Next Week's Meal Plan

Next Week’s Meal Plan: 5 Easy Weeknight Dinners for Back to School

updated May 29, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)

This week my daughter started kindergarten in her new school in our new city. We’re still working on finding preschool for our littlest kiddo, but it feels like we are finding our way back to a regular school-year schedule. After a hectic summer, it feels glorious.

I imagine most of you are in the same boat we are: looking for easy weeknight dinners that will make this first week back into a new schedule enjoyable. This week’s meal plan is exactly that: Five family favorites that are perfect for back to school.

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: Maria Siriano)

These savory vegan baked nuggets are full of kid-friendly flavors and take about 20 minutes to throw together. It’s a wonder that I completely forgot about this recipe until now. We’ll pair theses with cut vegetables and dip for a quick Monday night meal.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

I admit that this recipe is the most complex on this week’s plan, but with a few little steps it can be quite fast too. First, I’ll prep the steak and sauce the night before while cleaning up dinner. Second, I’m totally relying on frozen rice to fill out this meal. Come dinnertime on Tuesday, this should cook up in under 30 minutes, including chopping the vegetables and warming the rice.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

This recipe is a very specific kid request, which I’ll happily oblige. Buttered noodles are comforting, luxurious, and incredibly cheap. We’ll pair this with a big green salad for my husband and I and what we call “finger salad” (basically chopped raw vegetables) for the kids.

(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

A dinner that only requires one pan, four major ingredients, and just 30 minutes, plus it’s completely satisfying for everyone at the table? Sign me up! Paired with mustard for dipping and chopped fresh fruit, this is a family favorite.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

We’re taking this twist on pizza Friday on the road for a hot air balloon festival at a local park. I’m packing this with a bunch of chopped vegetables for dipping and some canned wine for sipping. The perfect end-of-week celebration for the first week back to school.