Meal Plan for October Week 1 {2017}

Meal Plans

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

Photography Credit: 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

1 Pressure Cooker Ground Beef ChiliThis 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

2 Chicken Breasts in with Mustard Cream SauceA 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

3 Butternut Squash RisottoFall 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

4 Baked Shrimp in Tomato Feta SauceThe 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

5 Spinach Artichoke Sheet Pan PizzaThis 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?

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Summer Miller

Summer Miller is the Senior Editor for Simply Recipes based in Nebraska. Her work has appeared in Bon Appetit, Eating Well, Grit, SAVEUR, and Every Day with Rachael Ray, among others. Her first book is New Prairie Kitchen (Agate Publishing, 2015).

More from Summer


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  1. Michael

    Chili and cinnamon rolls is common here in Georgia. In fact, we call it the Menelo Special

  2. lynn

    Glad you included that delicious chicken dish – my oh my! So worth the calories!!

  3. Mary Beth Hunt

    Chili and Cinnamon Rolls!!! THAT’S a Nebraska Thing! :)

  4. Megan

    Great ideas and recipes! Thanks!

  5. Tristan

    This is really cool! What would be even cooler was if there was an aggregated ingredient list (and quantities) for all the recipes for the week.

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October Week 1 Meal PlanMeal Plan for October Week 1 {2017}