Next Week's Meal Plan

A Week of One-Pot Dinners for Busy Parents

updated Jun 4, 2022
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Credit: From Left to Right Top to Bottom: Ghazalle Badiozamani, Meghan Splawn, Joe Lingeman, Amelia Rampe, Joe Lingeman

Lately more than ever, my energy levels have completely faded by the end of the day and I’m feeling especially strapped for time to get dinner on the table. Some weeks I build a meal plan around recipes that require just a few ingredients, or big-batch recipes that leave us with leftovers to reheat throughout the week. This week is all about dinners that come together with a single pot (or pan).

Any time dinner can be made with a single piece of cookware, you can almost always count on the fact that it won’t require too many ingredients, too much effort, or a sink full of dirty dishes. This week I’m filling my meal plan with easy one-pot meals that will appeal to both the big and little eaters at my table.

Monday: Dutch Oven Chicken Pot Pie

Not only is making this family-sized pot pie totally feasible on a Monday night, but with a couple of tricks it’s also surprisingly easier than you might imagine and ready in under 30 minutes. Dinner relies on a rotisserie chicken and frozen vegetables, which make for minimal prep and quick cooking. And instead of making the biscuit dough, I’m opting for a tube of buttermilk biscuits instead. I’ll add my store-bought biscuits over the filling, and bake for the time listed on the package. I also plan to reserve one of the chicken breasts for tomorrow night’s dinner.

Get the recipe: Dutch Oven Chicken Pot Pie

Credit: Meghan Splawn

Tuesday: 20-Minute Chicken and Sweet Potato Noodle Bowls

Tonight I’m rolling over the remainder of the rotisserie chicken into a veggie-packed noodle bowl. Roasted sweet potatoes are great in this bowl, but any type of roasted veggie works here, so I’ll plan to use whatever is left over in the fridge from the weekend.

Get the recipe: 20-Minute Chicken and Sweet Potato Noodle Bowls

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Wednesday: One-Pot Tomato Chickpeas and Orzo

Basic pantry ingredients, like orzo, chickpeas, broth, and crushed tomatoes are the foundation of this 15-minute meal. It’s reminiscent of risotto, yet firmly it’s own, and the chickpeas add a boost of protein to make the meal extra-filling. We’ll also be left with leftovers that will be used for lunches.

Get the recipe: One-Pot Tomato Chickpeas and Orzo

Credit: Amelia Rampe

Thursday: 15-Minute Pork Fried Rice

My toddler has a mild obsession with rice, so fried rice is a regular in our dinner rotation. I’ll defrost a bag of rice from the freezer, and cook it up with ground pork and an assortment of frozen vegetables.

Get the recipe: 15-Minute Pork Fried Rice

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Friday: The Best One-Pot Mac & Cheese

The most involved part of tonight’s dinners is grating the cheese, which I plan to do while the water boils. I’ll round out dinner with a tray of roasted frozen broccoli. Everything hits the table in about 15 minutes — you can’t ask for faster than that!

Get the recipe: The Best One-Pot Mac & Cheese

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Meal planning isn’t always easy — especially if you’re just getting started. But we’re firm believers that it’s the secret to stress-free weeknight dinners. We 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 one or a family of four or five. Every week we share a new meal plan solution specifically customized for you from reader requests or from a guest contributor, for Next Week’s Meal Plan!