Next Week's Meal Plan

A Week of Easy Vegetarian Summer Dinners

updated Jun 21, 2022
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Credit: Credit From Top to Bottom, Left to Right: Joe Lingeman, Shelly Westerhausen, Joe Lingeman

While my family eats just about everything, we tend to lean on vegetarian meals a lot more during the summer months. It happens in part because we just can’t get enough of all the seasonal vegetables from the market (and our patio vegetable garden!) and want to eat them every chance we get, and also because the hot days leave us craving meals that are light, wholesome, and, whenever possible, keep the indoor cooking to the bare minimum.

This week I’m focused on using up the contents of a produce box packed with a lot of greens, plus some already-opened fridge and pantry items, and sticking with recipes that are easy as can be.

Credit: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

Monday: Tuscan Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

I made these stuffed mushrooms for the first time a few months ago, and they’ve since become one of my weeknight staples. They’re simple and satisfying, and what’s not to love about eating lots of goat cheese? I have a giant jar of roasted red peppers in the fridge, so I plan to use them in place of the sun-dried tomatoes, and my produce box has a bunch of chard and kale, which I’ll use in place of the spinach.

Get the recipe: Tuscan Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Credit: Shelly Westerhausen

Tuesday: Grilled Gnocchi with Summer Squash and Burst Tomatoes

I’m especially excited about tonight’s dinner because my tomato plant is bursting with ripe cherry tomatoes, and I can’t wait to put them to work. It’s my favorite summer pasta dinner but it’s just as much about the veggies as it is the gnocchi. I also plan to grill some extra zucchini for Thursday’s dinner.

Get the recipe: Grilled Gnocchi with Summer Squash and Burst Tomatoes

Credit: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Wednesday: Four-Can Pantry Salad

I’ve been so excited to make this salad, and when I got a produce box with a bunch of different lettuces the other day, I knew it was time to slot it into my meal plan. Rather than leaning on the contents of my crisper, pantry items are the heart and soul of this meal, which make it hearty and filling. I have some leftover goat cheese from Monday’s dinner, so I plan to use that in place of the feta.

Get the recipe: Four-Can Pantry Salad

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Thursday: No-Chop Cold Veggie Noodle Bowls with Soy Lime Vinaigrette

Cold noodle bowls are endlessly adaptable, and a staple for those hot summer nights when I can’t bear to turn on the oven and have next to no energy to make dinner. I always use this recipe as my template, and vary it with whatever vegetables and herbs I have in the crisper. I plan to swap the cabbage for the greens in my produce box and toss in the leftover grilled zucchini from Tuesday night.

Get the recipe: No-Chop Cold Veggie Noodle Bowls with Soy Lime Vinaigrette

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Friday: Easy 5-Ingredient Black Bean Veggie Burgers

All summer long, Friday night is burger night at my house. Not only are these the most filling and satisfying veggie burgers I’ve ever made, but they’re also super easy. We’ll round out dinner with grilled corn on the cob and a simple cucumber salad, and save the leftover burger patties for lunch over the weekend.

Get the recipe: Easy 5-Ingredient Black Bean Veggie Burgers

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