Today is Meal Day. And, yes, I realize that’s a pretty uninspiring title, but it’ll have to do for now. I’ve mentioned several times in the past couple of months or so that I’ve started prepping all my meals for the week on Monday and how much I like it.

And that’s still true.

The basic process involves lots of meat cooking and sauce preparing and veggie chopping. And then, depending on what the finished product will be, I either cook the dish or pop the base for it (like spaghetti sauce) in the fridge to be warmed and finished (noodles!) on the day we’ll eat it.

It works great for me and really simplifies my week (and I like that I don’t have to thaw any dishes like I do when I cook freezer-meal batches).

There’s just one small problem: my menu is a tad limited due to the necessity of mainly casserole or “one-pot” dishes. And I’m getting a little bored.

Here’s this week’s plan so far:

Chicken Pot Pie (this is an absolute staple around here, but it’s been at least a month since I’ve made it, so it’s time)

Ground Turkey Enchiladas

Chicken Teriyaki with stir-fry vegetables

Chicken Tortilla Soup

King Ranch Chicken


As you can see, we’re poultry fans around here.

Almost every single dish I cook involves the words “chicken breast” or “ground turkey.” We never eat pork. I’m not at all opposed to beef, but I haven’t cooked with it much outside of the occasional roast or stew. And I’d love to get into fish more, but it’s not a great dish to keep throughout the week, so I haven’t done much with that either.

Now, obviously, I have the wonderful world of Pinterest for inspiration.

In fact, I’m planning on trying a few of these that I already had pinned to my “I like to eat” board over the next several weeks:




{I’ve actually made that one before, and it was delish}



But I’ve heard-tell of people getting burned by Pinterest dishes way too often to fully expect every recipe that the pinner raves is the “best, moistest, most melt-in-your mouth __________________ EVER” to turn out quite as fantastic as they claim it will.

Which is where you guys come in.

I’d love to hear your tried-and-true weekly meals. The ones that remind your husbands why they married you and make your kids eyes light up with “Mom’s making DINNER!” glee. Or just the ones you really like. That too. 🙂

If you’ve been reading a while, you probably already know this, but just as a point of reference, my go-to recipes are:

Ground Turkey Lasagna/Spaghetti

Chicken and Squash Grill

Taco Soup

Chicken Pot Pie

Ground Turkey Meatloaf

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Pesto Pasta

I’d love to have more ideas for: vegetarian dishes, beef dishes, or fish dishes (we are not seafood people otherwise). Oh, and summery fare too! It’s already getting hot around here, so the thought of steaming pots of heavy stew is a little unappealing.

So, what are your favorite weekly meals?

I can’t wait to hear your answers! Thanks in advance for your help. You guys are the best!

P.S. If you were looking for more Shop My Closet for Good offerings and feeling like you must have missed something…you didn’t. There was just a good deal of living going on last weekend, and I never got around to getting another round posted. However, I have a very nice line-up of shoes coming your way, so stay tuned!


  1. I’m looking forward to trying several of the recipes suggested here! My contribution is Pioneer Woman’s Salmon and Roasted Potatoes. I don’t use the full recipe, just the salmon and potatoes. The cold oven method actually works and I’ve gotten high praise for the salmon every time I’ve made it. I sometimes add parmesan cheese on top or a little garlic pepper or salt. Here’s the link:

  2. Lazy Mom’s lasagna all done in the crockpot. Chicken Alfredo all done in the crockpot. Grandma’s Stew…crockpot. A theme going here. Tilapia with any toppings you like. Salmon or tuna croquettes. My kids love that. Ummm, is there any way to get the recipes to you without typing them out here? If you want them, that is…..

  3. This isn’t a prep ahead recipe, but rather one that takes two minutes to prep. Melt 3 T butter in the microwave. Put a bunch of frozen chicken thighs (still frozen) in glass baking dishes. Drizzle the melted butter over the chicken, and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, and any other dry spices you’re in the mood for. Paprika and dried garlic are nice. Then bake at 375° for 50-60 minutes. (Alternate favorite seasoning: melt 3 T butter with 2 T honey and the juice of a lemon, and drizzle that over the chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper still.) We serve it with steamed (i.e. microwaved in a closed container) frozen veggies. Sometimes I use the drippings from the chicken to make a quick gravy.

