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Dinner Ideas

๐ŸŒญ๐Ÿ• What’s for dinner, Mom? ๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฎ

Sound familiar? Simple, easy and new dinner ideas during the busy school year are always a struggle for me, especially when it comes to making nutritious meals that everyone will enjoy. With that being said, check out this email from reader Breanna AND please share your ideas in the comments below…

Do you think you could ask your readers what their go-to weeknight meals are? As school is upon us, it would be nice to get some new simple meals to try out on busy school nights.

Please share your ideas below!

Join The Discussion

Comments 110

  1. Lori

    Mine is Mexican Shepard pie

    Ground hamburger
    Add taco seasoning and water
    Layer in a baking dish
    1 jar of salsa
    1 bag of frozen corn
    Cheese if you want
    Cornbread mix on top and bake

    My family love this and you can make it spicy or not. Turkey beef or ground chicken all work great

    Lori

    • apennyfeather

      Dry cornbread mix or the batter?

      • mom of 3

        we do this too, or very similar.. we will do biscuits on top, or bottom. and just whatever we have to layer, beans, corn, salsa, cheese, canned corn drained, super easy to throw together

      • Shelby

        Batter, not the dry mix. We do something similar called tamale pie. Sometimes I mix a can of chili in with the hamburger and salsa. We serve it with sour cream, cheese, lettuce, diced tomatoes, and anything else you would put on a taco.

  2. Natalie

    Ours is taco salad (which we are having tonight!) 1 pound of ground beef cooked with taco seasoning, rice, lettuce, diced tomatoes, cheese, topped with sour cream, salsa and some crushed tortilla chips. I make it all the time and it’s so good!

    • J

      We do this a lot as well!

    • Susan

      We do this too but instead of the ground beef we use refried beans.

  3. growingbhoomi
  4. J

    Cheesy chicken and rice! 3 large chicken breasts in crockpot, cover with a can of cream of chicken/mushroom soup. Cook 6-7 hours on low til chicken is done (or 2-3 on high). Shred chicken into chunks, add 1 can drained corn, 1 C cooked rice (or more if feeding big eaters) and 1 1/2 C shredded cheese (or more or less) give a good stir and cook for another 20 min or until heated and cheese is melted. Serve alone or with tortilla chips as scoops. So easy and yummy!

    • jos419

      That sounds yummy!

  5. A

    Costco rotisserie chicken, mixed salad, any added veg you’ve got on hand (carrots, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, etc) and balsamic dressing. We can usually get 2 dinners out of one chicken, so night 2 is usually chicken tacos.

    • Maria

      Yes! SAMs has good chicken too, we do the same and at the end I boil the carcass to make chicken soup. A rotisserie chicken is so versatile.

  6. Sally

    Ours is tostadas! Premade tostada shells, can of refried beans, cheese, lettuce, and jarred salsa. If we hve time or I’m feeling fancy, I’ll add chicken or beef (preferably from the crockpot)

  7. J

    Oven fajitas: a package of chicken tenders or breasts; cut into strips, a couple of bell peppers, onion if you like all in a 9×13 pan. Cover with a can of Rotel. Cook 425* for 45 min or until chicken is done and veggies tender. Serve with tortillas or on a salad with your fave toppings! Yum!!

  8. nancy

    Chicken Tinga tostada
    1 lb Shredded chicken (boiled) I precook chicken to save time.
    1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce ( just add 2-3 peppers, not whole can…
    1 onion (diced)
    2-3 tomatoes
    2 garlic cloves
    Knorr Suiza chicken bouillon

    Boil tomatoes. In another pan, sautee diced onions, add the cooked shredded chicken.
    Get the boil tomatoes, garlic, 1-3 chipotle peppers, 2 TBS Knorr Suiza, and little water in blender and blend…add mixture to shredded chicken and cook for a few minutes.
    Top tostadas with chicken…add diced lettuce, tomatoes, queso fresco, sour cream on top…sprinkle lemon…enjoy!

  9. Heather

    8 can tortilla soup:

    1 14.5 oz can each:

    Black beans, drained
    Pinto beans, drained
    Diced tomatoes, drained
    Yellow corn, drained
    Diced chicken breast, drained
    Green enchilada sauce
    Chicken broth
    Package dry taco seasoning (not a can but that’s what the recipe is called ๐Ÿ˜Š)

    Toss all in crock pot, heat on low for 2-3 hours.

