Get Inspired: 21 Meal Ideas to Try This Week

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. 

Happy Holidays! Christmas week has arrived! We’ve included some suggestions for holiday meals, as well as some easy post-holiday ideas. Let’s get started!

Meatless Monday

Lunch: No one will miss the meat with Spicy Roasted Carrot and Squash Mac ‘n Cheese.

Dinner: Make a big batch of ratatouille on Sunday and enjoy Ratatouille and Ricotta-Stuffed Peppers for dinner tonight.

Snack: Sweet Sesame Five-Spice Popcorn adds an explosion of flavor to this everyday snack.

Tuesday (Christmas Eve)

Lunch: Enjoy a surprisingly light veggie lunch before the holiday eating begins with Roasted Cauliflower Au Gratin.

Dinner: Fresh Bone-In Ham with Maple Cherry Glaze makes an impressive centerpiece for your Christmas Eve table. Check out all of our suggestions for holiday meals here.

Dessert: Eggnog-Pannetone Bread Pudding is a special holiday dessert. Plus, the portioning is done for you since you bake it in a muffin pan. Don’t forget the whipped cream!

Wednesday (Christmas)

Brunch: Butternut and Apple Galette is an elegant meal that’s perfect for the holidays.

Dinner: Enjoy Rachael’s traditional Christmas dinner that feeds a crowd – Christmas Pasta! The secret ingredient to this festive sauce is allspice or cinnamon.

Snack: Cheese and Herb Puffs are the perfect Christmas hors d’oeuvres. Don’t be intimidated – they are surprisingly simple to make.


Brunch: Kids will love this Rosemary Potato Frittata that features potatoes and cheese – yum! Leftovers are great re-heated or at room temp.

Dinner: Bacon, Bourbon and Black Pepper Bow Ties is a quick and easy post-holiday dinner. No bourbon in the house? Use wine or chicken stock.

Dessert: Fabulous Five-Minute Fudge Wreath is one of Rachael’s all-time most popular recipes. Make it early in the week with the kids and enjoy all week long.


Lunch: Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Salad is a healthy make-your-own takeout lunch.

Dinner: Take it easy tonight and serve upscale sammies with these flavorful Curried Lamb or Turkey Sandwiches on Naan Bread.

Dessert: Keep the holiday celebration going with festive Gingerbread. It’s delicious served warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Entertaining Saturday

Brunch: Pecan Cinnamon and Nutmeg Pancakes aren’t any ordinary pancakes. Simply add spices to a store-bought mix and make a quick apple sauté for the topping.

Dinner: Fancy Fillet of Beef with Marsala Sauce, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Green Beans is the perfect dish for entertaining, most of which can be made in advance. Cheers!

Snack: Your guests won’t be able to resist Crab Arancini (Deviled Crab Balls).

Family Sunday

Brunch: French Toast Casserole is a crowd-pleaser. Make it Saturday night and bake the next morning.

Dinner: Pasta night! Make the sauce early in the day and enjoy Sweet Sausage and Eggplant Penne for your Sunday supper.

Dessert: Pass the Christmas cookie platter (we know you’ll have plenty of leftovers!) which should definitely include these festive Thin Mint Chocolate Sandwich Cookies.

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Rachael Ray