My family-friendly meal plan for November is here to help you serve up quick, easy, and healthy meals to everyone in the house. I hope you find lots of inspiration for fall recipes to make, especially as the holidays draw closer and life inevitably speeds up!

November fall recipes in grid of 6Fall Recipes

I chose these recipes with a seasonal perspective and tried to include lots of produce that you’ll be seeing at your stores. And since I know that not every family will like the same things, I tried to offer variety too.

With any of these meals, I recommend offering 1-2 simple sides such as fruit, fresh veggies, crackers, or cheese if you are at all worried that your kids won’t like the main dish.

That way, they have “safe” foods on the table and you don’t need to get up to make a different meal!

meal planning rotation

Easy Meal Rotation

I do my meal plans using the idea of a rotation where you use general categories every other week to reduce decision fatigue and also give the kids a chance to see foods regularly to help them learn to like the.

Above here is our rough meal plan for this month. Yes, really, THIS IS IT. I have two options for breakfast and dinner that we can choose from—I usually alternate each week—then a set rotation of lunch ideas.

I know this will be a busy/crazy/anxiety filled month with the election and Thanksgiving, so I’m streamlining to help save (some of) my sanity.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This allows me to the number of decisions I need to make since I’m starting with narrow categories— but still have flexibility, variety, and spontaneity with all of the choices available within a category.

(Because there are a million pasta recipes we could have on pasta night, for example, which is great since my kids generally like pasta!)

TIP: Download a printable pdf of this meal rotation in my Free Resource Library.

nov week 1 meal plan grid

November Week 1

Add fruit or an easy vegetable recipe as a side dish to any of these recipes. I usually use the homemade ideas for breakfast, lunch, and snack for more than one day each week (a full batch will likely make plenty) to reduce the overall amount of cooking.

Breakfast Ideas

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal with Raisins
You can double this recipe to make a larger batch to warm up and serve throughout the week.
Get the recipe
apple-oatmeal-in-white-bowls
Healthy Pumpkin Bars Recipe
These bars are tender when warm out of the oven, so do be sure to let them cool completely before slicing.
Get the recipe
sliced pumpkin bars on cutting board
Favorite Sweet Potato Baby Food
You can serve this as wedges, a thick mash, or a thinner puree to your baby or toddler. (Adults will love the wedges, too!)
Get the recipe
sweet-potato-baby-food-three-ways

Lunch Ideas

Vegetarian Rice and Beans Burritos
You can make and serve these at the same time, or prep them ahead of time and warm up quickly for an easy meal. You can vary the beans in these simple burritos. Serve them with salsa and/or sour cream.
Get the recipe
rice and bean burritos on two plates.
Easy Cheesy Rice (with Veggies!)
Choose one veggie to add from the flavor options below according to what you have on hand or what your family likes best.
Get the recipe
cheesy rice 4 ways with veggies
Easy Spinach Grilled Cheese
You can also do this with full size spinach if that's what you're able to find. Just discard any stems before starting the recipe.
Get the recipe
spinach-grilled-cheese-on-plate

Snack Ideas

Easy Veggie Muffins
Serve up veggies in a kid-friendly form with these SO-good Veggie Muffins. They have broccoli, carrots, protein, and kid-approved flavor!
Get the recipe
veggie muffins on gray towel
So Easy Sliced Baked Apples
We like these apples warm or cold out of the fridge, so see what your kids like best!
Get the recipe
baked apple slices on plate
Easy Pear Puree (Plus Easy Storage Tips)
Use ripe pears—they should give just a little to the touch and smell like a pear—for the best flavor in this puree. Some babies may want a few spoonful, some a bowlful. Follow baby’s cues to determine the right amount for them.
Get the recipe
pear-puree-in-white-bowl