  4. In the summer we grill a ton. Dijion-soy sauce-garlic chicken is a fave. We also do BLTs or hoagie night. Another fave is DIY mini pizzas on English muffins or naan bread. If you like pot pie you can also try chicken and dumplings. I use the Cook’s Illustrated recipe but I’m sure there are others out there. CI also has a stellar black bean soup recipe which you’d probably like.

  5. Abbie,

    I love to cook and have tons of vegetarian cooking ideas for you. Have you ever heard of the cookbook Simply Colorado? It was put out by the Colorado dieticians a number of years ago and all recipes are quick, with few ingredients, and really good. Also, there’s a wonderful cookbook put out by the Seattle P-Patch organization (that runs community gardens). Their recipe for Thai peanut sauce, with rice (and you could put in chicken) and collards is really yummy. They also have several good recipes for stir-frys and stuffed veggies. Really good for finding food that’s in-season. The book is out of print but you can buy it on ebay. It’s called The City Gardener’s Cookbook.

    I also put a few ideas on my blog, if you’re so inclined 🙂


  6. Tater tot casserole:
    1 lb ground turkey or beef 1 can green beans
    1 can cream of chicken 1 (2lb) bag tater tots
    1 can cream of mushroom shredded cheese
    1 can evaporated milk

    Brown meat and place in 9 x 12 baking dish. Top evenly with green beans and the tater tots. Heat soups and milk together and pour over top. Bake at 350. Top with cheese.

    It’s not the healthiest but my family LOVES its. Not sure how it would work for making ahead but I bet you could figure it out 🙂

    Mexican Shepherd’s Pie:
    1 1/2 pounds ground beef or turkey 1 can corn, drained
    1 onion, chopped 1 pkg corn muffin mix
    garlic powder to taste 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
    salt and pepper to taste 1 can sliced black olives
    1 can diced tomatoes 33/4 c. hot water
    1 pkg. taco seasoning

    Preheat oven to 400 and spray 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. In a medium skillet, brown meat, drain off grease, and return to skillet with onion. Cook until onion is tender and season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix in tomatoes and cook 5 minutes. Stir in taco seasoning and water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook 5 more minutes until thickened. Transfer to baking dish and top evenly with corn. Prepare corn muffin mix according to package and spoon evenly over the corn layer. Bake 20 minutes until puffed and golden. Top with olives and cheese.

  7. One of our go-to meals is Asian chicken.
    Combine 1/3 c. Low sodium soy sauce, 3 Tbsp brown sugar, 3 Tbsp olive oil, and 1Tsp ground ginger in a gallon ziplock bag. Add 3 chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces to the bag. Shake and marinate 1-2 hours. Dump all contents into a skillet and cook on medium heat until chicken is cooked through. Serve over rice. We like to add cashew pieces on top. Super yummy and EASY!!!
    You can also use pork. Marinate I a baking dish. Cook on med-high heat 3 minutes each side:)

  8. My church potluck dish and the one I make when someone is ill or a new baby arrives is Chicken Poppyseed Casserole. It can be easily doubled and one dish frozen.
    Chicken: (I use about 1/2 a bag for a single dish…of the frozen chicken tenderloins). Boil and then cut into bite-sized pieces. Put into bottom of 9X12 (13?) dish
    Mix together: 8 oz Sour Cream (I use the lite…no one can tell!); 2 cans Cream of Chicken (or 1 can of the Chicken & 1 of Mushroom….I don’t eat mushrooms); 2 Tablespoons PoppySeeds.
    Pour over top of cut up chicken.
    2 long sleeves of Ritz Crackers. Crumble (fun part). Sprinkle over mixture
    1 stick butter…melted. Drizzle over cracker crumbs

