This Week’s Meal Plan: 5 Dinner Ideas for Busy People

This meal plan is all about adjusting and adapting. Being on the go, needing quick and easy dinner ideas, or figuring out how to get those 5 a day doesn’t mean you can’t eat well. Don’t sacrifice — enjoy Freezer Chicken Burritos, Pasta Pomodoro with Shrimp, and Baked Sweet Potato Taquitos.

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.

Can I be totally honest? There was a time when family dinner was more stressful than enjoyable. I know I’m not alone here. More often than not, we’d leave the table feeling irritated and exhausted. It was so disappointing because I really wanted to connect as a family during our evening meal.

To remedy this, we did something drastic (at least in my mind). We ditched the table and instead picked a funny show that we all wanted to watch and ate in the living room instead. You know what? It worked! Suddenly, the food on the plate wasn’t so bad after all. The boys complained less and welcomed new foods. Dinner became a time filled laughter and eating. Such a relief!

If you’re looking for an unconventional solution to a dinner dilemma this meal plan is for you!

Need a handheld option for meals on the go? Try Freezer Chicken Burritos. Short on time? Pressure Cooker Shepherd’s Pie or Pasta Pomodoro with Shrimp is just the ticket. How about a few different ways to eat more vegetables? The Baked Sweet Potato Taquitos and Italian Sausage and Cabbage Stew are great options. Each meal tackles a mealtime conundrum, so dinner is a peaceful affair.

Don’t worry, as my boys grew older we transitioned back to the table, and now we actually enjoy our time there. There are many ways to reach the same goal. You just have to be willing to take a risk and try something new.

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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Italian Sausage Cabbage Stew

This quick-cooking soup is layered with flavor from beginning to end. Lacy savoy cabbage simmers along with beans, herbs, and Italian sausage for a comforting dinner. Feel free to skip the sausage and double the beans for a vegetarian version.

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Chicken freezer burritos with jalapeno avocado

Burritos are a mainstay in our family. Chicken is my favorite filling, and stocking these in the freezer makes for a great lunch or quick dinner option. These burritos are packed with all the good stuff: chicken, beans, rice, and vegetables, plus all the toppings!

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Cottage Pie in the Pressure Cooker

This recipe delivers all the classic flavors of a shepherd’s pie: ground beef and lamb sautéed with vegetables and topped with creamy mashed potatoes. The difference-maker is the technique used. The pressure cooker takes a “make only on the weekend meal” and brings it to the weekday, hopefully with leftovers to spare.

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Pasta Pomodoro with Shrimp

Pasta is always a hit around here, and adding shrimp is an excellent change of pace. Shrimp is sautéed along with tomatoes (fresh or canned), basil, and garlic. Quick-cooking angel hair pasta is added to the mix for a meal everyone will love.

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Shredded sweet potatoes simmered with spices and black beans make for a hearty filling to these vegan baked taquitos. Top with the creamy cashew sauce for an easy alternative to sour cream, if desired. Serve with Mexican Green Rice.

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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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