Five Easy Weeknight Dinners

Happy Monday!! School starts next week (how!?) and it is time to start thinking about how we are going to adjust our schedule as things start to get busy again. There will be school, dance & gymnastics, but for a few hours, three days a week, I will have no kids in the house!! Time management has never been my strong suit so while I would like to think I will be meal prepping, cleaning & checking things off my to do list, I’m well aware that I may end up just drinking coffee and rearranging pictures on our walls. Either way, we are back to late afternoon activities & early bedtimes so dinners need to be quick & easy!

I thought I would share a few of the things we are loving lately & plan to make often on weeknights!

Meatloaf + Sweet PotatoesΒ // Meatloaf is a major favorite in our house, my kids love it & it really is super simple to make. I like to make ours in a muffin pan, they cook a little quicker & are already in individual serving sizes. This was actually something we started doing when we had our first apartment because I only had one cookie sheet & one cupcake pan, limited options so we had to get creative. There are so many recipes for meatloaf, but what we do is super simple, 2 lbs. of lean ground beef or turkey, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, 1 finely chopped onion & 1/3 cup of ketchup. Mix ingredients together in a large bowl, add salt & pepper to taste & form into individual meatloaves in the muffin tray. Top each one with ketchup or BBQ sauce (we do six of each) and bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour. For the sweet potatoes, cut 4 large potatoes into small cubes & cook in a skillet with olive oil + sea salt. Top with a sprinkle of fresh Parmesan!

Chicken Tacos // We make this every week. Sometimes twice a week. I throw together 3-4 large chicken breasts cut into small pieces with a large onion sliced into the cast iron skillet with olive oil, and add our favorite taco seasoning. Cook on medium heat for about 15-20 minutes until everything is starting to get blackened, and serve with corn tortillas, shredded mexican cheese & avocado! Super easy to turn these into chicken quesadillas for the girls too if I don’t feel like sweeping up shredded cheese for eleven hours after dinner.

Skillet Lasagna // I love anything that can be made in one pan & we love pasta in our house, so this will be on rotation for us weekly once the weather cools down! This is the recipe I use, but usually do ground beef instead of sausage, it is a 30 minute, one pan meal that everyone will love!!

Crockpot BBQ Pork // Season a 3-5 lb. boneless pork shoulder with 1 tbsp salt, 1 tsp pepper & 1 tsp paprika. Combine 1 cup BBQ sauce (we use sweet baby rays!), 1 cup chicken broth & 2 tbsp brown sugar, pour over meat in the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Shred with a fork (be sure to pull out any fat) & serve on hamburger buns!

Turkey Club Sandwiches Β // This has been a summer staple for us! Open faced crescent rolls, turkey & provolone cheese on a baking sheet, pop in the oven for two minutes on broil! Or just toast the rolls if you’re feeling lazy or don’t want to turn on the oven. Add some bacon, mayo & lettuce and call it the easiest dinner ever!

If you have any quick & easy dinners that you love, be sure to share them below! Would love to hear what is on your dinner menu! XO

 

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42 Comments

  1. Love these suggestions! We do chicken tacos and meatloaf a lot also! I have a crockpot meatloaf recipe I love! Will have to try your recipe and use the muffin tins sometime! πŸ™‚

  2. Gosh, school must let out early in Georgia! We still have six weeks of summer in Virginia. But glad to get your simple, but yummy sounding dinner ideas. I always forget about meatloaf and look forward to trying lasagna in a skillet. Thanks for sharing, and savor your remaining slow days!

  3. Short ribs with mushrooms and spinach in tomato sauce…cooked for 6-8 hours in the crock pot. Serve over pasta. You can also substitute tomato sauce for beef broth and add potatoes and yucca and corn on the cob, serve over rice instead.

    But how and why is school starting next week?! It’s July/August! School doesn’t start here in NJ until after Labor Day.

  4. Ooh thanks for sharing! Always looking for quick, easy, one pan dinners. Aren’t we all? Mexican haystacks is always on our rotation. The kids love making their own plate. Fritos, Spanish rice, ground beef with taco seasoning, whatever toppings you want. We do lettuce, sour cream, tomatoes, beans, olives, cheese, drizzle on some hot sauce and good to go.

    • Could not agree more!! We had another beach trip planned for August before I found out that was when school started and I hate to pull her out in the first few weeks of the transition.

      • We live in Des Moines, and have been driving down to 30A the last three summers the week of August 12-20. It is the absolute BEST time to go because all you southerners are back to school. We have the beach to ourselves and rental prices are practically cut in half over the summer prices.

    • We start school the first week of August here too, when I was growing up it was either after Labor Day or the last week of August, it’s so ridiculous.

  5. Love these meal ideas! We still make your lasagna pizza from a few posts back as a quick and easy meal! Another one we love in our house is buffalo chicken stuffed sweet potatoes! Sounds super weird, but the sweet + spicy is amazing! It’s a few pieces of boneless/skinless chicken breasts + Franks Red Hot + garlic powder + Worcestershire + butter in the crock pot on low for 6-8 hours. Drizzle olive oil + sea salt on your sweet potatoes and bake at 400* until tender with a fork. Stuff the chicken mixture in the sweet potatoes and top with cilantro and ranch or blue cheese. πŸ™‚

  6. Another option instead of bread crumbs in the meatloaf is zucchini. You can use a cheese grater to shred it. Just make sure to drain excess water. Kids are getting veggies and it keeps it moist. πŸ™‚ Love the cherries!!

