HomeBudgetCook Once, Eat All Week: Pulled Pork Edition.

Cook Once, Eat All Week: Pulled Pork Edition.

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The concept of “cook once, eat all week” is perfect for a ton of people.  

  • Busy exhausted moms who are trying to get dinner on the table in a hurry.
  • People focused on healthy eating, who are trying to lose weight by not eating out.
  • People who need to reduce their grocery spending and are looking for unique ways to save time and money. 

If you like pulled pork, I can tell you that this cook once eat all week is the answer to your prayers. And this isn’t an “idea” that’s never been tested and proven to work. I’ve probably made these recipes 60 times just in the last few years. 

Frequently Asked Questions For This “Cook Once, Eat All Week” Meal Plan:

Will This Last In The Fridge All Week? 

You can absolutely cook this on Sunday and then meal prep it all week. I’m a germaphobe and a food safety freak so I’m going to tell you how I do this according to USDA food safety standards (without letting the meat sit in the fridge for 7 days or even 5 days, because that’s not happening in this house).   But,  I’ve found that most people are much more lenient than me about food safety… so you do you. 🙂

If you want to do it like me, then slow cook the pork on day one and have it for dinner that night. Leave half of it shredded in a container in the fridge (I use Rubbermaid Brilliance and love them.  They’ve replaced all of my food storage containers).  Then, freeze the rest of the pork in 1-2 cup increments (1 cup for 1-2 people, 2 cups for families of 4 and so on.  You can adjust accordingly for bigger families). Now as you get to day 3, you can thaw the extra pork for the remaining days’ meals for the week. 

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List of Cheap and Easy Meal ideas

 These ideas are field-tested by hundreds of thousands of our readers and are guaranteed to help even the most overwhelmed mom stick to a meal plan.  

And we’re giving it to you 100% free right now… 

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Do I have to eat pork for 7 days?

If you love the concept of cook once eat all week,  but don’t want 7 days straight of pulled pork, no sweat!

While I’ve totally had pulled pork for a week straight (it’s my absolute favorite), 

I also do this by batch grilling chicken, making a giant ham, and buying pre-packaged rotisserie chicken from Costco (comment below if you want my menu plans for those).

I’ll often eat pork for a day or two, freeze the rest in 2 cup portions (which is great for my family size), and then switch to other batch cooking meats and eat all week on foods from the freezer. If you want my cook once and eat all week recipes for chicken, ground beef,  ham, steak, and turkey, let me know and I’ll make a version for those as well. 

Quick Hints To Make This Even Easier: 

Freeze your cheese.  

If you buy a giant Costco bag of mozzarella and cheddar jack cheese, they last FOREVER when you portion them into one cup freezer bags and freeze them. The vast majority of meals, we don’t even thaw the cheese.  Just knock it on the table a few times so the cheese breaks up and we can add it to the meal we’re about to cook. 

We only thaw cheese if it’s something we’ll use fresh (like on top of tacos) and it thaws in about 40 minutes on the table or a few hours in the fridge. There’s no taste difference at all to me (and I’m probably the pickiest eater you’ve ever met). 

Slow Cook Your Pork During Work: 

If you work out of the house, then this base pulled pork recipe is PERFECT because it slow cooks for 12 hours and you literally dump it in the crockpot and pour Dr. Pepper on it before you leave for work.  Then you’ll come home to amazing pulled pork (and the smell in the house is DIVINE). 

Slow cooker pork butt vs smoker: Which is better?

We made this for years in a smoker, tending the fire all day and checking temperatures. When our smoker broke, I attempted this same recipe in the crockpot and we were surprised to find that it was SO MUCH easier and JUST as good. 

We never went back to smoking it. (Actually, we never even replaced the smoker since this is one of the few things we made in it).  If you’re not usually a fan of slow cooker meals because they’re soupy and siggy- then this is totally your jam- all that comes out at the end is pulled pork- no “soupiness” at all. 

Base “Recipe”  Slow Cooker Basic Pulled Pork

Buy a pork butt. Any pork butt. They’re usually called pork shoulder butt roast, sometimes Boston butt.  I’ve heard you can also use picnic roast, blade roast, and shoulder roast but I’ve never attempted it since pork butts are easy to find. 