Dinner Ideas

Easy Baked Salmon Cakes (Salmon Patties)
These tender fish cakes make a quick and easy pantry meal when you haven’t planned ahead for dinner. Recipe updated slightly to ensure moistness in June 2021.
Get the recipe
salmon-cakes-on-parent-and-child-plate
Quick Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage
This easy skillet dinner is super cozy and super versatile. You can use freshly diced butternut squash or precut squash from the store and frozen peas or broccoli according to what you have or prefer. See the Notes for vegetarian options.
Get the recipe
butternut-squash-pasta-in-white-bowl-and-teal-bowls
Slow Cooker Beef Burrito Recipe with Veggies
If you want to make these vegetarian, try using 2 cups rinsed and drained black beans or pinto beans instead of the ground beef.
Get the recipe
easy beef burritos on plate
Favorite Vegetarian Lentil Soup
With a quick method and a variety of vegetables packed into the soup, this vegetarian Lentil Soup is a perfect weeknight family dinner—especially when you're craving comfort food.
Get the recipe
bowl of vegetarian lentil soup.
Easy Cornbread Muffins
Moist and nutritious, these healthy cornmeal muffins are an easy side, quick breakfast, or yummy snack.
Get the recipe
maple corn muffins
5-Ingredient Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Use your family’s favorite shape and type of pasta in this recipe. (We like elbows or mini shells!)
Get the recipe
butternut-squash-mac-and-cheese-with-shell-pasta
Pizza Pockets with Broccoli and Cheese
If you’re using Homemade Pizza Dough, make it at least an hour before you plan to assemble the pockets. If using store-bought, let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes so it’s not super cold when you try to form the pockets.
Get the recipe
pizza pockets with broccoli and cheese

nov meal plan week 2 grid

November Week 2

Try an easy vegetable for lunch to add a simple side to the midday meal. And check out my favorite store bought snacks to round things out.

Breakfast Ideas

Healthy Pumpkin Mini Muffins
Use a gluten-free flour blend or whole wheat depending on what works best for your family. This recipe has very little flour—that is not a mistake. They bake up wonderfully, so have faith! Adapted from Against All Grain. 
Get the recipe
healthy pumpkin muffins on bear plate
Favorite Sweet Potato Pancakes
Plan to have your mashed sweet potato ready to go so these come together quickly. Serve with any pancake topping you prefer—applesauce, maple syrup, or nut or seed butter.
Get the recipe
sweet-potato-pancakes-on-plates
Healthy Breakfast Bars with Jam
Use Sunbutter to make these nut-free. You can cut these into smaller bars if desired. If you want them a little softer, serve them at room temperature rather than chilled.
Get the recipe
breakfast-bars-on-white-cutting-board

Lunch Ideas

Pizza Muffins (with Veggies!)
These work well to make ahead and warm up for an easy lunch or dinner. These taste best served warm.
Get the recipe
pizza-muffins-on-wire-rack-with-kids-hand
Homemade Cauliflower Tots
With quinoa, cauliflower, and cheese, these healthy little tots are a great finger food for kids. This recipe makes about 20 tots, which is 4-6 servings for toddlers—or 1-2 servings for adults.
Get the recipe
cauliflower tots on white and red plate
One-Pot Broccoli Mac and Cheese
The method on this recipe is streamlined to cut down on dish washing. Add the optional spices for more flavor if you like! Double it to make more.
Get the recipe
servings-of-broccoli-mac-and-cheese-for-family

Snack Ideas

Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Try these Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies the next time you're looking for a classic cookie that's a little less sweet and still SO good. They're soft-baked, and so yummy.
Get the recipe
healthy oatmeal raisin cookies on wire rack.
Favorite No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls
With just a few healthy ingredients, you can mix up these No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls in minutes to share with the kids. They pack in protein and whole grains, and are a dessert or snack that stores well for days.
Get the recipe
no bake peanut butter balls
Easy Fruit-on-the-Bottom Yogurt
Learn how to make the best fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt with all kinds of fruit flavors—and with less sugar and for less money than buying it at the store. Scale this up or down according to how many servings you're planning to make. The directions here are for one small toddler-size serving.
Get the recipe
fruit-on-the-bottom-yogurt-in-containers

