21 New Recipes to Plan Your Week of Meals

Welcome to the Weekly Meal Planner! Whether you work all day and are out of steam when the dinner hour hits, or are fresh out of  ideas and in a cooking rut, we are here to make your life easier. Note: We’ll include tips for picky eaters and easy food swaps if you don’t have an ingredient on-hand. 

The holiday season is in full-swing, which means you are busier than ever and need quick, easy, or make-ahead meals. Let’s get started!

Meatless Monday

Lunch: Eggs aren’t just for breakfast – enjoy this Souffle Frittata with Leeks for your Meatless Monday lunch.

Dinner: Smoky Roasted Rappini and Strozzapreti is family-pleasing pasta with veggies and a ton of flavor. You can omit the peppers if you have picky eaters. And if you’re short on specific ingredients, replace the rappini with broccoli and use the pasta shape of your choice.

Dessert: The healthiest dessert ever, Banana “Ice Cream” Fake-Out, will please even the biggest ice cream fans with this cool fruit replacement.


Lunch: If you’re battling a cold, treat it the old-fashioned way with Italian-Style Chicken Noodle Soup (Version 2). Freeze the leftovers to enjoy later.

Dinner: Put together this Shepherd’s Pie with Bacon, Beef and Horseradish Blue Cheese Potatoes over the weekend and take it easy for dinner tonight.

Snack: Mini Muffin Spinach Artichoke Bites are fancy enough for a cocktail party, but easy enough for an after-school snack.


Lunch: Lasagna Bread Pizza is a homemade version of a frozen favorite – french bread baked with a quick homemade meat sauce, ricotta, and mozzarella. Yum.

Dinner: Try something new with Boneless Chicken Chasseur, which features sautéed chicken and mushrooms in a savory sauce over buttered egg noodles. Replace the brandy with chicken or veggie stock if you’d like.

Dessert: Pretzels and potato chips in a cookie come together in a sweet and salty delight in Junk in da Trunk Cookies.


Lunch: Pasta salads aren’t just for summer picnics. New Pesto Pasta Salad is a bright and delicious lunch.

Dinner: It’s Sandwich Night! Mozzarella in Carrozza with Prosciutto Cotto is the most delicious grilled cheese sammie you’ll ever have. Ham and even bacon make good stand-ins for prosciutto.

Snack: Chicken and Rice Meatballs make a great snack with any dipper you’d like. Marinara sauce is a good choice!


Lunch: Leeky, Creamy Chicken-and-Dumpling Stoup couldn’t be easier. No need to make homemade dumplings – you use store-bought gnocchi instead!

Dinner: Cook a low-key family dinner. Hot Dog Paprikash combines your favorite wursts and potatoes in a comforting, one-pot wonder.

Dessert: Famous Chocolate Wafer Cake is a blast from the past. Kids will love making this no-bake dessert. Store-bought chocolate cookies are layered with whipped cream to make a four-ingredient superstar.

Entertaining Saturday

Brunch: Multigrain Berry Pancakes with a medley of fresh berries will bring everyone to the breakfast table.

Dinner: Impress your guests with an upscale meal when you prepare impressive (but secretly easy) Greek Lamb Chops with Roasted Beans and Tomatoes and Skordalia.

Cocktail: Toast the holidays with a Gingersnap Cocktail.

Family Sunday

Brunch: Savory French Toast with Homemade Sausage Patties and Warm Honey, Strawberries and Basil has layers of flavor your whole family will love.

Dinner: Treat everyone to a Sunday classic. Sunday Gravy and Macaroni (Spaghetti, Really) comes together quickly and only improves as it bubbles on the stove. Add a loaf of crusty bread and a simple salad, and you’ll make a memorable supper.

Dessert: Pumpkin Bites are a seasonal sweet treat. Pack any extras in Monday’s lunches!

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Rachael Ray