Easy Weeknight Meals

Easy Meals Mango Soy Glazed Salmon
Tara Donne
Supper is solved! With only one grocery trip and a bit of prep, your weeknights will now go a lot more smoothly.
Christopher Testani
Christopher Testani

Week 1: Fire Up the Slow Cooker

Weekend Prep

1. Shake up salad dressing: 1/4 cup lime juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 tsp. sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt.

2. Cook 1 1/3 cups of farro according to package directions.

3. Wash and dry cilantro and lettuce.

Chef Jenna Helwig demonstrates how to make an easy pan sauce that pumps up the flavor of a meal.

Food Editor Jenna Helwig demonstrates how to make an easy pan sauce that pumps up the flavor of a meal.

Jennifer Causey
Jennifer Causey

Week 2: Start With a Chicken

Recipes by Jenna Helwig

Weekend Prep

1. Blend spinach pesto in food processor: 2 cups baby spinach, 2 cups basil leaves, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup walnuts, 2 Tbs. grated Parmesan, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 small clove garlic. Cover with a thin layer of olive oil. Store in the fridge up to 5 days.

2. Wash and dry the Boston lettuce. Store in a paper-towel-lined zip-top bag.

Watch as Parents contributor Jenna Helwig shares her tips and tricks for roasting.

Food Editor Jenna Helwig shares her tips and tricks for roasting meat and vegetables.

Kana Okada
Kana Okada

Week 3: Stir Things Up in a Skillet

Recipes by Katie Webster

Weekend Prep

1. Steam 8 cups cauliflower florets until tender, about 14 minutes. Puree with 1/2 cup half-and-half and salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate half; freeze half for Thursday.

2. Cook a 12-oz. box of whole-wheat couscous in 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth according to package directions. Chill.
 

High-flavor, low-fat tips for cooking veggies, seafood, and poultry in a snap.

High-flavor, low-fat tips for cooking veggies, seafood, and poultry in a snap.

Kana Okada
Kana Okada

Week 4: Break Out the Skewers

Recipes by Dina Cheney

Weekend Prep

1. Assemble kabobs: Chop chicken thighs and green pepper into chunks. Assemble eight metal skewers, alternating chicken, grape tomatoes, and green pepper. Refrigerate.

2. Make Caper Relish: In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup chopped red pepper, 1/4 cup chopped red onion, 2 Tbs. drained capers, and 2 tsp. olive oil. Refrigerate. 

Switch up your boring dinner routine with this tasty twist on Thai food.

Kana Okada
Kana Okada

Week 5: Dress Up Rice Noodles

Recipes by Suzanne Lenzer

Weekend Prep

Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and grill or broil until no longer pink (170°F), about 15 minutes. Refrigerate until needed.

Make pita chips: Cut each pita into 8 wedges, lightly coat with cooking spray, season with salt and pepper, and bake at 400°F until golden, about 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container until needed.

Trim sugar snap peas.

Guilt-free and delicious at the same time?! This power bowl is a healthy dinner option that is guaranteed to satisfy our cravings.

Kana Okada
Kana Okada

Week 6: Cook Up Quinoa

Recipes by Jenna Helwig

Weekend Prep

1. Prepare 1 3/4 cups of quinoa according to package directions. Store in fridge.

2. Wash, trim, and cook green beans in boiling water for 5 minutes. Refrigerate.

3. Cut corn off cobs. Store in the refrigerator.

Nobody wants to eat foods that have been steamed to a mushy, soggy mess. Watch as Parents contributor Jenna Helwig shares her tips on properly steaming. Your family will thank us!

Kana Okada
Kana Okada

Week 7: Shake Up Classic Pasta

Recipes by Suzanne Lenzer

Weekend Prep

1. Prepare 1 cup brown rice according to package directions.

2. Shred cabbage.

3. Chop yellow onion and slice 1/4 cup of red onion (double bag both!).

Chef Jenna Helwig demonstrates how to cut an onion.

Kana Okada
Kana Okada

Week 8: Give Barley a Boost

Recipes by Debbie Koenig

Weekend Prep

1. Line two baking sheets with foil. Peel and cut carrots, parsnip, and sweet potato into 1/2-inch chunks and spread on one sheet. Quarter and seed bell peppers, cut onions into wedges, and spread both on a second sheet. Toss veggies with 4 tsp. olive oil and 1/4 tsp. salt. Roast at 425°F until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Refrigerate root vegetables and onion mixture in separate containers.

2. Cook barley according to package directions. Drain and refrigerate.

Chef Jenna Helwig demonstrates techniques for breading and battering.

Kana Okada
Kana Okada

Week 9: Go South of the Border

Recipes by Suzanne Lenzer

Weekend Prep

1. Puree rinsed and drained black beans with 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, 1/2 jalapeño (seeds removed), 2 Tbs. lime juice, 2 Tbs. water, and 1/4 tsp. salt.

