Next Week's Meal Plan

A Week of Impossibly Easy Spring Dinners

updated Mar 17, 2022
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Credit: From Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Joe Lingeman, Kimberley Hasselbrink, Joe Lingeman, Tara Donne

This week is looking to be a busy one for me, which means I’ll have less time and effort to devote to dinner. Yet I still really want some delicious meals that feel bright and springy — after all, spring officially kicks off this week! So with that in mind, I’m really leaning into minimum-effort, maximum-reward dinners. That means a lineup of recipes that are either just a few ingredients, have little to no prep, call for a single piece of cookware (hello, sheet pan supper!), or rely on the slow cooker or Instant Pot to do the heavy lifting. I’m also loading up on seasonal favorites, like lemons, asparagus, artichokes, and herbs, to bring springy vibes to the dinner table.

Here are the five impossibly easy dinners I’m cooking this week.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Monday: Slow Cooker Spinach and Artichoke Chicken

The start of the week always calls for something extra easy, so I’m pulling out the slow cooker for a low-prep, hands-off dinner. I have a pack of boneless chicken thighs that need to be used up, and they work well as an alternative to the chicken breasts called for in the recipe.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

Tuesday: 15-Minute Garlic-Butter Tortellini

Buttered noodles are currently my favorite go-to when I need a super-quick and easy dinner that my toddler, husband, and I will all enjoy. It takes almost no extra effort to toss in some garlic, a squeeze of lemon, and shower of Parm and fresh herbs, yet it makes dinner feel kind of fancy.

Get the recipe: 15-Minute Garlic-Butter Tortellini

Wednesday: Scrambled Eggs With Green Peppers & Mushrooms

Lately when I don’t feel like cooking, scrambled eggs have been the default. I have some bits and bobs of veggies in the crisper that need to be used up, so tonight I’m using them for a loaded egg scramble. I’m using this recipe as a template, and while it calls for bell pepper and mushrooms, just about all veggies are fair game.

Get the recipe: Scrambled Eggs With Green Peppers & Mushrooms

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Thursday: Sheet Pan Crispy Salmon and Potatoes

This is the easiest salmon dinner I know. Lemony salmon fillets, tender asparagus, and thin, crisp potatoes are on the table in less than 20 minutes from start to finish.

Get the recipe: Sheet Pan Crispy Salmon and Potatoes

Credit: Photo: Tara Donne; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

Friday: Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

I’m ending the week as easy as it started, and tonight I’ll be leaning on my Instant Pot to do the heavy lifting for dinner. I’ll toss some boneless chicken thighs and barbecue sauce in the pressure cooker, then shred the meat for sandwiches.

Get the recipe: Instant Pot BBQ Chicken

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