Meal Plan for October Week 1 {2017}

Here's our meal plan for October Week 1! Baked shrimp with tomatoes, pressure cooker chili, an easy fall risotto, and more.

October Week 1 Meal Plan
Coco Morante, Elise Bauer, Sally Vargas

Welcome to our new series of weekly meal plans! This month, Summer Miller will be sharing with us what meal planning looks like in her house. Summer is a mom, a full-time food writer, and also helps test the fabulous recipes we bring you every week at Simply Recipes.

Getting dinner on the table with kids underfoot and work deadlines piling up can seem like an insurmountable challenge at times. I try to keep the weekday dinner insanity to a minimum by committing a little time on the weekend to prep.

I typically do my grocery shopping on Saturday. Then on Sunday, I wash, peel, slice and dice the vegetables I need for the week. Sometimes, I even go the extra mile to make grains or roast vegetables for quick lunches.

That one choice leads to healthier, more well-rounded meals during the week, and a happier cook in the kitchen.

Let’s face it, "quick and easy" is a weekday dinner requirement, and this week’s meal plan fits the bill. Everything is ready in 40 minutes or less. If you do a little prep work on the weekend, it will be even faster!

If you want to get a few things done ahead of time, you can make the pizza dough and chop all of the vegetables needed for this menu in about an hour on the weekend. That still leaves you with plenty of downtime to watch Netfilx, um, I mean to tackle all those home improvement projects.

Keep veggies in the fridge to use as needed, and store the pizza dough in the freezer. Transfer the dough to the fridge the day before pizza night so it is ready when you are. (Or, if you forget, let it thaw on the counter for an hour or so until it’s soft enough to roll out.)

Meal Plan for October: Week 1

Pressure Cooker Beef Chili
Coco Morante, Elise Bauer, Sally Vargas

1 Pressure Cooker Ground Beef Chili: This is a simple and kid friendly chili recipe. It has a nice balance of flavor without too much heat. Great with just a simple side salad and some cornbread served alongside (or if you're feeling fancy, try cinnamon rolls! Really!)

Chicken Breasts with Mustard Cream Sauce
Coco Morante, Elise Bauer, Sally Vargas

2 Chicken Breasts in with Mustard Cream Sauce: A little indulgence goes a long way. This creamy, briny chicken recipe is on the table in 30 minutes. Serve it with a side salad and brown rice.

Butternut Squash Risotto
Coco Morante, Elise Bauer, Sally Vargas

3 Butternut Squash Risotto: Fall is squash season! You might think of risotto as a fancy restaurant meal, but and it's surprisingly fast and simple to make at home. This recipe comes together with minimal fuss and uses just a few ingredients. Give it a try if you've never made one at home before! Serve with some quick sautéed greens on the side.

Baked Shrimp with Tomato and Feta
Coco Morante, Elise Bauer, Sally Vargas

4 Baked Shrimp in Tomato Feta Sauce: The week is almost over. One pan meals like this bright and herby shrimp dish are just what you need to get to the finish line. This one definitely needs some crusty bread to help mop up every last bit of sauce!

Spinach-Artichoke Sheet Pan Pizza
Coco Morante, Elise Bauer, Sally Vargas

5 Spinach Artichoke Sheet Pan Pizza: This recipe is a great addition to pizza night or double it for a Game Day Gathering. It’s affordable to make and tastes way better than delivery. Pick up store-bought dough or make your own. The dough recipe makes enough for two, so you can feed a crowd. Add a simple tossed salad and you're done.

What are you cooking this week?