Weekly Meal Planner: A Few Inventive Twists on Classics

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, we’re firing up the grill and featuring a balance of light summer meals with some inventive twists on classic favorites like cheeseburgers, chicken Caesar salad, deviled eggs and meatballs.

Plus, forget the PB&J this week (which we love, by the way!) and check out a nice variety of lunch recipes that are perfect for at-home or brown bagging.

Don’t know what to cook? Need help with a recipe? Feel free to ask us in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

Meatless Monday

Lunch: Enjoy summer’s best from the farmer’s market with this gorgeous Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Basil.

Dinner: Hearty and delicious, Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Brussels Sprouts and Sage Butter features a garlic butter and sage sauce that is off the charts.

Snack: Delicious with crackers, chips or on toasted bread, Roasted Veggie Dip is super healthy and versatile.


Lunch: Healthy and Flavor-Filled Soba Salad is terrific on its own or topped with chicken.

Dinner: Enjoy another light and flavor-packed summertime meal when you prepare Grilled Sweet-and-Sticky Chicken with Asparagus and Harissa. Cook’s note: The marinade is fantastic with pork, chicken breasts and even flank steak. 

Snack: Jazz up the microwave popcorn that’s on your pantry shelf with spices, butter and parmesan. Zippy Italian Popcorn is a go-to snack that comes together in under five minutes.


Lunch: Swiss Chard au Gratin French Bread Pizzas bump up the nutritional content of pizza with lots of garlicky greens – yum!

Dinner: It’s burger night – with a twist! Cheeseburger Salad puts a healthy spin on your favorite indulgence. Cook’s note: This preparation would work equally well with turkey, chicken or lamb sliders. 

Dessert: Monster Cookies are as monstrous in size and deliciousness as they are chock-full of peanut butter, oats, chocolate chips and M&Ms. Perfect for sharing!


Lunch: Hot or Cold Nicoise-Style Tuna Pasta is a fantastic brown bag lunch. Prepare it the night before and enjoy room temp or chilled the next day.

Dinner: Bread bowls aren’t just for soup anymore! Chicken Caesar Salad Stuffed Garlic Bread combines Caesar salad and garlic bread into one delicious sammie.

Snack: Applesauce Cake or Muffins couldn’t be simpler to prepare and are a tasty snack, dessert or breakfast.


Lunch: Skip the ho-hum brown bag sandwich today and make something special. This Italian Sandwich layers pesto with your favorite deli meats and provolone cheese.

Dinner: Make Friday Sandwich Night and put together Meatballs Three Ways: Meatball Sliders.

Snack: These yummy Caesar-Stuffed Eggs are a twist on the classic deviled egg.

Entertaining Saturday

Brunch: Delight your family and friends with fresh berries in baked bread cups topped with cinnamon, maple syrup, powdered sugar and whipped cream when you make Berry Tasty Breakfast Cups

Dinner: Serve your guests a restaurant-worthy all-in-one meal tonight: Grilled Veal or Pork Chops with Marsala Fig Sauce, Lemon-Ricotta Orzo, Celery and Mushroom Salad.

Snack: Hummus takes on southwestern flavors in this delicious Cilantro-Jalapeno Bean Dip.

Family Sunday

Brunch: Get the little ones into the kitchen and make this fun kid-friendly brunch (with frozen waffles!): Monty Cristo Waffle ‘Wiches.

Dinner: Gather a group tonight for Argentinean Mixed Grill – a delectable mixed grill with a spicy chimichurri sauce and salad. Delish!

Dessert: Fresh ginger and lime kick up fresh fruit in this perfect ending to a Sunday supper – Pineapple with Lime and Coconut.

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Rachael Ray