For many of us, the month of July kicks off with a bang. Fourth of July parties, summer cookouts and birthdays can make food prep begin to feel taxing. Whether you’ve been hosting or whipping up dishes for potlucks, by mid-July we all need a break. But that doesn’t mean delicious, homemade meals have to stop all together!
With the right recipes in your weekly meal plan rotation, dinner (and lunch) can feel quick, effortless and easy. Below, you’ll find a light, flavorful sheet-pan recipe for salmon and seasonal veggies that comes together in about 10 (yes, 10!) minutes as well as a summery, one-pot jambalaya. And don’t forget to enjoy two make-ahead dishes that are so versatile, they can be enjoyed for lunch on-the-go (hello, beach days and healthy work meals), a side dish or even a whole hearty dinner. Then, just when you thought you’d turn to takeout at week’s end, instead follow simple instructions for heavenly, homemade lo mein made all in one pot.
These recipes are shoppable, which means you can also skip a trip to the grocery store and order the ingredients you need via Walmart in just a few clicks. (Walmart+ members can also score free delivery on orders $35 and up.)
What to cook this week
Kara Birnbaum / TODAY
When Ali Rosen needs a quick weeknight sauce for almost anything, the answer is usually the bright zest of a lemon combined with the earthy, umami flavor bomb that comes from miso paste. From salad dressings to soups, this combo can be your secret weapon. But the easiest dinner option she keeps going back to is this sheet-pan miso lemon salmon with zucchini and rice. It’s an entire meal that goes in the oven for less than 10 minutes and comes out ready to impress.
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
In this magical recipe, Alejandra Ramos blends the bright and tangy flavors of Mexican-style street corn with a summer party favorite: elbow macaroni salad. Serve this as a fun side dish or add shredded chicken or black beans to make it a heartier main course. Prep it just before serving, or make it the night before and chill in the fridge for an easy and ready-to-go potluck recipe that will be an instant crowd pleaser at all your summer bashes.
Jambalaya is a hearty dish that’s steeped in New Orleans’ rich Cajun culture. It’s like a melting pot of savory, spicy flavors with hot andouille sausage, tender chicken thighs and a base of nice stew vegetables, all of which get mixed into a buttery roux, chicken stock and (as the folks at Toups Meatery like to do) a can of golden amber beer. As all that goodness gets infused together over about an hour-and-a-half, the result is a traditional southern dish that’s perfect for feeding the masses.
Courtesy Matt Armendariz
Meet your new go-to lunch dish or quick and delicious dinner with this healthy salad packed with protein and summer flavor. It’s super easy to make the quinoa and chicken ahead of time and pack into some Tupperware to have at the ready all week long. Combine with some cheese, avocados and maybe an extra squeeze of barbecue sauce, and you’re set for an irresistible meal.
This is such a satisfying vegetarian one-pot meal. The mushrooms add a “meaty” texture and flavor to this recipe for a heavenly lo mein made completely from scratch. You can vary the veggies depending on what’s in season but in the warmer months, like July, Grace Young adds fresh bell peppers and zucchini that’s thinly sliced. Summery and satisfying!