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: Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce with Garlic Cheese Toasts + Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon Tuesday: Shredded Pork and Pinto Tacos with Pepita Slaw + Cilantro-Lime Romaine Salad Wednesday: Swedish Meatballs with Red Currant Pan Sauce + Quick and Easy Green Beans Thursday: Poblano-Turkey Sausage Chili + Parmesan Corn Muffins Friday: Chicken Tikka Pita Pizzas + Indian Chopped Salad Snack Bonus: Savory Granola
Monday: Enjoy an easy Meatless Monday with our shakshuka-inspired Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce with Garlic Cheese Toasts. Eggs gently simmer in a lightly spicy, somewhat garlicky tomato sauce, and you get to mop everything up with cheesy sourdough toast. Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon stands up to the flavorful main dish with its own deep, toasty flavor.
Tuesday: Bring on Taco Tuesday! Not only are tacos a surefire family hit, but they also help you stretch a small amount of meat and load on the veggies. With Shredded Pork and Pinto Tacos with Pepita Slaw, a prudent half-pound of pork tenderloin is all you need for eight hearty tacos that are also loaded with saucy pinto beans, avocado crema, and crunchy slaw. The zippy flavors of Cilantro-Lime Romaine Salad are the perfect complement.
Wednesday: Celebrate midweek with a comforting plate of Swedish Meatballs with Red Currant Pan Sauce. Lightly sweet and creamy-dreamy, the sauce gets captured in all the nooks and crannies of the egg noodles it's spooned onto. (You can boost the nutrition by serving with whole-wheat egg noodles.) Quick and Easy Green Beans make the perfect partner—and once you learn this easy technique for cooking vegetables, you'll use it for broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, and zucchini.
Thursday: Ready in less than 40 minutes, Poblano-Turkey Sausage Chili is a conveniently delicious way to warm up on a chilly night. Poblano chiles range from very mild to quite spicy; taste a little piece to see if you need to adjust the amount down for sensitive palates. Serve Parmesan Corn Muffins on the side; try crumbling them coarsely and using as a topping. If you happen to have leftovers, split the muffins and toast them under the broiler; place them in the bottom of a bowl, and ladle on the reheated chili. Divine!
Friday: Kick off the weekend with our global mashup Chicken Tikka Pita Pizzas, combining the fragrant Indian classic chicken tikka masala with the whole (Italian) pizza concept. You build the pizzas on whole-wheat pitas, so you don't even need to deal with pizza dough—and they're ready in just 23 minutes. For a fresh, crunchy counterpart, try Indian Chopped Salad. It packs a spicy punch, so seed the serrano (or omit it altogether) if you prefer a milder flavor.
Snack Bonus: Once you start making Savory Granola, you'll be hooked (and might need to make a double batch each time). With two-thirds less sugar than traditional granola, it's far more versatile and equally delicious. It's terrific on Greek yogurt or ice cream, but try it also as a crunchy salad topper. Or sprinkle some onto a creamy butternut squash soup and prepare to have your mind blown.