They’re about $3/pound where I am (warning: grocery prices are widely different across the US and even more so across the world). I aim to buy the biggest one I can find because it’s the same amount of work and you get more meat prepped. I prefer boneless pork butt because then I don’t have to fish out the bones, but I have done this with both. The bones fall right off anyway so, It doesn’t really matter. 

Hint: Pork butt doesn’t actually come from the butt of the pig. Good to know. 

Smithfield bone in pork butt.

Time: 

  • 1 minute to get it started. 
  • 1-5 minutes to shred at the end of the day. 

Ingredients: 

  • Pork Butt, any size. 
  • 1 individual bottle or 2 cans of regular Dr pepper. (Hint: I’ve heard you can do this with diet as well, but I’ve never tried it).  
  • Salt and pepper to taste (at the end).  I usually leave it out and add it after.  I also mix in this insanely good pork butt rub (they also sell this at Costco) when it’s finished cooking but I’ve had it both with and without and it’s still delicious if we run out of seasoning. 

Directions

  • Plug in the slow cooker and turn to low. 
  • Add a slow cooker liner if you want a really easy clean up (it’s not a sticky or messy recipe though). 
  • Place the pork butt directly in the crock pot. (I open the package right into the crock pot which is conveniently placed on the counter next to the trash can so there’s no clean-up).
  • Dump the bottle of Dr. Pepper on top of the pork butt. 
  • Put the lid on and let cook for 12 hours. (Don’t open the lid to check on the food at all). 
  • Once cooked, use a ladle or large spoon to remove the meat into a large bowl. 
  • Then shred the meat using one of the 2 methods below… 

How to “Pull” or Shred Perfect Pulled Pork:

Using a Mixer:  

Benefits: Smaller pieces, takes 1 minute.

This is my favorite way. Using a mixer, (stand mixer or a handheld is fine), put the pork in the mixing bowl and mix the pork for a few seconds at a time on pulse until it’s all pulled, It will look like this: 

Pulled post cooked and ready to be eaten.

Use 2 Forks: 

Benefits: Thicker chunks of meat, takes about 5 min. 

Fork pull. Using two forks (or bear claws if you have them,  pull the meat apart until it looks like this.  This will walk you through how to do it…

Slow cooked pulled pork shoulder on chopping board with forks

Warning: Try it both ways. 

If you’re not sure which way is your favorite:  Do it the other way next time because people tend to have passionate opinions about whether tiny pieces (when mixed) or large chunks (from forks) taste better. 

Dinner #1:  Pulled Pork Sammys With BBQ Sauce and Coleslaw. 

Pulled pork smmies-cook once eat all week

There’s two options here because I’ve lost about 60 pounds on Weight Watchers, so I’ve reworked our original meals for this into healthier versions, which is what I make now. So I’ll show you both. 

Two options: 

Indulgent and delicious: Creamy classic coleslaw, potato buns, and Hickory and Brown Sugar Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce (or your favorite BBQ sauce). 

Obviously,  you can switch out any of these sides and buns, etc. The concept though is that you have pulled pork sandwiches(which typically get served with coleslaw on the side that you can pile on top.  (Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, it’s delicious!)

We use this classic coleslaw dressing recipe and mix it into a bag of shredded carrots mixed with a bag of coleslaw vegetables.  

Healthy but still delicious: Slider buns, vinegar based coleslaw, and Carolina Gold sauce. 

We use slider buns because they’re half the points of regular buns on WW, but you can just pile on extra meat and have this be your one sandwich. So you’re just reducing the size of the bread a bit. 

We use this vinegar based coleslaw, but I substitute their vegetables which they shred with a bag of premade coleslaw and a bag of shredded carrots. 

And Carolina Gold sauce is AMAZING.  Fun fact,  it’s actually my favorite BBQ sauce of all time, regardless of points. It just also happens to be low points. 

Dinner #2: Pork Tacos

Indulgent and delicious:  taco tortillas, sour cream, cheddar cheese, guacamole,  pulled pork,  white rice, and corn. 

Healthy and low points: Ironically, these taste better than our old indulgent versions. 

Carb balance wraps, pulled pork, brown rice (using this Instant Pot recipe), fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, diced fresh pineapple (I buy the pre-cut in the front of the grocery store, NOT canned)  avocado salsa, diced red onion and chopped jalapenos. 

Serve with cut up oranges or apples. 

Dinner #3: BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza’s or Air Fryer Pulled Pork Stromboli. 

