Easy Ravioli Lasagna (And A Week's Worth of Quick Dinner Meals!)

The school year is proving to be a bit challenging, both with the needs of the kids and the needs of this pregnant mom who seems to always want a nap!  I've started doing meal plans for the first time ever, and -- I have to admit -- it has helped me to really focus and get meal on the table with less hassle.

While I don't do meal plans in the typical fashion by assigning days to each (rather I pick meals, put them on a list, and check them off in any order I choose), I have been able to shop less and spend less time doing prep-work.  Here is a typical meal plan that I've used in my home, complete with a new recipe to get you started.  (Click on the links to get full directions and recipes for each additional item, as well!)

Easy Ravioli Lasagna

I first found this recipe in my All You magazine.  You can find the full directions at the website, but I made it more affordable by choosing frozen pasta.  For my version, you will need:
  • 1 bag of frozen meat or cheese ravioli
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce 
  • 1 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese 
  • 1/2 package frozen spinach, drained, or 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
To assemble this dish, make sure the ravioli is thawed first (put the bag in the fridge for about 6-8 hours), then spread a thin layer of pasta sauce on the bottom of a baking dish.  Then, alternate a single layer each of the ravioli, spinach, sauce, and cheese.  Do this two or three times until you get to the top of the dish -- or you run out of ingredients.

When finished, top with a final layer of sauce and cheese, and bake in a 375 oven for 30 minutes.  If you like your pasta dishes crispy on top, leave it uncovered.  If you like them more gooey, cover for the first 20 minutes with foil, then uncover for the final 10.

This is a delicious meal served with a side salad and a bread stick.  You can also use refrigerated pasta from your grocer's deli department, but I find the frozen option to be about half the price.

Ready for the complete meal plan?  Many of the items on this week's plan use ingredients from the pantry.  Fresh ingredients are usually affordable (like salad and fixings from the garden), and all can be shopped for at the beginning of the week, making it easy to do ONE shopping trip for the entire 7 days.  I also like to use store brand items, when possible.

Easy Ravioli Lasagna (above)
Side Salad
Bread Sticks

Red Beans and Rice with Sausage
Steamed Veggies

Quick Pantry Sausage and Kale Soup
Crusty Bread

Crispy Bacon-Baked Chicken
Baked Potatoes
Side Salad

Mac N' Cheese Stuffed Peppers
Fruit Salad

Orange Basil Chicken and Rice

Ham Balls (this is a great recipe to double and freeze for later!)
Mashed Potatoes
Steamed Veggies

Do you have a favorite, easy recipe that you will be having this week?  Share a link to it in the comments!