Your Weeknight Meal Planner: Ready for
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Get inspired for the week ahead with our top picks from this week’s menu.

If a picture tells a thousand words, the recipe images coming out of the Plated Test Kitchen probably say the equivalent of “I’ve got to eat that right now!” in a few dozen languages. Honestly, we’ve been saving these dishes as our desktop screensavers for so long, it’s a wonder we get any work done without drooling all over our keyboards. Since we know you’re as enticed by beautiful food images as we are, we’re sharing some of our most jaw-droppingly gorgeous recipes from this week’s menu, as well as some past favorites. If ever there was a “stand on the kitchen chair to get a better angle” moment, this would be it. Start off with a salmon Caesar salad garnished with frico, or crispy wafers of Parmesan cheese. On Tuesday, give risotto a brilliant orange hue with sweet potato, then top with juicy seared steak. Next, try a speedy, colorful, Thai-inspired chicken salad. On Thursday, compose a work of art on your sheet pan with Greek-themed chicken nachos. Finish out the week with ramen noodles tossed in a silky, spicy gochujang sauce.

Time to post, tag (#platedpics), share, and make all your friends and family jealous. Now, on to the recipes!

Monday: Herbed Salmon Caesar

(Serves 2)

10 ounces salmon
1 teaspoon Italian dried herb blend
½ pint grape tomatoes
6 ounces shredded Brussels sprouts
1 clove garlic
1 lemon
8 ounces curly kale
2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon vegetarian Worcestershire
1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Rinse all produce. Line 2 baking sheets with foil. Pat salmon dry with paper towel; place on 1 half of 1 prepared sheet, skin-side down. Season tops of fish with Italian dried herb blend, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired; drizzle over 1 tablespoon olive oil and rub in seasoning. On other half of sheet with salmon, toss whole grape tomatoes with ½ tablespoon olive oil to coat.

2. On other prepared sheet, toss Brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired, then arrange in a single layer. Transfer baking sheets to oven and roast together until salmon is cooked through and opaque, tomatoes are soft, and Brussels sprouts are golden, 12–14 minutes.

3. While salmon and vegetables roast, mince garlic and, still on cutting board, sprinkle over ⅛ teaspoon salt (this will help break down the garlic and extract its natural juices). Using a large knife, carefully scrape over mixture at a 45° angle, pressing down. Repeat until garlic is broken down and a paste forms.

4. Halve lemon. Tear or chop kale leaves into bite-size pieces, discarding long stems. Reserve 2 tablespoons Parmesan in a small bowl for making frico in the next step. In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, garlic paste, Dijon, juice of ½ lemon (or start with a little, taste, and add more as desired), remaining Parmesan, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper to combine.

5. Add kale and roasted Brussels sprouts to bowl with dressing. Discard foil from baking sheet and re-line with parchment paper, then spread reserved 2 tablespoons Parmesan in an even circle, about ⅛-inch thick. Bake until golden and crisp, 3–5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Then, remove frico from parchment and break into 1-inch pieces.

6. Toss salad with Caesar dressing, then divide between serving bowls. Top salad with herbed salmon (remove and discard skin, if desired) and roasted tomatoes, then garnish with Parmesan frico.

Tuesday: Seared Steak with Butternut Squash Risotto

(Serves 2)

1 cup chicken stock
8 ounces butternut squash
1 clove garlic
⅛ ounce thyme, divided
3 ounces baby spinach
1½ teaspoons unsalted butter, divided
¾ cup Arborio rice
⅓ cup white wine
1 ounce shaved Parmesan cheese, divided
2 steaks
olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper

See the full recipe at!

Wednesday: Thai Chicken Salad

(Serves 2)

2 boneless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 ounces baby arugula
2 sweet mini peppers
1 red onion
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
⅛ ounce ginger
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 teaspoon gluten-free soy sauce
1 slaw mix
¼ cup shredded red cabbage
¼ cup shredded carrots
canola oil
kosher salt
black pepper

1. Pat chicken very dry with paper towel (this will help the skin crisp up in the pan); season all over with ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper. Heat ½ tablespoon sesame oil (reserve remainder) in a medium pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add chicken skin-side down; sear until skin is golden and easily lifts from pan, 6 minutes. Flip and sear until cooked through and no longer pink, about 6 minutes more.

