Next Week's Meal Plan

A Week of Lazy End-of-Summer Dinners Because I Just Don’t Feel Like Cooking

updated Sep 14, 2022
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Five different photos of dinners in a graphic labeled by the days of the week.
Credit: From Left to Right: Amelia Rampe, Lauren Volo, Jesse Szewczyk, Faith Durand, Joe Lingeman

The warm and sunny summer days are winding down and some days just seem busier than ever. Rather than spending a lot of time cooking right now, I’d so much rather be working in the garden, going for a walk with my family, or just sitting outside. So right now, I’m really craving meals that — in addition to being equal parts wonderfully delicious, fresh, and kind of wholesome — are ridiculously simple to pull off and require minimal prep and the least amount of dirty dishes possible. Here are the five dinners I’m leaning on this week.

Credit: Amelia Rampe

Monday: One-Pot Pesto Tortellini with Broccoli

Tonight’s dinner hits on everything I want: a jar of my favorite pesto, green vegetables, carbs, and barely any dirty dishes. I love that the broccoli first cooks in the pot of salted boiling water, followed by the tortellini, then a little of that starchy water is used to help the pesto cling to the tortellini like a magnet. It’s just the kind of comfort I want on a Monday night.

Get the recipe: One-Pot Pesto Tortellini with Broccoli

Credit: Lauren Volo

Tuesday: Greek-Style Tuna Salad

Tonight’s dinner is 100% inspired by wanting to turn the olives in the fridge into dinner, plus my oregano plant is really starting to flourish. This salad is filling and feels more dinner-y than classic mayo-based tuna salad. I’ll serve it over a bed of arugula with some crumbled pita chips sprinkled over top.

Get the recipe: Greek-Style Tuna Salad

Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

Wednesday: Chicken Fajita Foil Packets

I’m craving chicken fajitas, but don’t quite have the energy to stand at the stove and make it happen. These foil packets, which I’ll cook on the grill, are the best solution I know. They have the spiced chicken and tender peppers and onions I love, but they’re easy in a way that makes me feel like I’m getting away with something. I’ll round out dinner with some warm tortillas, guac, and Greek yogurt.

Get the recipe: Chicken Fajita Foil Packets

Credit: Faith Durand

Thursday: Quinoa Salad with Cucumber, Red Onion & Herbs

Some weeks I could eat salads for dinner almost every night. Tonight I’m swapping the couscous for protein-rich quinoa and piling on the leftover chicken from the night before. Best of all, it will leave us with some leftovers for lunch.

Get the recipe: Quinoa Salad with Cucumber, Red Onion & Herbs

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Friday: Sauerkraut and Sausage Roll

Of all the ways to turn chicken sausage into dinner, this is hands-down my favorite. Both because I can’t resist the combination of spicy mustard, tangy kraut, and sweet roasted peppers, and also because this dinner is dead simple and can be pulled together in five minutes. The recipe suggests a pretzel roll, but I’ll be sticking with a pack of fluffy potato rolls.

Get the recipe: Sauerkraut and Sausage Roll


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