Simply Recipes 2019 Meal Plan: August Week 3

Too hot to cook? We've got you covered! This meal plan is full of dinner ideas that don't require an oven. Zucchini Noodle Chicken Pesto makes the most of fresh basil. Breakout the Instant Pot to whip up a batch of carnitas. Keep dinner on the light side with lettuce wraps or Panzanella salad. YUM!

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.

Before diving in, 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.

As much as I love these hot days, I also slightly panic when it’s too hot to turn on the oven. What in the world will I make for dinner?

With two growing boys (my oldest heading into 7th grade!!), they both need much more than a light salad. Yet, I don’t want to miss out on all the seasonal produce.

This week I’m focusing on meals that are hearty enough for a growing family, but also make use of all these gorgeous seasonal ingredients. As an added bonus, every dinner in this week’s plan will keep your oven off.

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Zucchini Noodle Chicken Pesto Bowl

This dish is popping with garden produce. Long strips of zucchini stand in for pasta and cook much faster, too! It’s a great way to eat summer vegetables in a non-salad format. The sautéed chicken rests on top of the zesty, pesto coated zucchini. As an extra bonus, this meal reheats well.

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Instant Pot Pulled Pork Carnitas Tacos on a serving tray

I love carnitas. Make them in half the time with this pressure cooker method, and these carnitas are on the table faster than a kid can say, “Mooooommmm!!!!” This meat is so versatile that it can be served in a variety of ways: tacos, burritos, salads or rice bowls are all tasty options. Whip up a batch of guacamole to go with it.

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Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps

This Vietnamese recipe has something for everyone. Beef patties, fresh vegetables, rice noodles and an easy sauce that brings it all together. I appreciate recipes that allow for multiple ways to plate the same ingredients and this is just the ticket to a stress-free mealtime. Serve with this easy mango lime sorbet for a refreshing treat.

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Panzanella Bread Salad in a glass serving bowl

Croutons are my children’s favorite part of any salad so why not use that to my advantage? This  Italian classic uses day-old bread and lots of fresh tomatoes, cucumber, and basil. Panzanella should be served at room temperature, making it an ideal meal for a picnic. Pair it with grilled chicken breasts if desired.

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Salmon Teriyaki Skewers with Pineapple

Mouths start to water when I say we’re having teriyaki for dinner. Switch out the bottled sauce for a made-from-scratch teriyaki sauce. After a quick marinade, these skewers are grilled to perfection. Serve with this Asian noodle salad.

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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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