Dinner Ideas

Healthy Chicken Meatballs with Sweet Potato
These healthy Chicken Meatballs are flavorful and have a veggie right in the mix. (Plan to cook your sweet potato ahead of time. See the Notes at the end of the recipe for options!)
Get the recipe
chicken-meatballs-with-sweet-potatoes-on-two-plates
Easy Chili Mac (with Extra Veggies)
You can use precut butternut squash or sweet potato and shredded carrots to cut down on the prep time if desired. This isn’t super saucy, but you can increase the liquid if desired. See the Notes for details.
Get the recipe
chili-mac-in-white-and-stainless-bowl
Vegetarian Quesadillas with Beans and Cheese
You can make as few or as many of these easy quesadillas as you like.
Get the recipe
cut up vegetarian quesadillas for kids on plate
Healthy Broccoli Cheddar Soup
With plant-based protein, veggies, and cheese, this soup is a wonderful way to serve up healthy comfort food to the whole family. (Adapted from FamilyFun magazine.)
Get the recipe
broccoli cheese soup recipe
Quick and Easy Sesame Tofu
This simple pan-fried Sesame Tofu is a perfect match for sauteed veggies and rice, or pasta, or even potatoes and roasted veggies!
Get the recipe
sesame tofu on plate.

nov-week-3

November Week 3

You can make a double batch of the meatballs and save them for future easy dinners or lunches—they are so great as leftovers!.

Breakfast Ideas

Easy Pumpkin Oatmeal
You can make this in about 15 minutes on any morning, or make the whole recipe ahead and simply warm right before serving. See the Notes for variations to make it with other types of oats.
Get the recipe
pumpkin-oatmeal-in-white-and-pink-bowls
Strawberry Smoothie with Veggies
Make the simple base recipe or try one of the variations with a veggie and more nutrient-dense add-ins. All are delicious! Freeze the banana ahead of time.
Get the recipe
strawberry-smoothie-in-cups-on-counter
Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins
These store well in the fridge so you can make them a day or two ahead if you prefer—or bake and serve warm from the oven. These taste like a cross between baked oatmeal and a traditional pumpkin muffin (they don’t have any flour, so they’re a little denser than a traditional muffin, but still super moist!).

Get the recipe
healthy pumpkin chocolate chip muffins on rack

Lunch Ideas

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese (5-Ingredient)
With a simple cheese sauce—no standing and stirring over the stove here!—a solid dose of veggies, and a super creamy final result, this Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is a fast lunch or dinner option for toddlers. (And the rest of the family, too!)
Get the recipe
cauliflower mac and cheese on teal spoon
Favorite Pizza Rolls (with Spinach and Cheese)
Be sure to grease your pan well and roll the dough up fairly tightly around the fillings for best results. (But it's okay if they don't look perfect when they go into the pan!) 
Get the recipe
pizza-rolls-on-kids-plate
Fluffy Sweet Potato Muffins
Tender and moist, these muffins are lightly sweetened with warm spices. Plan to prepare the sweet potatoes at least an hour—and up to 3 days—before you start making the muffins to allow time to cool. You can make these plain, with chocolate chips, or with lemon zest.
Get the recipe
sweet-potato-muffins-in-pan
Sweet Potato and Cheese Quesadillas
Serve these quesadillas with salsa, sour cream, and/or guacamole as desired. You can leave them as simple vegetarian quesadillas or add in a protein like chicken or beans.
Get the recipe
sweet-potato-quesadillas-on-blue-plate