    Bake 375* for about 30 minutes or until cracker bits are….browned? and the mixture is bubbling.
    Note: If doubling, stop after butter drizzle. Cover in foil. Pop into freezer. When hungry, start at “Bake” (with foil on). About 20 minutes or so in, remove foil and finish baking until mixture bubbles….no clue on time since I haven’t actually DONE the freezer thing, but others have. 🙂

  9. I am often in a supper slump, but here are a few faves around here:

    1. Chicken fajitas – the key is Claude’s Fajita marinade (in the bbq sauce section at WalMart). I just cut the chicken breast into strips and cook in a bit of the marinade in a skillet (the more you use, the spicier it is). After meat is done & has absorbed most of the marinade I remove from the pan and toss in the bell peppers & onions. If I plan ahead I also start some pinto beans in the crockpot in the AM. For the kids I put beans (or canned refried beans), chopped chicken & cheese in tortillas like burritos. Hubby & I just eat traditional style w/ guac, sour cream & cheese.

    2. Spicy Honey Grilled Chicken – this is my fav grilled chicken.
    So very yummy – restaurant quality! Cut the chicken into smaller chunks and cook on med heat to get a nice char on it….yummy! I always try to make extra because it heats up so good in the juices/sauce. It is perfect for grilled chicken salad/sandwiches the next day.

    3. Garlic Parmesan roasted broccoli – we eat this side all the time! It is easy & the kids will actually eat it. I think the fresh parmesan cheese is much better than the green-shaker kind. It says cauliflower, but we prefer broccoli.

    4. Mini-taco meat loaves – hubby & kids both love these. I use my kitchen-aid mixer to mix: 1 lb ground beef (or turkey); 1/2 c black beans (rinsed & drained); 1/2 c frozen corn; 1/2-1 pkg taco seasoning; 1/4 c salsa; 1 egg; 1/2 c old-fashioned oats or bread crumbs; 1-2 tbsp green chiles. Mix all together & grease muffin tins. press mixture into muffin cups til level & top w/ shredded cheese. Bake @ 375 for 35-40 min. These are great leftover. For hubby & I, I reheat & crumble & make taco salad (add avocado, sour cream, salsa, cheese). For kids, I reheat, crumble & add refried beans and roll up in tortillas. Yum!

    5. Crockpot Cheeseburger Soup – this was a new find recently from Pinterest and it turned out yummy! It is kinda hearty for summer fare, but the crockpot method makes it OK summer food for me! You could easily do the chopping & ground beef browning early and then just dump all in crockpot in the AM. Kids loved it. Making it again this week 🙂

    6. Grilled pork loin chops – I buy the thin-cut pork loin chops (boneless!) and then marinate in soy sauce & Montreal steak or Montreal chicken (sprinkle seasonings from McCormick). The longer they marinate the better. But they don’t take long at all on the grill. Be careful not to overcook or they will be dry. Throw some veggies in foil packets on the grill first & you’ve got a quick easy clean-up meal 🙂 Serve this often w/ the broccoli from above too!

    Hope those ideas help! Your ideas have helped me out & I want to try some of them. Also there are some yummy suggestions from the comments too 🙂 I always need help in this area……well, a personal chef would be ideal, eh???? I’ll keep dreaming!

  10. I feel like a dork even writing this with all the amazing ideas listed above my comment box; but here it goes anyway: My family loves when we do a baked potato bar. I cook the giant potatoes in the crockpot all day; then pull out the veggies and whatever else I have on hand. Hope I don’t get kicked out for being too lame. Mr. Potato Head would be proud, though.

  11. As a fish lover, these are my favorite recipes: . The Whitefish Provencale is fantastic (not sure for little kids though – maybe date night?) and so is the sauteed shrimp cocktail. Plus the chef cooks in PEI 🙂
    I have found with any fish, fresher is better so if you have something local it’s bound to be tastier 🙂 Good luck!