2. Remove pan from heat; transfer chicken to a cutting board and set aside to rest. Meanwhile, rinse all produce. Pat arugula dry with paper towel. Thinly slice mini peppers crosswise, discarding seeds and stems. Peel onion and finely chop enough to yield 2 tablespoons; thinly slice remainder. In a large bowl, stir together rice wine vinegar, sliced onion, and ¼ teaspoon salt; set aside.

3. Trim and discard skin of ginger. Mince garlic and ginger, then combine on cutting board and sprinkle over ⅛ teaspoon salt. Using a large knife, carefully scrape over mixture at a 45° angle, pressing down. Repeat until ginger and garlic are broken down and a paste forms. Transfer ginger-garlic paste to bowl with sliced onion and vinegar; set aside for Step 5.

4. Heat 3 tablespoons canola oil in a small pot over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add 1 piece chopped onion to pot. If it sizzles immediately, keep going; if not, try again once the oil is hotter. Fry all chopped onion pieces, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until lightly browned and crisp, 2–3 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer crispy onion to a paper towel–lined plate to drain; sprinkle over ⅛ teaspoon salt.

5. To bowl with sliced onion, add peanut butter, soy sauce, remaining sesame oil, and 2 tablespoons water; whisk until smooth. Taste dressing and add salt and black pepper as desired (you may not need to add any more seasoning depending on your preferences, so be sure to taste first). Add slaw mix, arugula, and mini peppers to bowl with dressing, waiting to toss until ready to serve.

6. Cut rested chicken into ¼-inch slices. Toss salad and divide between serving plates. Top with sliced chicken and garnish with crispy onion.

Thursday: Greek Pita Nachos

(Serves 2)

2 pita breads
1-15 ounce can chickpeas
1 lemon, divided
1 red onion
2 teaspoons harissa
⅛ ounce dill, divided
1-5.3 ounce nonfat Greek yogurt
7 ounces feta cheese, divided
1 English cucumber
¼ pint grape tomatoes
¼ cup sliced pepperoncini
olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper

See the full recipe on!

Friday: Vegetable Ramen Noodles

(Serves 2)

4 ounces carrots
2 scallions
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon gochujang
1 cup vegetable stock bouillon cube
9 ounces ramen noodles
½ cup shredded red cabbage
¼ cup edamame
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
2 eggs
canola oil
kosher salt
black pepper

1. Bring a large, covered pot of water to a boil over high heat. Rinse all produce. Cut carrots crosswise on a diagonal into thin slices. Trim and discard scallion roots; thinly slice crosswise on a diagonal, keeping whites and light greens separate from dark greens. Mince garlic.

2. Heat 2 teaspoons butter in a large high-sided pan over medium-high heat. When butter is foamy, add garlic and scallion whites and light greens and sauté, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in gochujang until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Gochujang is spicy. Feel free to use less in Step 2, but it’s what really flavors the sauce. Add vegetable stock and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to to medium high and simmer until slightly reduced, 2–3 minutes more.

3. While sauce simmers, over a clean, dry surface, use your hands to gently separate ramen noodles. Add to boiling water and cook, stirring constantly to prevent sticking, until al dente, 1–2 minutes. Reserve ½ cup ramen cooking water (it’s easiest to reserve in a liquid measuring cup, if you have one), then drain and return to pot, off heat.

4. Once sauce is reduced, add carrots to pan, still over medium-high heat, and cook until softened, 2–3 minutes. Stir in cabbage, edamame, ramen noodles, and remaining butter to combine. Adding 1 tablespoon at a time, stir in reserved ramen cooking water until sauce is silky and clings to noodles; cook until combined, 2–3 minutes more. Cover pan and set aside, off heat, for Step 6.

5. Heat 2 teaspoons canola oil in a medium nonstick pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, crack 2 eggs into pan and season with salt and pepper. Fry until whites start to set, 2 minutes. Cover pan and continue frying until whites are mostly set but yolks are still runny, 2 minutes more.

6. To pan with vegetable ramen, still off heat, stir in sesame seeds and half of scallion dark greens. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Divide vegetable ramen noodles between shallow serving bowls and top with fried egg. Garnish with remaining scallion dark greens

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

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