Are you looking for quick, simple, and healthy dinners? Keep reading for 30 kid-friendly recipes for easy weeknight dinners perfect for busy moms!
Desperate for a Weeknight Dinner Solution that was Easy and Healthy
Back when I was teaching, I would get these fluttery knots in my stomach on the drive home. It wasn’t because I was close to pulling my hair out dealing with kids and cell phones or the mounds of grading that was in the back seat of my car. I’d get that sick feeling I when I thought about making dinner that night.
During the week, usually, I was exhausted, and the last thing I wanted to do was fix dinner. More often than not, I wasn’t exactly the meal-planner, so dinner was usually a stressful, unhealthy disaster based on whatever I could find rummaging through the refrigerator and cabinets.
Since being home with the boys, I don’t really have an excuse not to plan or make healthy meals, but I still get that little anxious feeling in my stomach when I think about dinner, even if I’ve done my job and actually made a meal plan.
Most of us moms are close to done by the end of the day and running low on energy. If you have kids in activities or who are at home all day – or just have kids,lol – dinner can be a tiresome task, especially if you want it to be more than fast food or something microwavable (although I’m certainly not above throwing a frozen pizza in the oven when needed!).
If you throw in the mix kids who complain or won’t eat what you’ve cooked, then it’s downright defeating.
Those weeknight meals after a long and sometimes chaotic day can be very tough on the busy – and tired – mom! And the whole craziness of back-to-school makes dinner time feel like mayhem, right?
Easy and Healthy (and Quick) Weeknight Dinners are POSSIBLE
If that’s you, I totally feel your pain! There’s gotta be an easier way, right? A way to make healthy meals that are QUICK and EASY?
If you’re like me, take a look below. Here are 30 meals – enough for a whole month – that are healthy, quick and easy weeknight meals for the busy mom. And they are kid-friendly meals, so you can avoid the picky-eater-mealtime-drama!
You’ll notice that several of them are new spins on some old favorites – tacos, pizzas, casseroles. But that’s fine. They’re familiar to the kids so you know they’ll eat them, but it’s something a little new and different, so it’s not just the same-old. And, they are quick and healthy and easy – so, yeah, high-five, moms!
30 Easy, Healthy Weeknight Dinners for Busy Moms
1| Southwest Turkey Burger from Mash Up Mom
This is such a delicious take on a turkey burger. Those southwest spices and salsa mixed in? Yum!
2| Sneaky Ground Beef and Mushroom Tacos from Mashup Mom
I love the extra ingredients in these tacos. You can’t even tell mushrooms are in here, and I usually will even throw in some mild yellow or orange peppers, too. Gotta get the veggies in somehow!
3| Turkey Parmesan Pasta from Moneywise Moms
This is a great way to bulk up the pasta and add in some extra protein. I’m a HUGE fan of one-pot meals like this!
4| Easy Weeknight Toasted Ravioli from Vegging at the Shore
This is an easy twist on the regular ravioli. It’s always good to change things up a little, even though it’s food you typically serve!
5| Mexican Mini Lasagnas from Vegging at the Shore
This recipe uses wonton wrappers for these mini lasagnas. There’s a ton of healthy ingredients packed into these little bites.
6| Chicken, Bacon, Veggie Sheet Pan Dinner from Clean Living, Clean Eating
Sheet pan dinners are another option for quick cooking and no-mess clean-up. My son LOVES bacon, so I’m pretty sure you can’t go wrong with this combo.
6| Paleo Sweet Potato Hash from Clean Living, Clean Eating
When I’m in a rush, breakfast-for-dinner is always a hit. I usually have most of the things on hand, so even when I haven’t planned so well, this one is a great one to throw together quick!
7| 5 Minute Instant Pot Chili Mac Recipe from The Typical Mom
If you have an Instant Pot, you’re gonna love this one. If not, no worries. Just brown the beef ahead of time and put in a crockpot, and you can get the same yummy outcome.
8| Easy to Make Veggie Fried Rice from Stylish Cravings
Fried rice is another one that’s easy to put together. And a lot of times, it really works perfectly when I’m cleaning the leftovers out of the fridge – leftover chicken, beef or pork as well as other veggies. You can customize this one for what you have on hand, as well.
9| Homemade Low Sodium Sloppy Joes from We’re Parents
The homemade Sloppy Joe! It’s SO easy to make, and it’s really a lot healthier than buying the can. Sloppy Joes are always a winner with kids.
11| The Best Black Bean Burger from We’re Parents
If your family is vegan or maybe you’re trying to incorporate more of a plant-based diet into your meals, this is a great option. Delicious!
12| Low Carb Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry from Savory Tooth
Chinese food was always our go-to when we were in a rush for dinner. But how much better if you can save the money and easily get the same results? Well, here you go.
