These easy, no-recipe-required dinner ideas are perfect for those nights when you need to get dinner on the table fast, but have very little food on hand!
For the past couple of weeks I’ve been sharing my weekly meal plan inspired by my Pinterest Boards. These are meals that I’ve actually been cooking for my family every night, one year old included.
Most weeks I use my printable meal planning cheat sheet, and I have a set meal in place for each night of the week. But then sometimes, life happens. And doesn’t it just happen at the most convenient of times? These are the days when I’m low on fresh fruits and veggies, and I find myself digging into the depths of my freezer to see what I can come up with for dinner. And since running out to the grocery store with a toddler is not high on my list of things to do, I try and get creative with the food I have on hand.
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.
No Recipe Required Dinner Ideas from Real Moms
Here are a ton of no-fail, no-recipe-required, easy dinner ideas you can make on the fly, courtesy of 6 real moms, with real families, who are real hungry.
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.”
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)
Here’s the recap of these easy dinner ideas broken down by shopping 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?
More Meal Planning Resources
♥ 3 Life-Changing Meal Planning Hacks
♥ Easy, Back-to-School 30 Minute Dinner Ideas