Meal Plan Menu | Week of 11/11/19

Meal Plan Menu | Week of 11/11/19

Ready for a spectacular autumn menu that will bring out your favorite fall flavors? This week features pears, apples, ginger, sage, and roasted butternut squash – delicious ingredients that celebrate fall!

  • By Brittany Yamamoto-Taylor
  • November 8, 2019

There’s nothing quite like warming your home on a cold day with a comforting, home-cooked meal. This week, you can set your thermostat down a few notches and let the heat from your oven and the fragrance of autumn ingredients make everything cozy inside.

Since the holidays are right around the corner, we always take special care to create our weekly menu with your time in mind. We have tons of time-saving suggestions for this week’s recipes below – from weekend prep guidelines, to several double-batch opportunities and great ideas to turn leftovers into a quick and tasty new meal.

If you want to stay on top of healthy, home-cooked meals throughout the next couple months and get seasonal recipes delivered to your inbox each week, join us in putting easy, delicious dishes on the dinner table each night!

“Since starting Cook Smarts I have the time to get those home-cooked meals on the table. The weekly shopping lists and weekend prep are great time savers during the week.”

– Kari C. (Member since May 2014)

All meals come with gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian options, as well as a grocery list and optional weekend prep steps.

On the Menu

MONDAY | Sausage & Shrimp Gumbo with Bell Peppers, Okra & Rice

Gumbo is a one-pan meal with Creole roots in many cultures, including Choctaw, African, and French. If you’ve never had the chance to try this delicious stew before, get ready for a new favorite dish that’s hearty, spicy, and packed with colorful vegetables! In our Sausage and Shrimp Gumbo recipe, you can enjoy the satisfying flavor blend of bell peppers, okra, fire-roasted tomatoes, Cajun seasoning, andouille sausage, and shrimp.

If you want to make this stew vegetarian, all you have to do is substitute vegetarian “sausage” for the andouille. To make the meal gluten-free, simply use buttery almond meal instead of wheat flour and swap out the rice for cauliflower rice if you want the meal to be Paleo-friendly!

TUESDAY | Pear & Fontina Grilled Cheese with Pureed Butternut Squash Soup

We’ve all heard of dipping delectable grilled cheese sandwiches in tomato soup, but this week we’re giving the classic combo an autumn makeover! First, our grilled cheese isn’t any ordinary sandwich – we bring mild, quick-melting fontina cheese together with subtle pears for a unique and delectable fall flare. On the side, our creamy butternut squash soup has warming notes of nutmeg and sage, making this a comforting meal that the whole family will love. 

This vegetarian fall meal is easy to make gluten-free by simply grabbing your favorite GF bread at the market. If you are following the Paleo diet, you can make the butternut squash soup with a couple tweaks and enjoy it alongside our Maple Balsamic Pork Chop Salad that features pears and pecans over nutritious baby kale.

WEDNESDAY | Indonesian Ginger Chicken Thighs with Peanut Sauce & Sauteed Green Beans

Indonesia is home to the delectable satay and peanut sauce combo that has spread around the world. We’ve made our own rendition with a relatively simple preparation of marinated chicken thighs paired with a spicy (or not!) peanut sauce that is delicious when served over fluffy rice. With a simple side of sauteed green beans, this meal comes together in only 40 minutes.

If you are going gluten-free, you can still enjoy this delicious dinner by substituting the soy sauce in the marinade and peanut sauce with trusty Tamari. This meal can also be easily made Paleo by using coconut aminos instead of soy sauce, cauliflower rice, and a creamy cashew sauce. We have a special Indonesian-Style Vegetarian Fried Rice for those avoiding meat (or who just love fried rice!) that brings out the dish’s mouth-watering aromas and flavors with ginger, garlic, honey, and lime juice.

THURSDAY | Ravioli with Sausage & Butternut Squash + Balsamic Arugula Salad

With butternut squash roasted ahead of time on Tuesday, you won’t believe how quickly this elegant meal comes together. Pick out your favorite ravioli and get ready to be blown away by the perfect pairing of Italian sausage, rich cheese, roasted squash, and fresh sage leaves. With a crisp Balsamic Apple & Arugula Salad on the side, this meal is a must-try this autumn!

For a meatless version of this meal, you can do away with the sausage and add white beans to your salad for extra protein. Meanwhile, it’s easy to make this dish gluten-free by substituting any fun GF pasta (think fusilli or bowties!) and using almond meal instead of wheat-based flour. If you are eating Paleo, you can enjoy the same crisp salad, but with our Mushroom, Sausage, and Butternut Squash Saute instead.

Smart meal planning ideas come with every weekly menu. The smarts listed below are only a portion of the meal prep tips we include to help you make the most of your ingredients and your time. Join our community to get the full benefits of our meal plan service every day!

Meal Planning Tips


  • Regardless of which recipe versions you are cooking up this week, you can save time during the week by roasting one large batch of butternut squash cubes to use in Tuesday’s soup and Thursday’s pasta / saute.
  • If you’ll be enjoying our Original, GF, and Vegetarian meals this week, you can easily make a double batch of rice to serve as a part of Monday’s gumbo and Wednesday’s Indonesian chicken.
  • If you follow the Paleo diet, you can save time with both a double batch of cauliflower rice to serve over two nights and a large batch of balsamic vinaigrette to use on two great salads.

Make Aheads:

  • Since gumbo stew reheats well, it’s always a great idea to make it ahead of time and just bring it up to the perfect temperature on your busiest weeknight.
  • Sauces – like this week’s peanut sauce, chicken marinade, and salad vinaigrette – can be made up to 5 days ahead of time before you use them, so get out some prep bowls / jars and a whisk, and you’ll be done with crucial dinner components in 15 minutes or less!


  • Get ready for a busy holiday season by freezing any leftover gumbo and butternut squash soup for quick meals in the coming month. Make sure you download our All-in-One Freezer Guide for more freezing smarts!
  • Make your next bowl of mac and cheese extra healthy by using leftover butternut squash soup as part of the cheese mixture. For a recipe on how to do so, check out our favorite creamy twist on mac and cheese here!
  • If you have any leftover ginger chicken and rice, the fastest and delicious way to enjoy them is by dicing up the chicken and enjoying a quick fried rice lunch or dinner this week.

We do more than create meal plans. We create memories around the dinner table.

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Weekly Meal Planner | Menu for Week of 11/11/19 via Cook Smarts


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