Easy Weeknight Dinners | Meal Plan Menu
This week’s meal plan menu is all about easy weeknight meals filled with bold flavor that will have you dreaming of summer barbecues.
It might be a little early in the season, but we can’t help dreaming about summer barbecues. We love chillin’ outdoors, firing up the grill, and soaking up warmth from the sun. But most of all, we just love the food that comes with barbecuing. That’s why our weeknight meal plan service menu this week has a touch of summer bbq – we’re too excited to wait a few more months!
The recipes on this week’s weeknight meal planner may bring about anticipation for the summer, but we’ve given these summery meals a springtime twist by using fresh, crisp veggies and lots of greens. After all, springtime is the bridge between fall and summer, so it’s all about that balance of heartiness and healthiness. Warming and satisfying, but light and refreshing at the same time.
So turn dinnertime around with our new line-up of quick weeknight dinners. Bring sunshine to your dinner table with meals like pizza, sliders, and chopped salad. Enjoy easy and fast dishes that don’t compromise on flavor and still allow you to savor the moments spent with the family.
Ready to spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying flavorful, healthy dishes that make dinnertime deliciously unforgettable? Sign up for our weekly meal plan service here:
“Cook Smarts has improved my family’s life so much! I love to cook but was tired of my same old repertoire – and I was just too tired, in general, to find new recipes, generate grocery lists, etc. We tried several other options but everything was too weird, too processed, or too variable in quality. So far, Cook Smarts’ recipes have been delicious and easy to customize, and the grocery list feature is a huge time-saver! All the members of my family thank you from the bottoms of our well-fed hearts!”
— Emily G. (Member since July 2017)
All meals come with gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian options, as well as a grocery list and optional weekend prep steps.
Meal Planning Tips
- Rarely do you use up a whole head of cabbage for one meal, especially when it comes to Napa cabbage! We split one head for two different meals this week, so that there is less food waste and more variety.
- Cook once and eat twice to save time in the kitchen! Slow cooking a big batch of pulled pork and using for two meals makes dinnertime a breeze.
- Slow cook Monday’s pulled pork over the weekend to free up time on busy weeknights. Doing this ahead of time also means that you’re covered for Wednesday’s pizza dinner!
- If you have any pulled pork leftover, turn them into Asian tacos. Wrap in tortillas (or crunchy taco shells) and add sliced avocado and edamame. Add extra flavor with a quick Sriracha mayo – 4 tablespoons of mayo mixed with 2 teaspoons of Sriracha hot sauce.
- No need to save leftover Shakshuka for another dinner. Instead, enjoy it for breakfast or brunch with some buttered toast and a cup of coffee!
On the Menu
Take a trip to the islands of Hawaii with our Hawaiian-inspired Pulled Pork Sliders. A sweet and savory sauce made from hoisin sauce adds that special Asian-style, Hawaiian flair to tender, slow-cooked pork. Crunchy Napa cabbage slaw and sweet slider rolls turn this meal into a distinctly delicious dinner. And since snap peas are in season now, we love adding a side of springtime green to make this meal extra healthy.
For gluten-free folks, we recommend looking for gluten-free hoisin sauce and slider rolls. But of course, the paleo recipe is also a tasty alternative – slow-cooked Hawaiian pulled pork over roasted portobello mushrooms! Vegetarians will be enjoying a meatless Hawaiian-style Sloppy Joe with saucy mushrooms and lentils tossed with a homemade BBQ sauce.
Asian-inspired salads with crumbled raw ramen noodles are a potluck staple in many parts of the United States, and they’re perfect for warmer weather. If you’ve never had one of these salads before, you’ll be surprised by how addictive they are! To give this salad enough substance to stand on its own at dinner, we’ve added protein-packed ingredients like marinated chicken and edamame.
If you’re going gluten-free, make sure to get brown rice ramen noodles or buckwheat soba noodles instead. For paleo folks, we incorporated more good-for-you veggies in this salad to make up for the ramen. For vegetarians, this recipe replaces chicken with tofu.
The unexpected combo of sweet and savory combined with savory pork is sure to please all palates! This pizza is topped with a super quick homemade tomato sauce, melty mozzarella cheese, sweet pineapples, spicy jalapeno peppers, and leftover pulled pork from Monday (which helps cooking come together so easily!). A simple side salad of romaine lettuce and cucumbers tempers the spice in the pizza and adds a refreshing crispness to the meal.
Gluten-free members can easily enjoy the same flavors with GF breadcrumbs and hamburger buns. Paleo’s Pulled Pork Lettuce Cups combines pulled pork, jalapenos, and cashews for layers of texture. Our vegetarian recipe calls for leftover BBQ sauce from Monday to turn this pizza into a Hawaiian BBQ Pizza with Pineapples & Jalapenos.
THURSDAY | Shakshuka with Pita Bread & Yogurt Dip
Shakshuka is a classic Mediterranean egg dish and a rustic vegetarian meal that consists of eggs poached in tomato sauce. With rich egg yolks and umami-filled tomato flavors, you won’t even miss the meat! Especially not when we include a fun side that lets you eat with your hands. Romaine lettuce and pita bread gets dipped into a homemade Mediterranean yogurt dip, and they can also be used to scoop up Shakshuka!
Gluten-free and paleo members will get to enjoy this same recipe but with simple tweaks – gluten-free pita bread for GF folks and store-bought baba ganoush (roasted eggplant dip) instead of yogurt dip for the paleo option.