5 Hearty Dinner Ideas

This week’s meal plan ensures everyone leaves the table with full bellies and happy hearts. Filling casseroles, hearty soup, plus a sizeable salad, sure to please.

This week, please welcome Rachel Knecht and her meal plans! Rachel is a recipe tester here on Simply Recipes and the blogger behind Baking with Rachel.

I officially have a teenager this week (eek!) and I feel so lucky. Long gone are the days of goldfish crackers and a sippy cup full of milk. No more kids’ menus or kids-sized portions for that matter. This boy needs to EAT. And eat he does.

He loves everything from Chinese dumplings to cheeseburgers. At the dinner table, we all panic as he heads back for seconds. “Don’t take it all!” We know he could finish off what’s left on the stove without a second glance. Don’t worry—to keep the panic at bay, I’ve adjusted the amount of food I provide at dinnertime.

This week’s meals feed the hungriest of families. The large filling casserole Tamale Pie is flavorful and hearty. Turkey Meatball Soup with Spinach and Orzo and Cobb Salad can each be doubled if needed.

Another plus? The variety of protein, grains, and vegetables help keep the bellies full long after dinner. Pressure Cooker Chinese Pulled Pork is a versatile family favorite. Any leftovers would make a great lunch for the next day when this teen is hungry yet again.

Hoping each of you has a week full of tasty meals that feed the body and nourish the soul.

One last thing: We wanted to highlight the ultimate way to save time in your week: having your groceries delivered right to your door. Click on the red “Add to Shopping List” button at the bottom of any recipe (or meal plan) and check it out! We call this feature “Relish” and we’re into it because, really, dinner can be simpler.

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Cobb Salad

Cobb salads are my favorite dinner salad. I love how much variety is packed onto one plate. Chicken, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, and blue cheese dressing come together for a classic Cobb. With such a variety, it’s easy to make it work for whatever you have in the fridge. Swap out the frisee and watercress for a different light, crunchy lettuce. Roquefort is a type of blue cheese, so use what you have on hand and enjoy!

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Turkey Meatball Soup

Meatballs are always a hit at our house. Loaded with vegetables, meatballs, and hearty orzo pasta, this soup is a well-rounded meal all on its own. If orzo isn’t available, feel free to swap rice instead. Any dark leafy green, such as kale or Swiss chard, would work well in this soup.

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Pressure Cooker Chinese Pulled Pork

Pork shoulder seasoned with aromatic 5-spice powder, sweet hoisin sauce, and a knob of spicy ginger are turned into juicy pulled pork ready to be sandwiched between sliders. Serve with Asian Coleslaw for a tangy side.

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Tamale Pie

This craveable meal is a Tex-Mex take on Shephard’s Pie. Ground beef, corn, beans, and cheese mingle for the casserole filling and then are topped with a thick layer of cornbread. An all-in-one meal that you’ll turn to again and again.

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Pasta is my go-to when I need a quick, inexpensive meal. Spiral pasta, canned tomatoes, and butter come together for a comforting meal that I could eat every night of the week. Top with shredded parmesan and serve.

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Bonus Weekend Baking Project

Bakery Style Cinnamon Roll

Is there anything better than homemade cinnamon rolls? Soft rolls covered in cream cheese frosting are the perfect breakfast or brunch.

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Rachel Knecht

Rachel tests recipes for Simply Recipes, teaches a kid's cooking class, and develops the content for Baking with Rachel.

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One Comment

No Image5 Hearty Dinner Ideas

  1. Tom Doyle

    You all do really good work – the variety is really terrific and PS this dishes are good for you – thank you for your work