Every Sunday, we publish a week of Cooking Light dinner plans filled with our favorite recipes—both from current issues and classics. Each meal is designed to be ready and on the table in 45 minutes or less so that you have more time to enjoy the food you’ve prepared and the company of those you’ve prepared it for.
The Plan Monday: Sunny Side-Up Pizza and Tarragon-Tomato Salad Tuesday: Black-Pepper Caramel Shrimp and Sesame Miso Cucumber Salad Wednesday: Pasta with Bacon, Shredded Brussels Sprouts, and Lemon Zest and Beets with Shallot Vinaigrette Thursday: Grilled Asian Flank Steak with Mango Salad and Chile-Spiked Rice Friday: Chicken with Quick Chile Verde and Roast Sweet Potato Wedges with Yogurt Dipping Sauce Dessert Bonus: Limoncello Freeze
Monday: Eggs on a pizza gives you a protein packed dish. Mâche, red onion, and Parmesan cheese add bright and nutty flavor. It's a laid back, light supper, perfect for the day after a big holiday meal. The accompanying tomato salad takes practically no effort and delivers delicate licorice notes from tarragon that also pairs well with the eggs.
Tuesday: Black-Pepper Caramel Shrimp is another quick dinner that will taste like it took much more effort and time than it really did--the sweet and spicy shrimp are ready in less than 10 minutes. Make the sautéed variation of the cucumber salad for a hot side dish. Slice the cucumbers and sauté them first, then put the shrimp on. The salad will taste great warm or room temp.
Wednesday: A comforting pasta dish with lots of bacon flavor is just the right pick-me-up for the mid week slump. Dicing bacon before tossing it into a pan allows for quicker cooking and even browning. Microwaving makes prepping the beets for the salad quick and easy.
Thursday: Grilled Asian Flank Steak with Mango Salad delivers a wonderful combination of flavors, and this one-dish meal is on the table in just 40 minutes. The mango adds a nice sweetness to the overall dish while the peanut butter adds a mild peanut flavor to the dressing. Adding a side is optional, but the Chile-Spiked Rice kicks up the flavor of basic white rice with fresh ground chile paste, cumin and coriander.
Friday: A southwestern flair comes from the tomatillos in the Chicken with Quick Chile-Verde. If you can't find fresh tomatillos, substitute canned whole tomatillos and use a little less salt. Grilled lime wedges are a pretty garnishing touch, but they also bring zesty flavor to the chicken. The Roast Sweet Potato Wedges are prepared using a quick two-step process of microwave-steaming then roasting to create the golden-brown wedges in this versatile side dish.
Dessert Bonus: For a delightful finish to any one of these meals, try this easy ice-cream stir-in dessert for a delicious lemony version of a Creamsicle—fruit-tangy and creamy-milky at the same time. Meringue cookies add a welcome crunch.
Ready to start shopping? View this week’s menu, which includes every recipe you see mentioned here. From there, you can add all the ingredients to your shopping list in one click when you sign into your MyRecipes account.
If you like having a healthy meal plan but want something custom to your dietary or caloric needs, check out the Cooking Light Diet. It’s a calorie-driven weekly meal plan—breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner—based on your dieting goals and food preferences.