This Week’s Meal Plan: Comfort Food Classics and Spring Sides

This week’s meal plan is all about adjusting with the shifting temperature and mood that is the month of March. It’s still cool enough for comfort food but everyone is ready to welcome spring. We give you the best of both words: comfort food classics paired with light, fresh spring sides.

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

Welcome to March! Looking out my window I see the beginnings of spring — a few flowers poke their heads out of the ground and I’m eagerly anticipating warmer weather. In the morning, I still have to grab my winter coat as I head out the door but by the afternoon I only need a light jacket and sunglasses.

So, what to eat when the weather keeps changing its mind? One of the best tricks I’ve learned for making a meal change with the seasons is the sides I prepare with it. Roasted veggies and simple salads are my go-to options. I change the produce I use depending on the season. During this in-between time, I still want hot meals but I am ready to nudge my sides towards spring.

This week’s meals are all about bringing a fresh take on winter classics by pairing them with early spring side dish. I hope this meal plan helps shake off the remains of winter and opens the door for sunnier days (even if it’s just around the dinner table).

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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Vegetarian pot pie on white plate.

Vegetarian pot pies offer the same hearty goodness as those with chicken. This recipe saves time with a quick cooking filing and store-bought puff pastry. If you don’t feel like making individual pot pies in ramekins, make one large casserole in a baking dish. Serve with Baked Asparagus with Parmesan because we can never have too many vegetables!

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This is exactly what I want coming out of the oven on a drizzly day in March. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs breaded, coated in marinara, covered with cheese and baked to perfection. The end result is an irresistible meal for the whole family. Serve with Radish Salad with Mint and Pistachios to add crunch and a hint of spice from the radish.

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Baked Honey Mustard Salmon on a white platter

Baked salmon is my favorite! I buy skin-on wild caught fillets from my local grocer and ask them to remove the pin bones for me. I plan 6-8 ounces per person and hope for some leftovers. Serve with Seared Sugar Snap Peas for a simple, satisfying side.

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Pork Chops Braised Cabbage

The humble cabbage is incredibly versatile. Sautéing sliced cabbage softens its flavor while ingredients like caraway seeds and mustard give the finished meal that extra zip. Serve with Arugula Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese for a bright, refreshing sweet side dish.

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Beef Noodle Casserole

This simple casserole is the epitome of classic comfort food. It’s loaded with tomatoes, mushrooms, corn and ground beef then baked in a casserole dish to get those crispy edges. Serve with Asparagus Artichoke Salad to add a nice crunch to the end of the meal.

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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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