    Serve with shredded cheese, tortilla chips, guac and/or sour cream.

    Delish!

    • Vanessa

      I do this over the stove & it’s one of our favorites. But now I am super excited that I can do it all in the crockpot! Thank you!!!!

    • Heather C.

      Sounds delicious!

  10. Angela

    Beef stew in the crock pot. Cook and drain 1-2lbs of hamburger meat. 4-5 cans of mixed vegetables, 2 can of tomatoes (whole or diced), a couple cubed potatoes, sliced onion, and celery. 2 packs of beef stew seasoning. Add it all together in the crockpot. If it needs more liquid you can add tomato sauce, water, or broth. You can also use frozen vegetables. Serve with cornbread or crackers.

  11. jnjarrett

    My kids love manwich on an open faced bun with melted cheese on top.

    • Heather C.

      Read my recipe below! The pizza burgers I make are just like this, but a little different flavor!

  12. Mandee

    I make chicken pesto pasta. Cook a box of pasta. I use whatever I have. Drain it, and add a jar of pesto and some sliced up grilled chicken. I often Sautee some mushrooms and add those too. I get a crusty loaf of bread and call it dinner. Hint..the leftovers are delicious cold the next day for lunch!

    • Katie

      I love this dish too and I like to add bell peppers & zucchini. I found a super yummy & organic basil pesto at target. I like to rub it on the chicken breast and stick them in the broiler. It can be added to the pasta and can be used the next day for a salad.

      • mandee

        Sometimes I Sautee onions too. And I am lazy and sometimes use a bag of the Tysons cooked chicken strips. Lol.

        • Katie

          I use the precooked meat sometimes too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • jen

      I do this too, but add a jar of alfredo sauce as well. Also, saute the chicken with green onions before pouring in the sauce. It’s my hub’s favorite!

  13. Lori

    Cornbread mix like jiffy make it as the box calls and put on top

  14. Elizabeth M

    bacon cheese burgers and fries

  15. Michelle

    We like chili cheese fries. Heat up fries and can of chili with beans add cheese on top. Yum!

    • momif6

      Yes! Yummy! Works great with Crock-Pot baked potatoes, too. And broccoli n cheese!

  16. Katie

    My go to quick dinners are turkey nachos and pizza. For the pizzas I use the already made crusts that are usually whole wheat and/or organic. Sometimes I do plain sauce and cheese but sometimes I like to mix it up like ricotta/mozzarella/pesto, bbq chicken w/ cilantro & red onion, spinach/bell peppers/mushrooms, hawaiian, etc.

  17. Jennifer

    I make sheet pan meals. Put chicken breasts, salmon fillets, hamburgers patties(lean will work better), pork chops, etc. on a large cookie sheet then surrounded them with veggies such as carrots broccoli, grape tomatoes, squash, zucchini, cauliflower, etc. you can even just pour a bag of frozen veggies on there. Leaner cuts work best to keep your veggies from being greasy. I just use whatever spices I use on my meat for the veggies, such as lemon pepper, then drizzle with olive oil. It’s only one pan, it’s healthy, it’s versatile, cooks quickly, and it feeds my family of four. Tonight I made salmon fillets with assorted veggies drizzled with maple syrup, chili powder, salt, and pepper. It was delicious. You can even cover your pan with foil for super easy clean-up.

    • apennyfeather

      Thank you! Great idea!

      • Jennifer

        Your so welcome! It’s been kinda life changing for me. This is the only way that I can ensure we get protein and healthy veggies almost daily and they can be as simple or complex as you want them to be. Enjoy!

    • Heather C.

      Excellent idea!! I usually make a cut of meat, fried or baked- chops, chicken thighs, etc… (Whatevers on sale) and just boil veggies separately. Then have potato, rice, or noodles as a side. Can’t believe I never thought to throw it all together! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • jennifer

        I know! It’s no different than a lot of the pinterest ideas that put all the ingredients in the crock pot except this just gets it done quickly and tastes more fresh. I have even served my sheet pan meals to guests because they are so pretty with all the roasted veggies surrounding the protein. I can’t think of any meat or vegetable that doesn’t take on a great taste after being roasted.

