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If “What are we having for dinner?” is a question that fills you with dread every single night, maybe it’s time to stop asking it.

Our brilliant solution: meal templates. Simply assign a different theme (say, “pizza” or “casserole”) to each night of the month and then cook something that falls into that category. No guesswork. Plenty of creativity.

Here, 30 templates (and even more recipe ideas) to get you started.

DAY 1: PIZZA NIGHT

15 minutes: Pita Pizza

30 minutes: Egg Florentine Pizza

60 minutes: Sweet Potato and Rosemary Pizza

ChickenNight
ERIN MCDOWELL

DAY 2: CHICKEN NIGHT

15 minutes: Greek Chicken Cutlets

30 minutes: Buttermilk Fried Chicken

60 minutes: Lemon and Herb Roast Chicken

SakadNight
ERIN MCDOWELL

DAY 5: BREAKFAST FOR DINNER NIGHT

15 minutes: Amaranth Pancakes

30 minutes: Breakfast Burrito

60 minutes: Italian Sausage and Ricotta Frittata

DAY 8: STIR-FRY NIGHT

15 minutes: Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry with Peanuts

30 minutes: Steak Stir-Fry

60 minutes: Black Pepper Stir-Fried Noodles

DAY 11: GAME FOOD NIGHT

15 minutes: Perfect Microwave Nachos

30 minutes: Devilish Chili-Cheese Dogs

60 minutes: Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups

DAY 12: SOUP NIGHT

15 minutes: Classic Black Bean Soup

30 minutes: Ginger Carrot Bisque

60 minutes: Potato Leek Soup

SteakNight

DAY 13: STEAK NIGHT

15 minutes: Broiled Flank Steak with Warm Tomato Topping

30 minutes: Steak Tacos Al Carbon

60 minutes: Oven Sirloin Steak Stew

SeafoodNight1

DAY 15: CASSEROLE NIGHT

15 minutes: Skillet Chicken and Dressing Casserole

30 minutes: Sweet Chili Ranch Chicken Casserole

60 minutes: Enchilada Casserole

DAY 17: CHEESE NIGHT

15 minutes: Make Your Own Cheese Plate

30 minutes: Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake

60 minutes: Truffled Mac & Cheese

frenchnight
PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

DAY 18: FRENCH NIGHT

15 minutes: Easy Cheese Fondue

30 minutes: French-Style Chicken with Peas and Bacon

60 minutes: Ratatouille

DAY 19: CHILI NIGHT

15 minutes: 5-Ingredient Chili

30 minutes: Spicy Ancho Turkey Chili

60 minutes: Seafood Chili

DAY 20: TAPAS NIGHT

15 minutes: Tortilla Espanola

30 minutes: Tapas Feast

60 minutes: Chilled Mussels with Saffron Mayonnaise

DAY 22: BBQ NIGHT

15 minutes: BBQ Beef Sandwiches

30 minutes: Shrimp Skewers

60 minutes: Brown-Sugar Barbecue Chicken Drumettes

PotatoNight
PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

DAY 23: POTATO NIGHT

15 minutes: Easy Potato Gnocchi

30 minutes: Baked Eggs and Potatoes

60 minutes: Baked Potato Soup

DAY 24: COMFORT FOOD NIGHT

15 minutes: Microwave Mac and Cheese

30 minutes: Fried Chicken

60 minutes: Cheesy Meatloaf Minis

DAY 26: WAFFLE NIGHT

15 minutes: Cheddar Waffle BLT

30 minutes: Biscuit and Egg Waffles

60 minutes: Chicken and Waffles

DAY 29: Taco Night

15 minutes: 15-Minute Stir-Fried Steak Tacos

30 minutes: Caribbean Chicken Tacos

60 minutes: Build-Your-Own Tacos

DinnerTable1
The Kitchn

30: LEFTOVERS NIGHT

Your fridge is stocked after 29 days. Mangia!

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