Earlier this week I shared 20 weeknight meal templates, which assign a food theme to each night of the week and are an easy way to think about meal planning.
Once you have your template down, it's time to nail down your recipes. Here are recipes to go with our five favorite weeknight meal templates.
1. Recipes for Pasta Night
Not only does it get dinner on the table in minutes using a couple of pantry ingredients, but leftovers reheat like a dream.
These lasagna roll-ups boast the trifecta of being easy, quick, and rather good for you.
Cooking the radishes mellows them a bit; add a bit of bacon and suddenly their bitterness is balanced beautifully. Toss with pasta and the radish greens, and presto — it's a bit of magic.
Let's be honest here — this is really just a good excuse to eat buffalo chicken wings and dip for dinner, because frankly, who hasn't, at some point or another, wanted buffalo chicken wings and nothing else for dinner?
Cacio e Pepe is essentially just three ingredients, and yet its final flavor is deep, rich, and so satisfying.
2. Recipes for Chicken Night
This is an incredibly easy and quick freezer meal to assemble — just a bit of chopping and mixing, and it's ready to freeze. When you're looking for a delicious, comforting meal, just pop it in the oven and you'll have a warm dinner on the table in no time.
The secret ingredient in this marinade: fish sauce. The chicken doesn't taste fishy, but instead has really deep, savory flavors that are balanced out by all the fresh herbs blended into the sauce.
This is a curry dish that benefits from a nice, long simmer anyway, so why not let that happen while you're off doing other things?
These chicken breasts only take minutes to put together, but look impressive enough for a dinner party when they come out of the oven.
In this love child of a burger and guacamole, the guac is mixed right in with the ground chicken, making its presence known in every bite.
3. Recipes for Pizza Night
Making homemade pizza from prepared dough is a quick-and-easy dinner any night of the week.
A big mound of kale chips on top of the pizza — salty, crispy, virtuous — sounds perfect.
Most of the ingredients for this pizza can be found in your pantry. Nothing needs to be cooked before going on the pizza, so prep time is minimal and the whole meal comes together very quickly.
The toppings are simple, but when combined on a chewy crust, they become something more than their humble origins.
With its crispy thin crust and generous layer of toppings, this pizza is definitely one to keep in your rotation.
4. Recipes for Dinner Bowl Night
Together with warm and chewy brown rice and tangy rainbow chard, this smoky sauce has just enough texture and nuttiness from the almonds, and a mild heat from the peppers.
What makes this bowl is the sauce; the unique flavor of sesame works wonders when paired with soy sauce and ginger.
The best part about this vegetarian bowl recipe is how easy it is to make. It's an ideal candidate for one of those hectic mid-week dinners when all you want is a delicious meal on the table without having to think too hard.
When you're looking to liven up leftover cooked chicken, a sweet and tangy honey-mustard sauce goes a long way! Add a freshly steamed pot of rice and some sautéed vegetables, and you've got a quick weeknight meal that's full of bright flavors and textures.
Tuna is tossed with an orange-ginger dressing and creamy avocado, and served with rice and vegetables. It’s a simple yet satisfying budget recipe that makes for a great meal.
5. Recipes for Salad Night
I don't usually like when food is referred to as something it's not. However, the texture is so close to the real deal, you won't miss a beat.
This recipe has just three ingredients (apart from the dressing), but each plays a crucial role in filling it out into a satisfying salad.
Anna explains that this salad gets its inspiration from pad Thai. "Unlike pad Thai, though, you'll notice there aren't any noodles here — instead, ribbons of zucchini and carrot take their place."
Cobb salads are filling, fast, and can be modified to suit any preferences, plus they are a great way to use up leftovers. This version is loaded with zesty barbecue chicken, black beans, and cheddar jack cheese for a Southwestern spin on the American classic.
For a light and satisfying dinner meal, eliminate the pita pocket, and serve your falafel on a simple, crisp salad of earthy kale, sweet carrot ribbons, and thinly sliced onion, all topped with a tangy tahini dressing.