Are you rushing around every night after school and work? Do you want to make a great dinner but find yourself only having time for a frozen pizza? Me too! So, I came up with 25 Quick Family Dinner Ideas. A go to list when you don’t have time to cook a big meal but you also don’t want to pull out those chicken nuggets again. These quick and easy meal ideas are going to help de-stress your evenings and let you focus on everything else a busy mom needs to get done.
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25 Quick and Easy Family Dinner Ideas
Breakfast for Dinner
1. Pancakes and French Toast
What kid doesn’t want to have pancakes or french toast for dinner. Quick, easy, and fun.
2. Scrambled Egg Burritos
Cook up some scramble eggs first. Then add them into a tortilla with shredded cheese, black beans and salsa. Or try scrambled eggs, sausage links and cheese.
3. Bacon and Egg Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Start by making scrambled eggs and cooking some bacon quickly in the microwave. Butter some bread as if you were going to be making a grilled cheese sandwich. Add the first piece of butter bread to the frying pan and top with scrambled eggs, bacon and cheese. Add the other piece of bread and continue to cook it just like a grilled cheese sandwich. It would be fun to add a piece of avocado to the sandwich too.
Rotisserie Chicken Ideas
It is amazing how many meals can be made out of a rotisserie chicken! It’s a quick and easy way to have a chicken dinner without having the hassle of cooking it. Below are several quick ideas. To have more details take a look at my article
4. Chicken Dinner
Heat up some baked potatoes in the microwave (10 minutes or so depending on size, don’t’ forget to prick the potato with a fork). While that is cooking, heat up some frozen veggies and you’re done. Chicken breast, potatoes and veggies dinner.
Use leftover chicken the next day to add to a pizza. Bake a tortilla in the oven with pizza sauce, chicken and shredded cheese. If your kids will eat it add a couple diced veggies. Bake at 425 degrees for 8 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the bottom is crispy.
6. Tortilla Pizza with BBQ sauce
Add some more flavor by mixing the left-over chicken with BBQ sauce. Spread pizza sauce on the tortilla and top it with BBQ chicken and mozzarella cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for 8 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the bottom is crispy.
7. Buffalo Tortilla Pizza
Spice it up by mixing the chicken with hot sauce or buffalo wing sauce. Use blue cheese dressing as your sauce and top with shredded cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for 8 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the bottom is crispy.
You can cook several tortillas together by placing them on a cookie sheet and baking at 425 degrees for 8 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the bottom is crispy.
8. Homemade Pizza
Buy a premade pizza crust either at the grocery store or Trader Joes. Cook it on a sheet pan or pizza pan according to the directions on the packet. Add to the pizza whatever toppings your family likes. Suggestions could include cheese, sliced peperoni, bell peppers, mushrooms, left-over shredded chicken or spinach.
Want some more ideas for Tortilla pizzas your family will love? Check out this post http://happymomhacks.com/meal-ideas-easy-tortilla-pizzas/
Use the leftover rotisserie chicken to add into your Quesadillas. Mix in some cheese and any veggies you have in the fridge. This is a good meal for picky eaters because your making each quesadilla separately. You could throw all of the quesadillas on a baking sheet and cook at 350 degrees or cook each separate in a frying pan.
10. Rice Bowl
This is a great way to use left over chicken. First cook some brown or white rice and sauté some veggies (bell pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli) . When veggies are about done cooking, throw in the meat to warm up and add taco seasoning or teriyaki sauce depending on the flavor you want. Put the veggies and meat on top of the rice and your done. If you used a taco seasoning, you could add some cheese or sour cream on top also.
11. Taco Night
My kids favorite night of the week! To make this more fun make it a taco bar. Put out bowls with all your toppings such as cheese, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, onions, lettuce or tomatoes. Cook up your ground turkey, ground beef or shredded rotisserie chicken with some taco seasoning. Then put it all out on the counter for the kids to put their own dinner together.
12. Mexican Rice Bowls
I use the leftover taco meat or leftover Rotisserie chicken to make quick Mexican rice bowls. Start by sautéing some bell peppers, onions and zucchini in large skillet. When they are done transfer to a plate. In the same large skillet start cooking your Mexican rice according to the box directions. While rice is cooking make some frozen corn and wash and drain a can of black beans. When there is five minutes left of the rice cooking, add in the veggies, left-over taco meat, corn, and black beans. Last top with cheese and let it melt in the pan. Serve it up with some sour cream or guacamole on top.
13. Fajita Night
Chicken fajitas are a quick meal to make. Either slice up a few chicken breasts at home or use a Rotisserie Chicken. Slice up some onions and bell peppers and sauté them in a large frying pan. If your chicken is already cooked then throw it in; if not, take out the veggies and cook your chicken. Once your chicken is cooked, combine the vegetable and chicken together and cook with fajita seasoning. Warm up some tortillas and put out cheese, sour cream and guacamole. Lay out your tortillas, add the filling, roll it up and enjoy.
