Easy, No-Recipe-Required Dinner Ideas from Real Moms (Meal Plan Week 6)

For the past couple of weeks I’ve published my weekly meal plan in order to help all of the busy families out there who just do not have the time (because really, who does?). A meal plan is great and all, but sometimes, life happens. Oh, life. And doesn’t it just happen at the most convenient of times? When it rains, it most certainly does pour. These are the times when the most food you have in your house is a can of beans, some frozen mixed veggies and like, maybe, maybe, some pickles in your fridge. This is starting to sound like a Chopped Challenge. I know. And sometimes dinner feels that way when you haven’t had time to go to the store. Or you’ve just gotten back from a trip. Or you’re trying to be creative with what you have in the house (#emptypantrychallenge).

So this week, we are skipping my usual Pinterest Meal Plan and instead, I reached out to the moms in my neighborhood to ask what they make for dinner when they haven’t had the chance to get to the store and they need to get dinner on the table fast. And let’s just say, the list they came up with is nothing short of amazing. Moms=magicians in that we can often make something out of nothing in a moments notice.

Easy, no-recipe-required meal ideas from real moms! This is an awesome list of dinner ideas for when you have no food in the house and you need to get something on the table fast!


Coming at you is a ton of no-fail, no-recipe-required, easy dinners you can make on the fly, courtesy of 6 real moms, with real families, who are real hungry.

S/O to real moms everywhere making dinner happen.


Breakfast for Dinner

Jocelyn: “I make pancakes! I usually always have a box of pancake mix in the pantry! Easy and yummy!”

Leslie: “Breakfast for dinner too – eggs, pancakes/waffles/french toast & bacon/sausage.”

Kelly: “Depends if [my husband is] home or away. When away, breakfast for dinner is a go-to”



Ashlee: “Grilled cheese…[and] we usually have stuff for BLTs. Super easy and good.”

Brenna: “When [my husband] is gone…grilled cheese for the kids. Or PB&J.”

Leslie: ” ‘Grown grilled cheeses’ I call them. Mozzarella cheese, pesto, and a tomato. Cook like a normal grilled cheese.”



Ashlee: “I usually always have ingredients for spaghetti on hand.”

Leslie: “Pesto chicken pasta is a go-to. Had that this week! Every time I make spaghetti sauce from scratch I try and make enough to freeze & then that’s so easy because you just need noodles.”

Brenna: “I also always have bagged salad for Caesar salads and a Michael Angelo’s Eggplant Parmesan in our freezer (almost as good as mine).”



Ashley: “I used to throw together chicken tortilla soup in the crock pot. I always had chicken broth, chicken, and beans on hand and the spices..so that was easy.”

Ashlee: “I usually always have ingredients for…tacos.”

Kelly: One pan chicken and shrimp fajitas are also a favorite easy meal in our house.”


One Pot/Pan

Kelly: “If I want easy I just do a one pan baked chicken meal like BBQ chicken and a baked veggie (we usually combine sweet potatoes and carrots or broccoli and cauliflower – those are the kids favorites). But we usually have a least one veggie in the house so we work with whatever we have.”

Ashley’s crock pot tortilla soup (above)

Kelly’s one pan fajitas (above)


As for me, I always have pasta and peanut butter in the pantry, some kind of frozen veggie, and an assortment of Asian condiments in the fridge, so I can almost always whip up an extremely unauthentic but nonetheless delicious Pad Thai.

Alright friends, so here’s the recap of this week’s Meal Plan broken down by category. Next time you’re at the grocery store, stock up on some of these staples so when you inevitably run into that moment when you have barely anything in the fridge and forks are being banged on the table, you can stop, compose yourself, take a seat, and tell dad to make some grilled cheese 🙂


Pantry Staples: Pancake mix, Pasta, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Beans, BBQ Sauce, Chicken Stock

Fridge Staples: Lettuce, Tomato, Broccoli/Cauliflower, Eggs, Cheese, Butter (for making eggs, grilled cheese, quesadillas)

Freezer Staples: Sliced Bread, Tortillas, Chicken, Shrimp, Chicken Stock, Bacon, Pesto, Tomato Sauce, Frozen Meals


What are your go-to pantry/freezer meals? What’s the most creative meal you’ve made when you haven’t been grocery shopping in a while?

No time to Meal Plan?

I've got you covered. I created a Free Printable Meal Plan just for Because I Said So Baby Blog Subscribers. Featuring 30 Days of easy dinners (most of which are 30 minute meals), the list includes everything from family-friendly pasta dishes to simple tacos and of course - pizza night! And don't worry, each meal idea includes a link to a recipe. Enter your info below and I'll send your meal plan ASAP!

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