25 Quick-Fix Back to School Recipes (plus side dish ideas!)

25 Quick-Fix Back to School Recipes (plus side dish ideas!)

Busy nights don’t have to mean hitting the drive thru for dinner – make any of my favorite 25 Quick-Fix Back to School Recipes with side dish ideas instead!

It’s officially back to school time around here! Local kids headed back yesterday and the fact that Target was filled to the brim with casually strolling Mamas sans kid when I was there picking up a few odds and ends Monday morning speaks to what they’re doing with a little extra time on their hands.

Never underestimate the spirit lifting powers of a solo Target run (nor the damage you can do to your bank account when you’re not racing through the store with a toddler in the cart, being careful not to let him catch sight of the Target dog statue lest he insist you park said cart in front of said dog statue so he can pet it for 15 minutes!)

I digress. Back to school means saying goodbye to lazy summer evenings and hello to homework, soccer practice, dance class, and oboe lessons (just me?) I don’t know how my parents made it out of my brother’s and my school aged years alive. From dance to soccer, choir and drill team, scouts, football and seriously every activity in between, they were shuttling our butts all over town everything single night of the week, God bless ’em!

Even if you don’t have school aged kids, Fall is when things really start to pick up at night (hello season premiere of Modern Family!) so today I’m sharing 25 of my favorite quick-fix recipes that are perfect for back to school time, or really just when life starts to feel a little nuts. Each of the recipes I’ve picked out can be made in 30 minutes or less, plus I included one or two side dish ideas to take some of the guess work out of what to serve with your meal.

It’s easy to hit up the drive thru when it feels like there’s not enough time to get dinner on the table, but I think you’ll find it’s so satisfying to make one of these 30 minute, 20 minute, and even 15 minute meals for the family instead!

What are some of your quick-fix meal go-tos?

 

30 MINUTE MEALS

Mini BBQ Cheddar Meatloaves

Mini BBQ Cheddar Meatloaves are easy, cheesy, plus everyone get’s their own little meatloaf so nobody’s fighting over the last slice! Serve with roasted broccoli or Broccoli Cheddar Orzo to make it a full meal.

Click here for the recipe >

 

Skillet Chicken Parmesan

Chicken parmesan made healthy, in 30 minutes, and in just one skillet. Serve Skillet Chicken Parmesan over cooked pasta and with a side salad or parmesan bread (bread spread with butter and parmesan cheese then broiled until golden brown) to round the meal out.

Click here for the recipe >

 

Shortcut Vegetable Ragu

Shortcut Vegetable Ragu gets better as it sits so it’s perfect to make a day before then reheat for a nearly instant dinner. Bonus: it’s packed with vegetables that you can’t even taste! Serve with baked regular or sweet potatoes and a side salad.

Click here for the recipe >

 

Chipotle Turkey Chili with Apples

Chipotle Turkey Chili with Apples has all the flavor of a slow-cooked chili but will be ready in just 30 minutes. If you need to eat gluten-free, make sure the canned chilis you buy say gluten-free on the packaging. Serve with chopped apples, crushed tortilla chips and shredded cheese to pump up each protein-packed bowl.

Click here for the recipe >

 

Mini Mediterranean Turkey Meatloaves

Mini Mediterranean Turkey Meatloaves are light and healthy but packed with flavor – plus they’re super juicy which can be hard to achieve when you’re working with lean ground turkey! Serve with roasted asparagus or sweet potato fries.

Click here for the recipe >

 

Apple-Cheddar Stuffed Chicken with Apple-Dijon Pan Sauce

Apple-Cheddar Stuffed Chicken with Apple-Dijon Pan Sauce is a whole meal in one. Easy stuffed chicken breasts are sauteed then a mouthwatering pan sauce is created with the drippings. So. Dang. Good. Serve with Creamy Parmesan Garlic Quinoa or roasted asparagus.

Click here for the recipe >

 

Spicy Tomato & Turkey Soup with Ditalini

An oldie but goodie recipe here on IGE that’s remained one of my favorites for years! Spicy Tomato & Turkey Soup with Ditalini is slightly spicy, deeply savory, and just plain delicious – plus it’s ready in no time. Serve with regular or gluten-free bread and a fruit or side salad.

Click here for the recipe >

 

Homemade Crunchy Taco Hamburger Helper

Homemade Crunchy Taco Hamburger Helper is a riff on those boxed meals with 100 different ingredients except this healthy meal is made with stuff you can pronounce! We love this simple, crunchy, cheesy dish at our house and usually serve it with sliced apples or steamed green beans.

Click here for the recipe >

 

Lighter Orange Beef and Broccoli

I tested the recipe for Lighter Orange Beef and Broccoli over and over until I got the sauce recipe to taste exactly like take out. This quick-fix meal is much faster than waiting for a delivery driver – healthier too – plus it’s a whole meal in one.

Click here for the recipe >

 

One-Pan Italian Sausage and Peppers Pasta

One-Pan Italian Sausage and Peppers Pasta is a complete meal made in just one skillet, making it ideal for busy weeknights. The combination of Italian sausage, marinara sauce, pasta, peppers, and cheese is so comforting. Serve with chopped kale sauteed with garlic, salt and pepper then call it a meal!

Click here for the recipe >

 

Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Casserole

If your family likes creamy casseroles then they’ll love Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Casserole. I seriously can’t get enough whenever I make it! So satisfying and delicious, plus leftovers are just as good. Serve with a side salad or Garlic Butter Mushrooms.

Click here for the recipe >

 

Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Stuffed Chicken Breasts put ordinary chicken breasts to shame. They’re incredibly easy and really flavorful – definitely a chicken night game changer! Serve with steamed broccoli or Creamy Chicken Pasta for a light and healthy meal.

Click here for the recipe >

 

Easy Homemade Burrito Bowls

No need for extra sides if you’re making Easy Homemade Burrito Bowls. Set out the components then let your family customize each bowl to their liking. Cheaper than heading to Chipotle – healthy and filling too.

Click here for the recipe >

Ingredients

  • 30 MINUTE MEALS
  • 20 MINUTE MEALS
  • 15 MINUTE MEALS
Read the whole recipe on Iowa Girl Eats