30+ EASY Dinner Recipes for Your Busiest Days!

See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.

These easy dinner recipes are just what you need for busy days, including back to school time! Not only are these recipes fast, they’re also kid-friendly!

The best quick and easy meals for families. These healthy dinners are perfect for kids and for picky eaters!

A few weeks ago, I started a secret Pinterest board to gather fast and easy dinner recipes that I could make during the first few weeks of school. This time of year is busy for my family because not only are my kids going back to school, I am too since I’m a teacher. This year I’ve moved to a new school and I’m teaching a new grade (2nd), so things are even busier than usual!

After making my back to school dinner recipe list, I knew I needed to share it! I know that many of you are also in the midst of busy days and evenings, and who doesn’t appreciate a meal that can be prepared quickly and easily?

My criteria for the recipes on this list are:

  • fast preparation time (some of the recipes here are slow cooker recipes, but I made sure that the hands-on prep time is short)
  • kid-friendly
  • fairly healthy (we want both the adults and kids to eat dinner and love it, after all)

Many of these recipes can be made in just one pot, so you’ll have less dishes to wash, too. There are also plenty of slow cooker meals here, so you save time during the evening rush.

My biggest tip for getting a healthy home-cooked dinner on the table each night is to meal plan. It takes just minutes and saves so much time in the long run. Grab your calendar (or a notepad and pen), pull up this list of easy dinner recipes, and choose three that you’d like to make during the week ahead. The other nights of the week can be filled in with leftovers, breakfast for dinner, or other favorite easy meals that your family loves. (English muffin pizzas are a favorite with my kids!)

Once you have your meal plan written down, go through each recipe and make a grocery list. We try to grocery shop once a week and buy everything we’ll need. Avoiding extra trips to the store saves us both time and money!

With these recipes, our menu is covered for at least the next month or two!

Be sure to also check out these 23 Healthy 30 Minute Real Food Dinners!

Easy Dinner Recipes for Busy Days:

3-Ingredient Slow Cooker Taco Chicken

An easy recipe for 3-Ingredient Slow Cooker Taco Chicken. My family has made this so many times we've lost count! It's a healthy weeknight dinner made simple with the help of your crock pot!

Easy Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs

Easy Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs - The best oven baked chicken thighs are crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. This easy dinner recipe is made with just a few ingredients and can be made with bone in or boneless skinless chicken thighs. These easy baked chicken thighs are perfectly seasoned and perfectly crispy!

One Pot Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole by Jo Cooks


Chicken Enchilada Casserole by Live Well Bake Often


Slow Cooker Taco Pasta

An Easy Slow Cooker Taco Pasta recipe that you can prep ahead. With just 10 minutes prep, this comforting crock pot pasta dish is so fast and easy to make! | www.kristineskitchenblog.com

Unstuffed Bell Pepper Skillet

This Unstuffed Bell Pepper Skillet is a healthy one pot dinner made with ground turkey and brown rice. This recipe is my kids' favorite!

Slow Cooker Sweet Chili Chicken (3 Ways) by Sweet Peas and Saffron


Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Chili Mac by The Recipe Rebel


French Bread Pizza by Love Bakes Good Cakes

french bread pizza

Stuffed Pepper Casserole by Yummy Healthy Easy


Sheet Pan Sausage and Vegetables

Sheet Pan Sausage and Roasted Veggies, plus a meal prep option. A quick dinner recipe that’s made on one pan! Use broccoli and sweet potatoes or any favorite vegetables. Only 6 ingredients!

Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken

This Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken is one of my family's favorite easy dinners! Made in the slow cooker, this chicken is sweet and juicy!

Honey Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Skillet by Flavor the Moments


Pasta Pizza Casserole by My Kitchen Craze


5 Ingredient One Pot Pasta

5 Ingredient One Pot Pasta with Chicken Sausage. Ready in 30 minutes! | www.kristineskitchenblog.com

20 Minute Healthy Taco Salad

Wondering what to make for dinner? This 20 Minute Healthy Taco Salad recipe will make the whole family happy! It has taco beef, cheese, avocado and salsa dressing! | www.kristineskitchenblog.com

Stovetop Broccoli Chicken Mac ‘n’ Cheese by Whole and Heavenly Oven


Slow Cooker Turkey Chickpea Chili

Slow Cooker Turkey Chickpea Chili - our favorite healthy chili recipe is packed with protein and so easy to make in your crock pot!

One Pot Vegetarian Chili Mac

One Pot Vegetarian Chili Mac - One of THE easiest meals for busy nights! Everything cooks in one skillet, and the pasta absorbs SO much flavor!

Honey Dijon Roasted Pork Tenderloin by The Seasoned Mom


Baked Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Sweet and sour meatballs are so tender and flavorful! You can make them ahead for a quick freezer meal for weeknight dinners. You will love the homemade 3 ingredient sweet and sour sauce! These healthy baked meatballs are made with ground turkey, ginger and hoisin.

Easy Skinny Skillet Lasagna by Life Made Sweeter


BBQ Pulled Chicken Avocado Boats by My Sequined Life


Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Tenders

Parmesan Crusted Chicken Tenders-6682wm

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad by Pumpkin ‘N Spice


Slow Cooker Lentil Tacos

These Slow Cooker Lentil Tacos are easy to prepare and the filling is freezer-friendly. This healthy slow cooker vegetarian taco filling is also vegan (if you leave off the cheese). My family loves these crock pot tacos!

Our Favorite Easy Oven Baked Salmon

This easy oven baked salmon recipe is our favorite! With a honey, Dijon and garlic sauce and just 10 minutes of prep time this salmon is a 30 minute meal.

Easy Beef and Broccoli by Bake.Eat.Repeat.


BBQ Chicken Sliders with Cheddar and Spinach

BBQ Chicken Sliders with Cheddar and Spinach. Tangy BBQ sauce, gooey cheddar and chicken make for one tasty little sandwich!

Southwest Turkey, Vegetable and Rice Skillet by Recipe Runner


Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup by Baked by Rachel


BBQ Turkey Sloppy Joes

BBQ Turkey Sloppy Joes - quick, easy, packed with sweet-spicy bbq flavor!

Asian Pork Tenderloin with Ginger Glaze (Slow Cooker) by The Food Charlatan



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