Carrie Walters, chef at Dorothy Lane Market, is no stranger to meal prepping for a family. Some of her favorite tricks are quick and easy choices that make dinnertime a breeze. Here are her best tips to meal prepping and “hacking” your trip to the grocery store—plus a recipe for a deconstructed Buffalo chicken pot pie using TRUFF hot sauce (“TRUFF-alo,” get it?) that’s a real dinner winner.
When making dinner, make double what you need.
Especially when turning on your oven is a chore in the heat, make double batches of everything. Walters likes to cook a big Friday night meal with steak and potatoes, making more potatoes than she needs. The next morning you can use that surplus to make hash browns and eggs with a little TRUFF hot sauce on top, cut them into sticks to make burgers and fries for lunch, or scoop out the middle for potato skins. And never waste your second rack in the oven. While your chicken is cooking up top, throw in a sheet pan of veggies that take a while to cook. Walters likes to roast beets, broccoli, or cauliflower on a sheet pan to parcook for dinner the next day.
Try sheet pan meals.
“Sheet pan meals are brilliant,” says Walters. Roasted veggies, chicken, potatoes—you name it, there’s bound to be a combo that can become a staple in your house. Whip up a warm Mediterranean salad by roasting eggplant, tomatoes, red onion, and halloumi cheese and drizzle your favorite vinaigrette on top for a quick dinner.
Find what you’re good at and hack the grocery store.
Do you like chopping and hate cooking meat? Buy full veggies and grab a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. Don’t like to chop up everything? Pick up prepared peppers and onions for a stir fry and cook your own chicken with teriyaki sauce.
Pick up prepped items at the salad bar.
Speaking of chopping veggies—Walters suggests buying your veggies pre-cut or already prepped. Use the salad bar! Think onions, celery, carrots for your mirepoix or collect the accompaniments for chili or nachos—jalapeños, red onion, cheddar, and whatever else you like to smother your nachos with. Some grocery stores like Dorothy Lane Market will even have prepped items like spiralized noodles or butternut squash gnocchi that you can just toss with a jar of pasta sauce and ground beef and call it a meal.
Pasta doesn’t have to be boring.
We all know how easy it is to grab a box of pasta and pre-made sauce. But it doesn’t have to be basic! TRUFF’s pomodoro isn’t your average jarred sauce. Walters says the shroomy, umami flavor pairs nicely with a pan-fried gnocchi—a trendy alternative to boiling the melt-in-your-mouth pasta. If you want to kick it up a notch, Walters suggests stir frying pre-cut mushrooms and shallots, then tossing those in as well.
“TRUFF-alo” Deconstructed Buffalo Chicken Pot Pie
Pot pies are the best comfort food, but often take forever to make—rolling the dough, making the filling, and baking with the dough on top. But Walters follows her own tips to put a spin on the family-friendly meal. Grab prepped veggies for your mirepoix, packaged rotisserie chicken, a bottle of TRUFF hot sauce, and premade pie crust to whip up this weekday meal. Use the original TRUFF hot sauce for a mild, family-friendly version, or kick it up a notch and choose the Hotter Sauce.
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup onions, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped and divided
- 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 4 Tbsp flour
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp TRUFF Hot Sauce
- 1 lb. rotisserie chicken, diced or shredded
- 2 Tbsp sour cream
- 1 defrosted, unbaked all-butter pie crust
- Crumbled blue cheese for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter and sauté the onions, 1/2 cup of the celery, and the carrots until soft, but not brown. Season with the salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle the flour and stir until well mixed. Slowly add the stock. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer for 5–10 minutes until slightly thickened.
- Add the 1/4 cup TRUFF Hot Sauce, chicken, and sour cream. Mix well.
- Meanwhile, place pie crust on a parchment-lined baking tray and score with a fork.
- Brush pie crust with the reserved 2 Tbsp of TRUFF Hot Sauce.
- Bake in a preheated oven until the pie crust is set and crisp, about 15–20 minutes.
- Cut into wedges and serve with the TRUFF-alo chicken mixture and garnish with the reserved raw chopped celery, crumbled blue cheese, and additional TRUFF Hot Sauce.
Samples of TRUFF hot sauces will be shared with Slice Night guests, a perfect chance to add heat to one’s pizza. Plus, Dorothy Lane Market will be offering their to-die-for Killer Brownies at the fund-raiser.