You are late getting home from work and the kids are cranky. The last thing you want to do is try that fancy new recipe you found on Pinterest with a huge list of ingredients and endless steps. What you really want is an easy dinner that your whole family loves. And even better…..ingredients that you already have in the house.
I like to keep a list of “No Recipe” dinners ready for the nights that I am tempted to head out for fast food. Anything you make at home is going to be better than fast food. More nutrition equals more energy. You’ve got this!
10 Kid Approved No Recipe Dinners
Grilled chicken sandwiches:
Breakfast for dinner:
My family loves breakfast foods! It’s something they can all agree on. Breakfast foods are also some of the quickest meals to make. Scrambled eggs are perfect for dinner when loaded up with lots of veggies. 10 minutes and dinner is on the table. I like to make loaded scrambled eggs by mixing in leftover mushrooms, peppers, onions, and cheese. Pancakes and waffles are also really delicious with a side of bacon. Our very favorite fast food dinners are egg sandwiches. We love fried egg sandwiches with a slice of cheese melted on top or this sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich.
Soup and bread:
If you batch cook, you can freeze some delicious homemade tomato soup. If not, don’t worry. There are now some delicious organic soups on the market. The sodium is probably still pretty high, but every once in a while can’t be too bad, right? A delicious piece of whole grain bread with a pat of butter makes this a truly satisfying meal.
Salad with lots of fixings:
We call these “big salads” in our family. Little side salads are not going to fill you up, but big salads certainly will. Pull out lots of salad fixings. Go ahead and look in the cupboards and I bet you find a lot of delicious ingredients for your salad. A variety of greens, strawberries, mandarin oranges, cheese, sunflower seeds………..load that salad up. Add in some quinoa, whole grain pasta, rotisserie or leftover chicken to make an even hardier salad.
Tacos are great because each person can make their own. That means my flexitarian daughter and carnivore sons can each build a dinner that they will love. Pull out what you have rice, beans, corn, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, avocados, sour cream, pickles (my strange favorite) and whatever meat, chicken, or fish you have on hand.
I like to use the Naan brand whole wheat flatbreads. This is another favorite because each family member can customize their pizza to their liking. Top with your favorite toppings and a generous handful of cheese. Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly. I haven’t met a kid yet who doesn’t like pizza……especially when they get to pick the toppings.
Start with a base—usually some kind of grain. Try brown rice, whole wheat pasta, barley, quinoa, couscous, farro, or whatever you have.
Add a protein. Cooked chicken, beef, turkey, salmon, or shrimp are all delicious. Or go vegetarian with beans or lentils.
Mix in lots of vegetables cooked in your favorite way (steamed, roasted, sautéed). Green pepper strips, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, carrots………………..
Add some additional flavor. Top your bowl with what whatever you have on hand and enjoy. Spices (fresh or dried), cheese, nuts or seeds, dried fruit, dressings, sauces, sour cream, and Greek yogurt are some of our favorites. I really love farro with chicken tossed in barbecue sauce. I add in peppers and onions and sometimes organic corn. So good!
Chicken sausage hoagies with peppers and onions:
These are always a big hit with the kids. They just love food that they can eat with their hands.
Speaking of eating with your hands……….Meatball subs can be easily made with homemade meatballs that you have frozen and saved for quick meals. You can also find quality meatballs from your local deli or specialty store.
Who doesn’t love grilled sandwiches? Ooey gooey goodness is always a big hit with kids and adults alike. My kids love pizza paninis. One of my husband’s favorite paninis is filled with chicken, pesto, spinach, and provolone cheese.
What is your favorite no recipe meal? Leave a comment and we can work on our quick and easy meal plans together.
Want more simple recipes your family is sure to love? Make sure you check out my recipe index. I add new recipes all of the time so make sure you check back often. You will also want to grab this free meal-planning printable calendar to make your meal planning easier. It has areas to plan your daily activities and your evening meal prep to keep you organized.