I don’t know about you, but we always find the adjustment to a back-to-school routine a bit jarring in our house. Not only is waking up every morning and going to school a big change after the relaxation of summer, it seems like all of the other extra-curricular activities start up at once. Sports, choir, band, language classes, church activities and more all make the evenings chaos at times. It’s still very important in our house to have a healthy meal we can all enjoy together. Some of my favorites are below!
1. The crock pot is my best friend on busy nights. It keeps a meal warm and waiting for whenever the kids get home from their various activities. White Chicken Chili is always a hit with everyone in our house. It’s great topped with sour cream, cilantro, cheese and lime.
2. Slow Cooker Meatballs are another meal that everyone in our house loves. We like them paired with whole wheat noodles or zucchini noodles. They’re also great on a french roll for a meatball sub.
3. Barbacoa is another delicious slow cooker recipe that’s easy to tweak depending on your mood. It’s great in tacos, burritos or soups. We like making rice bowls and topping them with beans, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, avocado and this amazing barbacoa (it’s super similar to the one they serve at Chipotle! Yum!)
4. Casseroles are another meal that’s great to make a large batch of so kids can eat whenever they’re home. Plus leftovers are great in a thermos the next day. Green Chicken Enchiladas are a perfect option paired with a big salad. You can also switch out the chicken for pork, shrimp or beans depending on what you have on hand.
5. Everyone loves chicken parmesan! This Chicken Parmesan Baked Ziti is great to make in advance and is easy to double for a crowd. Pair it with a caesar salad and garlic bread and dinner will be gone in seconds.
6. Zucchini, Rice & Cheese Gratin has to be tried (it will make your kids love vegetables!). Every bite is cheesy and delicious, and it’s great for a night that you want to skip meat. It saves beautifully and can be a main dish when paired with a salad or a side paired with grilled chicken or steak.
7. Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese is a healthier twist on a classic. We love the addition of healthy broccoli, and sharp cheddar cheese adds a ton of flavor.
Back-to-School Dinner Ideas
8. Fritattas are always a great way to clean out the fridge. I like using up meats, cheeses and veggies that we have in the fridge when I make one. This Shaved Asparagus Frittata is absolutely delicious. We pair them with fresh bread and a fruit salad! Leftovers reheat well for breakfast too.
9. Sheet pan dinners are a cooking trend that we love! Cleanup is a breeze since everything is cooked in one pan, and the flavors from roasted veggies are amazing. Sheet Pan Garlic & Herb Butter Chicken & Potatoes is an easy, delicious recipe you will make again and again.
10. Stir Fries are a great way to give your family a healthy meal that’s filling and tasty. You can switch out pretty much any protein or vegetable, and serve it with rice, cous cous or quinoa. This beef stir-fry recipe is a little sweet and a little salty and whole lot good!
You can survive the busy back to school season with an arsenal of delicious recipes like these that will keep everyone in your family happy and well fed!
Jessica works at Little Skye Kids Boutique in e-commerce and social media. She lives in Southern California with her husband and three kids.