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October Family Meal Plan

October is here, and today I was legit thinking to myself that I’m not sure when summer ended, but I’m pretty positive it should still be July.

The leaves and the rain and the falling temperatures are telling me that though I made a fair effort to come out of my computer cave while the weather was warm, like every year I immediately regret not spending twice as much time soaking up the sunshine and the heat while it was so readily available.

October Meal Plan

October Family Meal Plan

Menu planning has not been on my agenda for quite a while now, but I’m managed to even over-spaghetti my most flexible and least picky child, so that is saying something.

Manu's Menu Garlic-and-Tomato-Green-Beans

Manu’s Menu Garlic and Tomato Green Beans

When Kelley floated the idea of a blogger menu planning group by me, not only was I like, “OMGosh YES I NEED THIS.” I think I moved more towards the “Hellz yes” response stage. That’s how much I need a menu plan.

All of these recipes are blogger tested and approved, so I hope you enjoy as much as I am going to when the answer to my NEVER-ENDING “What’s for dinner” chorus on the nightly now actually has an answer.

Meatloaf and Melodrama Sheet Pan Maple Dijon Pork Chops

Meatloaf and Melodrama Sheet Pan Maple Dijon Pork Chops

October – Week 1 Menu

I think I’m most excited for the Instant Pot Salmon to try this week! I have SO MUCH SALMON right now, so I’m going to be on the hunt for new ways to use it. That Honey Bourbon Chicken from Persnickety Plates is another one I think that your whole family will love. Plus – so easy!

Monday Tuesday Wednesday
Dinner Instant Pot Salmon Baked Chicken Milanese Crock Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken
Side Fall salad Garlic Tomato Green Beans Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
Dessert Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee Instant Pot Strawberry Cheesecake Chewy Chocolate Oatmeal Bars
Drink Blue Hawaiian Long Island Bellini Slush Cantaloupe Basil Coolers

The Instant Pot Strawberry Cheesecake recipe you see pictured below is one of the favorite things I made this year. The texture of cheesecake when it is cooked under pressure is not something you can replicate in a water bath.

Instant Pot Cheesecake

End the week with Thai Chicken Fried Rice from Manu’s Menu and some egg rolls from this very site here. Sometimes I end up making the egg rolls as the main dish because they get eaten so ferociously. I’d like to be able to tell you how many egg rolls it takes to feed a family with six boys in it, but I can’t. Because I’ve never been able to count them.

Next time maybe. 😀

Thursday Friday Saturday
Dinner Thai Chicken Fried Rice Brazilian minestrone soup
Side Basmati Rice Egg Rolls Garlic Breadsticks
Dessert Oreo Pound Cake Strawberry Rhubarb Bars Fried Apple Cobbler Bars


If you enjoyed week one, you are going to go REALLY crazy for week two!

October – Week 2 Menu

Week two is making use of both the Instant Pot and the Slow Cooker again. These things don’t really ever leave my counter once October hits.

This week is featuring this Easy Steak recipe from Fantabulosity. Once I realized that teak at home is almost always just as good, or not wayyyy better than restaurant steaks, I started to get a lot braver about cooking these at home.

Fantabulosity Easy Steak Recipe

Fantabulosity Easy Steak Recipe

Now steak is one of my favorite things to cook, and I hardly ever order it when we go out.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday
Dinner Instant Pot Creamy Shells and Beef Pressure Cooker Mexican Pork Easy Steak Recipe
Side Dill Butter Carrots Easy Skillet Cornbread Roasted Mushrooms
Dessert Lemon Blueberry Cornmeal Butter Cake Slow Cooker Boozy Peach Cobbler Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars
Drink Lemongrass Lemondrop Mason Jar Margaritas Rumberry Punch

If you have cranberries around, don’t miss the Rumberry Punch! Make it with the easy steak from Fantabulosity, or even with the Stuffed Cabbage Rolls from Growing Up Gabel pictured below.

Finish off this week with a Saturday night Chicken Enchilada night. Don’t skip the blackberry margaritas! They are amazing!

