Simple and healthy one-pan meals: Slow-cooker chicken and rice casserole, Sheet-pan salmon and breakfast burritos

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This week marks the beginning of May, also known as Mental Health Awareness Month. Think your diet doesn’t have much to do with your mental health? Think again. As previously reported by TODAY, research shows that fruit and veggie intake is linked to happiness levels. Including omega-3 fats and magnesium-rich foods and limiting red meat and added sugars has also been shown to improve mental health markers like stress levels, mood and energy.

This dietitian-designed meal plan will help you learn the building blocks of healthy eating and gives you the flexibility to ease into spring and summer.

What to Eat This Week, May 6, 2024

So, this week’s focus is on a nutritious, plant-filled diet that includes healthy sources of fat (such as seeds, nuts, avocados, and extra virgin olive oil), plus a few servings of seafood per week. We’ve also got creative ways to cut back on meat (hello, cauliflower tacos) and added sugars.

Whether you’re simply trying to eat healthier, or actively working on habits to boost your energy, mood, brain skills, and quality of life, we know you will enjoy the menu we’ve selected for the week ahead.

Start TODAY meal plan for the week of May 6, 2023

Start TODAY Meal Plan May 6, 2024
Start TODAY Meal Plan May 6, 2024

>>Download this week’s meal plan

>>Get a 31-day walking and strength workout


Breakfast: Double-Chocolate Smoothie Bowls

Lunch: Chicken Quinoa Salad

Dinner: Slow-Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Snack of choice


Breakfast: Pumpkin Overnight Oats with Greek Yogurt

Lunch: Leftovers or takeout

Dinner: Cashew Chicken and Asparagus and Brown Rice

Snack of choice


Breakfast: Double-Chocolate Smoothie Bowls

Lunch: Open-Faced Smoked Salmon Sandwich with Cucumber Slices

Dinner: Cauliflower Tikka Tacos

Snack of choice


Breakfast: Pumpkin Overnight Oats with Greek Yogurt

Lunch: Chicken Quinoa Salad

Dinner: Baked Chicken and Ricotta Meatballs with Broccolini

Snack of choice


Breakfast: Make-Ahead Breakfast Burritos Recipe

Lunch: Open-Faced Smoked Salmon Sandwich with Cucumber Slices

Dinner: Sheet Pan Honey-Mustard Salmon with Vegetables


Double-Chocolate Smoothie Bowls by Catherine McCord

These fruit and veggie-forward smoothie bowls have a secret ingredient– cauliflower rice. Start your day with a serving of veggies in a frozen chocolate treat.

Pumpkin Overnight Oats with Greek Yogurt

To make, mix 1/2 cup each oats and unsweetened almond milk with 2 tablespoons pureed pumpkin, 1 teaspoon chia seeds, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, and 1 teaspoon maple syrup. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve with Greek yogurt on top or on the side.

Make-Ahead Breakfast Burritos by Lauren Salkeld

These breakfast burritos can double as a healthy on-the-go lunch. Make a batch to enjoy this weekend!


Continuing with the mental health theme, we incorporated several smart strategies into the lunch selections. For instance, smoked salmon is a convenient way to score omega-3 fats. We dressed up the meal like a bagel but made it healthier by using a whole-grain English muffin and Greek yogurt instead of cream cheese. If you’re not fond of smoked salmon, you can try canned or pouched salmon or tuna. In addition, the quinoa salad is loaded with antioxidant-rich produce to protect your brain and support your mood and energy levels.

Leftovers or Takeout

Need inspiration? Choose one of the healthiest things to eat at Starbucks.

Chicken Quinoa Salad

To make, toss ½ cup shredded rotisserie chicken with ½ cup quinoa, ½ chopped apple, and 1 to 2 tablespoons of bottled vinaigrette. Spoon mixture over pre-washed salad greens and add 1 tablespoon of shredded sharp cheddar cheese on top.

Open-Faced Smoked Salmon Sandwich

Toast a whole grain English muffin and spread with Greek yogurt. Top each half with capers, red onions, lettuce, tomato slices, and smoked salmon. Serve with cucumber slices.


Dinners include multiple healthy swaps, like cauliflower in place of ground beef and whole grains instead of refined grains. But the best part about this week’s dinner lineup is that you’ll be too tuned into the flavor to think about how wholesome the meals are.

Slow-Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole by Casey Barber

Who doesn’t love a simple and satisfying casserole? This version comes together in the slow cooker while you’re out and about.

Cashew Chicken and Asparagus by Kevin Curry

A Chinese takeout dish could have 77% more sodium than what’s recommended in a day. We’re not saying this dish is low in sodium, but making a Chinese-style dish at home will save you tons of salt and sugar. You’ll also get more veggie goodness when cooking yourself since restaurants tend to serve skimpy portions. To get an even bigger veggie boost, double up on the red pepper and asparagus, and make more sauce if needed. Serve your stir-fry with brown rice.

Cauliflower Tikka Tacos by Radhi Devlukia Shetty

Eating a meatless meal at least once a week helps you boost your intake of plant foods. We chose tacos for this menu because they’re an easy way to dip your toe into meatless meals. Cauliflower is the perfect substitute for meat because it is hearty and filling.

Baked Chicken and Ricotta Meatballs with Broccolini by Yasmin Fahr

Making meatballs with ground chicken instead of ground beef reduces saturated fat — the kind that can raise your risk of harmful LDL cholesterol. And you won’t miss the beef in this insanely tasty meal. Feel free to swap broccoli for the broccolini, and serve your meatballs over whole grain, chickpea, or lentil pasta with a lower-sugar jarred pasta sauce.

Sheet Pan Honey-Mustard Salmon with Vegetables by Klancy Miller

Salmon is loaded with omega-3 fats, and this easy sheet pan dinner is the perfect thing to cook when you don’t want to fuss in the kitchen. Not to mention that sheet-pan meals call for minimal clean-up. It’s a win-win!


Snacks that contain whole food sources of protein and fiber offer a winning formula that keeps you full for hours. Here are a few ideas:

  • Grape tomatoes with creamy taco dip. To make the dip, add some taco seasoning to Greek yogurt and mix.

  • Red pepper strips with egg salad

  • Cucumber slices and edamame

  • Freeze-dried apple or strawberry chips with nuts

  • ½ grapefruit with Greek yogurt

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