Your Weeknight Meal Planner: Recipes That Wow

Get inspired for the week ahead with our top picks from this week’s menu.

Our Plated Chefs not only rise to every dinnertime challenge, they leap over them in tall bounds. We can’t wait to see what daring mashups, brilliant hacks, and restaurant-worthy plates will come out of the Test Kitchen each week. A prime example: Chef Shanna knew that with a simple filling and the right wrappers, anyone could make authentic Chinese-style dumplings. Along with the recipe, she shared tips for multiple dumpling folds to make you an expert at home. Start the week off strong with these shrimp and scallion dumplings. Next, get a little taste of summer with saucy barbecue chicken sandwiches. On Wednesday, have fun with taco-inspired lettuce wraps. Dive into a traditional Greek salad with puff pastry and feta croutons on Thursday. Round out the week with a fast, crowd-pleasing chicken pasta tossed in tomato-cream sauce.

Get ready to wow everyone at the table. Now, on to the recipes!

Monday: Seared Shrimp Dumplings

(Serves 2)

20 dumpling wrappers
2 scallions
⅓ ounce ginger
3 cloves garlic
10 ounces shrimp
2 teaspoons sesame oil
6 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons black vinegar (or unseasoned rice vinegar)
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
canola oil
kosher salt
black pepper

1. Set aside dumpling wrappers to come to room temperature. Rinse all produce. Trim and discard scallion roots; thinly slice, keeping whites and light greens separate from dark greens. Trim and discard skin of ginger; slice half into thin matchsticks, then mince remainder. Mince garlic. Combine minced ginger and garlic; sprinkle over ⅛ teaspoon salt. Using a large knife, repeatedly scrape over mixture at a 45° angle to make a smooth paste.

2. Pat shrimp dry with paper towel; chop to pea-size pieces. Heat sesame oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add ginger-garlic paste, shrimp, 2 packets soy sauce, ¼ teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring, until shrimp are opaque and just pink, 4–6 minutes total. Transfer shrimp to a large bowl; stir in cornstarch and scallion dark greens to combine. Wipe pan clean and reserve for Step 5.

3. While shrimp cook, in a medium bowl, whisk together black vinegar, crushed red pepper (skip or use half for less heat), ginger matchsticks, scallion whites and light greens, and remaining soy sauce to combine. Set aside until ready to serve. Wait until shrimp filling is made before moving on to the next step.

4. On a clean, dry surface, stack dumpling wrappers and cover with a damp paper towel. Working 1 at a time, rub water on outer edges of wrapper. Add 1 tablespoon shrimp filling to center. Using the thumbs and forefingers of both hands, push 3 sides up toward center to form a triangle shape, then pinch tightly to seal.

5. Sear shrimp dumplings In a large high-sided pan, add enough water to reach ½-inch up sides of pan. Cover pan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, return non-stick pan from shrimp to medium-high heat with 1½ tablespoons canola oil. When oil is shimmering, add dumplings in a single layer, seam-side up—work in batches and add oil in between as needed. Sear until golden on bottom, 1–2 minutes. Tongs could crush or puncture the delicate dumplings. We suggest using your hands or a slotted spoon to move them quickly and gently. Take care not to transfer any water back to the sizzling oil when moving between searing and steaming batches.

6. Transfer seared dumplings (again, seam-side up) to pan with simmering water, still over medium-high heat. Cover pan; cook, working in batches, until warmed through, 2–3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Divide shrimp dumplings between serving plates. Serve with black vinegar dipping sauce

Tuesday: Greek Salad

(Serves 2)

1 (5-inch) frozen, thawed puff pastry square
1 red onion
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
7 ounces feta cheese
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
2 heads little gem lettuce
½ English cucumber
½ pint grape tomatoes
⅛ ounce dill
⅛ ounce oregano
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons Kalamata olives
1 egg
olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Set puff pastry square aside to soften at room temperature. In a small bowl, whisk 1 egg. Peel onion, halve, and thinly slice 1 half (save remainder for another recipe). In a large bowl (big enough for the salad), combine red wine vinegar and sliced onion; set aside to pickle until Step 5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for Step 3.