Pulled pork pizza from the cook once eat all week collection

Indulgent and delicious:  Either make your own pizza crust using this super easy, can’t screw up, no rise pizza dough,  buy a bagged ball of thawed pizza dough from the store, or buy a can of refrigerated tube pizza dough. 

Shape into a large circle, spread a little bit of bbq sauce (we use Hickory and Brown Sugar Sweet Baby Rays bbq sauce for this).  

Top with cheddar jack cheese then pulled pork, then top with sliced red onion, diced pineapple and fresh sliced jalapeno. 

Finally, drizzle a lit bit of extra bbq sauce on top of the pizza and bake according for the dough directions.  

We serve this with either a simple side salad or cut up veggies and baby carrots. 

Healthy and re-worked: 

You can use this INSANELY delicious two ingredient dough (it’s 0% non fat plain greek yogurt and self rising flour (or regular flour with baking powder and salt added) and mix it together.  

There’s no rising.  It’s super easy, and pretty fail proof.

 It took me YEARS to try this (because it sounds gross and like one of those recipes that promise delicious brownies with ingredients like black beans but tastes like…. Black beans 🤮). But, once I tried it I was KICKING myself for not having done this earlier.

If you just want to make it a 5 minute meal:  Use a pita bread as your pizza base. Then top with a little bit of Carolina Gold, some low fat cheddar jack, pulled pork, red onions, diced pineapple and jalapenos. Drizzle with additional bbq sauce. 

Serve with a side salad or cut up veggies and baby carrots. 

Dinner #4: Pulled Pork Nachos. 

Indulgent and delicious: Spread tortilla chips over a baking pan and preheat the oven to broil on high. 

Dice your toppings:  We like red onion, chopped cilantro, jalapeno, fresh pineapple, and diced avocados. 

Sprinkle the chips with canned black beans (drained and rinsed) and then with cheddar and mozzarella cheese.  Broil for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is melted and top with your chopped toppings (we also like to add avocado salsa and sour cream).

P.S.  If you love nachos get one of these can colanders, it’s so worth the $5! 

Healthy and reworked:  Now I either use multigrain tortilla chips from Costco or these INSANELY GOOD black bean chips from Aldi (it’s a seasonal item but I buy 20 bags every time they have them which lasts me until they come out again).  They also have white bean chips that are good,  but black bean is my favorite).

Chop up cilantro, jalapeno, red onion, fresh pineapple, diced avocados.

Layer the black bean chips with black beans (hint: the black bean chips taste like regular chips) and low fat cheddar (I go super easy on the cheddar here, it’s a smattering).  

Then, broil for a minute or so.  Once out of the oven, add all of the toppings, avocado salsa and drizzle with salsa con queso (white salsa con queso is the best, but any will work).  Salsa con queso is super low points compared to cheddar cheese and is AMAZING.  

Dinner #5: Pulled Pork Bowl With Mashed Potatoes, Gravy and Corn.

The healthy and indulgent bowls are the same here because it’s a naturally low point dinner.  And this dinner can either be served in a bowl as layers or on a plate with the food not touching. 

We make these RIDICULOUSLY EASY and fairly healthy mashed potatoes by just boiling potatoes, and mashing in a little smart balance margarine, salt and pepper. We don’t even measure anything, we just add more until we like the taste of it. 

Start by scrubbing the potatoes in water using either a wash cloth or a potato scrubber   (hint: store potatoes in the fridge, they last forever), scrubs hem in water (either use a washcloth or a potato scrubber  and chop into 8 fairly equal chunks while you boil a pot of water. Add the potato chunks and boil for 20 minutes.  You can check with a fork to make sure they’re done (the fork should easily slide right through the potato chunk). 

You could also use a potato masher, or just use a whisk like this to smash potatoes.  Add in some Smart Balance, salt and pepper and mash again. 

Heat the pulled pork in the microwave for 2- 3 minutes and pile on the potatoes.  Then heat the corn in the microwave for 2-3 minutes (we usually use steamable frozen bags). Finally, whisk the instant brown gravy mix with water and heat. 

Layer potatoes, pulled pork and corn, and then top with gravy. 

Bonus Meals: 

Those are the 5 meals in constant rotation with us because we LOVE them. 

But we have a few others that we mix in. Sometimes for lunch or additional dinners for the weekend (though it’s just as likely I’ll repeat one of the above because those are my absolute favorites). 

