Our weekly meal plans feature realistic meals made for you true life. That means no crazy, hard-to-find ingredients or super trendy on-trend dishes, but real food for real families.
If you are looking simplify your life and will more organized, our menus are for you. You don’t have to scroll through endless recipes looking for something that looks good; The weekly menu and shopping list are ready to use.
Maybe you are looking new ideas and recipes to refresh your weekly menu. We hope our meal plans add a little excitement and novelty to dinner.
Each meal plan has 5 recipes for main dishesas well as a bonus recipe. Feel free to choose the meals you want to try and skip the ones you don’t like. Meals can also be prepared in any order, so if you want to prepare Monday lunch on Friday, that’s fine. The recipes serve 4 unless otherwise stated.
The bonus recipe can be made early in the week and enjoyed throughout the week. It can be a breakfast recipe, a healthy snack, or sometimes a dessert.
Keep scrolling for more details, side dish ideas, and the download link for the free printable menu plan and grocery list!
want more? Check out all of our meal plans.
Why Meal Plan?
- Meal planning simplifies your life and saves time. It takes the guesswork out of busy nights. It’s one less thing to think about every night. You have a plan and all you have to do is execute it. Hang the menu on the fridge so everyone knows what to expect. It’s a good way to get the family involved.
- Meal planning saves money. If you have a plan and only buy what you need from the grocery store, you’re much less likely to buy items you don’t need that could potentially go to waste. You’re also less likely to eat out, which can save you a lot of money.
- Meal planning is healthier. Planning meals ahead of time gives you time to think about including healthy vegetables, fruits, legumes, and grains. Also, it is always healthier to prepare your own food at home than to eat out.
What makes Rachel Cooks meal plans different?
I know there are many meal plans. Some are free (ours are free!) and others cost money. So why choose ours?
- We plan them with a busy schedule in mind. Our main goal is to create these meal plans reasonable And realistic. That means we don’t just grab 5 random recipes and send them off to the store with a ridiculously long grocery list. We consider what goes well together and how you can save time. For example: sometimes you cook a large batch of food in one day (but with the same amount of effort), and the excess food (don’t call it leftovers!) is reused for another meal the next day. Two meals in one!
- Balance: As you probably already know, most of the recipes on Rachel Cooks are easy to make. However, some recipes naturally have longer ingredient lists than others. We keep that in mind and balance out the more complicated recipes with simpler recipes with shorter ingredient lists. Speaking of balance: Mondays often have a meatless recipe.
- Happy Fridays! We make it easy for you every Friday (TGIF!) with a fun, easy-to-prep meal. Think tacos, pizza, or other kid-friendly recipes that you can combine with a few store-bought shortcuts.
- Categorized shopping list: Not only is the grocery list categorized to make shopping easier, but it also shows which day the ingredient is needed. That means if you’re not eating at home on Friday, you can easily go through the list and check off the Friday items. You might think Monday’s recipe sounds… gross. We disagree, of course, but you can eliminate these ingredients without having to comb through every recipe to figure out what you do and don’t need.
- Meal Prep/Make Ahead: Many of our recipes contain ideas to give you a head start on recipes. This is of course optional, but sometimes a small meal ahead of time (perhaps on a Saturday or Sunday) on weekdays can make a world of difference!
What to expect
We’ll be posting a meal plan each week (Thursdays – so you have time to plan, prep, and shop), and we’ll be adding seasonally focused meal plans, as well as some special meal plans (gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, etc.) down the road.
Each meal plan will continue to be available after the week it was released. So if you find a favorite, you can always come back to it!
How to use the meal plans
Here’s what you will do!
- Print out the menu along with the shopping list.
- Go to each recipe and print out the recipe. You can just use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post if you wish, or you can read the post for more information about the recipe. Many of our posts include information on how to make the recipe your own. If you want to make changes, just remember to write down what you need on the shopping list.
- Look at the grocery list and cross off any ingredients you already have or that go into recipes you don’t want to make.
- Go to the grocery store to buy your groceries. You’ll find that grocery shopping is less stressful and faster when you have a good list.
- Cook and enjoy! Don’t forget to share on social media if you make any of my recipes. Love seeing this and re-sharing your posts often! I also really love and appreciate comments and reviews on the recipes. You are always welcome to ask questions. We will answer them to the best of our knowledge and belief.
Meal Plan #10
This is what you eat this week! Click here to download and print the meal plan and shopping list!
Monday: Homemade Spaghetti Sauce – This makes a big batch and you’ll use it in multiple meals! Spaghetti Sauce (Monday) is best when simmered for at least an hour but up to 3 hours. If you have more time on the weekend, you can also prepare the sauce in advance. If you prefer a meaty sauce, brown 1 pound ground beef, ground turkey, or Italian sausage with the onions until no longer pink. Or see bonus recipe below for homemade meatballs. Serve a simple green salad with creamy Italian dressing. Restaurant-style warm bread and bread dipping oil complete the meal.
Tuesday: Lasagna Zucchini Boats – This recipe uses a cup of spaghetti sauce from yesterday’s recipe. If you added meat to the sauce, omit the half pound of ground beef or ground turkey in this recipe. Or make this dish vegetarian by leaving out the meat.
Wednesday: Shrimp with Chimichurri Rice – Serve with a vegetable of your choice or this delicious citrus salad.
Thursday: Stuffed Pizza Spaghetti Squash – Substitute leftover spaghetti sauce in place of pizza sauce.
Friday: Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders – If you don’t have an air fryer, try my Oven Baked Chicken Caesar Chicken Tenders or Pizza Chicken Tenders. Serve the chicken breast fillet with a green salad, on a bun, or in a tortilla with your choice of toppings.
bonus: Homemade Meatballs (can be baked or air fried) – Meatballs can be frozen either raw or cooked. You don’t need to thaw them before baking or air frying. I like to keep them in the freezer for quick and easy meals. Frozen meatballs are ready to eat in just 15 to 17 minutes (try Air Fryer Meatballs). Meatballs are endlessly versatile. You can use it to prepare many different dishes, from classic spaghetti and meatballs to meatball subs and soups. I like to bake them on a sheet pan with sweet potatoes, onions, and peppers for an easy stir-fry meal.