Thursday Friday Saturday
Dinner Slow cooker lean pork stroganoff Make Ahead Pepperoni Pizza Sliders Chicken Enchiladas
Side Easy Guacamole Recipe
Dessert No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake Fluff Pie Caramel-filled Brownies Blackberry Cream Float
Drink Blackberry Margaritas

These mushrooms from Foodie and Wine are going to make it from my October menu onto my Thanksgiving menu I think.

Foodie and Wine Roasted Mushrooms

Foodie and Wine Roasted Mushrooms

Week 3, make sure to buy extra chicken and the ground meat! You’re going to use it in all of these dinners. The desserts are involved and amazing, so if you can’t try them all, save them for later on by clicking through to the post and pinning!

October – Week 3 Menu

Cabbage is one of those ingredients that I used to not like. Not because I didn’t actually not like it, but because when I was a super-picky kid I decided it sounded stupid and smelled worse so NAHHHHH.

Old habits die hard.

Now that I know how freaking amazing cabbage is, I try and find all the excuses to eat it. This Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe is going to be an easy one to get motivated to make!

Growing Up Gabel Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Growing Up Gabel Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Need more cabbage in your life? Try my Cabbage Roll Soup, aka Sarma Soup. It has all of the cabbage roll flavors, but in a form that is more like, “@($*&@)$(*@)$(*@#)% PEOPLE NEED TO EAT AGAIN!” instead of, “Look at this lovely meal I’m presenting you.”

Monday Tuesday Wednesday
Dinner Chicken and Noodles Recipe Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls Chicken pot pie baked rice
Side Side Salad Recipe Kale pasta salad
Dessert Slow Cooker Baked Apples Super Chocolate Hot Fudge Brownie Cake Toasted Coconut Cake
Drink Cranberry Champagne Punch

My Triple Berry Trifle isn’t just good for summer. Pick out whatever berries look the best at the grocery store, and get your trifle on the next time you need a dessert to feed a crowd.

Triple Berry Trifle from Or Whatever You Do

Triple Berry Trifle from Or Whatever You Do

Wrap up this week with some traditional flavors! Instant Pot Meatloaf from Meatloaf and Melodrama is a great twist on a classic dish, and you’ll be doing double duty if you go with the Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes from Pink When too. If you don’t have two Instant Pots, I’d just make one of those the old-fashioned way.

Thursday Friday Saturday
Dinner Crockpot Swiss steak Chicken Bacon Ranch Naan Bread Pizza Instant Pot Meatloaf
Side Hasselback Potatoes Recipe Italian-Style Salad Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
Dessert Triple Berry Trifle Chocolate Sour Cream Coffee Cake Cake Mix Cookie Bars Brownie Recipe

October – Week 4 Menu

Monday Tuesday Wednesday
Dinner Chicken Cordon Bleu Quesadillas Cornbread Chicken Casserole Slow Cooker Beef & Noodles
Side Perfect Grilled Asparagus Baked Zucchini Fries Roasted Zucchini
Dessert Snickers Cake Banana Trifle Easy Berry Crisp

Slow Cooker Beef Noodles from Love Bakes Good Cakes, pictured below, is probably going to be responsible for a lot of our dinners this winter. It is like all of my favorite comfort foods in one meal, and YAY winter for making all of those foods come out of the cupboard and back into my life.

Love Bakes Good Cakes Slow Cooker Beef Noodles

Love Bakes Good Cakes Slow Cooker Beef Noodles


Thursday Friday Saturday
Dinner Sheet Pan Maple Dijon Pork Chops Copycat KFC Chicken Recipe White Chicken Chili
Side Instant Pot Applesauce Easy Instant Pot Macaroni Salad Cheesy Bacon Ranch Monkey Bread
Dessert Banana Crumb Cake Apple Crumble Pie Marble Pound Cake
Drink Salted Caramel Spiked Hot Cider Holiday Wine Spritzer Baby Blue Punch

Obviously, we don’t do a homemade dessert every day of the week, or a cocktail with dinner either, but I wanted to give you all some options if the mood happens to strike!

If you enjoy this meal plan, let me know in the comments below, and share with your friends! This is a new series for me and I want to make sure it is as useful as possible for you all!

October Meal Plan

Denise Browning

Thursday 4th of October 2018

So neat thecway you set up our monthly menu plan.

Nicole Johnson

Friday 5th of October 2018

Thanks, Denise!