Weekly Meal Planner: Potluck 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. 

This week, embrace the stormy weather and get together with family, friends or neighbors for an impromptu potluck. Our inspiration came from a reader looking for some easy Mexican or Southwestern potluck dishes. We’ve brought you a few that could work, along with simply dinners that effortlessly feed a crowd. Enjoy!

And if you ever need meal ideas, feel free to ask us in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter!

Meatless Monday

Lunch: Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad is a unique and tasty take on this popular dish.

Dinner: Deep-Dish Eggplant Parmigiana is so delicious and comforting, you’ll never miss the meat. Everything is better parmed! This would be a welcome addition to any potluck table.

Snack: Edamame Hummus is a perfect dip or sandwich spread.


Lunch: Crispy Oven-Fried Turkey Patties with Bourbon BBQ Sauce is a healthy lunch with little clean up. You can use your favorite packaged barbecue sauce if you are in a pinch.

Dinner: Pulled Chipotle Chicken and Fixin’s is a fantastic Mexican-inspired potluck (or any night!) meal. Serve with the “fixins” of your choice like tortillas, shredded cheese, diced avocado, and jalapeños.

Dessert: Spicy Chocolate Monkey Bread does double duty as a dessert. Serve the leftovers for breakfast.


Lunch: Roasted Garlic and Chicken Double Dumpling Stoup has a secret ingredient (it’s packaged gnocchi, don’t tell!) that makes it hearty and filling.

Dinner: Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Green Onion Smashed Potatoes and Roasted Green Beans is an affordable, yet elegant, weekday meal.

Snack: Nutella-Swirled Banana Bread is good on its own or topped with peanut butter – or more Nutella.


Lunch:  Dine in Paris today with this yummy Croque Monsier with Fresh Spinach that comes together in a snap.

Dinner: With easy, crowd-pleasing ingredients, Florentine Penne with Chicken will become a regular in your weekly dinner rotation.

Snack: It tastes so decadent you won’t believe how healthy this Almond Cocoa Banana Blast Smoothie really is.


Lunch: Add some sliced chicken to this Orchard Salad for a balanced lunch.

Dinner:  Enjoy Friday night take-out from your own kitchen with Daddy Wu’s Moo-Shu Pork which works just as well with chicken. You’ll never reach for the take-out menu again.

Snack: Potluck alert! Super Nachos with Butternut Queso is a healthy spin on a popular snack.

Entertaining Saturday

Brunch: Play with your food! Kids can dunk away to their hearts’ content with these Sausage and French Toast Meatballs.

Dinner: If you are attending or hosting a Saturday night potluck, this Chili Shepherd’s Pie is a crowd-pleaser that feeds a group.

Cocktail: John’s Sangroni  is a special cocktail that’s is perfect with prosecco or champagne.

Family Sunday

Brunch: Potluck brunch anyone? Transform a favorite sandwich into a casserole with Reuben Patty Melt Casserole.

Dinner: Serve a restaurant-worthy dinner for your family’s Sunday supper this week with Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken with Rosemary Hasselback Potatoes.

Dessert: Wow your family with a Decadent Chocolate Tart. You can make it a few days in advance and bring to room temperature when you are ready to serve. Don’t forget the whipped cream!

What's Fresh from @RachaelRay

Rachael Ray