Again, freeze half the pork on day one and then thaw individual meal bags the day before you need them).  

Either for Additional Cook Once Eat All Week Dinners for the Weekend or to Fill In With Lunches: 

Cook once eat all week pulled pork dinners.

Pulled Pork BBQ Cups: 

Ingredients: 

  • Leftover pulled pork
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Bbq sauce
  • Flaky biscuits (like Grands from Pilsbury).  We want flaky so we can pull off the top layer and make each biscuit into two cups. 

Directions:

  1. Separate each biscuit into two layers. 
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  3. Grease a muffin tin. 
  4. Press one biscuit layer (so half a biscuit) into the muffin tin, working the dough up the sides. 
  5. Mix the pulled pork with your favorite bbq sauce and spoon pork into the dough lined cups. 
  6. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bake 13-15 minutes. 

Air Fried Pulled Pork and Cheese Egg Rolls With Campfire Sauce. 

  • Egg roll wrappers
  • Pulled pork 
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Cooking spray

Preheat the airfryer to 360 degrees and set it for 5-8 minutes depending on how crispy you like them (don’t have an air fryer, I have the Ninja Foodi  5-in-1 Indoor Grill with Air Fry, Roast, Bake & Dehydrate and i’m OBSESSED). 

  • Put a little warm water in a bowl and grab a plate. 
  • Lay out the egg roll wrappers and working one at a time, scoop ¼ cup of pork and cheese into the egg roll wrapper.
  • Wet the end seam with a little water to seal and set to the side. 
  • Continue until you have 6 egg rolls done. 
  • Spray with cooking spray on the top side.
  • When the airfryer is preheated, place the egg rolls in the fryer with the cooking sprayed side down.
  • Spray the other side of the egg roll with cooking spray. 
  • Air fry for 5-8 minutes turning once at approx 3 minute. 
  • Continue making thes in batches if you have more than 6. 

Serve with bbq sauce or if you’re feeling super indulgent, campfire sauce. 

Campfire Sauce: 

1 cup mayo, 1 cup Sweet Baby Rays Kickin’ Bourbon sauce and marinade, 1 /2 teaspoon of chipotle powder (you can use chili powder if you don’t have chipotle). 

Pulled Pork Burritos. 

  • Tortilla wrap- burrito size (we reworked this by using low carb mission tortillas)
  • Pulled pork
  • Jalapeno
  • Red onion diced
  • Black beans
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Smashed avocado

Lay out the tortilla, reheat pork, dice onions, smash avocado, dice jalapeno (hint: leave the seeds in, if you like them hotter), and drain the black beans. 

Lay out the burrito, add your toppings, and roll like a burrito (folding the sides in and then rolling away from you). 

Cook Once Eat All Week Shopping List

Indulgent and Delicous

  • Pork Butt, any size.
  • 1 bottle or can of Dr. Pepper. 
  • Taco tortillas
  • Sour cream
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Guacamole
  • Pulled pork
  • Avocado
  • White rice
  • Corn
  • Pulled pork
  • Jalapeno
  • Red onion diced
  • Black beans
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Smashed avocado

Healthy and Low Points

  • Pork Butt, any size.
  • 1 bottle or can of Dr. Pepper. 
  • Carb balance wraps
  • Brown rice
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Avocado’s
  • Diced fresh pineapple 
  • Avocado salsa
  • Diced red onion
  • Chopped jalapenos
  • Nonfat plain greek yogurt 
  • Self rising flour 
  •  Pita bread
  • Carolina Gold sauce
  • Cheddar jack 
  • Multigrain tortilla chips
  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Bbq sauce
  • Flaky biscuits
  • Egg roll wrappers
  • Cooking spray
  • Mayo
  •  Sweet Baby Rays Kickin’ Bourbon sauce and marinade
  • Chipotle powder 
  • Tortilla wrap- burrito size

It’s easy to cook once eat all week and once you get started, you can freeze what you cook and interchange them throughout the week.  Boom! 

It makes cooking dinner a snap.

P.S. Don’t forget:  If you want easy meal ideas (not just back up meals) I created the Ultimate Cheap and Easy Meal Ideas that you can get for free here. 

FTC Disclosure of Material Connection: In order for us to maintain this website, some of the links in the post above may be affiliate links. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and/or believe will add value to readers



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