Who wouldn’t hire a cook if they could afford it? Thanks to these quick and easy recipes for busy families, dinner this week won’t sound nearly as daunting.
Enjoy these dishes that will feed your whole family without adding another hour to your workday. Each one is also designed to clear up fast, so you can check off dinner and enjoy the rest of your evening at home.
Instant Pot Mac ‘n’ Cheese
This fast and easy comfort food will make all your kids happy. Your house will smell like cheese, you’ll only have one dish to wash, and that’s not even the best part – you can be sitting down to eat in 10 minutes.
- 1 16-ounce box of elbow macaroni
- 4 cups of water or chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Pinch of spices (garlic powder, etc.)
- Pinch of pepper and salt
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ -1 cup milk
- Add the first five ingredients to your Instant Pot.
- Put the lid on and cook at high pressure for five minutes.
- Open the pot and mix the milk and cheese in thoroughly.
To round out this meal, serve it with fresh steamed broccoli. Cut and wash broccoli florets, then put them in a microwave-safe bowl with a bit of water in the bottom. Cover with a lid to speed up the cooking process. Steam in your microwave for three to five minutes.
2. Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies
Sheet pan meals are another quick way to cut down on dishes and prep time. They’re delicious and adapt beautifully to whatever vegetables are in season. Take this idea and run with it to create as many different meals as you choose.
- Meat: Chicken breasts and thighs
- Starch: Sweet potatoes or golden potatoes
- Vegetables: Peppers, red onions, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
- Seasoning: Olive oil, salt, garlic, cinnamon, paprika, optional sauces
- Set your oven to 425 degrees.
- Cut and season the vegetables according to taste (use olive oil to prevent sticking), then spread evenly across the sheet pan. Place the chicken on top.
- Cook 30-35 minutes until the chicken is completely done and the vegetables are browned.
Take this meal to the next level by adding a delicious sauce. Pair different spices and marinades to add variety to your seasonal mix of veggies and starches. Even better, creating a sauce won’t add any prep time to this meal since you can make it while the chicken bakes. The possibilities are endless.
3. Healthy Taco Tuesday Recipe
Tacos are yummy, healthy and a fun way to involve the whole family in cooking dinner. Set your kids to washing lettuce and chopping tomatoes, and dinner will be ready before you know it. Easily adapt this recipe to your family’s preferences, and enjoy any night of the week — even on days that don’t start with “T.”
- Ground beef — make about 0.4 pounds per person
- Taco shells or tortilla wraps
- Taco seasoning packet
- Fresh toppings: tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, grated cheese
- Additional toppings: salsa, sour cream or unsweetened yogurt
- Follow the instructions on the taco shell box to preheat the oven.
- Cook ground beef, add spices and let simmer. Put the taco shells in the oven.
- While the shells and beef are cooking, have your kids cut up vegetables, grate cheese and set out other toppings.
- Pull the shells out of the oven when the timer goes off.
- Mix toppings to create your personal version of the best tacos in the world.
Tacos are a great meal to make if your kids are a little picky — they can choose the toppings they like, and so can you. Getting children involved in the cooking process will also help them appreciate the work you put into their meals. Who knows? Maybe next week, they’ll want to be in charge of dinner.
4. White Chicken Chili
Nothing is quite as comforting as a warm bowl of soup. Whether you’re shoring up your immune system against flu season or making the most of a rainy day, this dish will nurture and sustain your whole family.
- Four cans cooked white chicken
- Four cans white beans
- Two cans of tomatoes and green chilis
- One 32-ounce box of chicken stock
- Spices: chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt
- Rinse beans.
- Add everything to a pot on the stove.
- Cook until bubbling and let simmer for a few minutes to blend flavors.
- Add fun toppings like avocado, sour cream or corn chips to take this flavor even further.
Usually, the longer you cook chili, the more the flavors blend and the better it tastes. To save time later, throw this meal in the crockpot in the morning for added flavor at dinnertime. Be careful not to overcook the beans, though.
Dinner: Easy and Delicious
Family dinner should be fun — it doesn’t have to be another chore.
Try these quick and easy recipes to get a warm meal on your family’s table before anyone even knows they’re hungry. Don’t be afraid to mix up spices and ingredients to make each of these dishes your own.