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5 easy recipes that will take the guesswork out of cooking this week

Alleviate your weeknight dinner woes with recipes for sheet-pan shrimp, herby pasta and more.
TODAY / Casey Barber

With the official start to summer fast approaching in T-minus eight days (but who’s counting?), it's understandable if taking a vacation from cooking is at the very top of your summer bucket list. School’s almost out (if it isn’t already), the weather’s showing off and calendars are filling up with activities. But unless you’re going on an extended getaway, hiring a personal chef or planning on ordering out three times a day for the next three months, a full kitchen hiatus probably isn't in the cards.

Fear not: We’ve identified three easy steps that will help you take a load off (both mentally and physically) in the kitchen. First things first, take the guesswork out of meal planning by following this easy guide for what to cook this week. See below for smart weeknight dinners, family-friendly recipes, simple vegetarian meals, plus an easy pasta recipe that you’ll want to turn to again and again. Secondly, resolve to do fewer dishes by relying on sheet-pan dinners that will make clean-up a breeze. Third: Make sure to save room for dessert and give yourself a pat on the back in the form of something sweet. (This week’s treat is gluten-free!)

For added ease, all of these recipes are shoppable via Walmart. Instead of setting foot in a grocery store, simply add the ingredients to your virtual shopping cart and schedule pickup or delivery. And if you’re a Walmart+ member, orders $35 and up qualify for free delivery.

What to cook this week

Whip up a quick weeknight pesto with whatever herbs you have on hand (think: basil, mint, dill, parsley or chives) and toss with your family’s favorite pasta shape. We recommend rigatoni because it’s great for sopping up all the delicious sauce.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: A sheet-pan dinner is the key to a fast and easy dinner, and an even faster and easier clean up. This Ancho chile-spiced chicken dish is chock full of veggies and flavor and might just become your go-to weeknight dinner this summer.

Brazilian-Style Collard Greens

This recipe, developed by award-winning culinary historian, cookbook author and journalist Dr Jessica B. Harris, comes together in a fraction of the time that the traditional Southern preparation takes. That means you can enjoy these garlicky collard greens on a busy weeknight!

Say hello to this week’s second sheet-pan dinner, a Mediterranean delight! Roast asparagus, tomatoes, olives and seasonings while you prep your shrimp with an herby mixture of oregano and mint. When the veggies are almost done, add the shrimp to the tray and roast to finish. Sprinkle with briny feta to finish and enjoy.

Crispy Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookies

These crispy, crunchy gluten-free oatmeal cookies were adapted from the "Boston Cooking-School Cook Book" by Fannie Merritt Farmer. The secret added ingredient that takes these to the next level? A dash of lemon extract.