Believe It or Not, These Dishes Actually Taste Better the Second Day

You can never have too many recipes on hand that perfectly lend themselves to mid-week leftovers. But just because the recipe is guaranteed to feed a large family (and then some), that doesn’t mean those leftovers will actually taste good the next day. Take, for instance, that meatloaf you made from scratch: Not looking so moist and juicy after reheating it in the oven or microwave on day two, right? That’s where the following recipes come into play, where the first bite is just as good as the last little bit you scraped out of the Tupperware the next night — if not better.

Whether you’re cooking in bulk for a large family and are planning your dinners for the busy week ahead (even going as far as to make a freeze-ahead meal or two) or you’re cooking for one and welcome the leftovers for an easy next-day dinner, these dishes age like a fine wine — and not like that block of cheese you’ve had in your meats-and-cheeses-and-hummus drawer in the fridge for weeks.

Vegetarian Soba Noodle Salad

Giada De Laurentiis said it best in her Instagram post: “This veggie-loaded Soba Noodle Salad gets even better the longer it sits in the fridge, which means it’s a perfect meal prep staple!”

Get the recipe at Giadzy.

Wild Mushroom & Beef Stew

This one-pot meal combines fragrant mushrooms, plenty of fresh herbs, and tender meat for unforgettable day one — and day two! — dinner.

Get the recipe at Girl and the Kitchen.

Creamy Baked Carbonara Mac & Cheese

It’s rich, it’s cheesy, it’s delicious — and you’ll tasty leftovers for days.

Get the recipe at Spoon Fork Bacon.

Garlic Kale Pesto Pasta

This pasta dish coated in a bold, flavorful creamy garlic kale pesto sauce is so good, you might not even have any left over for day two eatin’.

Get the recipe at Lemons and Basil.

Turkey Lasagna

Ina Garten’s turkey lasagna is, hands down, the best turkey lasagna. With layers upon layers of thick, creamy cheeses and Italian sausage, you’ll be going back for thirds without any hesitation.

Get the recipe at Food Network.

Curry Chicken Pot Pie

As Honestly Yum put it, “This is not your average chicken pot pie.” While it’s loaded with all the chicken pot pie fixings, from onions and cemetery and peas, this pie’s also infused with spicy Madras curry.

Get the recipe at Honestly Yum.

Chipotle Beef Barbacoa

Those in search of a set-it-and-forget-it slow cooker meal, this chipotle beef barbacoa recipe is as easy as it gets. Once done, make tacos!

Get the recipe at Carlsbad Cravings.

Instant Pot Chicken Adobo

Have an Instant Pot? Good, because that’s the easiest and most foolproof way to make this traditional — and beyond flavorful — Filipino chicken-based dish.

Get the recipe at Savory Tooth.

Ground Turkey & Rice Soup with Kale

This hearty, healthy soup is swimming with chunks of ground turkey and lots of fresh veggies, including onions, celery, tomatoes, and kale. (And, yes, we highly recommend garnishing with parsley and shredded parmesan cheese.)

Get the recipe at Yellow Bliss Road.

Spaghetti & Meatballs with Veal & Ricotta

Italian comfort food dishes are always a mid-week dinner winner, and this particular spaghetti and meatballs recipe is an elevated one with veal and ricotta.

Get the recipe at Food Network.

Chow Mein

Show of hands if you’re a fan of Panda Express’ Chow Mein? Yeah, us, too. And this recipe from Dinner Then Dessert not only tastes like it, but it also only takes a few minutes to whip up.

Get the recipe at Dinner Then Dessert.

Three-Bean Mushroom Chili

Meaty and loaded with spices, this “ultimate” vegan chili is easy to make and freezer-friendly.

Get the recipe at Vegan Huggs.

Baked Pasta with Tomatoes & Eggplant

Mozzarella and tomato sauce-smothered pasta baked with tomatoes and eggplant: We’re already drooling just thinking about it.

Get the recipe at Leite’s Culinaria.

Gnocchi with Pomodoro Sauce

What truly makes this dish a star is its herb-loaded tomato sauce.

Get the recipe at Foodie Crush.

One Pot Pad Thai

It doesn’t get easier than a one-pot stir-fry meal loaded with noodles, protein, bean sprouts, and a sweet savory sauce.

Get the recipe at Real Housemoms.

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