  18. Jen

    I make a pork butt in the crockpot seasoned whatever way. Night #1 Carnitas tacos
    Night #2 Pulled pork sandwiches
    Easy and yummy! Even my 4 and 7 yr old like them both.

    • Katie

      I do this too! We make tacos, an egg breakfast bake and stuffed sweet potatoes with coleslaw on top with the meat.

    • momif6

      I do this, too!

  19. Vanessa

    Ground turkey, seasoned with ms dash. Once cooked, throw in a can of drained chopped tomatoes, the seasoned ones. Boil some pasta, we like veggie noodles. Mix together & sprinkle cheese on top.

    • Karen

      That sounds really good! Thanks!

  20. Theresa

    One of our family’s favorite is from foodnetwork.com and its Pasta with Bacon and Leeks. 5 ingredients and its so light and flavorful that there is never any leftovers.

  21. beth

    You are reading my mind! I was just thinking yesterday if you ever had people post their recipes. I’ve been married forever (or so it seems lol) and I am soooo out of what to make anymore! Thank you!!

    • beth

      Here’s mine. Pound of sausage, casing removed ( we love hot) crumble while frying till brown. Drain. Stir in 8 oz cream cheese until melted. Add 1/2 cup parm cheese. Place on quartered bell peppers cut lengthwise. Top each with pinch of parm cheese. Bake on cookie sheet at 425 for 20 mins or until brown and bubbly. Serve with ranch dressing. I make baked potatoes with these (okay, microwaved lol) These are sooo easy and sooo good! There will be NO leftovers!

  22. Michelle

    Buffalo chicken ring…2 cans of reduced fat crescent rolls, 2 cups cooked shredded chicken meat, 1/2 cup ranch dressing, 1/2 cup hot sauce, 1 cup shredded cheese, tsp. garlic powder. Unroll crescent rolls and make a triangle “sun” on a round pizza pan lined with parchment paper. If u need help keeping the inside circle round place a cereal bowl in the center of pan and make sun shape around slightly overlapping triangles. Mix all the ingredients together and spoon evenly onto the widest part of each triangle. Fold over small end and tuck under till a rounded circle roll is complete. Bake for 25 min at 350. I serve it with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks. U can use any cooked chicken u have on hand and any cheese u like. However I only bake recipes with ” hidden valley” brand ranch. Also the reduced fat rolls help it to not be as “greasy” since this has cheese in it๐Ÿ˜‰

  23. Angela

    Chicken breast with salsa in the crock pot. Served over noodles (sometimes with mozzarella cheese on top)

  24. Casey

    Love this post!! Definitely following!

  25. Jill F

    Slow cooker Salsa chicken

    I jar salsa
    Half a packet taco seasoning
    Can of shoe peg corn
    Can of black beans
    A few chicken breasts or thighs

    Throw it all in the slow cooker and cook until done. Serve on taco shells or tortillas or chips. Sour cream and cheese as toppings if desired. You can add more of the taco seasoning if you like, but half the packet works for us!

  26. Jill F

    Slow cooker round steak & gravy

    round steak
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1 packet Lipton Beefy Onion

    Pour soup and dry mix over round steak. Add one soup can of water. Stir. Cook until done. Tastes great with rice or potatoes!

    • chanel

      Hi, what kind of meat do you use and how much?

      • Jill F

        Hi! Round steak and I don’t remember how much. It wasn’t over two pounds. You can’t mess it up. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Karen

    Sometimes just a grilled colby cheese sandwich with tomato basil soup hits the spot on a busy night. Comfort food – and inexpensive, too.

  28. kathleen

    mealoaf

  29. Shannon

    We LOVE French dip sandwiches. Throw a beef roast in the crockpot with 2 packages of dry Italian dressing, and 2 packages of dry
    au jus. Add 4-5 cups of water. Cook 6-8 hours on low. When meat is done, shred it a bit, put it on a bun covered in cream cheese. Use the drippings in the crock pot to dip your sandwiches in. It’s SOOO yummy!

    • Shelly

      This sounds SO good! I’m going to try this with provolone cheese. Thanks for sharing!

  30. Leia

    We eat a lot of rice bowls. I cook several pounds of chicken and pork roast at a time and put them up in the freezer for rice bowls, quesadillas and pasta. We also like baked fish and tacos.

