Food

5 Delicious Dinners To Make On A Weeknight

One well-planned trip to the grocery store makes weeknight cooking so much easier.

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Meal planning can be a pain — but it doesn't have to be.

We created five original recipes that are simple, delicious, and perfect for busy weeknights. Use the grocery list below to make the five dinner recipes in this post over the course of a week in whatever order you like. Your safest bet is to make them all within a week of grocery shopping to ensure that the ingredients stay fresh. It's not the biggest deal if you do it over the course of 10 days or so.

Keep your meat and fish in the freezer whether you cook this over a week or 10 days, but put it in the fridge two days before you plan to use it, so that it has time to defrost. Also, though the recipes call for lots of the same ingredients, no recipe calls for leftovers from another. So, you can cook them in any order.

Here are all the ingredients you'll need to make these five dinners:

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PRODUCE

Apple juice, 12-ounce bottle

Brussels Sprouts (about 2 cups)

Carrots, 2 large or 4 small

Fuji apple, 1 medium

Kale, 1 bunch

Parsnips, 2 large or 4 small

Sage, 0.75-ounce box

Spaghetti squash, 1 medium

Spinach (5-ounce bag)

Sweet potatoes, 2 medium

Yellow onion, 2 medium

DAIRY, MEAT, AND SEAFOOD

Soft goat cheese, 4 ounces

Bacon, 8 ounces

Chicken thighs, 2 medium (about 1/2 pound, total), bone-in, skin on

Salmon, 1/2 pound, skinless and cut into 2 fillets

PANTRY ITEMS

Chickpeas, 15-ounce can

Dried apricots, 1/4 cup

Kalamata olives, 6-ounce jar

Maple syrup

Quinoa, 1/2 cup dry

Red wine vinegar

Kalamata olives, 6-ounce jar

Certain key steps are photographed below each recipe to help make sure you’re on the right track.

Sometimes, it can be frustrating when a recipe tells you to cook the onions until they're soft, or toast almonds until slightly browned and fragrant. Because, really, what does that mean? The pictures are included below to help you out with those slightly confusing steps, but they are not meant as an in-depth, step-by-step guide to the entire recipe.

In this recipe, you'll slice the spaghetti squash into rings and then roast it. This way, you'll get longer strands. And it's so much more delicious than doing it in the microwave.

You'll cook this dish in a single skillet, then take everything out and use vinegar and apple juice to make a quick jus with all of the delicious pan drippings!

Oven-roasted sweet potatoes can take up to an hour. In the microwave, they cook in just seven minutes! In this recipe, you'll make the sweet potato mash while the chickpeas and kale roast.

In this recipe, you'll make a lid out of parchment paper, which will trap most (but not all) of the steam and gently cook the salmon.

Then tossing the cooked quinoa with carrot ribbons and goat cheese while it's still hot.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

The carrots will cook just a little bit, and the cheese will melt. And magic will happen.