lunch idea! I was looking for meal prep recipes for beginners and I love how tasty and easy these are. They're a good work lunch either hot or cold, too.

These rice bowls are a great make-ahead work lunch idea! I was looking for meal prep recipes for beginners and I love how tasty and easy these are. They're a good work lunch either hot or cold, too. These rice bowls are a great make-ahead work lunch idea! I was looking for meal prep recipes for beginners and I love how tasty and easy these are. They're a good work lunch either hot or cold, too. These rice bowls are a great make-ahead work lunch idea! I was looking for meal prep recipes for beginners and I love how tasty and easy these are. They're a good work lunch either hot or cold, too.

How to Make Overnight Oats for Breakfast so You Can Actually Get Out the Door on Time

I SO needed this primer on how to make overnight oats! She goes through just how to do it, what kinds of oats you should or shouldn't use, how much milk or liquid, and how to make overnight oats in a jar. Then she includes 5 variation recipes to try at home. These are so helpful for quick breakfasts when I need to get out the door but still have a healthy breakfast that's a quick breakfast recipe, too. Very tasty and helpful post.
I SO needed this primer on how to make overnight oats! She goes through just how to do it, what kinds of oats you should or shouldn't use, how much milk or liquid, and how to make overnight oats in a jar. Then she includes 5 variation recipes to try at home. These are so helpful for quick breakfasts when I need to get out the door but still have a healthy breakfast that's a quick breakfast recipe, too. Very tasty and helpful post.I SO needed this primer on how to make overnight oats! She goes through just how to do it, what kinds of oats you should or shouldn't use, how much milk or liquid, and how to make overnight oats in a jar. Then she includes 5 variation recipes to try at home. These are so helpful for quick breakfasts when I need to get out the door but still have a healthy breakfast that's a quick breakfast recipe, too. Very tasty and helpful post.

I SO needed this primer on how to make overnight oats! She goes through just how to do it, what kinds of oats you should or shouldn't use, how much milk or liquid, and how to make overnight oats in a jar. Then she includes 5 variation recipes to try at home. These are so helpful for quick breakfasts when I need to get out the door but still have a healthy breakfast that's a quick breakfast recipe, too. Very tasty and helpful post.

I SO needed this primer on how to make overnight oats! She goes through just how to do it, what kinds of oats you should or shouldn't use, how much milk or liquid, and how to make overnight oats in a jar. Then she includes 5 variation recipes to try at home. These are so helpful for quick breakfasts when I need to get out the door but still have a healthy breakfast that's a quick breakfast recipe, too. Very tasty and helpful post.

I SO needed this primer on how to make overnight oats! She goes through just how to do it, what kinds of oats you should or shouldn't use, how much milk or liquid, and how to make overnight oats in a jar. Then she includes 5 variation recipes to try at home. These are so helpful for quick breakfasts when I need to get out the door but still have a healthy breakfast that's a quick breakfast recipe, too. Very tasty and helpful post.

Today, my busy lovelies, I’m going to teach you how to make overnight oats for breakfast so you can actually get up, get out, and not be running late on an empty stomach for once.

You’ve probably heard some fuss about overnight oats and how they can save you time, money, and extra calories in the mornings. It’s true! Overnight oats are a fab option for busy people breakfasts since they are literally made while you sleep.

Overnight oats can save you a ridiculous amount of time in the mornings, and as a bonus, they are super customizable, easy to make, and a great make-ahead prep recipe!

Here’s why learning how to make overnight oats can save you morning time hassles.

I’ve long struggled with eating breakfast; I’m rarely hungry in the morning and would prefer just coffee.

But I know breakfast is important, and if I don’t eat it, I usually wind up a hangry, shouty mommy by like 9am.

Not good.

I kept hearing how amazing overnight oats were, but I was hesitant to try it out since, like, cold oatmeal? Um, no.

But my son loves oatmeal and I was sick of making it from scratch in the mornings, so I gave an overnight oats recipe a whirl.

They’re more filling than a bowl of cereal or a slice of toast, and I can create individual options for my kids based on their tastes. PBJ for one, brown sugar and walnuts for the other, fruit-topped for me.

Or we could all eat the same flavor instead. No one will die from the lack of variety. But that’s not nearly as Pinterest-y, now, is it? 😉

These little overnight oats in a jar are also a fab grab-and-go breakfast item. Kinda like this Overnight Chia Pudding, you can whip up a batch during a weekend Power Hour prep sesh and line them up in your fridge for the week.

Since they do all their ‘cooking’ while you sleep, it’s the ultimate in easy prep!

Does it matter which oats you use?

In a word, no.

Personally, I prefer steel-cut oats to rolled oats, since I like the chewy, hearty texture.

But rolled oats are the standard style of oats most “experts” (ahem, other foodies) recommend when teaching how to make overnight oats, so that’s the more “traditional” choice.

1-minute or quick oats are generally not recommended since they get super soggy overnight.

How do you store overnight oats?

I prefer to mix up overnight oats plain, with no seasoning other than some salt, and pop the mixture into small, 1-cup Pyrex glass containers since they will stack easier to stack in the fridge. But mason jars are a great place to store overnight oats as well, also.

And, of course, mason jars are way more Instagram-worthy. These are the important details, after all.

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Here’s an easy formula to remember how to make overnight oats: 1 Part Oats + 1 Part Liquid + Sit Overnight, then add toppings. 

