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Is the thought of cooking a week’s worth of breakfasts, lunches and dinners stressing you out? We hear you. Instead of dreading the inevitable, though, draw some inspiration from the following handful of easy time-saving recipes. Most of this week’s picks start with pantry-friendly ingredients or store-bought shortcuts guaranteed to cut down your active cook time — perfect for those busy days and nights when you need it the most.
Make mornings infinitely easier with a hearty make-ahead breakfast that’ll feed your whole family at the press of a button on your slow cooker. Whip up a mayo-less, protein-packed pasta salad to enjoy for lunch or dinner all week long. Use store-bought shortcuts for easy weeknight dinners, including two ridiculously simple chicken recipes that you’re going to want to add to your regular recipe rotation. And don’t forget to save room for a stunningly simple (no-bake) dessert for when you’re craving something sweet but don’t want to bother turning on your oven.
All of these recipes are shoppable, which means you can snag all of the ingredients from Walmart without having to leave your house. (Walmart+ members can also score free delivery on orders $35 and up.) It doesn’t get much easier.
What to cook this week
Make-Ahead Slow-Cooker Maple Oatmeal by Casey Barber
Set up this slow-cooker maple oatmeal right before you head to bed, and wake up in the morning to the wafting aromas of warm cinnamon and maple syrup. Not a bad alarm clock, right? The only step left is to arrange a self-serve toppings bar, filled with chopped nuts, dried fruit, brown sugar, toasted coconut, chocolate chips and more.
Chicken-Chile Taquitos with Creamy Dipping Sauce by Casey Barber
Do yourself a favor and buy a rotisserie chicken to make this easy taquito filling even easier. Simply shred the chicken, stir with canned chiles, cheese and salsa and spread on tortillas, then tightly roll them up. If you’re making them ahead, reduce the baking time by five minutes, then store in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to reheat them.
Tuna Macaroni Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette by Carrie Parente
This mayo-free macaroni salad is chock full of Mediterranean-inspired ingredients, including olives, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and fresh basil, all tossed with a tangy balsamic vinaigrette. Add a can of tuna (or two) for a protein-packed lunch, dinner or side dish. Plus, the flavors only get better as this salad sits in the fridge.
One-Pot Chicken and Wild Rice in Honey Mustard Sauce by Casey Barber
Wild rice can take over 40 minutes to cook from scratch, but this recipe calls for a smart shortcut that’ll cut your total cook time in half: instant rice. Top the par-cooked rice with chicken breasts slathered with honey and mustard, then add broth and herbs and bring to a simmer. Finish it off in the oven until the chicken is cooked through and enjoy this hearty one-pan weeknight wonder.
No-Bake Cheesecake with Sweetened Condensed Milk by Carrie Parente
What’s better than a cheesecake? A no-bake cheesecake, that’s what. Make this creamy filling with cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk and a little lemon juice and pour into a prepared (or homemade) graham cracker crust. Store it in the freezer to set until you’re ready for something sweet.