Weekly Meal Plan: 5 Worldly Dinner Ideas

Cook with a worldly mindset and try some of the fusion dinner ideas lined up for this week’s meal plan! Explore different flavors and cuisines all from the comfort of your own kitchen. Finish the week off with baking project: Tres Leches Cake.

"What's for Dinner" written over Mediterranean Chickpea Bowls

A wide variety of cuisines are at our fingertips these days, so when it comes to dinner, I like to switch things up in the kitchen on a fairly regular basis.

Cooking with a worldly mindset doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Surf the internet to discover which spices are popular in any given country. Tour your neighborhood (so long as social distancing isn’t a concern) and pop into your local ethnic supermarkets. Pick up a loaf of their homemade bread or the national drink to serve with one of this week’s dishes.

A fantastic springboard to creating meals with an ethnic flair is to just try something and explore.

  • Slow Cooker Boston Baked Beans

    Boston Baked Beans
    Elise Bauer

    Beans and hot dogs are very North American, so I want to begin the week with this meal. Swap out hot dogs for sliced polish sausage or a jalapeno-cheddar version and your “beans and franks” will appeal to a more mature palate. A generous slice of Jalapeno Cornbread is all my adult palate needs to complete this dish.

  • Baked Ziti

    Baked Ziti
    Elise Bauer

    This dish is Italian-American but I won’t hold that against it. I’m happy to include it in my ethnic culinary tour because it’s easy to prep and the flavor nods to my favorite Italian dishes. Don’t get hung up on the “ziti” in this dish’s name. I’ve often swapped it out for penne or rigatoni when I had a tough time finding ziti. Bonus: a pan of baked ziti freezes exceptionally well for a quick heat-and-serve dinner later on.

  • Mediterranean Chickpea Bowls with Tahini Sauce

    Mediterranean Chickpea Buddha Bowls
    Sabrina Modelle

    I plan to double the tahini sauce from this recipe to use in Friday’s dish. Anytime I see an opportunity to cut down on my labor, I’m going to jump all over it. Homemade naan or pita from my local Middle Eastern market is all I need to add to this recipe.

  • Creamy Cheesy Turkey Enchiladas

    Creamy Cheesy Turkey Enchiladas
    Elise Bauer

    The amount of prep required for these enchiladas – hello 15 minutes! – is what makes this one of my go-to weeknight dinners. I assemble the enchiladas when I have a little downtime during the day. If you don’t have turkey, sub chicken. Top with shredded romaine, diced tomatoes, and minced red onions. Double up on these toppings and you can use them for tomorrow’s dinner, too!

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • Greek Meatballs

    Greek Meatballs on serving plate
    Elise Bauer

    Lamb is an underappreciated protein worth exploring. Serve meatballs over couscous or stuffed into pita pockets (nothing is more convenient than that). I often double this recipe and freeze half for later. Dish up some of that extra tahini sauce from Thursday’s meal over the meatballs, and your family can top theirs as desired. And those veggies from last night? They, for sure, want to join this dinner party.

  • Tres Leches Cake

    Authentic Tres Leches Cake Recipe
    Marta Rivera

    Close out this week’s ethnic meal plan with this cool cake. It’s served simply with a whipped cream frosting. Add fresh berries, a drizzle of chocolate sauce, or cajeta.