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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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Design by Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed. Photos by Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

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:

PRODUCEApple juice, 12-ounce bottleBrussels Sprouts (about 2 cups)Carrots, 2 large or 4 smallFuji apple, 1 mediumKale, 1 bunchParsnips, 2 large or 4 small Sage, 0.75-ounce boxSpaghetti squash, 1 mediumSpinach (5-ounce bag)Sweet potatoes, 2 mediumYellow onion, 2 mediumDAIRY, MEAT, AND SEAFOODSoft goat cheese, 4 ouncesBacon, 8 ouncesChicken thighs, 2 medium (about 1/2 pound, total), bone-in, skin onSalmon, 1/2 pound, skinless and cut into 2 filletsPANTRY ITEMSChickpeas, 15-ounce canDried apricots, 1/4 cupKalamata olives, 6-ounce jarMaple syrupQuinoa, 1/2 cup dryRed wine vinegarKalamata olives, 6-ounce jar
Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

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

Pssst... I'm assuming you have olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper.

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.

1. Spaghetti Squash With Bacon, Spinach, and Goat Cheese

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Design by Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed. Photos by Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

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.

Design by Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed. Photos by Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

2. Single-Skillet Chicken Thighs With Bacon, Brussels Sprouts, and Easy Apple Jus

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Design by Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed. Photos by Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

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!

Design by Christine Byrne / BuzzFeed. Photos by Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

3. Sage and Maple-Roasted Chickpeas With Crispy Kale and Sweet Potato Mash

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Design by Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed. Photos by Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

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.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Let them cool for a minute, then peel the skin right off and mash with a fork. SO EASY.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

4. Single-Skillet Poached Salmon With Parsnips, Olives, and Sage

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Design by Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed. Photos by Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

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.

Design by Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed. Photos by Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

You'll start with this:

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Cover it with the parchment lid to cook it, like this:

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

And end up with this! Cool, right?

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

5. One-Pot Quinoa Salad With Carrot Ribbons, Olives, Apricots, and Goat Cheese

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Design by Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed. Photos by Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

The trick to this recipe is cooking the quinoa in a mixture of water and apple juice, with the apricots and olives.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

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

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

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

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