This is a fun and easy one to make and my kids are always excited to eat this for dinner. Put some tortilla chips on a sheet pan, throw some black beans, leftover Rotisserie chicken, corn and cheese. Cook them in a 425 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is all melted. Take them out and top with salsa, tomatoes, sour cream or guacamole. Bonus my kids didn’t even complain about the beans because they were so covered in cheese and chips.
Crockpot Night Ideas
15. BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
In the morning put a 3-4 defrosted chicken breasts (depending on your family size) in the crockpot and sprinkle with salt and garlic powder. Next pour a jar of your favorite BBQ sauce over the chicken. Then crack open a bottle of beer and pour it over the top instead of adding water. This gives it a little more flavor but if you don’t want beer you could also use Root Beer. Cook on low 6-8 hours. About 20 minutes before you eat shred the chicken with two forks and let it soak up the sauce. When you are ready to eat, just add the BBQ chicken to a bun. Tip: Did you forget to defrost the chicken last night? No problem you can put frozen chicken breast in too.
16. Crockpot Chili
In the morning, cook up 1 lb of ground turkey or beef. Drain it and add it to the crockpot. Then throw in some chili seasoning, 1- 8 oz can of tomato sauce, 1 -15 oz can of diced tomatoes, 1-15 oz can of kidney beans, 1-15 oz can of black beans and stir it up. Depending on how much flavor or heat you want, add in 2 tbsp. of chili powder or garlic powder. Cook on low for the day or on high for 4 hours. Serve with cheese, avocado, and sour cream or cook up some pasta and pour the chili over the top. Another great addition is a side of corn bread. Tip: Don’t have a lot of time in the morning? Brown up the meat the night before and refrigerate then throw it into the crock pot in the morning with all the other ingredients.
17. Chili Baked Potato Bar
Depending on how much time you have, you can cook the potatoes in the oven or quickly in the microwave. While they cook put out bowls with all the toppings. Suggestions are cheese, butter, sour cream, bacon bits, broccoli, green onions, guacamole, salsa, or leftover chili. Basically, whatever you have in the fridge and your kids will eat.
Pasta Night Ideas
18. Pesto Pasta
Quick and easy pasta meal. You cook your pasta throw in some cut up veggies and add some pesto sauce you bought at the store. You could add in sausage or chicken to add meat to this dish. For a more detailed recipe take a look at my post Easy Pesto Pasta Recipe the Whole Family will eat –http://happymomhacks.com/easy-pesto-pasta-recipe-whole-family-will-eat/
19. Tortellini Night
The great thing about Tortellini is it cooks fast. You can use either frozen or fresh tortellini. If your cooking frozen tortellini throw in some frozen peas at the same time and your veggie is done. Toppings Options: 1. Olive oil and shredded cheese 2. Pesto sauce and diced tomatoes. You could also sauté some veggies to throw in like fresh spinach, zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms or onions.
Total kid meal and is super quick! Cook the small shell pasta (Conchiglie) according to directions and half way through throw in the frozen peas to the pasta water. Drain the pasta and peas, toss with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
21. Macaroni and Cheese
What kid doesn’t like Mac and Cheese. Choose whichever premade box version your kids like and add in some cut up hot dogs to make it more filling. Then plate it up with some raw veggies and fruit.
Sandwich Night Ideas
22. Sandwich Night
Put out bread or rolls, deli meat, cheeses and toppings like mayonnaise. Each family member can make their own sandwich. Maybe add some raw veggies and chips in the line up and you’re done.
Really pressed for time, make it a grilled cheese night. Add some raw vegetables like carrots, some fruit and maybe a few chips to the plate and you’re done. To make it a little more filling add in some shredded chicken or deli meat.
24. Deli Roll ups
Start with a tortilla shell and lay it flat on a cutting board. Next spread cream cheese all over the tortilla. Add on top deli meat such as ham or turkey and then shredded cheddar cheese. For crunch I add in either some thinly sliced bell pepper, shredded carrots, or sliced cucumber. Roll up the tortilla shell and you’re ready to eat.
25. Crescent Roll Sandwiches
My kids love warm buttery rolls. So, we started making quick sandwiches out of crescent rolls when we are in a rush. Take the crescent rolls out of the package and lay them out in the triangle shapes. Put cheese and ham or turkey inside and roll them up. Cook them in the oven according to the directions on the crescent roll package. Add a bowl of soup to make it a great winter meal.
I hope these family dinner ideas will make your hectic nights a little easier! Please share in the comments area any great quick meal ideas you use at home. We moms can all learn so much for each other.
If you enjoyed this article take a look at my posts on Easy Pesto Pasta Recipe – http://happymomhacks.com/easy-pesto-pasta-recipe-whole-family-will-eat/, and Tortilla Pizza Recipes http://happymomhacks.com/meal-ideas-easy-tortilla-pizzas/