  31. Heather C.

    Pizza burgers! 1) Brown and drain 1 lb ground beef. 2) Preheat oven to 375. 3) Add one jar pizza sauce and heat til warmed through. 4) Open 8 hamburger buns- so you have 16 mini “pizzas” and lay on cookie sheet with the flat side up- you’ll need 2 sheets. 5) Top each bun half with a half a slice of american cheese. 6) Put one “wooden spoonful” of beef mixture on top of cheese and smooth evenly. 7)Top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. 8) Bake for about 5 minutes until the bread is toasty… Watch the bottoms! They can burn quickly. My family gobbles them up!!

  32. Krissy

    It’s fun to have breakfast for dinner. Pancakes or waffles, eggs, bacon and a fruit salad. Yum!

    • Deanna

      Love breakfast for dinner.

  33. Drea

    Turkey Tacos
    1lb ground turkey cooked and drained
    Add 2 tbs water and throw in (cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and paprika)
    Then chop up tomatoes, lettuce and shred cheese.

    Everyone serves themselves in a tortilla. I normally had hot sauce and mild salsa.

  34. Tonya

    Man. I feel so lazy. Our real go to is PBJ, egg salad, or scrambled eggs ๐Ÿ˜œ
    No recipe required ๐Ÿ˜‚

    • Laura

      Don’t feel lazy – I run through Little Caesars LOL

    • Heather C.

      Oh, we do pb&j a LOT here too! Try one made like a grilked cheese sometime… DELISH! Be careful though- it stays hot longer than a grilked cheese… Easy to burn your tongue. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • rebecca

        even easier than the grilled cheese style– just put the bread in a toaster and then add the PB&J after it pops out. it is all melty, yet not too hot, and it’s YUMMY. you won’t burn your tongue and it really enhances the PBJ experience.

        • Jacki

          Love the enhanced pb & j experience! That is my favorite go to meal

        • Andrea

          I do this all the time too. It’s delicious.

      • jennifer

        I know! It’s no different than a lot of the pinterest ideas that put all the ingredients in the crock pot except this just gets it done quickly and tastes more fresh. I have even served my sheet pan meals to guests because they are so pretty with all the roasted veggies surrounding the protein. I can’t think of any meat or vegetable that doesn’t take on a great taste after being roasted.

      • jennifer

        Along the same lines is a grilled pimento cheese sandwich. I recommended getting a higher quality pimento cheese for this or make it homemade. My husband begs for these so I usually buy a big container from Sam’s club and keep in the fridge. They have a brand there called “palmetto cheese” that is really good but a little spicy. It’s really good to add a home grown sliced tomato to this sandwich also, yum.

  35. Aileen

    Burrito bowls! Rice (or quinoa), sautรฉed bell peppers/onion/mushroom/zucchini/whatever, black beans, salsa, sour cream, guac, etc. So easy and delicious.

  36. CW

    .69 Aldi chicken pot pies. The ultimate lazy but don’t judge I have medical issues. Lol ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Rebecca

    Let’s see…oven nachos, tacos or rice bowls(with taco toppings), French bread pizzas, loaded baked potatoes(everyone can top their own), turkey burgers/hamburgers/hot dogs with fries/beans, breakfast for dinner, black eyed beans & cornbread. All pretty self-explanatory. We also love what we call ‘chicken roll-ups’: crescent rolls topped with shredded(or canned!)chicken mixed with cream cheese, shredded cheese, and ranch dressing packet, then roll & bake. Also super easy recipes for baked ziti, lasagna rolls, & chicken gyros on Pinterest! You can find everything there lol. We have done just sandwiches or anything in freezer in a pinch lol. Also occasionally do snack-type dinner, with some sort of layered dip & chips or something similar.

  38. K South

    “Breakfast for dinner” Fry up some sausage. Drain the sausage and set aside. Discard the grease. Brown hash browns in coconut oil. Add eggs beaten with a little milk to the hash browns. Stir until eggs are almost done. Stir in sausage and grated cheese. Finish cooking until done to your liking. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fruit.

    • momif6

      I grew up on this with the smoked link sausage! Nobody else I’ve met knows if.

      We cook the potatoes then meat in the same pan. Then add eggs and top with cheese on plates or salsa, ketchup, or once gravy. I think I’ll make it soon!

  39. momif6

    Chicken bacon ranch wraps. Cut chicken in strips, season, bake. If you have bacon it’s a plus but not a must.
    We eat these with crisp veggies and fresh fruit. Sometimes we have salad with it.

