Do you struggle to make dinner during the week? Are you nodding emphatically YES to the previous statement? Yeah, me too.
After a long day at work or chasing the kids around the house, the thought of spending an hour cooking dinner seems basically impossible. Who has the energy for all of that?!
Creating a healthy meal for your family can be really hard especially when you are exhausted at the end of the day, but it doesn’t have to be. The key to success is having a ridiculously easy meal plan that everyone, even your picky 4 year old, will love (I promise this isn’t as hard as it sounds).
Start stock piling recipes that are super easy for you to make – recipes you can make without even thinking. Keep a running list and use those easy recipes to create the foundation of your weekly meal plan.
*This post contains affiliate links.
To get you started on your meal planning journey, I have put together 3 weeks of dinner recipes. I specifically picked recipes so easy and quick, you won’t have time to feel overwhelmed! I have been using this meal plan for the last few weeks, and it has made life so much easier. Not stressing about what to make for dinner or feeling guilty about hitting up the drive-through (for the third time this week) feels amazing! Having a plan makes a HUGE difference.
So let’s do this together. Let’s make this a planning challenge and see if we can cook and eat at home for the next 3 weeks! Are you with me?
Awesome! It’s going to be great! You can find weekly menus and recipes below. If you prefer, get the printable version of this family meal plan here.
Ridiculously Easy Meal Plan Your Kids Will Love
For each week, I stick to 3 – 4 recipes. Most of these recipes can be made in advance to make those hectic weeknight a little easier!
Week 1 Menu and Recipes
*Tip – Several of the recipes this week use chicken. Cook 4 – 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts on Sunday and then use it throughout the week!
- Monday – Teriyaki chicken with rice and vegetables
- Tuesday – Chicken and pasta salad with pita chips and fruit
- Wednesday – Teriyaki chicken with rice and vegetables
- Thursday – Quesadillas with tortilla chips and salsa
- Friday – Chicken salad with pita chips and fruit
Teriyaki Chicken with Rice and Vegetables
- Cooked chicken
- Vegetables (your choice but I use carrots and celery because we almost always have them in the fridge.)
- 1/2 c Soy Sauce
- 1 c Brown Sugar
- Cook rice and saute your choice of vegetables.
- In a small sauce pan, combine soy sauce and brown sugar.
- Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until it begins to froth.
- Pour over your cooked chicken, rice and vegetables.
Chicken and Pasta Salad
- Bow Tie Pasta
- Romaine Lettuce
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Ranch Dressing
- Cooked Chicken
Toss together ingredients and enjoy!
Quesadillas with Tortilla Chips
- Grated Cheese (your choice – I like Monterrey Jack)
- Sliced onion and green pepper
- Cooked chicken
- Saute onion and green pepper.
- Over medium-high heat, cover the bottom of a skillet with butter and place tortilla on top.
- Sprinkle cheese, chicken, and veggies on half of the tortilla.
- Fold the tortilla in half. Continue to cook until the tortilla is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
Week 2 Menu and Recipes
- Monday – BLT Pasta Salad
- Tuesday – Vegetarian Burrito Bowls
- Wednesday – Leftover BLT Pasta Salad
- Thursday – Shrimp Alfredo
- Friday – Mini Quiches with Bacon
BLT Pasta Salad
- Bow tie pasta, tossed with olive oil
- Romaine lettuce leaves
- Cooked bacon
- Cherry tomatoes
- Ranch dressing
- Prepare all ingredients.
- Toss together and enjoy!
Vegetarian Burrito Bowls
- Microwaveable Rice
- 2 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped
- ¼ cup Black beans, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup Corn
- ¼ cup Salsa
- ½ ripe Avocado
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
- ½ lime, juiced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Prepare the rice and evenly portion into bowls.
- Combine all other ingredients and place on top of rice.
- 1 cup thawed shrimp
- 1 package linguine
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 1/3 C + 1/2 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1/2 C Parmesan cheese
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1 leaf fresh basil
- Saute the shrimp in 1 tbs butter. Set aside.
- Cook the linguine, drain water, mix in a splash of olive oil (to keep noodles from sticking). Set aside.
