Save on Pinterest

A Healthy Weekly Meal Plan for Empty Nesters

When you're no longer cooking for a house full of kids, it's tough to stay inspired in the kitchen. So, try this healthy weekly meal plan to take the guesswork out of calorie-counting. All recipes serve two, and each day provides around 1300 to 1500 calories.

1 / 21
Exps31538 Th153343b04 15 8b 2

Day 1 Breakfast: Fruit-Filled French Toast Wraps

Here’s my go-to whenever we have brunch guests. If I have extra berries, I just make a fruit salad for later. —Dawn Jarvis, Breckenridge, Minnesota
2 / 21
Poached Egg Buddha Bowls Exps Sdfm18 199436 D10 05 4b 1

Day 1 Lunch: Poached Egg Buddha Bowls

I love cooking for my husband and this is the first dish of the year that we enjoy out in our back yard. I often include fresh peas and cherry tomatoes, halved. —Amy McDonough, Carlton, Oregon
3 / 21
Steak N Fries Salad Exps Sdfm18 31750 D10 10 3b 3

Day 1 Dinner: Steak 'n' Fries Salad

This is a very popular dish at restaurants in central Pennsylvania. Prepared sweet-and-sour dressing is good on this salad, too. —Nancy Collins, Clearfield, Pennsylvania
4 / 21
Feta Asparagus Frittata Exps Sdam18 32370 B12 05 2b 6

Day 2 Breakfast: Feta Asparagus Frittata

Asparagus and feta cheese come together to make this frittata extra special. Perfect for a lazy Sunday or to serve with a tossed salad for a light lunch. —Mildred Sherrer, Fort Worth, Texas
5 / 21
Exps42896 Cw163681b12 09 6b 18

Day 2 Lunch: Garden Chickpea Salad

Looking for a summer dish with a difference? Combine colorful crunchy veggies with soft feta cheese and good-for-you garbanzos. If you like, add sliced, cooked chicken or lamb. —Sally Sibthorpe, Shelby Township, Michigan
6 / 21

Day 2 Dinner: Salmon & Feta Wilted Spinach Salad

A friend mentioned a Turkish salmon and couscous dish that sounded fantastic, so I started experimenting. I prefer this salad warm, but it's also tasty served cold. —Jeni Pittard, Statham, Georgia
7 / 21

Day 3 Breakfast: Breakfast Pitas

My husband and I like these pita pockets all by themselves for a quick breakfast. When you want a larger meal, serve hash brown potatoes and fruit on the side. —Peggy Blattel, Cape Girardeau, Missouri
8 / 21
Exps115215 Th163620b11 13 8b 4

Day 3 Lunch: Chicken & Onion Caesar Salad

My Caesar with grilled chicken is a healthier alternative to heavy meat and potatoes dishes. After grilling the kabobs, we serve them family style. —Melissa Adams, Tooele, Utah
9 / 21

Day 3 Dinner: Beef Tenderloin in Mushroom Sauce

When our kids are visiting Grandma, I make this recipe for just my husband and myself. It's a recipe my mother-in-law has been using for more than 30 years. I especially look forward to preparing it as part of a special Valentine's Day menu. —Denise McNab, Warminster, Pennsylvania
10 / 21

Day 4 Breakfast: Twice-Baked Breakfast Potatoes for Two

Leftover baked potatoes were the inspiration for this impromptu meal. The bacon and sausage combo make it a hearty breakfast dish, but it makes a filling lunch or dinner as well. —William Brock, Amelia, Ohio
11 / 21
Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches Exps Sdas17 200685 B04 05 1b 3

Day 4 Lunch: Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches

Grill this eggplant, tomato and goat cheese sandwich to perfection...it makes a delicious meatless meal. —Jennifer Jaras, Corona, California
12 / 21
Exps16805 Cft163900b01 20 4b 2

Day 4 Dinner: Beef Burgundy Over Noodles

I got this delightful beef burgundy recipe from my sister-in-law many years ago and have used it ever since. Whenever I serve it to guests, they always request this. The tender beef, mushrooms and flavorful sauce are delicious over noodles. —Margaret Welder, Madrid, Iowa
13 / 21

Day 5 Breakfast: Sammie's Breakfast Burritos for Two

“We're trying to eat healthier, so this recipe is the result of lightening up fast-food burritos. You can replace the sausage with ham or bacon.”—Sandra Ward, Tulsa, Oklahoma
14 / 21
Ground Beef Taco Salad Exps Scmbz18 98345 C01 10 5b 10

Day 5 Lunch: Ground Beef Taco Salad

In spring we look for something light and refreshing on the menu after the heavier comfort food of winter; this salad is a great solution. —Muriel Bertrand, Shoreview, Minnesota
15 / 21

Day 5 Dinner: Orange Pecan Salmon for Two

Give a classic seafood meal a flavorful twist with the addition or orange and pecan. This saucy salmon is the perfect meal for a romantic dinner for two. —Pat Neaves, Lees Summit, Missouri
16 / 21

Day 6 Breakfast: Yankee Rancheros

After my in-laws began affectionately referring to me as a Yankee, I decided I had to learn to make some Mexican dishes. These are super easy and make my Tex-Mex-loving family happy—even if they do come from a Northerner!. —Darla Andrews, Schertz, Texas
17 / 21
Beef Orange Stir Fry Exps Cf2rds17 43411 C01 20 1b 9

Day 6 Lunch: Beef Orange Stir Fry

This dinner for two is loaded with lots of flavor and color. Red pepper flakes add a little kick to the orange beef sauce, and the tender veggies add a pop of color. — Taste of Home Test Kitchen
18 / 21
Curried Coconut Chicken For Two Exps138652 Th1999637a03 29 8bc 2

Day 6 Dinner: Curried Coconut Chicken for Two

Looking for a new way to fix chicken breasts? This five-ingredient recipe is a nice change of pace. It's sweet, savory and a little exotic. Serve it over rice or couscous. —Becky Walch, Manteca, California
19 / 21
Migas My Way Exps89191 Th1999637b03 31 1bc Rms 4

Day 7 Breakfast: Migas, My Way

Quick, easy and delicious, this egg scramble gets a big thumbs up from my family. Sometimes I substitute fresh corn tortillas for the chips by cutting the tortillas into strips and sauteeing them with the pepper and onion.—Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
20 / 21

Day 7 Lunch: Veggie Salmon Chowder

This salmon chowder recipe came about as a way to use up odds and ends in my fridge. I thought other readers might enjoy a soup that began as an experiment but became a mainstay for me. —Liv Vors, Peterborough, Ontario
21 / 21

Day 7 Dinner: Chicken Quinoa Bowls with Balsamic Dressing

I love this recipe because its simplicity allows me to spend time with my family while not sacrificing taste or nutrition. Plus the fresh spring flavors really shine through! —Allyson Meyler, Greensboro, North Carolina

Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is an experienced copywriter and food blogger with a master's degree in Writing. She likes tested recipes, organized refrigerators and the pleasure of a good bite.

Newsletter Unit

CMU Unit

cover
Subscribe & SAVE Save Up To 80%!