Next Week's Meal Plan

A Week of Simple, Feel-Good Pantry Dinners

updated Jun 4, 2020
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Credit: From Left to Right: Joe Lingeman, Dan de Jesus, Jenny Huang, Lauren Volo, Joe Lingeman

I usually keep a pretty minimalist pantry. Grocery shopping has always been a joy for me and I’ve never minded going out multiple times a week for ingredients as we need them. So the big, infrequent stock-up trips to the grocery store these days have made me feel all out-of-sorts. For me, there are now almost too many things in my kitchen for me to choose from for dinner (I know I am so lucky and privileged to have this “dilemma”); some may find that notion comforting, but I actually find it a bit distracting and totally overwhelming.

Making a plan for my husband and me every week has been the best way for me to contend with it. I crave simplicity, so the dinners I plan almost always lean that way: This week is no different. I am putting a small dent in my pantry and cooking meals that are equal parts familiar and feel-good. Here’s what we’re eating.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Monday: Blackened Salmon

I’ve been finding it harder to get fresh fish since we’re not shopping as frequently, so when I do shop I stock up on frozen salmon. This recipe is a light and simple start to the week — it also makes use of a handful of basic spices — and can be served with just about any sides.

Get the recipe: Blackened Salmon

Credit: Dan de Jesus

Tuesday: Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos

Tacos have been making it to our dinner table more and more recently because I find they’re a really fun way to jazz up some of the pantry staples I’ve stocked up on. I have a few large bags of sweet potatoes that I am slowly working through, along with plenty of canned beans, so this week this colorful iteration is on the roster.

Get the recipe: Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos

Credit: Jenny Huang

Wednesday: Lemon Caper Pasta

Not a week goes by that pasta isn’t on the menu. I find great pleasure in digging around the pantry for odds and ends that can be turned into a flavorful sauce for whatever shape I happen to have on hand. This one, though, is a repeat favorite. It’s bright and spring-y, thanks to lots of fresh lemon — and the toasted breadcrumbs add such great texture to every forkful.

Get the recipe: Lemon Caper Pasta

Credit: Lauren Volo

Thursday: Honey Mustard Curry Chicken

This is an old family recipe that we’re still not quite sure the origin of. My mom got a hold of it years ago and it has since made the rounds to all my extended family and close friends. Letting chicken breasts swim in a bath of honey, Dijon, curry powder, and butter in the oven means they stay incredibly moist. I always serve them over rice to catch the sauce, and add something green to the plate like roasted broccoli or sautéed green beans.

Get the recipe: Honey Mustard Curry Chicken

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Friday: Classic Margarita Pizza

In our house, Friday night is pizza night. It’s a tradition we look forward to each and every week and have found even more comfort in it now. I typically make the dough in the morning (this recipe is my all-time favorite) and let it rise slowly in the refrigerator all day so it’s ready come dinnertime. A simple margherita is our usual go-to, and if we’re looking to jazz things up it’s the perfect base for toppings.

Get the recipe: Classic Margherita Pizza

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