Between homework and after school activities for three kids, time often gets away from us and suddenly it’s dinner time. I’m always looking for family friendly meals that can be made quickly or can be made ahead of time. I’ve tried many different recipes and thought I’d share some of my favorite dinner ideas.
One of my favorite meals that can be made in under 30 minutes is this Shortcut Vegetable Lasagna from Parents Magazine. This recipe is a great alternative to a traditional vegetable lasagna. I find that it comes together best when I use a chunky pasta sauce with onion and garlic. I also use an Italian assortment of frozen vegetables that includes broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, zucchini and Italian beans. The great thing about this recipe is that you can really use whatever vegetables your family likes and they incorporate into the dish easily.
Another dinner idea that can be made in under 30 minutes is Corn Flake Chicken. There are many recipes out there for this quick and easy dish and you likely won’t go wrong with any of them. They taste far better than store bought frozen chicken nuggets and pair well with a salad and some vegetables. I prefer this Crunchy Parmesan Chicken Strip recipe from Rachel Ray because I like the addition of Parmesan cheese.
One of my favorite dinners to make with my kids are pita pizzas. The pizza topping possibilities are endless and making a quick dinner together gives us time to catch up and talk about the day. This Ham and Pineapple Pita Pizza recipe from Real Simple is good for both kids and adults and can be made in under 20 minutes. My personal favorite pita pizza is mozzarella, tomatoes and bacon (the bacon should be cooked prior to putting it on the pizza).
While not very quick, I also like to take some time once a month and make some freezer meals. I usually make baked ziti, lasagna, chicken noodle soup and chili. One of my favorite freezer meals is actually a breakfast dish, banana bread. This Easy Freezable Banana Bread recipe from Once A Month Meals comes out perfect every time and has been a real life saver on hectic mornings. I recently stumbled across this freezer meal recipe for a Meatball Sub Bake from Once A Month Meals and plan to try it out soon. It looks like a meal my whole family will enjoy and it’s easy to assemble.
What are some of your go-to meals once school is back in session and your schedule is busy? I have a slow cooker that spends most of its time in the cabinet and I have decided that I am going to start putting it to better use this school year. Hopefully I’ll have some great slow cooker recipes to share soon!