I used to put a lot of time and effort into cooking. In the early years of our marriage, I remember spending hours learning how to make pizza from scratch and figuring out how to cook the perfect Tri-tip.
But 11+ years and 3 kids later, you’re lucky if I have the time and energy to boil a pot of water for mac n’ cheese…
Ok, so things aren’t quick that bad. But because of work and general exhaustion from the hustle of our every day, making dinner is not really at the top of my list. Yet, we also don’t enjoy eating fast food very often, so I end up cooking some quick and easy meals most nights of the week.
I’ve learned that it’s essential to have some go-to recipes that require few ingredients, minimal effort, and are quick to prep and cook. It’s the only way that I can make dinner for my family each night without losing my mind!
To keep myself organized, I use my weekly meal planner to write down what we will eat each day, and then I make my grocery list next to it so I can be sure I don’t forget any ingredients. I do this each Saturday before I head to the grocery store. It takes some time, but at the end of it all, I’m set for the week!
So I’m opening my kitchen and my recipe books to share with you 7 quick and easy meals to make for your family. Each of them are quick (some are slow cooker, so you can set it and forget it!), none have too many ingredients, and they are all pretty healthy.
Did I mention that my kids actually eat all of these (you know, on a good day)? Oh miracle of miracles!
7 Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas:
Easy Dinner #1: 20-minute Cherry Tomato Pasta
This is one of my favorite quick dinners! So easy to make and full of fresh ingredients. It’s less “heavy” than traditional spaghetti and my kids love to smother it in parmesan (but they scoff at the basil, so only mom and dad get that).
Easy Dinner #2: Italian Paninis
There are so many versions of this that you can make and they are definitely kid-friendly! I love to use mozzarella in place of provolone and sprinkle some oregano on it before it cooks. You could also add tomatoes and pepperoncinis for extra flavor! I tell the kids these are “pizza” sandwiches and they gobble them up.
Quick Dinner #3: Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
If your kids aren’t fans of sweet potatoes, you can just serve them the ingredients in a bowl with some tortilla chips, or put them in a tortilla for a taco. If you’re short on time, skip the avocado sauce and guacamole (though both are delicious). Bonus: This meal is Whole30 approved and super healthy!
Quick Dinner #4: Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches
This is my comfort food recipe! The beef turns out so tender and flavorful and the whole family loves it. It only takes 5 ingredients for the meat; add some cheese and bread and you're done!
Easy Dinner #5: Honey sesame chicken
Once you’ve got this all in the crockpot, you are good to go. Serve it up with some rice and steamed broccoli for a healthy, delicious dinner for the family!
Easy Dinner #6: Naan Pizza
Making pizza on Naan bread is my go-to. The bread is the perfect size for personal pizzas and everyone can pick their own toppings - the kids love to help make theirs! This bbq chicken pizza recipe is good, but you can easily put anything you want on it.
Quick Dinner #7: Slow Cooker Potato Soup
This is another comfort food recipe; perfect for a rainy or cold night! This Whole30 recipe is healthy and super delicious. But if you want to add some cheese - go for it, I won’t tell. The kids think it’s mashed potato soup… works for me, as long as they eat it!