Next Week's Meal Plan

A Week of 30-Minute Meals for 2

updated May 29, 2019
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(Image credit: From Left to Right: Jean Schwarzwalder, Joe Lingeman, Maria Siriano)

Welcome to Next Week’s Meal Plan! I’m sharing how I plan and cook for my growing New York-based family of two — soon to be three! — for the week ahead.

Then I’ll turn it around on you, the readers, and ask: — What type of meal plans would you like to see? Maybe you’re looking for a week of budget dinners for a family of four? Or fast 20-minute dinners that you and your roommate can tag-team? Or easy vegan dinners that you can prep solo? If you need dinner inspiration or solutions, I want to help you find them! Tell me what kinds of meal plans you want to see in the comments below.

5 Easy 30-Minute Meals for 2 for the Week Ahead

Quick, easy dinners with minimal prep are the bread and butter of my weeknight cooking. Even after a long day, 30 minutes in the kitchen feels doable (although, truth be told, you can get some of these meals on the table in 20 minutes from start to finish). And since I’m cooking for two, I make a point to stick with recipes that can easily be halved and not leave me with too many extra ingredients, as well as meals that make good leftovers for lunch.

(Image credit: Jean Schwarzwalder)

Just as much as I love all the cheesy comfort this pasta brings to Monday night, I also really love how surprisingly easy this dinner is to pull together. Since I’m cooking for two, I plan to cut the recipe in half so we don’t have any leftovers, and I’ll plan to use the remainder of the artichoke hearts in Thursday night’s grain bowls.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

This dinner always reminds me of takeout, but it’s so much better (and cheaper!). I plan to use boneless chicken thighs (saving the rest for Thursday’s dinner), along with pre-shredded cabbage and carrots to save time on prep. There are minimal leftovers, which we’ll pack for lunch.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Thanks to the fiery power of the broiler, this springy salmon dinner comes together in 20 minutes from start to finish. I’ll use just two salmon fillets to limit leftovers, since I’m cooking for two. Slicing the potatoes super thin is the trick to keeping them cooked through and crispy on the outside.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Grain bowls are usually easy to scale down for two people, and my favorite way to use up lingering ingredients. These bowls help me use up the leftover boneless chicken thighs and artichoke hearts from earlier in the week.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Tonight’s dinner is inspired in equal parts as a way to use some leftover feta and also because they’re a family favorite. I’ll round out dinner with some tater tots, and plan to assemble just half of the sandwich, and will use the leftover ingredients to make another sandwich for lunch over the weekend.


New to meal planning? Start here.

About Next Week’s Meal Plan

Meal planning isn’t always easy — especially if you’re just getting started. But I’m a firm believer that it’s the secret to stress-free weeknight dinners. So whether you’re just learning to meal plan or you’re already a tried-and-true pro, I’m here to help you solve the question of what to cook for the week ahead. Every week, I’ll be sharing a new meal plan — either how I’m feeding my own family, or a meal plan solution specifically customized for you.