Weeknight Meal Plan || #1

When I was in college I worked on the weekends for a wonderful family, doing some of their grocery shopping and errand running so that they could enjoy more time with their kids. Every Sunday afternoon, the mother would sit at the dining room table with her favorite cookbooks and come up with a meal plan for the week and then carefully craft a grocery list accordingly.  It’s taken me many years to get in the habit of planning our weeknight meals ahead of time, and some weeks are better than others (Aaron can attest), but it’s truly the only thing that keeps us from just eating out every night.  Sometimes I’ll text friends for ideas and I’m always perusing Pinterest, so I figured some of you might be interested in new dinner ideas, too. (Plus, this will hopefully serve as a resource for me any time I feel stumped!) Here’s the catch, though! You have to leave your favorite weeknight meals in the comments! (Help a sister out, okay?!)  Most importantly, I’m so glad it’s Friday. I hope this weekend is full of rest and people that you love… and yummy food!

Monday: Nothing beats these meatballs from Smitten Kitchen.  You can mix everything up and form the balls Sunday night, wrap the baking sheet tightly with saran wrap and then pop them in the oven Monday evening.

Tuesday: These Slow-Cooker Beef Tacos from Skinny Taste are amazing!

Wednesday: We eat a lot of stuffed sweet potatoes. They’re kind of like omelettes or salads where you can just add whatever leftovers you have in your refrigerator and they’re somehow always delicious. We most often do ground turkey with sautéed bell peppers and a greek yogurt sauce, but these from Lauren Caris Cooks look delicious! (Ps. You can slow cook the sweet potatoes while you’re away during the day for a quicker weeknight meal!)

Thursday: I must have made these Chili Garlic Chicken Skewers from How Sweet Eats over a year ago, but they’re still one of our family’s favorites! I usually take it easy on the chili, so that Parker will eat it too. (Other times if I’m really craving some spice, I just cook her chicken separately.)

Friday: Pizza Friday, you guys. Always Pizza Friday. (Don’t worry, I have an entire board devoted to homemade pizzas!) Once upon a time Bon Appetit published their ultimate pizza guide in a print issue in which they instructed you to buy this flour for your pizza dough– which of course I did and proceeded to follow their homemade dough instructions to the letter! This Burrata Pizza Pie recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking has been on my must try list for some time, so next Friday we’re finally going to make it happen!

What are you guys making this week?!

Explore more: ,
  1. Pingback Weeknight Meal Plan || #3 - The Effortless Chic - A lifestyle blog bringing easy ideas for every day style to you, every day of the week!

  2. Pingback Weeknight Meal Plan || #2 - The Effortless Chic - A lifestyle blog bringing easy ideas for every day style to you, every day of the week!

  3. Caleigh


    Those look so good! When I went back to work after my mat leave (we get a year off here in Canada) I structured our suppers around a different meat (my husband is VERY ‘meat & potatoes’)(eye roll). So Monday was chicken, Tuesday was pork, Wednesday was pizza night, Thursday was beef. Friday, Saturday & Sunday were ‘open’ because, well, weekend (most of the time we’d be at someone else’s house, exploring new areas, camping or we’d have people over).
    So on Monday I’d make anything from grilled chicken breast and a big garden salad, to chicken soup, etc. Tuesday might be anything from pulled pork in the crockpot and fresh bread, to perogies & bacon. And so on! It gave me the structure I needed on busy nights but left room to get creative!

    • Jen Pinkston


      Okay, first off, A YEAR MATERNITY LEAVE?! Applause to Canada for figuring that out. I can’t imagine how many more women are able to stay in the workforce just by having that year of time to get adjusted to motherhood. Secondly, I love your idea of the protein structure. My husband is the same way– such a carnivore. I do try to space out the different types of meats, but love the idea of assigning them a day.

      • Caleigh


        Yes, we get 6 months maternity and 6 month parental leave. Most women just combine it to take a year. It’s actually fabulous because not only is it a year off with a guaranteed job to come back to, but it’s an opportunity for someone else to get a year of experience in their chosen field.

  4. As someone who is diligent about meal planning every Sunday morning, I love recipe sharing! While not by intention, clearly my theme here is pesto. The three below are very doable weeknight meals without loads of prep or that one ingredient that requires an extra stop at a specialty store.

    Simple, comfort food that makes for great leftovers -https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/creamy-caprese-quinoa-bake/

    Just yum with fresh veggies or your fave chips – http://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/2016/07/healthy-chicken-burgers-spinach-basil-pesto/

    Worth waiting for in season peaches. Quick, easy and so much flavor – http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/grilled-peach-pesto-and-mozzarella-quesadillas/

    • Jen Pinkston


      Looking up all of these recipes now for next week’s meals! Can’t thank you enough for sharing!

  5. Those meatballs look so good!! Same with the stuffed sweet potato! I’m not even hungry but I want to eat everything!


    • Jen Pinkston


      Can I please just tell you that those meatballs are the best I have ever had in any restaurant. The cooking method is so spot on!

  6. Lauren Horton


    Do you have an Instant Pot? That’s my latest obsession!! There are lots of Facebook recipe sharing groups and other recipes on Pinterest. I’ve been more inspired to try new recipes ever since I got it for Christmas! I made this one this week, and we all loved it! (I modified the recipe for the Instant Pot to save time, reduce dishes, & increase tenderness!) http://www.mynaturalfamily.com/recipes/clean-eating-recipes/clean-eating-chicken-recipe/

    • Jen Pinkston


      Lauren! I keep hearing about the Instant Pot and your comment might be the tipping point! I need one in my life. Checking out this recipe now 🙂

Crop the image



No image selected Add Image