Snack Ideas

Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
I like to frost these soon before serving. You can make the frosting ahead, transfer it to a zip top bag, and store in the fridge until ready to add to the cupcakes.
Get the recipe
mini-pumpkin-cupcakes-with-frosting
Best Pumpkin Baby Food
This fresh pumpkin puree is mellow and flavorful, and can be combined with other purees to make delicious baby food combinations. (See the Notes for flavor options.) The amount of puree you wind up with will vary according to the size of the pumpkin you start with.
Get the recipe
pumpkin-baby-food-in-containers
Favorite Baby Cookies
You can use any puree that you like the flavor of in this recipe—it works best with purees that are the consistency of mashed banana or mashed sweet potato.
Get the recipe
baby cookies on wire rack

Dinner Ideas

Instant Pot Chana Masala-Style Chickpeas
Try making a super easy Indian food recipe at home with this mild Instant Pot Chana Masala. It's easy to make, freezes beautifully, and packs extra veggies tucked right into the sauce. (This will likely make enough for two meals—I like to freeze the second half for a future week.)
Get the recipe
instant pot chana masala meal.
Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas
Before you start, roll a tortilla and make sure it will fit with your baking dish. I call for small ones, but the size can vary a lot depending on whether you use flour or corn and the brand. This recipe was updated and streamlined in October 2020.
Get the recipe
vegetarian-enchiladas-in-baking-dish
Extra-Veggie Baby Pasta (with Iron)
Adding beans and extra veggies helps make this easy baby pasta satisfying, nutritious, and yummy. Serve it more or less saucy as you like. (You can even freeze the sauce for easy future meals.)
Get the recipe
baby-pasta-in-four-white-bowls
Easy Sausage Meatballs
This will make at least two dinners worth of meatballs, depending on how many people are in your family. I like to freeze half of the batch to use in a future meal.
Get the recipe
sausage-meatballs-in-tomato-sauce
Crispy Baked Chicken Nuggets
These baked chicken nuggets have simple ingredients and a pleasantly crispy exterior. Aim to cut the chicken into similarly sized pieces so they bake evenly.
Get the recipe
baked chicken nuggets on plate with ketchup.
Easy Roasted Broccoli
This Roasted Broccoli is tender, a little nutty, and a little sweet. Serve this as a simple side to go with dinner. Or make them ahead and warm them throughout the week to go with lunches.
Get the recipe
Sheet Pan Black Bean Quesadillas
These easy quesadillas can be made with pumpkin puree, sweet potato puree, or butternut squash puree. You can also skip it and just go with beans and cheese! I make these as half moon shapes since it helps contain the mess a little when feeding these to kids.
Get the recipe
sheet-pan-quesadillas-on-platter

nov meal plan week 4

November Week 4

This is Thanksgiving week, so take all of the shortcuts you need to make the holiday as low stress as possible. So if you don’t want to cook anything else that week, embrace it and ignore these other ideas—do whatever works.

Breakfast Ideas

Easy Bacon and Egg Muffins
I like adding the thyme in these for extra flavor, but it's optional! Be sure to grease your muffin tin well with nonstick spray to help prevent these from sticking to the pan. A nonstick mini muffin pan works best here.
Get the recipe
bacon-and-egg-muffins-in-bowl
Mini Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (Healthy and Easy!)
These whole grain muffins have delicious pumpkin flavor and just enough chocolate chips. They're moist and a great breakfast or snack to share with the kids. (Adapted from
Eating Well.)
Get the recipe
pumpkin-chocolate-chip-mini-muffins
Sweet Potato Baked Donuts
You can roast the sweet potato up to 3 days ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you're ready to bake these. Or use canned or jarred puree. (Recipe updated Sept 2021.)
Get the recipe
sweet-potato-donuts-in-hand

