MEAL PLANNING—CHOOSING A recipe, shopping for the ingredients, and finally, the prep and cooking—can feel like an overwhelming task, especially on a weeknight. That’s why we’re strong believers in planning meals ahead. This gives you the opportunity to save money and time, reduce stress, and eat real food. Not sure where to start? We’ve designed a week’s worth of meals pulled from our archive of hundreds of 30-minute recipes.
5 Quick and Easy Recipes to Conquer Your Weeknight Cooking
For this weeknight meal plan, we’re using the same strategy that our test cooks who create the Cook’s Country magazine 30-minute recipe cards use. (Check out this article with their weeknight cooking tips.) We’ve chosen our recipes for this week based off of dishes we know use similar ingredients—yes, this means you’ll be able to use all of your herbs and protein before they wilt or expire. At the same time, we’re giving you a little bit of everything to avoid falling into a recipe rut. And if one of the dishes below doesn’t appeal to you, swap it out with one of our other quick weeknight meals.
Sesame Salmon with Grapefruit SlawInvite spring into your kitchen with this welcoming, quick-cooking dish. The sesame seeds sprinkled on the flesh side of the salmon will give you a tasty, crispy crust and the red grapefruit slaw is a refreshing complement to the fattiness of the fish.
Spinach- and Tarragon-Stuffed Chicken BreastsStuffed chicken is only great when the meat stays juicy and the filling is packed with a lot of flavor. This dish achieves both—and avoids the messy, time-consuming hassle of pounding or tying the stuffed breasts. Serve with a leafy green salad to complete this Tuesday night meal.
Poached Chicken with Asparagus and Herbed MayonnaiseTarragon and parsley, the fresh herbs used in our mayonnaise dressing, bring a lot of richness to this meal—plus you’ll already have them left over from Tuesday night’s dinner. In fact, many of the ingredients used in this dish are items you’ll already have in your pantry or fridge. (Plan ahead and buy extra chicken when shopping for Tuesday night’s meal.)
Fennel-Crusted Pork with White BeansWith our technique for cooking pork evenly (See “A Better Way To Cook Pork Tenderloin”), you’ll get a foolproof—and quick—meal every time you make this recipe. We also use Parmesan and extra-virgin olive oil to boost the flavor and creaminess of the beans in this dish. (If you’re not already relying on beans for your quick meals, learn more about why they’re one of our go-to ingredients.)
Orecchiette with Peas, Pine Nuts, and RicottaThis dish doesn’t use common pasta you’ll find in the supermarket like elbow macaroni or spaghetti. Instead, we use orecchiette to help you finish your week with a more interesting pasta dish. The seasoned ricotta mixture served on top of the pasta adds an extra touch of brightness, bringing this dish to life.
Cowboy CookiesWe don’t know of a better way to end the week than with dessert. You can make this recipe ahead of time and keep them in the freezer. Just bake one or two whenever the mood strikes.
Don’t forget to view our Special Magazines within our shop and all of our 30-minute recipes to help you with easy, weeknight meal prep.