Next Week's Meal Plan

Next Week’s Meal Plan: 5 Dinners to Restock My Freezer

updated May 29, 2019
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(Image credit: Christine Han)

During the holiday break between Christmas and the new year I went on somewhat of a cooking hiatus, and my husband and I relied on whatever was in the freezer for dinners. It was a nice and very welcome break, but it also left us with a very empty freezer and no meals to fall back on for busy nights when I don’t feel like cooking. Since this week isn’t very busy I stacked my meal plan with five freezer-friendly recipes that are easy to scale up and totally doable on a weeknight. It is slightly ambitious, but I know that in the weeks and months that follow I will appreciate the work I put in now.

Welcome to This Week’s Meal Plan

Planning my weekly meals is a habit I enjoy. Since I’m frequently asked by friends and family what I’m cooking for dinner each week, I thought it’d be useful to share my weekly meal plan here. Whether you’re just learning to meal plan and looking for a real-life example of how this works or you’re an old pro on the hunt for inspiration, here’s a peek at how I’m feeding my family this week.

New to meal planning? Start here.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

I’m kicking off the week with something comforting and cheesy. Because I think they always taste better on the second day and because I’ll have more time, I plan to make a double batch of these shells on Sunday (and portion out and freeze the extras.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

This has long been one of my favorite recipes to cook in the Instant Pot. It is ridiculously easy and makes enough meat to stretch into several lunches and dinners for my family of two. Tonight I plan to pair it with with roasted vegetables and a simple, tangy slaw.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

It often takes some serious convincing to get my husband on board with soup night, but this hearty chowder always does the trick. I’ll double the recipe and freezer the extras, and partner these piping-hot bowls with a chunk of bread and a simple green salad.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

The first time I made this meatloaf I learned that it freezes remarkably well, so tonight I’ll make two. I’ll portion the extra meatloaf into thirds and freeze each one separately. For dinner I plan to pair it with mashed cauliflower and roasted broccoli, and I’ll count on the leftovers as lunch during the weekend.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Chickpeas make these simple quesadillas surprisingly filling. I plan to triple tonight’s dinner recipe to stock my freezer with two weeks’ worth of lunch. In addition to some salsa and chips, I’ll have plenty of guac and Greek yogurt on hand for dipping.