  7. Love the ideas! One I enjoy that isn’t exactly healthy is about 5-7 chicken thighs, 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup, 4 tablespoons of steak sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low 6-8 hours. The soup and steak sauce make a gravy that is awesome! Serve chicken w/ gravy on top of mashed potatoes. Homemade is obviously best, but for a quick weeknight dinner you can use ready-made potatoes from the refrigerator section of the grocery store. You just uncover and heat up in the microwave. Super easy!

  8. Sweet chili chicken marinade– it’s just sweet chili sauce and liquid aminos, but tastes amazing cooked on the grill! Also I make red curry turkey Thai meatballs with white rice and chopped sweet potatoes in a bowl πŸ™‚

  9. School starts in 2 weeks here and I’m struggling with the idea of 3 kids – one starting kindergarten & the other in preschool. We have dance, gymnastics and baseball. Soon to be football πŸ˜‚ SO i understand the easy weekday meals! Love your suggestions. We do the crescent rolls a lot but we make ham and cheese with them! One of or faborites are pankcakes : egg sandwiches for dinner too.

  10. Thanks for sharing….I’ve been in such a dinner rut lately ugh! Going to try some of your ideas πŸ’‘:-) We love Zucchini Pie in our house served with fresh corn on the cob. You need a store-bought pie crust in a pie plate. Preheat the crust in oven for about 5 min or so. 1 lb of lean ground beef or turkey browned in the skillet and seasoned with S&P. Slice one zucchini and some onion and sautΓ© with a Tbsp butter in a small pan and add a little S&P and dill. Then layer on the pie crust: zucchini & onion, ground beef, sliced fresh tomato and sprinkle with a little shredded cheddar cheese. 30 min or so on 350 degrees and you’re good to go 🍽✌🏻

  11. Love the chicken taco idea! Always looking to switch things up in our rotation! Also my kids love meatloaf and I usually add some (hidden) shredded or finely diced carrots and zucchini for extra nutrients. πŸ™‚

  12. Love the turkey club photo – your colors are always so distinct! Chicken breast in the slow cooker with a tub of the fresh grocery store salsa makes for even easier chicken tacos!

  13. We love pizza on the grill! Just store bought dough and it takes 10 minutes! I too with leftovers a lot – BBQ chicken, zucchini, sausage and mushroom. Cheese, pesto with fresh tomatoes. So easy and good

  14. Waking tacos!!
    A bag of Fritos
    And on the bar – hamburger meat, shredded cheese, spinach leaves (or lettuce), diced tomatoes, and whatever other toppings you love. Give the kids a fork and good to go!

    Simple cleanup bc there aren’t any plates to wash!

  15. We like my faux rotisserie chicken. Take a frozen whole chicken, and throw it in the crockpot on low for 8 hours. You don’t add anything else (you can season with salt and pepper, or even a couple pats of butter if you’d like). When it is done cooking, it tastes just like a rotisserie chicken! You can enjoy as is (with whatever sides you decide–we like roasted broccoli and couscous) or shred it for tacos, pastas, etc. Left overs are perfect for chicken salad sandwiches!

  16. These are such great easy options! If you’re thinking chicken alfredo, we have an easy crock pot recipe too:
    However much chicken in the crock pot (high 4 hours, low 8 hours) – halfway through, pour alfredo sauce to cover the chicken, then cover back up and keep on cooking. Make whatever noodles, add alfredo sauce & shredded crock pot chicken. Literally our favorite dish at home <3

  17. Great ideas! We love sausage casserole (and its awesome for breakfast the next day, too)! I use 2 lbs of sausage, 1 hot and 1 mild. Brown and drain sausage. Then in a separate bowl, mix in 8 oz. of cream cheese with sausage. Unroll 1 can of crescent rolls into a casserole dish and pour sausage mixture over. Next layer another unrolled can of crescent rolls on top. Bake at 400 degrees for whatever the time is on the crescent rolls! So easy.

  18. We do crockpot Mexican chicken almost weekly. Frozen chicken breasts, salsa, frozen corn & black beans. Use can serve as nachos, tacos, etc with fresh guac..which is a huge staple here in Cali. We are obsessed with avocados! haha

  19. Love these ideas. A few of our go-to’s are “Easy Spinach Tomato Tortellini” & “Sheet Pan Asian Stir Fry” …and really any of the other one pans or crock pot recipes from “Damn Delicious”. She has a ton of easy weeknight recipes and we haven’t tried one yet that we didn’t keep.

  20. I’m making the meatloaf tonight for our fam! Was wondering about the salt+pepper – I added some and have already formed them into the small meatloafs but wondering if i didn’t add enough salt+pepper. (I’m always worried about adding too much salt!) I guess we could add at the end after they’ve been cooked if needed correct? How much salt+pepper would you say you add? I’m not very good at the “to taste” measurement:) Thanks a million!!

    • Oh gosh, I don’t measure any spices, just a few shakes?? πŸ˜‰ Sorry I am not much help. I guess after you make them once you’ll know to adjust next time? Hope they turned out great!!!

  21. We made the Turkey club sandwiches (but with deli chicken because that’s what I had) and they were AMAZING. I could not believe something so easy was so delish. Where have dinner sandwiches been all my life?!?

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