Foolproof Meal Ideas

Serving homemade meals is easier than you think. Use our week's worth of menu suggestions to bring the family back to the dinner table.

  • Slow-Cooker Meat Loaf with Shiitake Mushrooms
    Photography: Karry Hosford

    Monday: Supper from the Slow-Cooker

    Have a healthy dinner waiting when you get home from work with this slow-cooker turkey meatloaf. The crockpot makes an especially moist and tender meat loaf since no evaporation takes place while cooking. Serve with quick-cooking rice and a tossed salad for a complete meal.
  • Rotini with Chicken, Asparagus, and Tomatoes
    Becky Luigart-Stayner; Jan Gautro

    Tuesday: Quick Pasta Toss

    Keep a few kitchen staples on hand (such as a favorite pasta, frozen chicken breasts, and a store-bought sauce) for an easy weeknight dinner solution. Serve with breadsticks and fresh veggies to add a colorful punch to this one-dish meal.
  • Burrito Bar
    Thomas J. Story

    Wednesday: Burrito Bar

    If picky palates limit your menu options, opt for do-it-yourself ideas such as a burrito or taco bar for a Mexican-inspired night in. You pick the meat (we suggest rotisserie chicken from the deli), supply the toppings, and let everyone play chef for the night. Boil-in-a-bag rice and a pitcher of tea round out the menu.
  • Tomato-Basil Pizza
    Becky Luigart-Stayner; Melanie J. Clarke

    Thursday: Pizza Night

    Done right, homemade pizza beats delivery both in wait time and flavor. Start with store-bought pizza crusts then load up on the good stuff: mozzarella cheese, ripe tomatoes, and fresh basil. Serve with a green salad and a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert.
  • Pan-Seared Salmon with Pineapple-Jalapeño Relish
    Randy Mayor; Melanie J. Clarke

    Friday: Fish Fry

    Bring fish back to the dinner table with a fiery salmon recipe that's packed with flavor, and heart-healthy omega-3. Once your family tastes the zesty spices and the bright relish, they'll never ask for fish sticks again. Serve with jasmine rice and a favorite steamed veggie.
  • Rachel's Special Occasion Lasagna

    Saturday: Make-Ahead Casserole

    Whether your weekend is packed with errands or simply a date with ESPN, a freezer-friendly casserole, served with breadsticks and a side salad, is a guaranteed winner for Saturday night's dinner menu. The next time you feel inspired to make the Italian classic, make two and pop one in the freezer. Think of it as a gift to your future self, and enjoy.
  • Tomato-Basil Soup
    Randy Mayor; Melanie J. Clarke

    Sunday: Soup and Sandwiches

    Remember cozy Sunday afternoons when a ladle of creamy soup and a melty sandwich warmed you right to your toes? Pass on that feeling with a homemade Tomato-Basil Soup and an updated grilled cheese sandwich topped with Boursin cheese. Add a green salad and a mug of hot tea and you'll be ready for Monday before you know it.

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