Weekly Meal Planner: Comfort Food Edition

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.

Most of the country has been in a deep freeze, so we’ve pulled out some comfort food favorites and hearty soups to warm up this week’s meals. Let’s get started!

Meatless Monday

Lunch: You can use this Cream of Celery Soup as a base for creating your own creamy veggie soup. Swap in the veggies of your choice –  carrots, zucchini, and broccoli are all good options – for the celery if you’d like.

Dinner: Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin Mac ‘N Cheese is an easy dinner to kick off the week. Make it the day before and refrigerate until you are ready to bake.

Dessert: Cranberry Walnut Oatmeal Cookies are healthy and delicious. Bonus: They freeze well.


Lunch: Spinach, Artichoke and Tuna Tortellini Salad is a tasty pantry salad that you can make all year. It’s a terrific lunch for brown-bagging, too!

Dinner: Crispy Bacon Breadcrumb Chicken and Smoky Roasted Green Beans and Potatoes is destined to be a family favorite. The entire meal is roasted in the oven, so prep couldn’t be easier!

Snack: Mini Muffin Jelly Doughnut Bites make a great after-school snack. Refrigerated biscuit dough is repurposed into hot doughnuts sprinkled with powdered sugar. Watch them disappear before your very eyes!


Lunch: Chunky Roasted Tomato, Potato and Garlic Soup is light and satisfying. You’ll never reach for a can of tomato soup again. The secret is roasting the tomatoes, which brings out their summer sweetness even when they are not in season.

Dinner: Chicken and Broccolini Shepherd’s Pie is a comfort food favorite. If you can’t find broccolini, broccoli is a good substitution. For a lighter twist, you can also swap out half of the potatoes for cauliflower.

Dessert: Peanut Butter Caramel Swirled Brownies are fudgy and decadent. They’re best when served cold – and in small portions!


Lunch: You’ll never miss the mayo with this bright and zesty Chicken Salad with Yogurt-Ranch Dressing.

Dinner: Put together a quick and easy taco bar with these Flank Steak Tacos. You can prepare them with chicken or fish, or some of each.

Snack: Homemade Pickle Chips are so good, you’ll never go back to store-bought again. They keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.


Lunch: Cobb Pasta Toss takes a classic salad and transforms it to a pasta dish!

Dinner: Make Friday Burger Night with these healthy and delicious Broccoli and Cheese Turkey Burgers. No need to make a side veggie – the broccoli is cooked right in the burger! For the spice-averse, skip the jalapeño and hot sauce.

Dessert: Pies on Sticks are super fun for kids to make. Nutella and banana is also a favorite filling combo.

Entertaining Saturday

Brunch: Monte Cristo Waffle-Wiches put your waffle iron to work. Ham and cheese sandwiches are dipped in an egg batter and fried in the waffle iron. Delish.

Dinner: Garlic-Chili Shrimp with Greek Spaghetti and Feta is a snap to prepare and will impress your guests.

Cocktail: Save the cocktail for after dinner and serve a grown up milkshake: Root Beer Russian Float.

Family Sunday

Brunch: The Oven-Puff Pancake will be a hit with kids. Set out your favorite toppings like fresh berries, syrup, and powdered sugar.

Dinner: Meaty Baked Ziti is the perfect Sunday supper – it feeds a crowd and can be made ahead.

Dessert: Apple Pie Sundaes are a deluxe combination of store-bought pastry cookies and caramel sauce, sautéed apples, and vanilla ice cream. Replace the brandy with apple juice, or even water, for the little ones.

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Rachael Ray