25 Fast & Fresh Family Meals for School Nights

The time has come – the kids are going back to school!! I write that with mixed emotions since my daughter is starting kindergarten this year. She is more than ready to go, but I can’t believe she is actually old enough for school. That said, I know that in a few short weeks I’ll be going crazy with weeknight family meals. That is, I’ll be winging it, trying to make fast and fresh meals to the best of my ability when I am unable to prepare food during the baby’s naptime. I’ll also be reviewing my repertoire of fast meals from previous years and adding in a few new favorites. There are always bound to be some! In the spirit of solidarity, here are several awesome easy weeknight meal ideas to make for your family. Just because there isn’t much time on the clock doesn’t mean you can’t still get a great meal on the table!

  • 25 Fast & Fresh Family Meals for Busy School Nights 1 of 26
    25 Fast & Fresh Family Meals for Busy School Nights

    Are you crazed trying to make dinner on busy school nights? Try one of these awesome fast recipes! They are so tasty your family will keep asking for them again and again!

  • 3-Ingredient Strawberry Chicken 2 of 26
    3 ingredient strawberry chicken

    This simple chicken dinner calls for only three main ingredients, one of which is delicious fresh strawberries, and a few minutes under the broiler. You will adore the ease it takes to pull together and how amazing it tastes!

    Photo: Brooke McLay

  • Chicken & Noodles with Peanut Sauce and Vegetables 3 of 26
    Peanut Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables

    If you have a hankering for Chinese take-out but no time to make it, pull together some basic ingredients in your house and whip up this easy meal. In the time it takes your noodles to cook your sauce is ready and then all you have to do is assemble!

    Photo: La Fuji Mama

  • Vegan Lemon-Cajun Spiced Pasta 4 of 26
    Vegan Lemon Cajun Spiced Pasta

    A delicious vegan meal is just minutes away once the water starts boiling. Simply cook the pasta, add the delicious spices, and this healthy meal is all set.

    Photo: Kathy Patalsky

  • Pasta with Avocado and Pancetta 5 of 26
    Pasta with Avocado and Pancetta

    This amazing pasta is so simple to make! While the pasta is cooking whip up your pancetta tomato sauce, then top it with avocado and pecorino to finish it off. Your family will adore this simple one-bowl meal.

    Photo: Stacie Billis

  • Roast Chicken & Spinach Panini 6 of 26
    Roast Chicken and Spinach Panini

    A hearty sandwich always makes a great quick dinner idea. Buy a loaf of ciabatta and your favorite fixing and make a healthy grilled sandwich in just minutes! Serve with a fresh side salad and dinner is on the table in a jiffy.

    Photo: Angie McGowan

  • Kale Pasta with Chicken and Bacon 7 of 26
    Kale Pasta with Chicken and Bacon

    This delicious pasta features fresh kale, protein-rich chicken, and crispy bacon. It is a trifecta for flavor and freshness and makes a great weeknight meal. Make the sauce while the pasta boils and you'll have dinner ready in a snap!

    Photo: Macki Cayloma

  • Chicken Scalopini 8 of 26
    Chicken Scalopini

    This simple, healthy meal is great for busy school nights and can be on your table in 30 minutes flat. It is great for getting kids their protein and their greens!

    Photo: Paula Jones

  • Salmon, Broccoli, and Asparagus Stir-Fry 9 of 26
    Salmon and Veggie Stir Fry

    This amazing vegetable-rich stir-fry is packed with fresh flavors and healthy vitamins. It also takes just minutes to make and is a snap to pull together on even the busiest of week nights!

    Photo: Aggie Goodman

  • Lemon Pepper Pasta with Chicken & Leeks 10 of 26
    Lemon Pepper Pasta with Chicken and Leeks

    In just about 30 minutes you can have this delicious chicken and pasta dish on the table. All it takes is one skillet in the oven and some boiling pasta on the stovetop!

    Photo: Macki Cayloma

  • Ultimate BLT’s 11 of 26
    Bacon, lettuce and tomato BLT sandwiches

    A bulked up BLT on toast always makes a filling healthy meal. Make it super easy on yourself by preparing the bacon in advance. Then when you are ready for it you can stack it with fresh tomatoes, avocado, onion, and spinach and make a delicious meal in just minutes!

    Photo: Laura Levy

  • Chicken Sausage Slider Melts 12 of 26
    Chicken Sausage Slider Melts

    Forget about forming chicken patties from ground meat, use chicken sausage instead and make these awesome melts. They can be on the table in a snap and will surely please even the pickiest eater!