2. Cook 1/2 cup wild rice and 1/2 cup quinoa according to package directions.

3. Pull the meat from the rotisserie chicken; discard skin and bones.

Kana Okada
Kana Okada

Week 10: Sear Up Scallops

Recipes by Jenna Helwig

Weekend Prep

1. Cook 1 bunch Tuscan kale, ribs removed, in boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain well. In a food processor combine the kale, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, 1/4 cup walnuts, 1 clove garlic, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Process until smooth. Refrigerate.

2. In a slow cooker combine 8 cups water, 1 lb. dried chickpeas, and 1 tsp. salt. Cook for 5 to 6 hours on high heat or until tender. Refrigerate in cooking liquid.

    Kana Okada
    Kana Okada

    Week 11: Toss Together a Summery Salad

    Recipes by Erica Clark

    Weekend Prep

    1. Cut the bread into bite-size cubes. Spread on two baking sheets and toss with 2 Tbs. olive oil. Bake in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes, tossing once. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.

    2. Put 2 eggs in a small pot; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and cover for 11 minutes. Drain and refrigerate.

    Yunhee Kim
    Yunhee Kim

    Week 12: Top a Pizza

    Recipes by Suzanne Lenzer

    Weekend Prep

    1. Crisp-cook 4 slices thick-cut bacon. Drain and refrigerate.

    2. Using a vegetable peeler, cut 1/2 zucchini and 1/2 yellow squash into ribbons. Chop remaining squash; sauté with a bit of olive oil over medium heat for 3 minutes. Store separately in the fridge.

    3. Grate 2 oz. cheddar cheese and 3 Tbs. cold butter. Store together in the fridge.

    Yunhee Kim
    Yunhee Kim

    Week 13: Add Some Apple

    Recipes by Laraine Perri

    Weekend Prep

    1. Peel potatoes; cut into 1-in. chunks. Boil in salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain; mash. Transfer 2 cups to an airtight container. Refrigerate. 

    2. Stir 1/2 cup milk and 2 Tbs. unsalted butter into remaining potatoes. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt. Transfer to a separate container. Refrigerate.

    Kana Okada
    Kana Okada

    Week 14: Sear a Steak

    Recipes by Laraine Perri

    Weekend Prep

    Trim steak; cut crosswise into thirds. In a large zip-top bag, combine 3 Tbs. soy sauce, 2 Tbs. olive oil, 1 Tbs. each balsamic vinegar and honey, and 2 crushed garlic cloves. Add steak; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate.

    Prepare 11/4 cups farro and 12/3 cups jasmine rice according to package directions. Let cool and store separately in the fridge. 

    Week 15: Moroccan Chicken

    Recipes by Erica Clark

    Weekend Prep

    1. Thinly slice the onions. In a large skillet cook onions in 2 Tbs. olive oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until they're golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Refrigerate.

    2. Place half of the baguette in a food processor. Cover and pulse to create coarse crumbs.

    3. In a large skillet, toast crumbs in 2 Tbs. olive oil over medium-high heat, stirring often, until golden and crisp, 5 minutes. Let cool and transfer to an airtight container. 

    This chicken recipe uses just one skillet to make a delicious main dish (filled with tomatoes, chickpeas and golden raisins) to serve over couscous.

    Yunhee Kim
    Yunhee Kim

    Week 16: Set Up a Salad Bar

    Recipes by Suzanne Lenzer

    Weekend Prep

    1. Tear meat from chicken. Discard skin and bones. Refrigerate meat in a zip-top bag.

    2. Make chickpea paste. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Puree with 1 Tbs. olive oil, 1 clove garlic, 1 Tbs. lemon juice, and ⅛ tsp. each cumin and salt until smooth. Refrigerate.

    Week 17: Fire Up the Grill

    Recipes by Jenna Helwig

    Weekend Prep

    1. Make a tomato sauce: Blend 2 lbs. roughly chopped plum tomatoes in a blender until smooth. Simmer for 50 minutes, partially covered, in a medium pot with ½ onion (not chopped), 3 Tbs. tomato paste, 2 Tbs. butter, 1 tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. sugar. Stir occasionally. Discard the onion and refrigerate the sauce.

    2. Hard-boil 4 eggs and refrigerate.

    Tara Donne
    Tara Donne

    Week 18: Supper Is Solved!

    Recipes by Aviva Goldfarb 

    Weekend Prep

    1. For Tuesday’s burgers: Combine 1 lb. ground turkey,  ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley, 1 tsp. fresh lemon zest, ½ tsp. dried dill, and ¼ tsp. pepper.  Fold in ½ cup crumbled feta cheese and shape into four ½-in.-thick burgers. Refrigerate. 

    2. For Friday: Cut 1 head cauliflower into florets. Refrigerate.

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