Meal Plan: 10 No Cooks Sides I Keep on Hand (Week 171)

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Recently I shared with you guys my method for meal planning success and how I get dinner on the table.   I have been doing this long enough that I have a groove that works every time.

Last week I spoke at another local church to teach moms how to meal plan in five steps. Five steps, that is it. This is key for helping busy moms get dinner on the table and it takes all the rocket science out of meal planning.

Rocket science?

Sometimes moms have a bad habit of making simple things so much more complicated than they need to be. (I am guilty!) Meal planning should be simple and painless!

easy no cook sides for dinner

Another thing I have done over the last three years or so that helps with my meal planning success is I keep these eight fruits and veggies and two dairy items on hand at all times (unless seasonal). These make perfect sides to go with our dinner.

The veggies just require washing and cutting and the dairy items are no prep at all. Bam, you’ve got sides for you dinner.

10 Easy No Cook Sides:

  1. baby carrots
  2. apple sauce (natural- no high fructose corn syrup)
  3. fresh apple slices
  4. grapes
  5. bagged salad
  6. clementines (when in season)
  7. watermelon (when in season)
  8. cantaloupe (when in season)
  9. cheese sticks
  10. yogurt

All of these items are regular consistent purchases in my grocery cart each week. (They also make great snacks and sides for our lunches.) The next time you are at the store grab some of these and give them a try as sides for your dinner.

Here is what we are having for dinner this week.

black bean and corn quesadillas

Meal Plan

Crockpot BBQ Chicken– served with mac and cheese, apple sauce and a dinner salad.

Crockpot Spaghetti served with a side salad, carrot sticks and french bread.

BLT’s– served with chips and fresh fruit. Ever put avocado on your BLT? Yum!

Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas– served with Puerto Rican Rice.

Salmon Kabobs– I am on the hunt for a good recipe. Served with a frozen veggie and rice.

Leftover Buffet– use ’em up!


What are you serving your family?

This week when you cook dinner Instagram your photo and hashtag it with #howtomealplan. I would love to encourage you to repeat dinnertime success over and over again all week long! I cannot wait to see what you’re cooking!

Want more meal planning inspiration or ideas? Check out OrgJunkie where hundreds of bloggers share their meal plans every Monday.

Also, don’t forget your printable coupons to save even more on your grocery bill.




  1. What a great (and simple) idea! Why didn’t I think of that? Thanks for sharing 🙂

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