Lunch Ideas

Easy Snack Dinner (to Share with the Kids!)
You can do a big family-style platter or individual ones for the kids depending on your preference. Add anything else that sounds appealing and know that the nutrition info will vary according to what you use.
Get the recipe
family-style-snack-plate
Easiest Homemade Uncrustables
You can make one sandwich at a time, or make a batch of a few to stash in the freezer. Adjust this as needed for your preference.
Get the recipe
homemade-uncrustable-in-lunchbox
Veggie Grilled Cheese Sandwich (to Share with the Kids)
With just 4 ingredients, including a veggie that blends right in, this Veggie Grilled Cheese Sandwich is a yummy kids lunch to share. It packs extra nutrition in the filling, yet only takes a few minutes to make. Such a great easy meal!
Get the recipe
veggie-grilled-cheese-on-plate

Snack Ideas

Favorite Pumpkin Smoothie
This creamy Pumpkin Smoothie has delicious pumpkin-pie-like flavor and is a delicious meal component or snack. This makes two toddler-size servings, or a smoothie to share for a parent and toddler. You can freeze any leftovers into a freezer pop!
Get the recipe
two cups of pumpkin smoothie with yellow straws.
Simple Sauteed Apples with Cinnamon
You can use any type of apple you have or like, though generally tart cooking apples (like Granny Smith or Pink Lady) soften nicely without falling apart too quickly.
Get the recipe
sauteed-apples-in-stainless-container
Butternut Squash Muffins
These moist muffins are great on their own or topped with butter, honey, or apple butter. Try them for breakfast, snack, or as a side for dinner.
Get the recipe
butternut-squash-muffins-on-wire-rack
Fresh Cranberry Orange Bread
This delicious Cranberry Orange bread is flavorful and tender—and it works really well to bake ahead and store in the fridge or freezer until ready to serve it. We love it topped with cream cheese, but butter and honey also work.
Get the recipe
baked cranberry bread loaf on rack.

Dinner Ideas

Here are some easy ideas, though embrace takeout and leftovers this week! My fav Thanksgiving recipes are here.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
Use the crock pot to cook up a hearty and nutritious Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup with veggies and lots of kid-friendly flavor. It's easy, versatile, and a great freezer meal
 
Get the recipe
slow-cooker-black-bean-soup
10-Minute Flatbread Pizza (Just 3 Ingredients!)
For delicious homemade pizza without the work and in a lot less time, Flatbread Pizza to the rescue. Adjust this for allergies as you need.
Get the recipe
flatbread-pizza-on-plates-with-apple-slices
Easy Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Creamy, easy to make, and so delicious, these Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes are a favorite for holidays and family meals. (I prefer to use Yukon Gold potatoes in this recipe. They are usually widely available at grocery stores.) Double or triple this recipe as needed.
Get the recipe
make-ahead-mashed-potatoes
Sauteed Shredded Brussel Sprouts
Try these quick Shredded Brussels Sprouts for a simple side for dinner. It's extra flavorful from lemon and Parmesan and is also slightly sweet and pleasantly nutty. Your kids might (they might!) just surprise you by eating it up! (If not? More for you!)
Get the recipe
shaved brussels sprouts
Easy Snack Dinner (to Share with the Kids!)
You can do a big family-style platter or individual ones for the kids depending on your preference. Add anything else that sounds appealing and know that the nutrition info will vary according to what you use.
Get the recipe
family-style-snack-plate

mini-pumpkin-cupcakes-on-plate

Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

Try my Easy Thanksgiving Recipes including Cranberry Sauce, Butternut Squash Pie, Cornbread Muffins, Sweet Potato Cake, and Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes.

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I’d love to hear your feedback on this family meal plan so I can continue improving my content for you and your family, so please comment below to share!

This post was first published November 2020.

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Comments

  1. I love the meal plan posts. I use them most for breakfast and lunch, and sub in well loved dinner ideas. Tonight we did try the beef and veg burritos. My picky husband liked them, and said he would eat again. My daughter will have to see it a few times, but I’m optimistic. Thanks for what you do!

  2. What would a snack lunch consist of? I thought I seen a post about it but I can’t find it! Also love all your recipes and posts. Thank you for sharing .