Next Week's Meal Plan

A Week of Impossibly Comforting One-Bowl Meals from Sarah Copeland of Edible Living

updated Oct 12, 2022
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Five different photos of dinners in a graphic labeled by the days of the week.
Credit: Sarah Copeland

Sarah Copeland has a magical way with food. Not only are the recipes she turns out total stunners (just take a look at her Instagram!), but they’re also approachable and totally doable. The busy mom of two is the creative force behind the beautiful site Edible Living, a four-time cookbook author, Real Simple alum, and Food Network vet — so easy, family-friendly meals are a must for her. This week Sarah’s meal plan leans into easy comfort food with five nights of one-bowl meals that keep the dirty dishes to a minimum.

Here, she shares her meal plan with us, and tells us how she does it.

5 Easy and Comforting One-Bowl Dinners

I am really big on nourishing, one-bowl meals. I feel like they are often the most comforting and sustaining at the same time — beautiful, without a lot of fuss (think: risotto, steamy soups, noodles, and ramen). Often, these not only get served in one bowl, but also can be made in one pot or dish — making cleanup a breeze. 

We cook all day long, from a hot breakfast in the morning, straight through the day. This time of the year, when it gets dark super early, I want an evening meal that I can serve in my favorite deep bowls followed by an easy cleanup, so we can retreat to our coziest room to read or play a game or watch a little show (rather than stand at the sink in the dark washing dishes!). All five of these weeknight dinners do the trick.

Credit: Sarah Copeland

Monday: Cheesy Leek Risotto with Pan-Roasted Mushrooms

On a Monday night in the winter my family needs ultimate comfort — something simple but that doesn’t scream, Sorry, weekend’s over! Risotto is perfect for that — it’s easy to pull off any night of the week, but delivers that Monday blues comfort we need, especially on cold nights. You can top this with absolutely anything, from Sunday’s leftover roasted vegetables (maybe from that dreamy chicken you roasted), crumbled or grated cheese, or roasted mushrooms, as I have here, which are deeply satisfying but still quick to prepare.

Get the recipe: Cheesy Leek Risotto with Pan-Roasted Mushrooms

Credit: Sarah Copeland

Tuesday: Easy Miso Ramen with Tofu, Avocado, and Chile Oil

By Tuesday night I’m already feeling the heat of deadlines and homework and other real-life stuff — so ramen is a perfect answer to still get a hot, nourishing meal on the table, with zero fuss. I love the adaptability of ramen — subtle and comforting for the kids, if that’s what they need, with plenty of space for big, bold, electric (read: SPICY) flavors for anyone who wants to indulge. We’ve been buying plain ramen noodles in bulk, and I make this with a super-quick miso broth that takes seconds to make, which makes it perfectly weeknight-friendly. If you want a richer broth, you can make this with any of the excellent bone broths on the market, which can be simmered with a few coins of ginger and black pepper before you stir in the miso. And of course, if you have homemade chicken or beef bone broth tucked away, this is the time to use it.

Get the recipe: Easy Miso Ramen with Tofu, Avocado, and Chile Oil

Credit: Sarah Copeland

Wednesday: Winter Squash Minestrone with Garlic-Herb Gremolata

Wednesday is a perfect candidate for making a big pot of something that will serve you tonight, and for tomorrow’s lunch, too (hot lunch on a Thursday — yes, please!). Minestrone is our all-season go-to, that we morph slightly from summer to fall and into winter. This one has heartier squash and chickpeas in play, but you can use any veg and beans you love and have on hand. Absolutely do not skip the buttery toasted bread, or the shaggy garlic-herb number on top, which truly makes this a memorable weeknight meal.

Get the recipe: Winter Squash Minestrone with Garlic-Herb Gremolata

Credit: Sarah Copeland

Thursday: Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Fennel-Roasted Chickpeas and Herbs (with Winter Greens and Persimmon Salad with Ricotta and Avocado)

A creamy soup is a please-all opportunity to nourish your entire crew without a ton of prep or cleanup. I use this formula for making celery root, cauliflower, and squash soups alike (pick your pleasure, this bends easily to your whims). For toppings, the sky’s the limit, but chickpeas and fresh, snappy radishes are always on hand in our house. I give the chickpeas a little crispy finish in a cast iron pan, with a pinch of fennel for extra flavor (think: crouton vibes). This soup is so delicious, but not super heavy, so I always serve it with a big luxe salad. My latest favorite is winter greens with jeweled persimmons and fresh ricotta. There’s a bitter-sweet, crunchy-creamy texture here at play that feels like the best of restaurant food, at home.

Get the recipes: Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Fennel-Roasted Chickpeas and Herbs + Winter Greens and Persimmon Salad with Ricotta and Avocado

Credit: Sarah Copeland

Friday: Big-Flavor Instant Pot Bolognese

Friday is go big or go home for us. It’s family-fun night, when we end work a little early, and the kids are promised puzzles and games or a movie. For the meal, I want something rich and satisfying that’s ready early, but has the appeal of Sunday dinner (with wine! And candles!). For that, I pull out the Instant Pot and my new book, Instant Family Meals, and put my quick pork Bolognese for a crowd to work. Red wine, harissa, and high-quality San Marzano tomatoes deliver big flavor, fast — and the Instant Pot does all the work. It makes a big batch (enough for eight), so I always pack up and store the second half for weekend lunch, or freeze it for a freebee next week.

Get the recipe: Big-Flavor (Instant Pot) Bolognese

Thanks so much, Sarah! Make sure to check out Sarah’s cookbooks Instant Family Meals, Every Day is Saturday, Feast, and The Newlywed Cookbook, and follow her on Instagram and on the web to get more of her delicious recipes.

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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!