If you’re feeling stagnant around recipes and meal planning, a helpful idea that can add novelty and inspiration around food can be to implement themed nights. You can be as structured or flexible with this as you’d like; perhaps every week follows the same type of schedule or you pull this tool in only when needed. The beauty of more flexible meal planning is that you get to decide what’s best for you and your household, including what makes the most sense in terms of budget, nutrition needs, food preferences, appliances, and skill level.
Below are some examples of weekly plans. Feel free to mix and match depending on what sounds best to you!
Dishes that start with M Monday. Here are a few examples: manicotti, mac and cheese, meatloaf or mahi mahi
Dishes that start with T Tuesday. Here are a few examples: tuna noodle casserole, tabbouleh, turkey, tofu
Tried and true Tuesday - making a go to recipe that’s well loved
Leftovers - a midpoint check in with what needs to be used up in the fridge can be helpful
Breakfast for dinner
Thai Thursday (either take out or made at home)
Try something new Thursday - pick a new recipe or ingredient to sample
Freezer Friday - use what you have in the freezer to plan a meal around; maybe it’s frozen vegetables, a frozen protein or a meal you’ve previously frozen that you can thaw and enjoy
New restaurant Friday - if it’s enjoyable, affordable and accessible for you to include trying and supporting a new (to you) restaurant, this may be a fun routine to get into on your weekends!
Fast food Fridays
Sauce Saturday - try a new sauce and let this guide the meal. Maybe it’s a pasta sauce, pesto, taco sauce or BBQ sauce
“Someone else cooks” Saturday - maybe you’re a parent and you let your spouse or child cook the meal on Saturdays or you can ask your roommate or partner!
Sheet pan recipe Saturday
Slow cooker Sunday
Soup and salad Sunday
Stir fry Sunday
Hope these ideas help encourage some inspiration and newness in your weekly meal planning! And also remember, having tried and true recipes that you rotate in often is totally fine too! Whatever gets you and your households needs met day in and day out.