Weeknight cooking is infinitely easier when you can cook extra today and reinvent the leftovers. Whip up a batch of this simple carne molida and take the pressure off a later meal.
Credit: Jennifer Causey

I love a dish that I can cook once but use several ways throughout the week. And carne molida, a flavorful Latin classic, fits the bill. This versatile recipe, which can be made many different ways, is easy to execute any night of the week. And the recipe can be doubled to accommodate larger families.

Guests will swoon over the rich, full-bodied flavor of this black bean dip:

Mine is made with ground turkey (it's leaner and more tender than ground beef), peas, and carrots. It's delicious in tacos or served over brown rice. The leftovers can be the base for a variety of meals. Here are a few of my favorite: Shepherd's pie (with a Latin twist): Layer the carne molida in the bottom of a casserole dish, top it with mashed potatoes (or mashed cauliflower for a lower-carb option), and bake at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes.

Savory empanadas: Place 2 tablespoons of carne molida in the center of each empanada dough round (empanada dough rounds can be found in the freezer section of most supermarkets—I use the Goya brand), and then fold and seal the edges. Brush the tops of the empanadas with egg white, and bake at 350°F until golden, about 20 minutes.

View the recipe: Turkey Carne Molida

Carne molida also makes a perfect filling for baked potatoes, stuffed peppers, and quesadillas. The meal possibilities are almost endless!

Gina Homolka is the founder of skinnytaste.com and @skinnytaste.