Weekly Meal Planner: 21 Easy Ideas

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. 

Does anyone else have a busy week ahead? We definitely do (here’s why!), and we needed recipes to match the pace. This week, try a little bit of everything with easy pasta, chicken, and slow cooker recipes that are simple to prepare and sure to please even the pickiest eaters. Enjoy!

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

Meatless Monday

Lunch: Mushroom, Ancho and Black Bean Chili is sure to satisfy. Make it as spicy as you like and have fun with the toppings! Crushed tortilla chips, scallions, and sour cream or Greek yogurt are all good choices.

Dinner: Gnocchi or Spinach Gnocchi with Pomodoro Sauce is fun to make and a budget-friendly meal to boot! Delicious with your favorite red, white or pesto sauce.

Dessert: An old-time favorite, Aunt Missy’s Lace Cookies are addictive.


Lunch: Whip up a batch of this Homemade Hot Sausage and Lentil Soup to enjoy all week long.

Dinner: Crispy Skin Chicken Breasts with Escarole and Beans is a healthy dinner that works well with chicken thighs too. In a time crunch? Canned beans work just as well as dried.

Snack: Frozen french fries turn into something so much greater with this French Fry Waffle. If you haven’t had poutine before now (a cheesy sauce perfect for dipping), you’re welcome.


Lunch: Make a favorite deli sammy at home with Rachel Patty Melts.

Dinner: Falafel Waffle – a savory (and easy!) waffle with salad fixings on top is a fun and easy weeknight meal.

Dessert: Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread is a healthier dessert or snack.


Lunch: Enjoy all your favorite Buffalo wing flavors in a light dish with this Grilled Buffalo Chicken Salad.

Dinner: A great make-ahead meal, Eight-Spice Squash and Chicken Thighs Stew with Lentil Rice is full of flavor.

Snack: Roasted Veggie Dip is a terrific accompaniment to pita chips, carrot sticks and cucumber slices. Use the leftover dip as a spread on your favorite sandwich, too.


Lunch: Chicken Cordon “Blue” Panini is a perfect packed or at-home lunch. Rotisserie chicken makes prep a breeze if you’re short on time.

Dinner: Kids will love Green Pasta with Ham and Eggs! Spinach fills in for traditional basil in the pesto sauce for a healthy but comforting pasta dish.

Snack: All of your favorite guilty pleasure flavors are in this addictive Pizza Popcorn.

Entertaining Saturday

Brunch: Apple, Cheddar and Mushroom Monte Cristos are a creative brunch – Greek yogurt or sour cream are acceptable stand-ins for the crème fraîche if needed.

Dinner: Braised Pork with Wide Pasta and Arugula has layers of flavor that will have your guests asking for seconds.

Cocktail: Surprise your guests with a creative cocktail when you serve John’s Blood Orange Margarita.

Family Sunday

Brunch: Mighty Migas (Version 2) is a Tex Mex-inspired all-in-one meal that you can enjoy any time of the day.

Dinner: It’s slow-cooker Sunday! The family will love this no-fuss Bacon, Leek and Tomato Brisket.

Dessert: Classic Carrot Cake with Creamy Cream Cheese Frosting is the perfect ending to a Sunday supper.

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Rachael Ray