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12 Easy Weeknight Dinners for Back to School

It hardly seems possible, but we blinked and summer vacation is coming to an end for kids all over the country with the rest to follow in the coming weeks.

As a mom I love the free range schedule of the summer months. We’re less strict about bedtime and more creative and fun when it comes to meal prep.

With the school year also comes the ramp up of all the things. For us it’s dance and gymnastics several nights a week while for others its sports every day.

The more kids you have and the older they get the more this seems to be true. While I love the structure, the school year is also a lot of work for parents.

Thinking ahead to our own busy school year quickly approaching in a few weeks, here are a dozen of our very favorite easy weeknight dinner recipes.

Many of these are one pot meals, Instant pot recipes and slow cooker recipes to help make those chaotic weeknights as easy, breezy as possible. 

1
Pizza Quesadilla Photo
Pizza Quesadilla Recipe
This easy dinner idea is a crowd pleaser! Turn your favorite pizza into quesadillas for the quickest, easiest dinner you’ll make all week. Fill tortillas with pepperoni, sausage, peppers and black olives, or whatever other pizza toppings you love best. The best part is how simple it is to personalize quesadillas for every member of the family. Don’t forget the marinara for dipping!
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2
Pesto Chicken Pull Apart Sliders Photo
Pesto Chicken Pull Apart Sliders Recipe
I rave about this pesto chicken pull apart sliders recipe a lot. Ok, more like all the time, but with good reason! This is one of those simple, delicious recipes that you can make even simpler by grabbing grocery store rotisserie chicken to cut down on the prep time. Stuffed into slider rolls along with cheese and pesto and you’ve got a certified hit on your hands.
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3
Slow Cooker Salisbury Steaks Recipe Photo
Slow Cooker Salisbury Steaks Recipe
Trust me when I say – this is not your high school cafeteria’s salisbury steak recipe! This version, made in the slow cooker, is a cinch to prep, but boasts loads of flavor. It’s easy to serve with mashed potatoes or egg noodles, the latter of which are particularly quick and easy to prep before dinner is served.
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4
Easy Cheeseburger Skillet Photo
Easy Cheeseburger Skillet Recipe
I love any easy weeknight dinner that can be made in one pot and tastes as good as this one! Our easy cheeseburger skillet makes the ultimate dinner. It’s loaded with ground beef and orzo pasta then tossed with all the flavors of your favorite cheeseburger from the mustard to the pickles and cheese.
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5
Chicken Asparagus Pasta Photo
Chicken Asparagus Pasta Recipe
If you want an easy weeknight dinner recipe that’s particularly impressive, this chicken asparagus pasta recipe answers the call. With a simple, creamy lemon garlic parmesan sauce and crisp, tender asparagus, it’s perfect any night of the week or even for serving at a dinner party, but I love it on weeknights when I’m craving something a touch more elevated.
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6
Sheet Pan Sausage Dinner Photo
Sheet Pan Sausage Dinner Recipe
Show me a crowd-pleasing sheet pan recipe and I’ll show you happy parents the world over. This sheet pan sausage dinner is no exception! Cheesy sausage is baked alongside sweet potatoes, apples and a simple apricot glaze all on a single sheet pan ensuring dinner is served quickly with little clean up required.
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7
Beef Lombardi Photo
Beef Lombardi Recipe
A freezer-friendly one pot meal everyone loves, this beef lombardi does not disappoint. Ribbons of egg noodles are tossed together with juicy ground beef, tomatoes, cheese and seasoning to create this special weeknight dinner recipe. Top everything with sour cream and black olives for the perfect finish.
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8
Pierogies Taco Skillet Photo
Pierogies Taco Skillet Recipe
As a kid my dad made us pierogies a lot on busy weeknights so they hold a special place in my heart. This taco skillet made with a base of tasty cheddar pierogies is no different. This simple dinner recipe is loaded with ground beef, taco seasoning, salsa and cheddar cheese for maximum taco flavor.
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9
Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas Photo
Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas Recipe
Not everything is meant to be to be cooked on a sheet pan, but sheet pan chicken fajitas are a thing of weeknight beauty. While the veggies and chicken are roasting you can quickly prep the tortillas and any toppings your family may prefer and dinner is on the table in under 45 minutes.
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10
Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole Photo
Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole Recipe
We are crazy about a tater tot casserole in our family though for us it’s generally a breakfast recipe made with eggs and cheese. It turns out, if you add ground beef browned with ketchup and mustard, then lots of cheese and pickles you’ve got one seriously delicious weeknight dinner your kids will beg for over and over.
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11
Mexican Rice Skillet Photo
Mexican Rice Skillet Recipe
Another epic one pot skillet recipe, this Mexican rice skillet dinner is not your average Mexican rice. Dinner is ready in under 25 minutes plus you only dirty on pan – what’s not to love?! Ground beef, rice, Ro-Tel, corn, taco seasoning and shredded cheese ensure that this easy skillet recipe will win over any crowd.
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12
Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos Photo
Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos Recipe
Anyone who thinks that nachos are just for game day, I am here to blow your mind – it turns out, sheet pan nachos are supremely delicious and entirely worthy of being called dinner. You can make a full tray of nachos for the whole family in just minutes while customizing your nachos to suit your family’s taste.
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