Food & Drink

10 Easy Dinner Recipes for Busy Parents

Honestly, who has time to get creative in the kitchen these days? Between work and kids and school events, extracurricular activities and just life in general, it’s a safe bet that very few people come home super peppy and ready to spend another hour experimenting on dinner.

In fact, some of us (ahem. me.) have a hard time boiling water without almost setting the house on fire. Y’all didn’t know that was possible, did you? So people like me, mere mortals in the world of culinary arts, need easy dinner recipes that won’t bore us all to tears or become potential safety hazards.

I’ve assembled a lineup of entrees that are both easy and quick, and won’t scare your family away with their weirdness. So check out these 10 easy dinner recipes, and bon appétit!

1. Fish Fry

Flickr/Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Visitor's Bureau
Flickr/Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

This recipe from Rachel Ray is not only delicious, it’s also easy and fast, which is what you want from dinner, right? More time for Netflix afterwards. [Get the recipe here]

2. Chicken Alfredo

Flickr/Christine Chau
Flickr/Christine Chau

You don’t have to go to an Italian restaurant to get great pasta, and best of all you can make it at home. Also, you don’t have to bother making your own alfredo sauce when they sell it right off the grocery store shelf in jars. Still confused? [Get the recipe here]

3. Balsamic Pork Chops

Image via My Recipes
Image via My Recipes

This recipe is to die for. Not only is it fast, but you end up with succulent pork chops which are always a popular choice. The addition of balsamic vinegar and rosemary will make it seem like you spent hours in the kitchen. [Get the recipe here]

4. Chicken Noodle Soup

Flickr/Carol VanHook
Flickr/Carol VanHook

Whether or not you’re sick, chicken noodle soup is a nutritious and easy dinner to make for your family. It’s one of the few ways I can get my own kids to eat vegetables. [Get the recipe here]

5. Easy Chicken Fried Steak

Flickr/Zac Bowling
Flickr/Zac Bowling

Honestly, y’all would not believe how simple this is to make. This recipe will leave you wondering whether or not grandma was telling the whole truth about spending hours slaving over a hot stove to make Sunday dinner. [Get the recipe here]

6. Mini Meatloaves

Flickr/Steve Johnson

A full pan of meatloaf generally takes an hour to bake, and that doesn’t even include prep time, but these mini meatloaves from Betty Crocker take half the time and are just as delicious. [Get the recipe here]

7. Super Nachos

Flickr/Ginny

Nachos are just one of those things I never think to make at home. To me, nachos are a restaurant food, but they’re surprisingly simple to make, and they’re a real crowd pleaser. Take a look at how Rachel Ray makes her “super nachos”. [Get the recipe here]

8. Green Chili Mac and Cheese

Flickr/Steven Depolo
Flickr/Steven Depolo

You know what makes macaroni absolutely delicious? Green chilis. The tangy addition of green chilis makes the standard mac and cheese recipe much more interesting! Add chicken or bacon to make it even heartier! [Get the recipe here]

9. Barbecue Pork Quesadillas

Flickr/Jeffreyw
Flickr/Jeffreyw

You know what makes melted cheese between two warm tortillas even better? Barbecue pork. It’s a savory twist on the tex-mex classic. [Get the recipe here]

10. Smothered Steak

Image via food.com by gailanng
Image via food.com by gailanng

If you grew up in the South, this recipe is definitely something you’ll remember. The lightly fried cube steak covered in gravy and onions is down home comfort food at its best.  This recipe takes a little longer at 50 minutes, but it’s well worth it. [Get the recipe here]

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10 Easy Dinner Recipes for Busy Parents