Weekly Meal Hack: 1 Sauce, 4 Different Meals


Leftovers are the worst. Try this way instead.



  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 fat cloves of garlic, minced
  • One good glug of olive oil
  • 2 cans (28 oz) of crushed tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of sugar (depending on how sweet you like your sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons sweet dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar


  1. Add onion and bell pepper with olive oil over medium heat. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook until peppers are soft and onions are translucent, ~5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, ~3 minutes.
  3. Add remainder of ingredients and stir. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Turn heat to low and cover. Allow it to simmer for ~30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

VoilĂ ! Pasta sauce perfection.


Meal #1: Kale Mushroom Lasagna Rolls

  1. Cook lasagna noodles per the directions on the box--make as many servings as you need. (Psst This one heats up well, so make extra to have for lunch).
  2. In a skillet, cook chopped yellow onion and minced garlic until soft. Add sliced baby bella mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes. Add in a handful or two of chopped kale and cook for another minute, until the kale starts to wilt. Set aside.
  3. Stir together ricotta, 1 egg, grated Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper in a separate bowl.
  4. Fold the mushroom, onion, and kale into the ricotta cheese mixture.
  5. Lay the cooked lasagna noodles flat on a cutting board and spoon a few heaping tablespoons of the ricotta-mushroom mixture and spread along the noodle.
  6. Roll up the lasagna noodle, keep it tight!
  7. In a baking dish, ladle some of the pasta sauce on the bottom. Evenly arrange the lasagna rolls, with the seam facing down. Top with more pasta sauce and more grated Parmesan.
  8. Cover with foil and bake at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the cheese is ooey-gooey and delicious.

Meal #2: Meatball Subs

  1. Bring pasta sauce to a simmer in a large skillet. Add frozen, cooked Italian style meatballs to sauce and cover. Heat over medium-high heat for ~10 minutes. (Again, you can cook as many meatballs as you want, save the rest for another day).
  2. Slice a french baguette into sandwich sized portions and then slice each in half. Place on a baking sheet and broil in the oven for 1-2 minutes, or until lightly toasted.
  3. Spoon meatballs over bread and top with sliced provolone cheese or shredded mozzarella. Place back under the broiler until cheese is ooey-gooey and melty.

Meal #3: Eggs in Purgatory

  1. Add some of your pasta sauce into a skillet and make a small indentation in the sauce for each egg you plan to cook.
  2. Carefully crack an egg into each indentation and season with a small dash of salt and pepper on each egg. Sprinkle the entire pan with grated Parmesan cheese.
  3. Cover the pan partially with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes. If you have more than 1-2 eggs in the pan, it may take longer. Look for the egg whites to be set, but yolks that are still loose.
  4. Finish with more cheese and parsley. You can toast up some of your leftover french bread from sub night to help you devour this tasty meal right out of the pan.

H/T: Smitten Kitchen


Meal #4: Easy Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

  1. Brown ground beef (or, if you prefer, ground sweet Italian sausage) in a pan with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Drain grease.
  2. Add pasta sauce and stir, allow to come to a simmer.
  3. While your sauce simmers, cook spaghetti according to the package directions.
  4. Toss your spaghetti into the sauce. Add a little pasta water if the sauce it a little too thick.
  5. Top with grated Parmesan and enjoy!

SHARE to help your friends out of their leftovers rut.