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10 Easy Dinner Ideas-Family Friendly

Dinner time arrives again. You have no idea where the day or time went and your husband goes, “honey, any ideas for dinner?”. You hear this question every. single. day. 

I hear you, mama, today, I’m going to share with you my favorite easy dinner ideas that I use. My family is fairly large, there are five of us and they all have large appetites, with the exception of my toddler. My toddler is so hit or miss on what and when she wants to eat, I just do the best I can. Not to mention, back in March we moved in the dead of winter and the old house didn’t have power as we moved out, so finding all my cookbooks and favorite cookware is still a challenge. 

Simple beef meals

Favorite 1: Meatloaf    

  • 1 cup water
  • 2lb ground beef
  • 1 package stuffing (chicken works) 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (we like sweet baby rays)

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix water and all ingredients except for 1/4 cup BBQ sauce. Scoop mixed ingredients into loaf pan of choice and form into a loaf. Top with remaining BBQ sauce and bake at 375 for one hour or until beef reaches recommended temperature.  Pair with mashed potatoes (usually use instant potatoes) and corn. 

Favorite 2: Hamburger hot dish

  • Box rotini pasta
  • 1lb ground beef
  • onion chopped (1-2T minced dry onion if you don’t want to chop)
  • 1T garlic powder
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 15oz can tomato sauce
  • 1T sugar
  • 1c shredded cheddar cheese

Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook and drain pasta according to directions using minimum cook time. In a large skillet, cook beef, onion, garlic powder, and salt over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until fully cooked. 

Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar and pasta. Pour into 8-inch square baking dish.  Cover dish with foil. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until bubbly around edges. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese. Bake 5 to 10 minutes longer until cheese is bubbly. 

Favorite 3: Cheeseburger Chowder

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 can progresso potato with bacon and cheese soup
  • 1c milk 
  • 1/4c shredded cheese
  • chopped tomato (topping)

Directions: Cook beef over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until fully cooked; drain.  Add soup and milk; mix well. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Add cheese; cook and stir until cheese is melted. Top individual servings with cheese and tomatoes. 

Favorite 4: Spaghetti and meatballs 

  • 1-2lb ground beef 
  • 1.5c bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 box spaghetti pasta

Directions: Combine beef with egg, and bread-crumbs. Form into balls and place on greased foiled pan. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to the box. Bake meatballs 10-15 minutes or until fully cooked. You know the rest 🙂 Add parmesan if desired. 

Chicken meals

Favorite 1: Oncor chicken parmagiana 

This one goes well with spaghetti pasta. It’s an easy, cheap meal solution for any night. The best part is the Oncor meal can be baked or microwaved, we cook it both ways depending on time constraints. 

Favorite 2: Baked Rosemary Garlic Chicken & Rosemary potatoes 

This is a newer one, I use the prefrozen chicken breasts and put them in a homemade marinade. 

  • 2-3 chicken breasts
  • 2t lemon juice
  • 1T italian seasonings
  • 1t dried rosemary
  • 1/2t chopped chives
  • 2T olive oil 
  • 1t paprika
  • 1/2t chili powder 
  • 2t garlic cloves
  • 5-7 Red potatoes

Directions: Prep: Get two large tupperware containers for the potatoes and chicken to marinate in. Cut the potatoes into wedges and rinse well. Add rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, dried onions, and Italian seasonings. Place chicken into other Tupperware container and add rosemary, lemon, garlic, onion, paprika, chili powder, and seasonings. Toss with a lid on and place in refrigerator for dinner time. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place potatoes and chicken on separate foiled pans and spread out. Ensure all the chicken and potatoes are coated with ingredients. Bake for about 20 minutes or until fully cooked. 

Favorite 3: Chicken nuggets and fries

A self explanatory classic, no fuss meal. 

Other meal ideas

Fish sticks and fries

Good source of omega 3’s as well as a quick meal. 

Shrimp and buttered noodles

I like to buy precooked frozen shrimp and cook it in a couple tablespoons of butter, garlic, and Italian seasonings. (I’m a die-hard garlic lover, sorry!) 

Premade Salisbury Steaks & Mashed potatoes

Another Oncor meal, I buy the frozen package for less than three dollars and some instant mashed potatoes. Add in a favorite vegetable and you have a full meal. 

What are your favorite meals you like to make in a jiffy?

The meals above are my favorite go to’s that don’t take forever to make. Dinner ideas can be a challenge with how busy we are anymore. I work third shift and my spouse works 1st shift, with three kids we almost never see each other and I don’t always have the energy to cook, night off or not. So I like to keep simple options around the house that he can even make. Let me know what you think in the comments. 

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Hi there! I'm Cassie, a mom to three wonderful children. I blog and potty train by day, and work third shift full time by night. I help moms like you by finding ways to save money and keep life organized.

Cassie

Hi there! I'm Cassie, a mom to three wonderful children. I blog and potty train by day, and work third shift full time by night. I help moms like you by finding ways to save money and keep life organized.

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2 Comments

  1. Rachel Kurian says:

    Thank you for these easy dinner meals. Sometimes I just look into my fridge and have no idea what to make. The hamburger meal is easy to make and simple. Rachel from Explore Kid Talk

    1. Rachel, I know the feeling. Dinner can be the most frustrating time of the day. The hamburger hotdish was the easiest for me to make and it tastes great!
      cassie
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