    Photo: Aggie Goodman

  • Spaghetti & Meatballs with Pumpkin Parmesan Sauce 13 of 26
    Pumpkin Parmesan Sauce

    Spaghetti and meatballs is always easy to make and a real crowd-pleaser. Give yours a fresh twist by whipping up this super simple sauce. It is a welcome departure from regular tomato sauce and will be devoured by the whole family!

    Photo: Kelsey Banfield

  • Beef & Pepper Stir Fry 14 of 26
    Beef pepper stir fry

    This gorgeous stir-fry is so easy to make. Assemble your ingredients in five minutes and then it takes all of ten minutes to cook. That means the whole meal is less than 20 minutes to get on the table from start to finish!

    Photo: Julie VR

  • Homemade Taquitos 15 of 26
    Homemade Taquitos

    These delicious taquitos are a cinch to pull together. Then bake them in the oven and serve them straight from the pan! You can make them either vegetarian or with chicken to suit your tastes. There is no easier way to enjoy a quick Tex-Mex meal at home.

    Photo: Brooke McLay

  • Bacon & Potato Soup 16 of 26
    Bacon & Potato Soup

    A hearty soup is always a great way to finish off the school day. This delicious soup is meaty and hearty with a bunch of fresh greens added in. It is the complete meal in one bowl that comes together with ease.

    Photo: Brooke McLay

  • Ravioli Lasagna 17 of 26
    Ravioli Lasagna

    Five minutes to assemble and 30 minutes to bake. What is the secret? This awesome lasagna is made with fresh raviolis which means you can skip making the complicated filling and just put it in the oven to bake!

    Photo: Julie VR

  • Quick Chana Masala 18 of 26
    Chana Masala

    This easy vegetarian dish takes less than 20 minutes to make on the stove top in just one pot. Enjoy the sweet curry flavors on any given weeknight. It is easier, and cheaper, than take-out!

    Photo: iStock

  • Mac & Greens 19 of 26
    Mac and Greens

    It is practically a given that your kids will ask for macaroni and cheese on a busy school night. No problem! Make this super simple mac and cheese recipe with real cheese and add in some fresh greens for flavor and healthy!

    Photo: Brooke McLay

  • Thai Tomato Soup 20 of 26
    Thai tomato soup

    This delicious tomato soup takes 10 minutes to make and that is not an exaggeration. Whip it up for dinner on even the busiest of school nights and settle in for a few minutes of healthy, happy eating with your family. If you really feel ambitious, double the recipe and freeze half for another night!

    Photo: Brooke McLay

  • Caprese Omelet 21 of 26
    Caprese Omelet

    An omelet is always an easy, healthy meal. Make these omelets featuring fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil for dinner al fresco. Everyone will adore the fresh flavor and you'll love how easy it is to make on a busy week night.

    Photo: Shaina Olmanson

  • Apple Tuna Melts 22 of 26
    Apple Tuna melts

    Even though you are eating at home, pretend to take your family to the diner for dinner. A busy weeknight calls for an easy meal like these melts. They are healthy and filling and fun to eat!

    Photo: Julie VR

  • Tomato Tart 23 of 26
    Tomato Tart

    A simple tomato tart is a great way to highlight the flavors of fresh summer tomatoes and herbs. It is great for fall while tomatoes are still available. Simply assemble the tart, pop it in the oven, and dinner is ready in no time!

    Photo: Kelsey Banfield

  • Ham & Apple Grilled Cheese 24 of 26
    Ham and Apple Grilled Cheese

    At the end of the long day sometimes all anybody wants is a simple grilled cheese. Take yours to the next level without going wild by making this version with ham and apple. Everyone will adore it and it really takes so little time to make!

    Photo: Jaime Richardson

  • Kale Salad with Avocado & Pepitas 25 of 26
    Kale Salad with Avocado & Pepitas

    Sometimes a fresh dinner salad is just what is needed at the end of a long day. Make Phoebe's delicious kale salad with cranberries, avocado, and pepitas in just minutes for an amazing vegetarian meal!

    Photo: Phoebe Lapine

  • Mexican French Bread Pizza 26 of 26
    Mexican French Bread Pizza

    For this easy weeknight meal, Diane takes an ordinary French bread pizza and gives it a fresh Mexican twist. It comes together in a jiffy on school nights and definitely pleases the whole crowd.

    Photo: Created by Diane

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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