Weekly Eats: My Tips for Stress-Free Meals

I love to cook and it's a great stress-reliever for me at the end of the day. However, during the week I don't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. I save long, leisurely meals for Sunday night, but during the week I try to keep things quick and easy. Here are a few things I do to help myself get dinner on the table during the week:
  • Repurpose ingredients. For the chicken and potato supper I made on Sunday, I made extra chicken so that I could use it on the BBQ chicken pizza. 
  • Have a few go-to meals, like burgers, that are always good and come together quickly. 
  • Choose meals that will use up things you already have in the kitchen. For example, the burrito bowls below are great for using up leftover rice, beans, and veggies. 
  • Use a mix of homemade and store-bought ingredients. I love homemade pizza dough, but when I don't have any in the freezer I just let the store help me out and use refrigerated dough. It may not be quite as tasty, but it's still pizza! 

Stress Free Meals Menu

Clockwise from top left: 

1. Chicken and Potatoes Sheet Pan Supper from The Kitchn. This was such a nice Sunday supper. The prep is pretty easy, just make the olive oil and lemon zest rub and slather it on some bone-in chicken and cut up potatoes. Then the oven does the rest of the work. Simple and delicious. 

2. Mini Greek Burgers adapted from Martha Stewart. Rather than lamb, I made these with ground beef, but they turned out delicious. Aaron said, "this tastes like something you would get at a restaurant" which certainly made me happy! I really liked them too, especially with sweet red bell peppers, cool tzatziki sauce and feta cheese. So much flavor! 

3. Homemade Burrito Bowls from Iowa Girl Eats. This is a family favorite; I've made it many times before. This time I substituted pork for the chicken since I had a couple of pork chops I needed to use. Both taste great! This is one of those add-whatever-you've-got-lying-around type of dishes, and I love all the layers of flavor it has. Luckily avocados were on sale, so I made the most of it and went a little avocado-crazy on mine. (Why not? I'm the only one who eats them around here!)

4. BBQ Chicken Pizza from The Kitchn. BBQ Chicken Pizza has become a new favorite for a quick-fix midweek meal. For this one, I used chicken that I had leftover from Sunday night's sheet pan supper. I just rolled out a can of pizza dough (which I don't love, but it does the job), spread on a mixture of barbecue sauce and tomato sauce (great combo!), and topped with chicken and cheese. Easy, filling, and oh so good. 

How do you get dinner on the table during the week?

Weekly Eats at Shea Lennon

From the archives: 


  1. We try to repurpose our food as much as we can too! We almost always turn leftover steak or pork chops into fajitas later on. Or we took some of the meat that Nate smoked and made it into tacos. Mostly we repurpose our leftovers into mexican I guess - maybe so we have an excuse to make margaritas, lol!

  2. Mexican is always a winner at our house so these sound so good!! Especially tacos with smoked meat...now I'm hungry!

  3. Great tips and those Greek burgers are calling my name. I try to do the same thing with the extra chicken and ground beef. I'm also a big user of the rolled out pizza dough. The pillsbury thin crust is actually not that bad. I want to get better at making extra batches of the zucchini or cauliflower crusts for the week.

  4. Yes, the burgers were so good!! I'll have to try the thin crust--I usually just get regular (also Pillsbury) and I think it's just okay. But I tend to like thin crust pizza better anyway. And I have to try the zucchini crust you made!

  5. i made all my own things when i first started cooking - dough, salsa - whatever it was, just to learn. after i did that, however, i decided some things were 'close enough' from the store (and twice as easy!) and never looked back. homemade pizza dough and salsa are now things of the past...

  6. Yum, I love these posts! That pizza looks so good!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

  7. Mmh, these posts are mouth watering…now I'm hungry!
    Happy Sunday xxx

  8. I think that's a great idea--learn HOW to make everything, just so you know. And then decide what's worth "cheating" for. Like I've always wanted to try to make my own tortillas...it may be just a one time thing but I should do it just to learn.
    Thanks! :)

  9. Thanks Chrissy! Sorry to make you hungry though :) Story of my life...

  10. I love making pizzas, but I never make my own dough. I've never had the kind from the can however, I just get the dough made at the deli. There are also an abundance of pizza restaurants in my New Haven, CT adjacent town who will sell you their dough for a couple bucks. Lately Sean has been obsessed with making a parsley pesto to go on the pies.

    Chic on the Cheap

  11. We love that mini Greek burger recipe! I get ground lamb from a guy at our farmers market in the summer and it's a big treat. Can't go wrong with feta and tzatziki. Also can't go wrong with the refrigerated pizza dough from the store. Once I discovered that I never made my own again! (Yeast is apparently not my friend though - could never get the homemade stuff to turn out right anyway.)

  12. consider me interested in those mini greek burgers. i need to check those out!!

  13. Parsley pesto sounds really good! Good idea to buy dough from a pizza place, I've never done that. I bet it tastes a heck of a lot better than the canned kind!


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