Thanksgiving Week Easy Meal Plan: We've Got This!

Thanksgiving dinner is big, but you still need to eat the rest of the week. We have you covered with five easy, quick, and delicious recipes!

Thanksgiving Week Easy Meal Plan: We Got This!

I develop and read recipes for a living, but weeknight meals for my family of five are still a challenge.

Layer on Thanksgiving, a giant food holiday squished between busy traveling (or a regular workday for those that aren’t taking off) and mingling with guests, and I am frazzled. What are we supposed to eat for dinner the rest of the week? 

There’s a bright side! Not all delicious, nourishing, and worthy meals require a pan, a stove, or an oven. Slapping together a cold sandwich, pressing buttons on the microwave, and tossing a salad, are all making dinner too and what I’m leaning on this week. 

If you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving (I didn’t, until I met my husband), I included one special mini dinner plan for you too. 

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you get a slice or two of your favorite pie.  

  • Italian Sub Sandwich

    Side view of an italian sandwich on a platter that is cut into slices. Meat, cheese and toppings are layered on the sandwich.
    Nick Evans

    The secret to batch cooking (think: more food, less work) is making one giant sandwich that can be sliced to feed six. This Italian Sub Sandwich is just that, plus it checks off all the requirements for happy taste buds: creamy mayo and cheese, salty, funky cold cuts, crunchy iceberg lettuce, briny olives, pickled peppers, and a punchy vinaigrette. 

  • Microwave Poached Eggs

    Two poached eggs on top of two pieces of stacked toast. One egg has a slightly runny yolk. Salt and pepper are sprinkled on the eggs, toast and black plate.
    Alison Bickel

    On days I’d rather hand each of my three kids a piece of toast and a cup of yogurt for dinner, I’m thankful for this handy microwave shortcut. At least I can top a lightly poached egg on top of the toast. The kids are thrilled that they get to crack their own egg into a mug and poke the yolk with a toothpick. One note: Read the instructions carefully to avoid an egg-plosion in your microwave. 

  • Kale Waldorf Salad

    Kale Waldorf salad
    Elise Bauer

    This is the perfect light yet filling and wholesome meal to serve the night before Thanksgiving. Sturdy kale and walnuts give this salad some heft. Maybe you like dried cranberries in your salad. Maybe you don’t. If you’d prefer, use halved grapes instead. 

  • Roast Chicken with Grapes

    Roast Chicken with Grapes
    Elise Bauer

    Even if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving (or maybe turkey isn’t your thing), something about filling your kitchen to the brim with the mouthwatering scent of a special meal is bewitching. What about this? A whole chicken roasted with lemon, onion, thyme, rosemary, white wine, and GRAPES. For the sides: a citrusy cabbage salad, and a creamy polenta. End with a warm pear cake and chai.  

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • Miso Soup

    Overhead view of two bowls of homemade miso soup with small bowls of rice next to it.
    Simply Recipes / Vivian Jao

    Miso soup is warming, but light Japanese soup that's easy to make at home. It only takes about 30 minutes to come together. If you want a little more substance serve it with rice.

  • Easy Chocolate Pudding in the Microwave

    Microwave Chocolate Pudding
    Sally Vargas

    I’m back in the microwave because my post-Thanksgiving oven needs respite and a good scrub. This creamy chocolate pudding will firm up a little in the fridge while it chills. If you’re feeling impatient, pop it in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes, giving it a good stir every five minutes so that it chills evenly.