- In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, saute minced garlic in butter.
- Pour in heavy cream (reserving 1/2 Tbsp) and a sprinkle of black pepper.
- Add Parmesan cheese to the sauce pan and heat until all cheese is melted.
- In a separate dish, mix together the remaining 1/2 Tbsp heavy cream and flour.
- Add flour mixture to sauce and stir until the sauce thickens.
- Pour sauce over noodles. Add shrimp and fresh basil. Serve!
Tip: These frittatas can easily be made up to 5 days in advance!
Ingredients (makes 12):
- 1/2 cup Ham lunch meat, chopped
- 6 Eggs
- 1/4 cup Milk
- 1/2 cup Orange bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 cup Spinach, chopped
- pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Grease a muffin tin or use a silicon muffin pan.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and milk.
- Mix in the ham, bell pepper, cheese, spinach and pepper.
- Portion egg mixture into muffin pan, filling each cup only 3/4 full.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until frittata appears firm.
Week Three Menu and Recipes
- Monday – Pre-made Lasagna (prepare on Sunday night and cook on Monday) and a side salad
- Tuesday – Lemon Salmon with rice and vegetables
- Wednesday – Leftover Lasagna with a side salad
- Thursday – Turkey sandwiches with bacon on whole grain waffles
- Friday – Taco Salad
Tip: This lasagna can be prepared the night before. I like to make it on Sunday night and then pop it in the oven when I come home on Monday after work – so easy!
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 package shredded mozzarella
- 1 egg
- uncooked lasagna noodles
- splash of red wine
- 1 jar pasta sauce
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Saute chopped onion in a medium sized skillet with a splash of olive oil. Cook until onions are translucent.
- Add ground beef to the skillet and cook until brown.
- While the meat is cooking, mix together the ricotta cheese, mozzarella (reserving 1 cup for topping) and egg in a separate bowl.
- Once the meat is cooked, add in a jar of pasta and a splash of red wine. Simmer on low for 5 minutes.
- Spoon 1/2 cup of the sauce mixture onto the bottom of a casserole dish and mix with 1/2 cup water.
- Place 3 uncooked lasagna noodles on top of the sauce.
- Spread 1/2 of the cheese mixture on top of the noodles.
- Pour 1/2 of the remaining sauce on top of the cheese.
- Repeat steps 6 and 7 and then finish with the last of the sauce.
- Sprinkle reserved mozzarella cheese on top and cover with foil.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until noodles are cooked.
- 1 lb salmon fillet
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- In a small bowl, mix the garlic, lemon juice, honey, butter, and salt together.
- Place the salmon on a sheet of aluminum foil and drizzle the garlic lemon butter mixture on the salmon.
- Wrap the salmon in the foil and bake for 20 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through.
- Unwrap the foil and enjoy!
- Frozen whole grain waffles
- Favorite Cheese
- Toast to frozen whole grain waffles for each person.
- Spread with mustard or other favorite condiments.
- Layer on turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato and cheese.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 (16-oz) can chili beans, drained
- 1 envelope taco seasoning mix
- ¼ cup water
- 8 cups shredded lettuce
- ½ cup sour cream
- tortilla chips
- colby-jack cheese
- Cook beef until browned and crumbly. Drain and return to skillet.
- Add beans, seasoning, and water. Cook until very thick.
- Combine lettuce and sour cream.
- Combine chips, lettuce, beef mixture, and cheese in a bowl or on a large platter.
- Toss just before serving.
I hope your family enjoys these recipes and that they help you save time, money and stress!
Want to continue your eat-at-home journey? Sign up for a FREE trial at eMeals.com (while it’s still available) and receive breakfast, lunch and dinner meal plans customized for your family! This meal planning service is absolutely amazing. Not only does it offer super affordable meal plans with complete recipes, but it also provides the grocery lists! The grocery lists can even be sent to your favorite grocery delivery service so you don’t have to shop for the groceries yourself! It’s a phenomenal service and a HUGE time saver. I have been a member for a few months now and it’s has been an absolute lifesaver. You have to try this! Click to start your FREE trial now.
Like this post? Pin it for later!