12 Easy Weeknight Meals

Let me start this post off with a confession: I have a selfish, ulterior motive for writing it.  I am hoping by sharing my go-to, easy weeknight meals, you might share some new idea with me because I am in a R. U. T. right now.

I know I don’t need to do this, but I’ll set the scene for you:

It’s Monday, 5:00 pm. One kid is crying, the other is running circles around me while he yells at the top of his lungs. I’m mentally spent after a long day at work and want to just sit down for 10 minutes. Alas, all the humans (adult and children alike) need to be fed.  And it’s not just Mondays.

Apparently, they need to eat every night. 

12 Easy Weeknight Meals

If I was super mom, I would pull out my pre-prepped meal, whip together something tasty, as well as healthy, and we would all be sitting around the table by 5:45 PM.

The reality is that I try to start dinner between 5:30 and 6, my 30-minute meal always turns into an hour because I constantly get interrupted. Inevitably, the new recipe I chose turns out to be a flop, and I end up giving my kids cereal at 7 pm.

12 Easy Weeknight Meals

Over the past few years, though, I have managed to build a small arsenal of semi-nutritious, mainly edible meals:

1. Cranberry Chicken Salad 

This is the best chicken salad I’ve ever had. I am a person who hates onions, especially if they’re raw, so finding a chicken salad recipe that doesn’t call for a ton of raw onion is huge. Don’t skip toasting the walnuts – that adds some serious flavor!

2. Spicy, Smoky, Sweet Chili

This is my favorite chili recipe. It only needs to simmer for 30 minutes, so I don’t have to remember to put it in the crock pot the night before. The leftovers are amazing as well.

3. Tater Tot Casserole with no Condensed Soup

This is also another family favorite. I’ve made it so many time that I know the recipe like the back of my hand. Served with a side of roasted broccoli and you’re good to go.

4. Shrimp Boil Foil Packets

These are great during the summer, but can definitely be made during the winter. I get frozen shrimp from Aldi and the spice level can easily be adjusted.

5. Chicken Fajitas

Hands down, the best chicken fajitas I’ve ever had at home. And they’re super easy. Instead of topping them with lettuce, I top them with chopped cabbage for some added boost of vitamins and minerals.

6. Baked Ziti

I add Jimmy Dean Sausage to Prego spaghetti sauce, as well as mushrooms when making this recipe. It’s so easy and makes a ton of left overs.

7. Porcupine Meatballs

Here’s a trick I just learned, use a cookie scoop to make the meatballs. Takes out the guess work so you don’t end up with oddly shaped meatballs. We serve this over rice.

8. Parmesan Crusted Chicken

I’ve been making this for years. Well, before we had kids. Luckily they love it as well and it heats up pretty well for lunch the next day.

9. Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole

You can also use turkey in place of the chicken – great for holiday leftovers.

10. Crock Pot Shredded Beef Enchiladas

This makes a ton of meat, so I will freeze half of it and use it a few weeks later to make another batch. My husband loves this dish.

12. Mississippi Roast

Sometimes we eat this in sandwich form and sometimes just as meat and potatoes. This is my favorite way to make roast though. Tons of flavor!

13. Chicken Pot Pie

I only recently discovered this recipe, but it is one of our favorites. I love that it is packed with veggies and protein.

12 Easy Weeknight Meals

Now, help a mama out and give me some of your favorite weeknight recipes. Everything I listed is good, but I need some new inspiration in my kitchen!

Share your links in the comments!  Pretty Please?


Guide to Indoor Play in the Cedar Rapids Area

Discover the excitement of indoor play places in the Cedar Rapids area! From imaginative playgrounds to interactive zones, there's a world of adventure waiting for kids of all ages. Whether it's a rainy day...

Embracing the Joy of Raising an Only Child

As parents, we often find ourselves navigating through a sea of societal expectations and well-meaning advice when it comes to raising children. Among the many discussions surrounding family dynamics, the choice to have just...

40+ Date Night Ideas | In & Around Cedar Rapids

Looking for a vibrant night out in Cedar Rapids? Explore over 40 diverse spots, ranging from cozy cafes to lively bars, and everything in between! Whether you crave a chic 5-course dining experience, a...

Kids Eat Free or Discounted | In & Around Cedar Rapids

Below is a list of restaurants that offer special promotions for free or discounted kids' meals! Please feel free to leave a comment below of your favorite restaurant(s) participating in such promotions so we...

Coffee Shops | In & Around Cedar Rapids

Embracing the beautiful chaos of motherhood in Cedar Rapids? Dive into the heartwarming journey of parenting amidst the vibrant coffee culture that graces our city. Explore cozy coffee shops where laughter blends with the...


  1. When I make dinner, I try to double it (if the recipe allows) and then I split it. Half of it is for dinner and lunches the next day and the other half goes into freezer bags and into the freezer. Now, even when I have a crazy day, I still have a healthy homemade meal ready for my family.
    To thaw in a hurry, I fill a large bowl with hot water and place the bag in the bowl. When the food is thawed enough to get it out of the bag, I place it in a pot on the stove, add a bit of water and reheat. I freeze everything from chili and stew to casseroles and meat marinara sauce. This saves me a ton of time.

  2. I think we use the same chicken pot pie recipe. 🙂 One thing I seem to be buying more and more… rotisserie chicken. I buy a couple at a time, make husband dismember said chicken, and keep a bowl of it in the fridge for quesadillas and chicken salad. We’ve been making chicken burritos in one big bunch and freezing them. Super handy!

    I second the doubling the recipe and freezing it! I am constantly doing that…

Comments are closed.

Join our community.
Be the first to know about new resources, can't-miss happenings, and new blog articles! 
Yay, we're so glad you're here! Keep an eye on your inbox