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.
If you like having a healthy meal plan but want something customized 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.
The Plan Monday: Quick Tex-Mex Confetti Pizza Tuesday: Chicken Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Penne Wednesday: Pan-Seared Steak with Chive-Horseradish Butter and Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Broccolini Thursday: Potato, Poblano, and Chorizo Tacos with Mardi Gras Slaw Friday: Roasted Shrimp with White Beans and Feta with Spicy Brown Rice Dessert Bonus: Chocolate-Dipped Cannoli with Pistachios
Monday: Yes, it's probably going to be a crazy day. Don't let dinner be too complicated. Make Monday night a pizza night with our Quick Tex-Mex Confetti Pizza. Kick up canned black beans and frozen corn with smoky paprika and tangy-salty queso fresco. Oh, and did we mention it's a Meatless Monday dish? 'Cause it is!
Tuesday: You're just 20 minutes from this filling skillet of Chicken Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Penne. Chicken sausage slashes sat fat and calories, and it makes a flavorful weeknight option when you need something besides another chicken breast. This dish is filled with veg and hearty multigrain pasta, so you don't really need an additional side unless you just want more veg. In that case, we wouldn't object to a simple side salad.
Wednesday: Our Pan-Seared Steak with Chive-Horseradish Butter may seem super swanky, but don't be fooled. You can make this decadent meal in the comfort of your own kitchen. On the side, we like roasted veggies--they roast while you cook steaks and prepare the butter. Try our Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Broccolini. And get this: the whole meal is under 360 calories! Wow!
Thursday: Taco night might be most regularly practiced on Tuesday, but let's swap and go for tonight instead with our Potato, Poblano, and Chorizo Tacos. Mexican chorizo is a raw pork sausage flavored with cumin and garlic. If you can't find it at your grocery store or Mexican market, opt for regular American breakfast sausage. It'll be just as tasty. Chorizo might have a little kick, so let's cool down with a side of our Mardi Gras Slaw.
Friday: Roasting shrimp is a surprisingly easy way to cook the succulent shellfish while maximizing flavor. See for yourself with our Roasted Shrimp with White Beans and Feta. You've got room for a starchy side, so try our Spicy Brown Rice. Brown rice is a whole grain (bonus!), and the chile paste with garlic is more mouth-tingling warm than spicy mouth-on-fire hot. It's the perfect side for this shrimp dish and completes a meal to round off a wonderful back-to-work week.
Dessert Bonus: You've earned a dessert night. I promise. Our version of the Sicilian treat--Chocolate-Dipped Cannoli with Pistachios---has all the classic crunch and creaminess without the fuss or fat. You can sometimes find pre-made cannoli shells in the bakery of your grocery store. Check the freezer aisle, too. If you don't like or don't have pistachios, you can substitute with peanuts or even almonds. But be sure to add the nuts, though. You'll really miss the crunch if you don't.