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Lazy Family Dinner Meal Plan

After cooking Thanksgiving dinner for my family this year, I’m feeling just a bit of cooking fatigue. And since I can’t totally quit cooking for the week, I’m opting for the next best thing: stacking my meal plan with the easiest and most comforting recipes I know.

This week’s dinners require minimal effort (and minimal cleanup!) and reward you with ultra-comforting dinners the whole table is bound to love. Plus, they’ll help me use leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. Here are the five impossibly easy dinners I’m preparing this week.

Monday: Crispy Sheet Pan Gnocchi with Mushrooms, Sausage, and Butternut Squash

The beauty of this comforting dinner is that there’s no need to boil the gnocchi first. Everything cooks together on a sheet pan and takes next to no effort. And to minimize the prep even more, I like to start with pre-cut butternut squash and sausage meat with no casings.

Get the recipe: Crispy Sheet Pan Gnocchi with Mushrooms, Sausage, and Butternut Squash

Tuesday: Shredded Turkey Tacos

These tacos are one of my favorite defaults when I don’t feel like cooking, and this week I’ll make them to use up the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. Then they’ll simply get topped with bagged broccoli slaw, avocado, and a squeeze of lime.

Get the recipe: Shredded Turkey Tacos

Summer tomatoes are long gone, but that doesn’t stop me from keeping this totally nostalgic and satisfying sandwich in my meal plan for an easy dinner the whole table will love. It’s hard to beat oven-cooked bacon, but if you’re in a hurry go ahead and use the microwave.

Get the recipe: BLT Sandwiches

Thursday: Slow Cooker Baked Ziti

This “baked” ziti might lack crispy edges, but that’s just fine with me because it’s packed with saucy noodles and lots of ooey, gooey cheese. Plus it requires no more effort than dropping the ingredients into the slow cooker and stirring everything together. Tonight’s dinner will also leave us with plenty of leftovers to eat for lunch through the weekend.

Get the recipe: Slow Cooker Baked Ziti

Friday: Quick and Easy Sheet Pan Nachos

It’s the super-creamy cheese sauce that keeps me coming back to these nachos again and again. This week I plan to skip the ground beef that’s called for in the recipe, in favor of using up the last bits of leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. I’ll stir about 1 cup of shredded turkey into the pan and heat it for about a minute before adding the taco seasoning and following the recipe as written.

Get the recipe: Quick and Easy Sheet Pan Nachos

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Meal planning isn’t always easy — especially if you’re just getting started. But we’re firm believers that it’s the secret to stress-free weeknight dinners. We want to help you find inspiration and ease some of the pain points that come with getting dinner on the table night after night, whether you’re cooking one or a family of four or five. Every week we share a new meal plan solution specifically customized for you from reader requests or from a guest contributor, for Next Week’s Meal Plan! 

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