7 Quick Easy Dinners for Moms Who Can’t Cook
When life is hectic – and when isn’t it for moms? – planning dinner can sometimes become difficult. To avoid running through a fast food drive-thru or ordering pizza delivery, it’s a good idea to have some simple, nutritious meals in your recipe collection for those times when you need to pull dinner together quickly, but simply thinking about cooking makes you tired.
Planning ahead and prepping on grocery shopping days makes finding a quick solution for dinner easier. Something as simple as chopping vegetables before storing them can make dinner preparation much quicker.
Sometimes prepping isn’t feasible, or unexpected things happen, and you find yourself struggling to pull an idea together for dinner. Here are some ideas for healthy meals that can be pulled together quickly, even if you think you can’t cook!
Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet
This simple meal from Primavera Kitchen is a one pan meal that can be made in approximately 30 minutes. The recipe is gluten free and made with whole ingredients.
The combination of ingredients makes a flavorful meal without any additions. If you prefer, you can pair this dish with some steamed broccoli or roasted asparagus on the side. Using one pot to create this meal makes clean up easier too.
Kielbasa Cabbage Potato Skillet
Kielbasa pairs nicely with potatoes, and it pairs nicely with cabbage. This dish combines all three to elevate a simple kielbasa to a new level.
One of the best parts of this recipe is that it takes just 20 minutes to make! Adding a few simple seasonings during cooking makes this relatively inexpensive dish a flavorful offering. You could try adding peppers or other vegetables to this dish to create a completely different flavor combination.
Crockpot Mexican Chicken
If your family enjoys tacos, fajitas, or nachos, this dish comes together in minutes and cooks while you’re busy with your daily routine!
Simply layer about 1.5-2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast, a medium onion diced, diced tomatoes, corn (frozen or canned whole kernel corn are best), black beans, and your favorite Mexican flavors into your crockpot.
Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or cook on high for 4 to 5 hours. When the chicken has cooked through, use forks to shred it. This can be served in tortillas, over chips like nachos, or over cauliflower rice (they have it in the freezer section now!)
Serve with garnishes like shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, or guacamole if you want. It should be noted that if you use canned black beans for this dish you will want to drain and rinse them before putting them into the crockpot.
Spaghetti with Meatballs
Pasta is an obvious choice for a quick fix meal. Pasta typically cooks in ten minutes or less. Adding thawed and heated frozen meatballs to the sauce is an easy way to add protein to the dish.
You can use a pre-bottled sauce or make your own. Adding vegetables to the sauce adds nutrients, flavor, and texture.
For a change of pace, try using a different pasta like rotini or penne, or even use “noodles” made from zucchini or butternut squash. Pair the pasta with a simple side salad for additional nutrition.
Deconstructed Pizza Casserole
This one is easy, includes no crust or pasta, and still tastes like pizza. There are multiple versions of this simple casserole out there. They vary on ingredients slightly, but none of them take very long to make. Most are ready for the table within 30 minutes.
Any toppings you like on pizza can be included in this casserole. Once you learn the method for making it, the options are endless. Basically, any ground meat like beef or sausage is browned in a skillet. You saute onions, peppers or mushrooms, or any combination of those you like.
Layer the browned meat into a casserole dish. Top with drained and rinsed diced tomatoes. Top that with the vegetables you of your choice. Sprinkle the layers with oregano and garlic powder. Top that with Mozzarella or pizza blend cheese.
If you want pepperoni, ham, or Canadian bacon, nestle those ingredients into the cheese on top of everything. Bake the casserole for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cheese melts and is starting to brown.
Salad for Dinner
An easy meal any night of the week is salad. Think of the salad bar at your favorite restaurant. Typically, you find a variety of vegetables, boiled eggs, cheeses, and proteins like ham, turkey, or chicken. Some salad bars include pepperoni or salami as well.
A salad can be a somewhat do-it-yourself meal. If you have chopped vegetables on grocery shopping day, you have the option of setting ingredients on the table or counter and allowing each person to build his or her own salad.
Even if you haven’t prepped the vegetables ahead of time, it only takes a few minutes to chop them for dinner.
Similar to a do-it-yourself salad bar is a do-it-yourself taco bar. The hardest part of creating a taco bar is prepping vegetables like onions or tomatoes. You can dice the veggies in a food processor or stock up on pre-cut veggies.
This meal can be varied by using different proteins. Beef, turkey, pork, chicken, or fish all make good choices for a taco bar.
Vary your toppings as well to have limitless possibilities. With fish, try using cabbage or a simple slaw. You could even try using different spices or barbecue flavors instead of traditional taco seasonings.
The thought of cooking dinner is paralyzing to a lot of moms, but it doesn’t have to be! Cooking doesn’t have to be gourmet to be good, and it certainly doesn’t have to take hours. With a little creativity, you can have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes. Some meals can be completed in less than 15 minutes and are still healthy.
One pot meals, crockpot meals, do-it-yourself meal nights, even Instant Pot meals can make dinner time easier to handle. Life is hectic, but dinner can be quick, simple, and healthy while still being flavorful and delicious!
Are weeknight dinners a struggle for you? They are for nearly all of my clients, including myself! That’s why I made Simply Healthy Weeknight Dinners, a month of 5-ingredient meals. Each healthy recipe serves at minimum 4 people, plus it comes with grocery lists, menu planners, and actionable strategies for quick dinners. Click here to grab a copy and be set all month!