quick meals
quick meals

Right now, parents are juggling more on their already-full plates than usual. Many of us are still working from home, our kids are doing classes from the kitchen table, and we’re finding less time to get everything done.

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We strive to make sure our kids are well cared for, but TBH, sometimes having to cook every night drains us like nothing else. And with everyone so stressed and overworked, finding dinner ideas that are easy to prep and cook offers a much-needed reprieve.

So to help everyone out, we’ve rounded up 20 super-easy dinner recipes for those nights when we’re done cooking but still have to power through.

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It’s hard to find a meal that everyone will like, so we often go back to one time and again when we find it. Beef enchiladas are generally easy to prepare, can be done ahead of time, and are crowd pleasers. The kids and parents will enjoy eating them – even if it’s for the second time in the same week.

Spaghetti & Meatball Skillet

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Pasta is always a quick meal idea, and this one is even better because it takes very few dishes, making for a much easier cleanup. The meal itself only takes 30 minutes to create and is good for any season of the year. This can be tailored to the family’s taste if they prefer beef meatballs over turkey or if adding vegetables into the mix is important.

Crustless Mushroom Asparagus Quiche

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Eggs are one of those great meal options for families because they’re full of amazing protein and they’re really versatile and easy to turn into entrees. This crustless quiche is delicious and healthy and simple to make. It, too, can be put together early and heated or cooked when it’s closer to dinnertime. If the kids don’t like mushrooms or asparagus, swap them with bacon and spinach or ham and cheese. The possibilities are nearly endless.

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Who doesn’t love the flavors of a BLT? Nearly everyone does, and that’s what makes this fast and easy meal a perfect choice when parents are so over meals. No one will fight over this one – everyone will eat it, and parents won’t have to spend all evening putting it together.

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This fish recipe is so simple to create and requires very few dishes, which is an extra bonus for tired parents. To put this together, only a handful of ingredients are required, and it needs zero babysitting while it’s cooking.

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A few sweet things on the plate means the kids won’t complain when they see this meal. It’s healthy enough and full of the right balance of foods that parents won’t feel bad about whipping up this meal. It only takes 30 minutes and will serve four people.

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A meal that only takes 20 minutes to put together is the perfect one to add to our menu rotation. It’s easy to pull this one out when the day has been full of hassle and we’re more frazzled than we want to be. It’s fun for the kids to eat as well, which means they’ll be none the wiser that we’re over cooking.

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For parents who are frazzled and don’t want to cook, having something like an Instant Pot is a dream. We can put together this tasty cheeseburger pasta, make enough for the whole family, and do it while taking very little of our valuable time.

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Pizza is always a family favorite, but if we don’t want to spend all that time making crust, then this is the next best thing. We can pop our favorite toppings on pitas and bake them. Each of the kids will get an individual favorite, and it’ll all be done in 20 minutes.

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Sandwiches on their own is a good option for dinner when we’re too tired to cook or over the day’s hassles. But these kabobs make it a little more fun for kids to eat, so it’s more likely they’ll actually finish their meal, making it one less hassle for us.

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This is a good hardy meal that can be whipped up pretty quickly, tailored to the tastes of the family, and can be prepped up earlier in the day when we have more energy. Curry rice is one of those dishes that can stand on its own as a full meal or work as a side to a chicken breast or thigh.

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There is something about warm gooey cheese and chicken that makes any long day feel better. And that’s what this meal will bring. It’s simple to make – seriously, the kids can make it themselves – and it will leave everyone’s tummy feeling a little better. Serve them with a side of carrot sticks or apples and just call it a day, mama.

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Sandwiches are a quick meal that is a totally worthy go-to on days we really don’t want to cook. These meatloaf patty melts are fast to prep and comforting to eat. They’re a good way to pop in some vegetables for the kids and will fill everyone’s belly.

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Anytime we can make a meal in a skillet, it’s a good day. It means we don’t need to orchestrate a massive dinner prep. It also means that we’re not going to have to spend all our energy on cleanup. Beef tacos are sometimes too much work, but all the ingredients in a skillet meal are perfect.

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There’s almost no faster meal than a salad because it just means we throw many ingredients into a bowl. This one offers a whole punch of taste for adults and kids, can be tailored to picky eaters, and will not zap you of all your energy because it’s so easy to prepare.

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Even when we’re all out of energy, we don’t want to have a bland dinner. And that’s why this meal is the perfect option for these situations. It brings a powerful punch of flavor that won’t require anyone to spend the whole evening standing over the stove.

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There’s a reason we’ve relied on casseroles for so many years to feed our families. These are fast to pop together — we just have to throw them in the oven. And that’s it. This one is done in 25 minutes, and it’s full of all the ingredients that make up a healthy meal.

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When we feel with every fiber of our being that we don’t want to cook, there’s nothing better than the food we can eat with our hands that takes little time. These Cobb salad wraps have everything we want in a meal that’s satisfying and don’t give us any hassle or drain too much energy to create.

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Meatballs are always a good meal, one that the kids won’t fight having to eat, and tacos are as well. Combining the two is genius, and it’s not going to drain our resources trying to get the kids to eat off their plates. They’re quick to whip up, especially if we prep and freeze some to pull out on lower-energy days.

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Sometimes all we need is a stew, and there’s nothing better than chicken when we need a pick-me-up. Stews work well for those times we’re done with the day because we can put it in a slow cooker, set it, and forget it — or fast track the cooking with an Instant Pot.