  12. I do a yummy salad in summer that’s super easy and very tasty. You put handfuls of baby spinach together with frozen peas (give them 5 minutes in a bowl on a warm day and they’re not frozen any more) and slices of avocado. Sprinkle with chopped mint and fetta cheese. Dress with the oil that the fetta comes in (or a little olive oil if it doesn’t come with any) and a squeeze of lemon. Serve by itself or with grilled chicken or salmon. It’s not a make ahead but it does come churning out of my kitchen in about 15 minutes!

  13. This cilantro lime chicken is a HUGE hit at my house! I changed the recipe just a bit, I add a can of green chilies and the zest of one lime. We make burritos or soft tacos with it. I don’t actually freeze it uncooked though. I put it all in a crockpot and cook it first. We eat it for dinner and I freeze the leftovers, which are really easy to defrost in the microwave for a quick, easy, and healthy meal. Of course, I have a small family, just three of us, so if you want leftovers, you may have to double or triple the recipe. It is really is super easy and good too!

  14. I have to laugh! My husband certainly didn’t marry me for my cooking and my kids are shocked when I am making dinner. My hubby is the cook in our family. I take care of the other meals because I enjoy baking, and he deals with dinner. I am one lucky gal! How about some crockpot meals? Some bean chilli?

  15. There are a few staple recipes at our house, too….

    A few of my husbands favorites are;

    1- My version of Chicken Cordon Bleu which is not really anything like the definition of the recipe. I used fresh turkey breast grilled then add swiss and a deli ham or turkey on top, let it all melt a bit then stick it on a bun and serve it with Onion rings and a pickle….yumm!

    2-I don’t have names for any of my meals as you can tell….I cube about a pound of chicken (for 2 people) then cook in a skillet, when just about fully cooked I add a sauce made of 1 part ranch dressing and 1 party honey dijon and pour it over the chicken. I don’t actually know how much the original recipe called for because I never saw it, I’ve always just guesstimated, I’m pretty sure you can use as much or as little as you want. The chicken is served over a bed of rice. 🙂

    3-Also, I make tilapia with the simple pepper, lemon juice and adobo in a pan then make it into a stir frye of mixed vegetables and serve with rice.

    As you can see we’re big chicken fans and also rice and I can’t live without my Adobo by Goya, I use it on every protein I make.

    Good luck with your meal expansion 🙂

  16. Just last week we had Spaghetti Bolognese with orange lentils instread of meat. Very tasty and healthy. To serve about 6 we used: 2 large onions, , 3 carrots and 3 stalks of celery and sautéd them until they were about done and add 3 crushed cloves of garlic. Then add a 800ml can of tomatoes and salt (as much as you like). Let it simmer for at least two hours. At the end add veggie broth and lentils and cook until done. Serve with spaghetti.

    Best Sarah

  17. I made a ground turkey-pinto bean chili last week that even the spice-averse kids at my home liked. I found it on Epicurious. I’ve been trying to make one night a week “breakfast for dinner.” Eggs are a good cheap source of protein. Last week I made yummy mashed potatoes (with little bits of onion and garlic stirred in). I put those on each plate with an indentation. Into the indentation went an over-easy egg. It’s really fun to poke the yolk and mix it up with the potatoes.

  18. We are having sushi salad (from Fat Free Vegan) and Thai Noodle Soup (from Happy Herbivore) tonight.
    The salad is online:
    but the soup is not. We do like this very easy, similar one also: japanese noodle soup with spinach from:

    We also love pot pie, but we serve the filling over biscuits to make it quicker! But I use actual applesauce to make them even easier. All about making healthy as easy as possible! 🙂

  19. My hub’s favorite fish dish is a crusted tilapia that I make ( I usually make it with broccoli or potatoes or corn or (my favorite, but less often) mac and cheese! We usually buy tilapia frozen, and then I throw it in the fridge the morning of the day that we want to eat it. It’s not really a “prep ahead” meal, but only takes about 30 minutes to make, and most of that time is cooking time in the oven! Tilapia is my favorite fish to cook with because it thaws out super quickly, is relatively inexpensive, and you can pretty much add whatever flavors you want.

I love hearing from you guys!