Next Week's Meal Plan

Next Week’s Meal Plan: 5 Hearty Dinners for the First Week of Fall

updated May 29, 2019
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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

I’ve been savoring the last weeks of summer in September — making tomato sandwiches and buying berries at the farmers market to fill up the freezer — but suddenly the temperatures have dropped and all I want to do is bake and make chili.

Our meal plan this week is driven by those cravings, with a chicken chili you can pull off any night of the week and not one but two sheet pan suppers that can cook alongside a batch of morning glory muffins or cornbread. These fall favorites are hearty and family-friendly, but easy on the cook.

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: Emma Christensen)

It’s unclear just what part of this recipe is the most magical: The fact that it’s a slow cooker recipe that makes the most of plain chicken and a can of beans, or that this chili will be perfect for clearing my fridge of the last bits of summer corn while also welcoming fall with open arms.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

This pasta recipe requires zero boiling and is sure to be a hit with my pasta-loving 5-year-old. I’m going to swap the cherry tomatoes for a cubed sweet potato and serve this with a romaine-heavy salad for a simple dinner.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

When your 5-year-old requests mashed cauliflower and what she refers to as “garlic crispy chicken,” you don’t question it. You throw that request dead in the middle of the week and enjoy every single bite.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

We have a PTA event at school this night and my husband has a late return flight home, so these sausage and pepper sandwiches made in the slow cooker are prefect for a staggered meal. The kids and I will eat the sandwiches before our school event, and the sandwiches will be warm and waiting when my husband gets home.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

I am using this week’s Pizza Friday to stock the freezer with homemade pizza for the next couple of weeks. I love Emma’s recipe for freezer pizzas; we can eat one this evening and stash a few in the freezer for future use.