Yep.  I get it.  Cooking dinner for the family on a weeknight is about as easy as helping your daughter do her geometry homework while finishing up a conference call that ran over time, tripping over the laundry pile that hasn’t made it into the machine yet, and trying not to burn whatever’s on the stove.  Oh, wait — that’s EXACTLY what cooking dinner on a weeknight is like sometimes, isn’t it?

I can tell you for all I’m worth that you can plan ahead, and you can use your slow cooker, and you can relax and let sandwiches be an okay fallback plan…and all of those things are technically correct.  But you still need some solid dinner ideas that will be crowd-pleasers and will come together in under 30 minutes of light work after a long day.  You can make these dinners the foundation of a meal planning habit — just pick five each week, rotate them through, and be done with it — or choose a couple to become your “failsafe” options and always make sure to keep your fridge, freezer, and pantry stocked with the items you’ll need to make them.  However you decide to use these recipes, I hope they’ll make eating healthy, wholesome family dinners on even the busiest evenings a lot easier and a lot less stressful for you.

Note: As the “Weeknight Meals” feature evolves, I’ll be adding the recipes to this index.

Weeknight Meal #1: Autumn Stir-Fry with Cheater Scallion “Pancakes”

Weeknight Meal #2: Garlicky Pasta with Ham and Peppers

Weeknight Meal #3: Grilled Sausages and Vegetables with Caprese Chopped Salad

Weeknight Meal #4: Buffalo-Inspired Lettuce Wraps

Weeknight Meal #5: Loaded Patty Melts

Weeknight Meal #6: Barbecue Turkey Sandwiches

Weeknight Meal #7: Cuban-Style Waffled Panini
Weeknight Meal #8: Greek-Inspired Chicken and Quinoa Salad

Greek-style Chicken and Quinoa Salad

Weeknight Meal #9: Grilled Citrus Chicken

Grilled Citrus Chicken

Weeknight Meal #10: Pizza Crepes

Pizza Crepes

Weeknight Meal #11: Moussaka Pasta Toss

Moussaka Pasta Toss


Weeknight Meal #12: Simplest Stuffed Peppers

Weeknight Meal #13: Tomato-Poached Eggs

Weeknight Meal #14: Slapdash Shepherd’s Pie

This is what the pie looks like before you've browned it.

This is what the pie looks like before you’ve browned it.

Weeknight Meal #15: Tamale Pot Pie