2. Halve feta block lengthwise; save 1 half for another recipe. Halve remaining feta block lengthwise again, then cut 1 half crosswise into 8 pieces; set aside remainder for salad. Place puff pastry square on a clean, dry surface. Using your hands, gently stretch or press into a slightly larger square, about 6 x 6 inches. Cut puff pastry square into 8 strips.

3. Arrange puff pastry strips in a single layer on prepared baking sheet, spacing apart. Lightly brush each strip with some egg—save remainder for brushing over croutons. If you don’t have a pastry brush, use a paper towel or your finger to coat the puff pastry strips with egg. Add 1 feta piece to 1 end of each strip, fold over puff pastry, and pinch edges to seal. Pinching the edges of puff pastry tightly to seal helps ensure the feta doesn’t leak out during baking. If it does, no worries—the croutons will still taste delicious. Brush remaining egg over croutons, then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake until croutons are puffed and golden brown, 10–12 minutes.

4. While croutons bake, halve little gem lengthwise and rinse thoroughly, then thinly slice leaves crosswise, discarding tough stems. Rinse remaining produce. Halve cucumber lengthwise; thinly slice crosswise into half-moons. Halve grape tomatoes. Mince dill leaves, discarding stems. Strip oregano leaves, discarding stems, then mince. Mince garlic.

5. To bowl with pickled onion, add oregano, garlic, and half of dill. Whisking continuously, slowly add 3 tablespoons olive oil until fully combined. Season with ⅛ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Add cucumber to bowl with vinaigrette and toss to coat. Set aside until ready to serve.

6. Once croutons are baked, to bowl with vinaigrette and cucumber, add Kalamata olives, little gem, and grape tomatoes. Crumble over remaining feta and toss to combine. Divide Greek salad between serving plates. Top with feta boureka croutons and garnish with remaining dill.

Wednesday: Southwestern Beef Lettuce Wraps

(Serves 2)

1-14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1-15 ounce can black beans
1 head Boston lettuce
1 yellow bell pepper
⅛ ounce cilantro
1 lime
2 scallions
2 corn tortillas
12 ounces ground beef
¼ teaspoon ancho chile powder
1 avocado
4 tablespoons nonfat sour cream
olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper

See the full recipe on!

Thursday: Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

(Serves 2)

1 yellow onion
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 ounce sour cream
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 slaw mix
¾ cup shredded green cabbage
¾ cup shredded red cabbage
½ cup shredded carrots
2¼ ounces ketchup
1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 hamburger buns
¼ cup sliced dill pickles
olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Peel onion, halve, and thinly slice. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add onion; cook, stirring frequently, until light brown, 5 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons water; reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring continuously, until onion is golden and water has evaporated, about 3 minutes more. Adding water to the pan with the caramelized onion may seem strange, but it actually helps to slow cooking so the onion can soften without burning. Once the water evaporates, the onion should be golden and tender. Remove pan from heat; set aside.

2. While onion caramelizes, line a baking sheet with foil. Pat chicken dry with paper towel, place on prepared sheet, and rub all over with 2 teaspoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Roast until cooked through and no longer pink, 10–12 minutes. Then, transfer to cutting board and set aside to rest, about 5 minutes, reserving sheet for Step 5.

3. While chicken roasts, in a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, apple cider vinegar, 1 packet Dijon, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Add slaw mix; toss to coat. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve (we love the crisp texture and cool contrast this brings to the sandwiches).

4. Shred rested chicken using 2 forks or roughly chop. To pan with caramelized onion, still off heat, stir in ketchup, Worcestershire, brown sugar, remaining Dijon, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Add shredded chicken and toss to coat. Return pan to medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until combined and warmed through, 1–2 minutes.

5. Slice buns open horizontally, if they arrived whole. Remove and discard foil from reserved baking sheet, then add buns cut-side down in a single layer. Bake until toasted and light golden, 2–3 minutes.

6. Transfer toasted buns to serving plates. Top bun bottoms with pulled barbecue chicken, then pickles; close sandwiches. Serve with creamy Dijon slaw.

Friday: Creamy Chicken Rigatoni

(Serves 2)

⅛ ounce basil
1 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
12 ounces ground chicken
¼ cup white wine
6 ounces rigatoni
¼ pint grape tomatoes
1 cup tomato purée
1 cup heavy cream
3 ounces baby kale
½ ounce grated Parmesan cheese
olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper

See the full recipe on!

Did you know Plated also offers dessert? Try it today!

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