Lately I’ve gotten really into (or almost obsessed with, haha) finding quick or simple meals to make for supper. I think it all started with me seeing some moms share their go-to easy meals over on Instagram. It sparked my interest, because as much as I love an ambitious recipe, and as much as I do enjoy cooking…I also have a 15-month-old. And she is on. the. go! 🙂 So I have a few options: I could spend her afternoon nap times prepping a more advanced meal for supper each night, I could risk a sad little one totally underfoot as I chop lots of ingredients before mealtime, or I could embrace meals that are slightly more simple this season! This isn’t to say that all my meals from here on out need to be 5 ingredients or less, or some extreme like that; I’m just acknowledging the fact that life is busy and although I love to cook, I also don’t have as much time to leisurely prepare food as I used to! Frankly, I just want convenience.
I’ve been perusing Pinterest for recipes, looking for meal ideas in Facebook groups, and even watching YouTube mamas’ recommendations for easy weeknight meals. I’m also trying out a free month of Plan to Eat (an online account and app that stores recipes for you, helps you plan your meals out, and creates your whole shopping list! – click here to try a free month of it for yourself!) Part of me is overwhelmed by the sheer number of “easy dinner ideas” out there, but part of me is exhilarated by the huge quantity of meal ideas! In my recent research over the past couple of weeks, I’ve come across some highly recommended or otherwise yummy sounding dinner ideas! They’re not necessarily each labeled as a very healthy meal, but I think with some thoughtful sides, the meals could be rounded out nicely.
I’m starting a new series here on the blog as a way to share simple or fun meal ideas with all of you! I think each of us appreciates some fresh ideas now and then, so hopefully this post will be inspiring to you!
** Note: The meals I’m sharing for “What’s For Dinner Wednesday” aren’t ALL of the exact recipes I’ll be making that week, although I’ll make sure to include some of the meals in my weekly meal plan amongst the recipes in the list. 🙂 Enjoy!
Mac ‘n’ Cheese With Hamburger:
We’ll start with an especially easy, simple meal. This is a great meal for when I’m otherwise stumped or we’re just super hungry and need something soon.
1 lb. ground hamburger
2 boxes mac ‘n’ cheese
Lowry’s Seasoned Salt
I love to brown one pound of ground hamburger, make 2 boxes of mac ‘n’ cheese, and then combine the two together. I sprinkle it with Lowry’s Seasoned Salt and then we’re good to go! I serve this with veggies on the side – whether frozen mixed veggies (which my daughter loves) or frozen broccoli/cauliflower mix. I know some people like to add frozen peas to the mac ‘n’ cheese and hamburger; I’d like to try that sometime if I remember. Yum!
Spicy Sausage Pasta:
I made this a couple days ago and it was quite good! It came together very quickly, considering all I had to chop was one large onion and some scallions. Source was this blog, but I did tweak the recipe a bit.
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/3 cup scallions, thinly sliced
Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the sausage and onion; cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth, Ro-Tel tomatoes, whole milk, uncooked pasta, and salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pan. Simmer until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from from heat and stir in 1 cup of the shredded cheese. Top with remaining cheese and sprinkle with scallions. Optional: Broil in the oven until the cheese is melted and browned.
I have yet to try this recipe, but it’s on the meal plan for later on this week! Chicken breasts were on a super sale at the grocery store, and this sounds like a fun new way to prepare them! This was shared in a moms’ Facebook group I’m in, and at least two of the women shared that either this recipe was a favorite of theirs, or a go-to that their mom used to make. It sparked my interest! Apparently the sauce tastes like a variation of barbecue sauce.
3 chicken breasts (more if you want)
8 oz. creamy French dressing
1 envelope dry onion soup/dip mix
1 can jellied cranberry sauce
Heat oven to 350. Mix the dressing, onion mix, and cranberry sauce together, and spread on top of raw chicken breasts in a baking dish. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Serve with rice and green beans or other similar sides.
This recipe was shared by Elise Hunter (@huntersofhappiness) on Instagram. I tweaked it a little bit because I really wanted to include black beans and avocadoes. 🙂 It’s so, so easy. It’s great because a lot of these ingredients can be bought ahead of time and be stashed in the pantry! I’ve made this twice now. Sophie loves it, too, and the leftovers are yummy as well!
2 12.5-oz. cans of canned chicken (these are the bigger ones)
1 can red enchilada sauce (just a normal sized can, not too big)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 small can of diced green chiles
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
7-10 flour tortillas
2 avocados (for fresh avocado slices)
rice or other desired sides
Preheat oven to 350. Stir together canned chicken, enchilada sauce, cream of chicken soup, green chiles, black beans, and most of the bag of Mexican cheese (maybe save 3/4 cup cheese). Fill tortillas with the mixture, roll up, and place them side by side in a 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle any leftover cheese on top. Bake until everything is heated through, about 20 minutes. (It’s all precooked already, though, so baking time is just to preference.) Serve with a side of rice, more black beans, avocado slices, and salsa. Yum!
Have you heard of any of these recipes before? What’s a favorite go-to meal in your household?? (Seriously! I love hearing these ideas!) I hope these meal ideas brought you a little inspiration for your week! Let me know if this is a type of post you’d like to see more of around here!