  40. Anisha

    Skillet Lasagna:
    Brown 1lb hamburger, add onion and garlic (any kind and amount to your liking), drain grease. Add hamburger back to pan, break 8-10 uncooked lasagna noodles in 1″ pcs and lay on top of hamburger, add 8oz can tomato sauce and a 15oz can of diced tomatoes (with juice). Add about 1-2 cans of water, do not stir, bring to a boil, then cover and lower to simmer. The noodles will soak up the juices and about 20 min later it should all be cooked through with very little liquid left (I check after about 15 min to make sure I added enough water and that the bottom isn’t burning. I usually give it it’s first stir at this point). Remove from heat, add heaping spoonfuls of cottage cheese (can use ricotta if you prefer), and about 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Mix all together, sprinkle basil on top if you have some and it’s ready! Whole thing takes about 30-ish minutes. Note: This is also very forgiving if you need to make a bigger portion. This feeds my family of 2 adults, and two girls (ages 5 and 7) with leftovers. But if I am feeding others, I add another 1/2-1 lb hamburger, a second can of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes and some extra noodles. That’s another reason I love this recipe. My dad is not a huge pasta fan and this is one of his favorite meals. ๐Ÿ™‚

  41. momif6

    **Tip for cutting down cooking time:

    Buy the big tubes of ground beef on sale and cook it all! Freeze in a container out pre measured baggies. I use a container and shake periodically during freezing so we can scoop later. This also works for other precooked meats.

    Also, precooking a ton of dried beans then rinsing them before freezing on bags or a container. Super cheap compared to cans.

    Brown rice freezes well, too.

    • Heather C.

      Yes! I do that with ground beef too!

    • Rena

      Great idea ! Thanks for sharing

  42. Anisha

    Sausage spaghetti: Boil spaghetti noodles as normal. Meanwhile, cut a package of smoked sausage into 1″ pieces and brown in a skillet with olive oil, adding onion and garlic to your preference. Add 8oz of tomato sauce and 15oz can of diced tomatoes. Let that simmer together while your noodles finish cooking. Drain noodles and add to sausage and tomato mixture. We top with parmesan when serving. The whole thing takes less than 30 minutes.

  43. Amy

    Can of chili beans in the bottom of a baking dish,roll hotdogs in flour tortillas and place them on top of chili. Pour another can of chili beans on top, cover with foil and cook until hot. You can then top it with shredded cheese.

    • Heather C.

      Yum! Sounds good, and different too!

  44. Ashley123

    Korean beef, rice, and broccoli … Find the recipe on Pinterest … Yummy and so easy. We put Sriracha on top

  45. Susanne

    One thing I’ve been doing that I just love. Check out Blue Apron or Home Chef. They are meal delivery services, but they list all of their recipes online. I find the recipe I want, print out the step-by step easy instructions, and order everything I need thru WalMart’s online grocery delivery. I have done this for about a month now and everyone in my family is very, very happy. Great recipes and they take about a half hour.

  46. Bobbi

    One super easy meal that my whole family likes (minor miracle) is Kraft mac & cheese with some canned tuna and peas thrown in there. For my family of five, I use three boxes of Mac & cheese, two cans of tuna, and one can of peas (drained). It’s great when I’m super exhausted or short on time.

    • Heather C.

      My mom used to make this for us all the time when we were kids. ๐Ÿ™‚

  47. Dee

    Lately it’s BLTs because the homegrown tomatoes are so good!. Tonight it’s grilled chicken. I’ll slice up the leftovers for topping salads another night. Another quick favorite is shake n bake chicken or pork chops. We put a few slices of bread, some seasonings and some parmesan cheese in the mini food processor to make the breading. Dip the meat in egg or milk and then shake and bake!

  48. Heather

    This is a great idea! With school and after school activities like dance & soccer beginning in a few weeks these will come in handy. A few of our favorites:
    I like to freeze some of these for nights we only have a few minutes.
    http://www.melskitchencafe.com/turkey-and-brown-rice-taco-burritos/
    Fast & the kids love it!
    http://tatertotsandjello.com/2016/05/chicken-ramen-stir-fry.html
    The filling can be made ahead with this one.
    http://www.melissassouthernstylekitchen.com/sloppy-joe-pizza-sliders/

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