13| Beef Stroganoff from Eat, Little Bird
This is such a hearty, filling comfort meal. I doubt anyone will come back after dinner and still be hungry. Perfect for fall and winter nights!
14| Chicken Hummus Naan Wraps from The Rising Spoon
My husband has a pretty picky palate, and he has repeatedly asked me to make this one. It really is as good as it looks!
15| Easy Zucchini Boat Recipe from Masala Herb
I think zucchini meals are some of the most versatile because of its ability to absorb so many other flavors. This recipe has a meatless option for the filling and also give some helpful tips for picking just the right zucchini for this meal!
16| Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken from Dancing Through the Rain
Slow cooker meals are another can’t-go-wrong dish when you’re looking for easy dinners. The BBQ flavor of pulled chicken is amazing. I love this take on a chicken dinner.
17| Homemade Pizza Pockets from Dancing Through the Rain
Most kids love pizza pockets. We usually serve them for a snack or a quick lunch, but when you make them from scratch, you can feel better about giving this quick, healthy meal that you already know they’ll love.
18| Stuffed Taco Crescent Rolls from Dancing Through the Rain
Tacos are always a fan favorite. I love how this recipe takes something you know they’ll love but changes it up a bit for something new. So much less mess when you put all the taco fillings in a roll instead of a shell! Genius!
19| 5 Ingredient Breakfast Pizza from Tales of a Tired Mom
Pizza and breakfast? Yes, please! Here’s another breakfast-for-dinner that’s quick to whip up and kids love the novelty of eating breakfast foods at another meal!
20| Healthy 4 Ingredient Enchilada Casserole from The Seasoned Mom
Personally, I love making casseroles. They are hearty and filling and you can just whip these up pretty quickly on a busy weeknight. And, you really can’t mess them up too badly.
21| Chicken Pasta Bake from My Kids Lick the Bowl
Here’s another great way to add some extra veggies to your kids’ meals. This one has a few more steps than just a quick, throw-together meal, but the extra veggies make it worth it! Still just a 30 minute prep!
22| Healthy Chicken Burrito Casserole from Fit Foodie Finds
This is another one-pot meal you can just throw together in a casserole dish, and you’re good to go! Quick, easy, delicious!
23| Guacamole Tacos with Veggie Southwest Salsa from Peas and Crayons
This is another great taco option if your family is moving away from meats and looking to have a more plant-based, vegan diet. Kids love tacos, and here’s a fantastic choice that’s meatless and delicious.
24| Hidden Veggie Pizza from Super Healthy Kids
Kids love pizza, and in this recipe, you blend spinach and mushrooms to the sauce to add some extra veggies in. They won’t even notice! This recipe has the dough made from scratch, but for a quick weeknight meal, you can just buy pre-made dough, too!
25| Fiesta Chicken Soup from Bunny’s Warm Oven
I sometimes forget that a hearty soup is really such a great option for a quick meal! Add some tortilla chips, bread or crackers for dipping, and you’re good to go!
26| Best Ever Easy Taco Pizza from Perfection Pending
Another take on pizza and tacos! Kids love both, so you’re good on this one!
27| Easy Pizza Casserole from Cookies and Cups
This is another delicious spin on the casserole and the pizza easily made with Bisquick! It’s a great combo that your kids will definitely eat!
28| Homemade Greek Yogurt Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese from Food, Faith, Fitness
If your family has some dairy or gluten restrictions in their diets, this is a fantastic meal to make, so nobody feels like they’re missing out.
29| Easy Meatballs and Tomato Sauce with Garlic Bread Dippers from Daisies and Pie
Meatballs are another favorite food of kids. Sometimes we feel like this always needs to go with something else to be a meal, but meatballs on their own, with a little sauce and bread, are a perfect, fast weeknight meal.
30| Slow Cooker Honey BBQ Chicken Taquitos from Kristine’s Kitchen
Taquitos cooked any way are amazing. Throw in something fresh and new like honey BBQ, and it will feel like a whole new dinner event!
I’m so looking forward to making these meals and getting back on my game with dinners this fall. We’ve been all over the map this summer (as far as meals go), and having an organized, easy dinner time is something I’m aching for. (By the way, if you’re still in summer mode, this is another way to go to throw together a super-easy and healthy BBQ. It’s another great dinner option!)
These easy dinners will be game-changers for me, and I’m so excited to have meals my little guys will finally eat, too. If you’re looking for some SUPER-easy dinner options, crockpot meals are another simple option! Here are 30 healthy crockpot meals you can try, too!
Thoughts? I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment so we can chat!
If you know others who could use this, feel free to share!
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