Over the last few years, we've published more than 120 meal plans from our own Kitchn editors and contributors alike. There's a lot to be gleaned from those meal plans and how you've incorporated them into your own meal planning and meal prep in that time.
This week, instead of a classic meal plan — because, let's be honest, with a holiday ahead meal planning is taking a backseat — we're rounding up the 10 most popular Next Week's Meal Plans from the whole year. Let these serve as inspiration as you head into winter break or set a goal to meal plan more in the new year.
A quick theme emerges in this list of popular meal plans: Slow cookers are a hero of weeknight dinners. Three meal plans of our 10 lean on this kitchen device!
- Two easy soups
- Burrito bowls
- A brilliant use for chicken thighs
Admittedly, we all need more no-cook dinners — even when it isn't too hot to cook.
- Vietnamese-style salad
- Crisp lettuce wraps
- A make-and-take sandwich
Here's a slow cooker meal plan that is so evergreen, the recipes are delicious any time of year.
- Chicken tinga tacos
- Slow cooker breakfast casserole
- Freezer-friendly black bean soup
My family still loves this corn chowder (even with frozen corn) and the Greek chicken bowls that each family member can customize.
- Easy corn chowder
- Greek chicken bowls
- Pizza on the grill
To be fair, this meal plan only uses the slow cooker for a few of the meals, but their leftovers make the rest of the week much easier, which is my ideal meal plan anyway.
- Taco pasta
- Pesto chicken
- French bread pizzas
This meal plan has all the kid favorites: an easy pasta salad, pizza, tacos casserole, and even burgers. While this meal plan is designated as summer fare, you could eat most of it any time of the year.
- Avocado chicken burgers
- BBQ chicken pizza
- Orzo pasta salad
Summer is essentially all easy dinners because you can toss gorgeous tomatoes into greens or a can of beans and call it a day. This meal plan includes my favorite take on that.
- Tomato and white bean salad
- Caesar salmon wraps
- Skillet pizzas
This is basically my fall's greatest hit album and it includes many dinners that we ate on repeat this year.
- One-pot chicken tortilla soup
- Sheet pan gnocchi
- Polenta pizza
Kelli wrote this meal plan and I actually lean on it any time I feel uninspired by meal planning in general. These are all one-pot minimal recipes that deliver on flavor.
- Crispy white beans and greens
- Meatballs and zoodles
- Mushroom miso pasta
Both the first and last most popular meal plans from this year are easy, slow cooker meals — which really says something about the power of the slow cooker!
- Sweet potatoes (that become sweet potato pancakes as leftovers)
- Slow cooker salsa chicken
- Ranch chicken sandwiches