  • Take one part steel cut oats (which are better for overnight oats since they’re ‘sturdier’ than quick oats)
  • Combine with equal parts liquid (milk, water, even bone broth if you like your oats savory)
  • Shake
  • Sit, overnight if possible
  • Add toppings (nuts, peanut butter, coconut flakes, etc)
  • Enjoy!

Here are 5 easy variations on overnight oats:

5 from 7 votes
Overnight Oats
Prep Time
5 mins
 
Some people like to add the flavorings and toppings beforehand, but I find a lot of toppings don't hold up well to overnight soaking and can get a little soggy. Experiment and find what you like best!
Servings: 2
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
Ingredients
  • 1 cup oats (see note)
  • 2 cup milk (see note)
  • 1 pinch salt (about 1/4 teaspoon)
Instructions
  1. Combine oats, milk, and salt in a jar or container with a tight-fitting lid, seal, and shake to mix thoroughly.
  2. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Top as desired and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

A note on oat types: Steel cut oats will give you a 'chewier' and heartier texture (they're my favorite!) Rolled oats are the standard style used in most overnight oats recipes and bring a more traditionally soft oatmeal texture Quick or 1-minute oats tend to get too soggy when left overnight; these are best used when you want "overnight" oats but forgot to make them the night before 🙂

A note on milk types: Feel free to use any kind of milk here, be it plant-based or animal based. You can also sub in water or even bone broth if you're going for a savory flavor!

 

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Easiest Dinner Hack Ever – Naan Pizza Freezer ‘Kit’

This dinner hack has seriously been saving my life this week, since it has been so crazy around here! She's right about the naan pizzas tasting exactly like regular pizza dough, so no using raw or frzoen dough! And I love the tip she includes for how to make a freezer pack diy meal kit thing. Good idea!

Naan Pizza is the easiest dinner ‘hack’ you’ll ever use; baked naan makes a chewy crust without having to use raw dough, you can use whatever leftovers you have on hand, and as a bonus, naan pizza works great in a DIY Freezer Meal ‘Kit’!

I first wrote about naan pizzas on this site over a year ago, when the site was brand new, my photography was horrific, and I was still finding my feet in this space.

But now, a year later, I feel the need to touch on this incredibly simple dinner. Nann pizza are still my favorite last-minute, shit-has-hit-the-fan, crap-whats-for-dinner go-to standard.

Know why? It’s not just because this is an incredibly tasty dish (it is). Or its propensity for using up leftovers (something I love doing).

It’s because naan pizza makes the best DIY Freezer Meal Kits!

What’s a DIY Freezer Meal Kit? I like to describe this little timesaving approach to freezer cooking as ‘Make Ahead Meals Meets Blue Apron.”

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How a DIY Freezer Meal Kit Works.

The beauty of a meal kit, such as Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, or Sun Basket, is that they send you a box of prepared ingredients along with a clear-cut, easy-to-follow set of recipes. They take any sort of guesswork out of your dinnertime cooking, which can be a huge relief for busy people.

The popularity of meal kits lies in three things:

  • It solves ‘decision fatigue’ about what to make for dinner.
  • It brings new, fresh recipes to your family table.
  • The whole thing is packaged in a way that your ‘mise en place’ is more or less done for you already.  

But a make your own Freezer Meal Kit is better than a mail order option – because YOU choose the dish!

You control the budget, and you control what you make and when.

Not every recipe makes a perfect DIY freezer meal kit, but many do.

Naan pizza is one such recipe.

See, the beauty of a naan pizza lies in its simplicity.

I mean, that’ss what’s so great about pizza itself, right? It’s customizable and versitle, can be eaten hot or cold, and everyone loves it.

Naan pizzas take what’s great about regular pizza… and makes it even easier.

You literally couldn’t get pizza any easier unless you called for takeout.

Here’s the big, scary ingredients list:

naan bread

pizza sauce 

cheese 

topping 

THAT’S IT.

Naan Pizzas are a great recipe to get kids helping in the kitchen.

In fact, I made naan pizzas with my 2 kids in a Facebook Live earlier this week in my Facebook group, Busy Mamas Cooking.

I put the dish together with my two kids hanging off of me in my tiny little galley kitchen, and the results were sometimes funny (my son ate practically a whole naan bread while I faced the camera from the other direction, for starters. And my normally ‘shy’ daughter acted like she was on Star Search and this was her chance at a big break. But other than that, it went off without a hitch).

I edited the Live broadcast down for this post, but you can see the highlight reel right up above- where I put the pizzas together for a freezer kit:

DIY Freezer Meal Kits are so easy, you’d feel crazy for not thinking about them before! But yep- put everything that you need for one dish in a big plastic bag, and puot that plastuic bag in the freezer. When you want to make the dish, pul it, thaw it, and cook it. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Naan pizza works wel here because it can all fit inside a platic bag and the components freeze fanulously. And then once thawed, you have dinner on the table in like, 10 minutes.

I mean, what can be better than that!?

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Here’s a list of my favorite naan pizza toppings: 

Spanish chorizo and manchego cheese

Fried egg, sausage, bacon, and cheddar cheese

Ricotta cheese, honey, and almond slivers

Monterey jack cheese, salsa, and pulled pork

The possibilities are literally endless! 

How about YOU!? Have you tried naan pizza? What about a freezer meal kit? I want to hear about it!