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Meal Planning with Theme Nights

How to Use Theme Nights to Make Meal Planning Easy + Fun!

One of my friends with three kids has the same meals every week. Meal planning for her is almost non-existent. Meatballs on Monday, Sandwiches on Tuesday, Rotisserie Chicken on Wednesday, Soup on Thursday and Pizza on Friday. All of our mutual friends know what her family is having for dinner each night and we have a laugh about it.

Last week I realized the brilliance of thematic meal planning for two reasons:  It takes the guess work out of an already busy week AND the kids are guaranteed to eat dinner because they know what to expect and helped create the themes.

Two problems solved by using a simple meal planning trick! Who’s laughing now!?

How to Create a Theme Based Meal Plan

Choose a theme to correspond with each week-day, think “Breakfast for Dinner” on Wednesdays and “Wing Night” on Fridays. If you have kids, ask them to help decide on themes based on foods they already love. Choose recipes that correspond with the theme each week. Some people like the ease of eating the exact same meals every week and some like to mix-it-up.

Show me your theme meals by sharing your photos on Instagram or Facebook
by tagging @frompastatopaleo or #frompastatopaleo

Try it in month long cycles and see how if it works for your family. For some theme inspiration check out the list below!

MEAL Theme Ideas + Recipes

Breakfast for Dinner Night

Having this meal in a weekly rotation can save you on those super busy nights. It’s as easy as eggs, sweet potato hash or some quick paleo pancakes.

Take-Out (in!) Night

We like to have comfort take-out type food on Friday in our house. This theme is adaptable to paleo-style pizza, wings, burgers or tacos!

Steak Night 

From steak salad to steak and eggs this theme is easy and versatile for weeknight meals.

Burger Night

Who can say no to burger night? Wrap them in lettuce or collards, pile on the toppings and serve with sweet potato fries!

Rotisserie Chicken Night

Grab a paleo-friendly rotisserie chicken from a grocery store or deli and dinner is almost done!

Fish Night

Fish for weekday dinners is super quick and not just for Fridays! Fish can be used in so many ways – salmon cakes, fish tacos, ceviche, pan-seared or even baked in parchment.

Taco Night

Taco Tuesday is a staple in the FPTP house. Take any protein, a lettuce wrap, a hearty dose of guacamole, salsa and some plantain chips for dipping and we have a meal.

BBQ Night

Keep all the mess outside and enjoy the weather with BBQ night. Grilled vegetables, protein and potatoes make for a low-prep meal perfect for those summer evenings.

Salad Bar

Salad night can also be ‘use-up-those-leftovers’ night! Use your leftover proteins, veggies and starches on top of salad greens with a delicious vinaigrette. The options are endless.

Italian Night

Mangia bene on Italian night! Pizza, vegetable pasta, meatballs, charcuterie, fennel salads – the list goes on-and-on. Maybe you’ll always have zoodles and sauce or mix-it-up with some of these other delicious ideas.


Soup Night

Sure to be a Winter favourite, soup night will warm your bellies with minimal effort. Soup nights can be pre-planned or a broth based ‘fridge-cleaning’ soup with leftover proteins, veggies and starch that you need to put to use.

Curry Night

Curries are my absolute go-to quick meals. It’s incredibly quick to throw together a green or red coconut curry on a weeknight or make a slow cooker version to come home to at the end of the workday.

Stir-Fry Night

I’m of the fridge-cleaning-throw-it-all-in-a-hot-pan-and-hope-for-the-best style of stir-frying. A great fridge cleaning stir-fry on top of cauliflower rice makes for a delicious way to get in those extra veggies.

Show me your theme meals by sharing your photos on Instagram or Facebook
by tagging @frompastatopaleo or #frompastatopaleo

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4 comments

  1. I love this idea! Especially rotisserie chicken night. I’m always happy when I can figure out a handful of different recipes to do with a rotisserie chicken, but you want to keep it fresh so that it stays fun. You’ve got a lot of wonderful recipes here, and plenty of wonderful ways to put together an interesting meal. Thanks for the idea, and for the inspiration!

  2. This is a wonderful post, Leslie Anne. Even people who love to cook get in a rut sometimes, so it is so great to have inspiration – you have so brilliantly done that with this very helpful post. Thank you!

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