Next Week's Meal Plan

5 Easy, One-Pot and One-Pan Dinners (for Minimal Dish-Washing)

published May 8, 2020
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Credit: From Left to Right: Joe Lingeman, Chungah Rhee, Joe Lingeman

If under normal circumstances I were writing a weekly meal plan, you’d all be wildly disappointed. I live in New York City with two roommates (although we all cook our own food), and typically eat frozen potstickers and beans and rice on rotation. (Yes, although I work at a food website, I’m a total 20-something stereotype.)

Since March, though, I’ve been back at home with my parents and brother in the suburbs of New Jersey. And if there’s one silver lining of losing a bit of independence, it’s that I’ve been eating a whole lot better. It became much more apparent recently that cooking for even a small crowd makes preparing a whole real meal more worth it. I will not take credit for this, though — my mom is our family’s cooking MVP and I’ve become very spoiled over the past two months.

Although I’m not doing the brunt of the cooking (I’m more of a dessert and snack pinch-hitter), I am responsible for coordinating our weekly produce delivery, weighing in on recipe ideas, and helping with post-dinner dishes. Here’s what my family is planning to eat this week. Conveniently (and selfishly), they’re all one-pot, one-pan meals.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Monday: Butternut Squash Soup

A giant butternut squash from our weekly Misfits Market box is patiently waiting on the countertop, and this seems like the perfect way to put it to use. Yes, I realize it is May, and this is very much an “autumnal soup” (it’s literally inspired by Panera’s Autumn Squash Soup), but we haven’t left our house and it’s basically been raining for two months straight, so what even are seasons anymore? To round out the meal, I think we’ll dip in big chunks of the no-knead bread that my mom baked this past weekend. (It’s one of her new quarantine hobbies.)

Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Tuesday: Slow Cooker White Chicken Chilli

One of the best parts about moving back into my parents’ house (for the time being), is that they have a lot more cooking gadgets than I have in my tiny NYC apartment, slow cooker included. Canned beans, frozen corn, boxed broth — this recipe was made for quarantine. Since we were able to snag the last two family packs of chicken thighs at the grocery store this week, they’ll be making an appearance in a few dinners this week. You’ll see.

Recipe: Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Wednesday: Mediterranean Chicken and Chickpea Soup

Hi, hello, as promised we’re eating another chicken and bean soup/stew tonight. Are we boring? Sorry! I was lucky enough to taste a bowl of this when the pot came out of Kitchn’s test kitchen, so trust me when I vouch that this soup is really, really tasty, filling, and feel-good. Since it’s chock-full of veggies and protein (with chicken and chickpeas), we won’t even need a side to go with it.

Recipe: Mediterranean Chicken and Chickpea Soup

Credit: Chungah Rhee

Thursday: Sheet Pan Chicken with Red Potatoes and Sage

While everything else we’re making this week involves some sort of pot, this one involves a single sheet pan. Still, it’s only one dish to wash, so it counts. We’ll roast up the rest of the chicken thighs on a bed of spring onions and whatever kind of potatoes arrive in our Misfits Market box this week until everything’s all crispy and caramelized. The best part? Cleanup’s a cinch.

Recipe: Sheet Pan Chicken with Red Potatoes and Sage

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Friday: One-Pot Puttanesca Pasta

I’ve watched this video of Grace making this particular one-pot pasta on Instagram approximately 500 times and every single time I think, “I MUST make this.” I swear watching all the ingredients come together in less than 10 minutes is like a magic trick. (I also have a major thing for capers.) To celebrate the end of a long work week this Friday, I think we’ll uncork a bottle of red wine, throw all the ingredients into the biggest saucepan we have, and make this recipe a reality.

Recipe: One-Pot Puttanesca Pasta

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Welcome to 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. I want to help you find inspiration and ease some of the pain points that come with getting dinner on the table night after night, whether you’re cooking for one or a family of eight. Every week, I’ll be sharing a new meal plan solution specifically customized for you from reader requests or from a guest contributor.