Everything you need to buy and prep for Dawn Perry’s fall weeknight recipes

All the groceries and make-ahead condiments you need for a week of easy dinners.
(Lindsay Kreighbaum/For The Times. Prop styling: Dorothy Hoover)

Week of Meals” is a weeknight dinner series that brings you five, easy-to-prepare weeknight recipes from one shopping trip that costs less than $100. Here’s your grocery list and the prep work for Dawn Perry’s fall recipes to do on the day of shopping to set yourself up for effortless cooking the rest of the week.


These ingredients will need to be purchased if you don’t already have them.

1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2) or chicken tenders
8 ounces bacon

1 pound fresh mozzarella
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
8 slices sharp white cheddar
14 large eggs (minus 4 if not using for Sheet Pan Pizza)
1 package (14 ounces) extra-firm tofu
4 ounces Parmesan or sharp white cheddar (for ½ cup shaved cheese)
1 bag frozen fries, for serving

1 pound cauliflower florets and/or peeled butternut squash
11 garlic cloves (about 1 head)
1 shallot
2 bunches fresh mint, flat-leaf parsley or basil
1 bunch cilantro
2 avocados
1 cup red or green grapes
8 celery stalks with leaves
1 jalapeño or serrano chile, seeded for less heat
½ head of red or green cabbage
½ red onion
3 limes (for 5 tablespoons juice)
2 lemons (for 5 tablespoons juice)

1 pound spaghetti or other pasta
2 cups panko or crushed cracker crumbs
¼ cup tahini
¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts
2 cans (14 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes in juice
Cooked brown rice or other grains, for serving
Chili oil or chili crisp (optional), for serving
Dijon mustard, for serving

1 pound store-bought pizza dough
8 corn or flour tortillas


We’re expecting you to already have these ingredients. If you have to buy them, you will use them again and again in other recipes.


Oil and Vinegar:
2 cups plus 1 tablespoon everyday olive oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or more olive oil)
½ cup red, white or cider vinegar

¼ teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional)

3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari

Dawn’s neighborhood grocery store:

Pavilions, 29211 Heathercliff Road, Malibu, (310) 457-2401


This is the cooking you’ll want to do on your shopping day, preferably Sunday, to get more of the laborious or time-consuming tasks out of the way.

Make the Zing! Sauce:
In a blender, combine 1 cup roughly chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, basil and/or mint; ¼ cup everyday olive oil; 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice; ¾ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt; 1 jalapeño or serrano chile, seeded for less heat; and 1 garlic clove, smashed. Blend until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Makes about ¾ cup.

Make the Lemon-Lime Cabbage:
Core and thinly slice ½ head of red or green cabbage and place in a large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice, 2 tablespoons everyday olive oil, ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt and a pinch each of granulated sugar, freshly ground black pepper and crushed red chile flakes. Toss to combine and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Make the Turmeric Tahini:
In a medium bowl, whisk together ¼ cup tahini, ¼ cup cold water, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons everyday olive oil, ½ teaspoon ground turmeric, ¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional), ¼ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Makes about ½ cup.

Make the Easiest Pickled Onions:
Place ½ red onion, thinly sliced, in a resealable jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add a big pinch of kosher salt and granulated sugar, then fill the jar halfway with vinegar (red wine, white wine or cider). Add enough cold water to cover the onions. Screw the lid on tight and shake the heck out of it. Set aside at least 15 minutes or refrigerate for up to two weeks. Makes about 1 cup pickled onions.

Get the recipes:

Vegetable Mozz With Spicy Spaghetti

Time30 minutes
YieldsServes 4

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Tacos

Time30 minutes
YieldsServes 4

Sheet Pan Pizza

Time1 hour
YieldsServes 4 to 6