Food

5-day meal plan and shopping list: Chicken tortillas, one-pot pasta and more

Casey Barber

The time for denial is over. Despite what the thermometer says, we’re about to enter the calm before the storm, and next week may be the last chance to offer up some simple healthy meals before the blizzard of shopping and partying gets in the way. If you happen to be a super organizer, you could double the recipe and then pop the extra in the oven when things get hairy. While I’ll admit to feeling a certain hopefulness about a world in which such uber planners exist, in all honesty, you folks scare me. So I’m going to think of you like Santa: I really like the concept, but recognize you’re not real.

So let’s get to it—here are four dinners for the coming week, plus the handy shopping list. As always, feel free to make substitutions: the eggplant would be just as great filled with celery, peppers or other vegetables you may have on hand. The fifth recipe could be one of two things, either a make-ahead breakfast casserole that's a fun breakfast-for-dinner option, OR money in the bank for when family descends in the coming weeks. Everyone needs a little hope.

NOTE: The recipes are measured by servings, usually four, so you’ll need to scale the shopping list up or down, depending on how many you are feeding and their appetites. Also, basics like salt and pepper or olive oil aren’t included unless an unusually large quantity is required. Finally, feel free to make substitutions, especially pantry items you already have on hand—don’t go out and buy 3 different kinds of vinegar unless you happen to want to stock your pantry.

MONDAY:

TUESDAY:

WEDNESDAY:

THURSDAY:

FRIDAY:

SHOPPING LIST:

  • 2 Italian or Japanese Eggplants
  • 3 small onions
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 small carrot
  • 6 small cucumbers, such as Kirby or Persian
  • Fresh oregano (or dried)
  • Fresh sage (or dried)
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 6-ounce bag shredded mild Cheddar cheese or Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 8-ounce bag shredded Monterey Jack, Swiss or mozzarella cheese
  • 1 4-ounce goat cheese log or 1/4 pound Brie or Camembert cheese
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Tomato paste (1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) tomato puree or crushed tomatoes
  • Oil-packed sundried tomatoes (about 12 tomatoes)
  • 1 16-ounce jar tomatillo salsa
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans
  • 1 bag taco-sized flour tortillas
  • 4 burger buns or 1 ciabatta bread
  • 1/4 pound (about 1 cup) small pasta shells or elbows
  • 1 16-ounce bag frozen diced or shredded hash brown potatoes
  • 1 10-ounce bag frozen spinach, kale or other leafy greens
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound breakfast or Italian sausage; or 1 1/2 pounds mushrooms; or 1 pound ham (see The Ultimate Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole)

Pantry items that may need restocking or that are optional:

  • White or red wine vinegar
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Panko or breadcrumbs
  • Sugar
  • Chili powder
  • Ground coriander
  • Ground cumin
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Pico de gallo or your favorite salsa for serving (optional)
  • Minced fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
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