5 Vacation-Inspired Weeknight Dinners

Spend the week cooking up these summery meals for the ultimate stay-cation!
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Monday: Lemon Pepper & Poppy Shrimp

lemon pepper poppy shrimp dinner

Beachy meets classy in this gourmet kickoff meal. If you thought you loved shrimp before, just wait 'til you give it a lemony zing and a poppy seed crunch!

Recipe: Try our Lemon Pepper & Poppy Shrimp

Tuesday: Grilled Steak Tacos with Nectarine Salsa

grilled-steak-tacos-nectarine-salsa-9aa7601b

Taco Tuesday gets an island-y makeover! Marry sweet and savory flavors inside charred tortillas and start dreaming of someplace tropical.

Recipe: Try our Grilled Steak Tacos with Nectarine Salsa

Wednesday: BLT Lobster Rolls

blt lobster roll

Lobster is reserved for special occasions – and what's more special than a warm summer night? Make this dinner sammie even more one-of-a-kind by adding some bacon and cherry tomatoes.

Recipe: Try our BLT Lobster Rolls

Thursday: Caribbean Chicken

caribbean chicken

Nothing says "Caribbean getaway" like a couple tablespoons of jerk seasoning and juicy pineapple chunks. Use them as your flavor base in this light and tasty chicken dish.

Recipe: Try our Caribbean Chicken

Friday: Rachael Ray's Spaghetti Carbonara with Mushrooms

spaghetti carbonara mushrooms

Can't stop thinking about the luxurious food at your favorite vacation spot? Whip up something just as good (if not better) at home this Friday! Rach's creamy meatless carbonara is sure to hit the spot.

Recipe: Try Rach's Spaghetti Carbonara with Mushrooms

Shopping List

For the lemon pepper & poppy shrimp:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 lemons
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika or smoked paprika
  • 3/4 to 1 cup white wine or chicken stock
  • 2 lb. peeled and deveined large shrimp
  • Kosher salt
  • A fat handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Warm crusty bread

For the grilled steak tacos with nectarine salsa:

  • 2 nectarines
  • 1/3 cup small fresh cilantro sprigs
  • 1/3 cup very thinly sliced red onion rounds
  • 1 tbsp. thinly sliced jalapeño chile
  • 1 tsp. lime zest plus 2 tbsp. juice
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground hot paprika
  • 2 strip steaks
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta

For the BLT lobster rolls:

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest 
  • 7 tbsp. butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 lb. cooked lobster
  • 4 top-split brioche or hot dog buns
  • Little Gem lettuce leaves
  • 2 thick-cut slices bacon
  • Quartered cherry tomatoes and finely chopped fresh chives

For the Caribbean chicken:

  • 1 20-oz. can pineapple chunks in juice
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp. jerk seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. EVOO

For Rach's spaghetti carbonara with mushrooms:

  • About 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. portobello mushroom caps or oyster mushrooms
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika or ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic or 1 bulb green garlic
  • About 1 cup white wine
  • 1 lb. farro spaghetti or whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup each grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino-Romano
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives