Thanksgiving Week | Meal Plan Menu

Happy Thanksgiving week! As the holiday approaches, experience easy dinner recipes that save time so that you can sit down and enjoy healthy dinners all week long without any stress.

  • By Jess Dang
  • November 22, 2019

We know that a busy holiday season is coming up, and this week is probably extra hectic! With all the excitement and planning that goes into Thanksgiving, let us help you with the meal planning for the other nights. Instead of frantically running to the closest fast-food restaurant or ordering take-out, we invite you to sit down and enjoy a delicious, healthy, home-cooked meal. While there may be errands to run, chores to do, or travel to begin – we believe it’s still important to gather for a few moments around the kitchen table to enjoy a simple, delicious meal.

Each of the meals this week include time-saving strategies, an abundance of veggies, and hearty fall flavor. Monday’s pierogi dish may seem time intensive, but the recipe calls for pre-made pierogi from the grocery store (usually found in the freezer section). Tuesday’s butternut squash risotto bakes in the oven, leaving you hands-free to tackle other projects for a few minutes. Wednesday’s taco salad is quick to put together and allows everyone the flexibility to assemble their own plate. 

Our meal planning service not only saves you time during busy holidays, but all throughout the year. With customized grocery lists, weekend prep steps, and time-saving smarts from the Cook Smarts team, you can enjoy home-cooked weeknight dinners all year long.

And from now until Wed 12/4/19, save 30% on all meal plan subscriptions with our Thanksgiving sale, so you can cook with ease and health. (You can also send a gift subscription to a loved one to help them out in the kitchen!)

“[With Cook Smarts], we eat family dinners together and enjoy each other’s company, while also enjoying healthy, nutritious meals.”

– Megan F. (Member since Feb 2015)

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 | Pierogi with Bacon & Chives + Braised Cabbage with Apples & Carrots

Pierogi are delicious stuffed dumplings filled with creamy potatoes, cheese, or meat. They are time-consuming to make from scratch, but are widely available at most grocery stores in the freezer section, making them a great shortcut for a busy week! Crisp bacon, zesty chives, and sour cream bring out the flavors of the indulgent pierogi. A tangy side of braised cabbage, apples, and carrots adds beautiful color to the plate and rounds out this cozy meal quite nicely.

For a delightful vegetarian meal, simply pick up potato and cheese pierogi and serve without the bacon. Our members following a gluten-free or Paleo diet will prepare Pan-Seared Pork Chops to serve with the tart-sweet braised cabbage side dish.

TUESDAY | Baked Butternut Squash Risotto with Spiced Pecans & Sauteed Garlic Chard

Risotto often takes a lot of time and effort to constantly stir on the stove, but our “no-stir” recipe for baked butternut squash risotto cooks on its own in the oven. It’s a time-saving recipe that’s full of decadent flavor for the week of Thanksgiving! Topped with spiced pecans, grated parmesan cheese, and served with a side of chard, this meal is perfect for entertaining houseguests or bringing to a Friendsgiving get-together.

This meal is naturally vegetarian and gluten-free. For a delicious Paleo dinner that incorporates these fall flavors, try our recipe for Pecan-Crusted Chicken served over sauteed garlic mushrooms and chard with roasted butternut squash on the side.

WEDNESDAY | Taco Salad with Ground Beef & Creamy Paprika Dressing

This classic recipe for taco salad is quick, completely customizable, and fun to feed a crowd. Start with a bed of crisp lettuce and add crunchy bell peppers, juicy tomatoes, creamy avocados, and savory olives. Top with seasoned ground beef, grated cheddar cheese, and homemade creamy paprika dressing. Crumble your favorite tortilla chips on top for a satisfying crunch in every bite (or use as scoops!).

Simple substitutions are all that’s needed to accommodate a variety of dietary needs. Vegetarians will replace the ground beef with spiced pinto beans. Our Paleo members will use pepitas in place of tortilla chips to add a savory crunch to their salads. Use gluten-free tortilla chips for a delicious gluten-free taco salad.

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

Make Aheads:

  • Tuesday’s baked butternut squash risotto reheats well. Prepare this recipe over the weekend and reheat as needed during the week for a hearty fall meal that comes together quickly.
  • All of the components for Wednesday’s taco salad can be prepped ahead of time and set out for dinnertime for everyone to build their own salad. 


  • Sour cream is used as a topping for Monday’s pierogi dish and in Wednesday’s salad dressing. By using sour cream in two recipes, you can use up all of the tub! It can also be subbed with Greek yogurt, if that’s what you prefer or have in your fridge.


  • Add leftover braised cabbage to the inside of a melty grilled cheese sandwich for a flavorful, sweet-tart take on a classic.
  • Make nachos to feed a crowd by spreading a layer of tortilla chips on a cookie sheet and top with canned refried beans, leftover taco meat, and cheddar cheese. Bake until warm and melty. Top with bell peppers, tomatoes, avocados, olives, sour cream, and chives leftover from the week. Place in the middle of a table or counter top and invite everyone to dig in!

We do more than create meal plans.

We create memories around the dinner table.

Subscribe to our weekly meal plan service to get the grocery list, dinner steps, and more cooking tips for these 4 simple dinners.

Plans start at just $6 / month. Cancel anytime.


or learn more

Weekly Meal Planner | Menu for Week of 11/25/19 via Cook Smarts


Our Podcast: Strategies to become a smarter cook


Try our award winning meal plan service for free

Share the love!

Join our community

Enjoy free tips in your inbox

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
How can we help you in the kitchen?

Join our community

Enjoy free tips in your inbox

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Sign up for the Cook Smarts Newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Privacy Policy: We hate SPAM & promise to keep your email address safe.

Skip to content