August is in full swing, summer break is coming to an end and you’re starting to check off items on your back-to-school shopping lists. As you prepare your little one for the beginning of a new school year with paper, pencils, binders and glue sticks, it’s also a great time to find some inspiration for easy dinners to serve on school nights.
Spaghetti and meat sauce, sloppy Joes and rotisserie chicken are all fantastic entrees that simplify dinner preparation. However, we have some meal ideas that will add a little excitement to your table. And besides being delicious, the ten easy-to-make dinners in this blog are also made with ten ingredients or less, so they’re pretty low-cost too.
Now, let’s dish out the ideas!
1. Chicken BLT Tacos - 10 Ingredients
Traditional tacos are a simple meal in and of themselves. All you have to do is brown ground beef in a pan, add taco seasoning, heat your taco shells, dice up your toppings and put them together. So, how could this dish get even more effortless
Our recipe for Chicken BLT Tacos uses rotisserie chicken in place of the ground beef. Then, you can use pre-cooked bacon for the topping. That way, there’s no cooking required. And that means this easy-to-make dinner is also extra quick to bring together. Serve with chips and salsa or for a veggie side dish, saute some peppers and onions.
2. Tater Tot and Ground Beef Bake - 10 Ingredients
Casseroles and one-dish bakes are the perfect easy-to-make dinners for busy school nights. And this one is no exception. All it takes is ten minutes of prep time and 35 minutes in the oven until you have a complete meal ready to serve your family. Plus, since one of the ten ingredients in this Ground Beef Bake is tater tots, it’s sure to be a big hit. After all, who doesn’t love tots?
Do you want to make this a little more better-for-you? A simple swap of the ground beef with ground turkey or chicken can quickly accomplish that goal. You can also add other vegetables such as cauliflower or bell peppers.
3. Crunchy Baked Parmesan Chicken Strips - 10 Ingredients
What kid wouldn’t look forward to eating chicken nuggets, right? And these Baked Parmesan Chicken Strips are crispy, juicy and an easy-to-make dinner. To make them, start by whisking the egg, mayo, mustard, flour, garlic powder and onion powder in a bowl, and the breadcrumbs, cheese, salt and pepper in another bowl. Next, dip each chicken tenderloin in the egg mixture and then the seasoned breadcrumbs. Transfer to a baking sheet and cook in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes at 375 degrees.
Serve with your family’s favorite dipping sauces, as well as a small salad. And since you’ll already have the oven warmed up, roasted potatoes are an easy and convenient side that pairs perfectly with these chicken strips.
4. One Pan Balsamic Chicken & Veggies - 10 Ingredients
Marinated in balsamic and Italian dressing, this chicken recipe is juicy and full of flavor. Plus, since it’s cooked on a sheet pan with seasoned zucchini and cherry tomatoes, it’s an easy-to-make dinner that’s also easy to clean up.
Are you looking to add more variety to the vegetables featured in this one-pan meal? Yellow squash and onions would also make tasty additions to the mix. Top everything with some chopped parsley or basil for a pop of freshness in every bite.
Get the whole One Pan Balsamic Chicken and Veggies recipe here!
5. Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas - 9 Ingredients
It’s true - chicken, bell peppers, onions and spices are a classic combination for a delicious fajita dinner. However, there’s something different about this recipe that’ll make preparing your meal even more manageable! This Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas recipe is cooked in the oven all on one baking sheet. Plus, you only need nine ingredients, as well as whatever toppings you want to include. So, this dish is easy and affordable!
For toppings, here are some to consider - sour cream, salsa, guacamole, lime juice, shredded cheese, cilantro, black beans and fresh corn. But feel free to get creative with your favorite fajita toppings if we didn’t list them above.
6. Low-Carb Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers - 9 Ingredients
A classic cheesesteak is made up of a long hoagie roll, thin slices of savory beef, cheese and in some cases, peppers, onions and mushrooms. However, this easy-to-make dinner is low-carb, so no roll in this recipe! Instead, you’ll stuff halves of bell peppers with cheesesteak goodness. Specifically, the eight ingredients you’ll stuff inside include sliced yellow onion, sliced mushrooms and thinly sliced sirloin steak with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt & pepper and Italian seasoning. Each pepper will also be topped with sliced provolone and chopped fresh parsley. It sounds like a totally delicious meal, doesn’t it?
Now, you just need the step-by-step directions, which you can find on our recipe portal.
7. Low Country Shrimp Boil with Smoked Sausage - 9 Ingredients
A low country boil is the perfect summertime meal. It’s simple and features corn which peaks in the summer months, typically through September. However, since it’s such a quick and easy-to-make dinner, that also means that it is an excellent option for school nights. In fact, our recipe for a Low Country Shrimp Boil with Smoked Sausage only takes ten minutes to prep and 20 minutes to cook. So, you can have dinner ready in 30 minutes flat.
Sound like something you want to make for your family? Here are the nine items you’ll need to add to your grocery shopping list:
- Food Lion raw shrimp
- Smoked sausage or kielbasa
- Ears of corn
- Baby red potatoes
- Fresh lemon
- Red onion
- Seafood seasoning
- Bay leaves
Find the ingredient quantities on the recipe page!
8. Garlic Butter Shrimp - 8 Ingredients
Filling and nutritious, this easy-to-make dinner is a savory combination of fettuccine pasta, shrimp, kale, cherry tomatoes, garlic and lemon juice, plus butter, salt and pepper. Were you keeping count? That’s only eight ingredients in this complete meal. However, you could serve this pasta dish with garlic bread for a ninth item.
All together, these ingredients will remind you of a shrimp scampi dish and a kale salad combined for a hearty meal that comes together in just 35 short minutes. And similar to the other recipes in this blog, this Garlic Butter Shrimp dish requires minimal cooking vessels - only two in total. So, that makes for easy cleanup after the meal is over.
9. Grilled Bacon & Red Onion Pizza - 7 Ingredients
Is pizza night something your family looks forward to every week? Instead of picking up a pie from your local spot, try making your own quickly and easily at home. Not only will you get to enjoy a tasty homemade pizza, but you can also make it a family affair and assemble them together for a bit of fun. Besides, after a day of work or school, you could all use a little fun.
So, on your next trip to your local Food Lion, grab a package of refrigerated pizza dough from the Deli area, as well as your favorite toppings. Or, if you want to follow our recipe for Grilled Bacon & Red Onion Pizza exactly, pick up a red onion, fresh mozzarella and basil, pre-cooked bacon, garlic and a few Roma tomatoes. That’s it! Then, heat up the grill and get ready to cook this slightly smoky entree.
10. Ground Beef Tortellini Skillet - 6 Ingredients
Our last idea for an easy-to-make dinner is another pasta meal but uses cheese tortellini instead of fettuccine. Besides that, you’ll only need four more ingredients, plus water. And out of all of the recipes we’ve listed so far, this is the quickest one to make. In fact, you’ll only need to set aside 20 minutes of your evening to get dinner ready and on the table to serve your loved ones.
That makes this dish a fantastic choice on days when your kiddos not only have school but also have another commitment before coming home, whether it’s a club meeting or sports practice. Check out this Ground Beef Tortellini Skillet recipe for the full ingredients list and easy-to-follow directions!
You still have a little time before the bell rings on the first day of school. And we hope these ten easy-to-make dinners make you feel even more prepared. Want even more inspiration? We have a huge collection of quick and easy dishes to choose from on our recipe portal. From breakfast bites to light lunches, side dishes and more, we have ideas for every meal to help you get back into your routine and nourish your family with easy, fresh and affordable foods.