Go-To 5 Fastest Family Dinners

Football season is here and so I’m not with the luxury of having my husband pick up the kids so that I can get home at a good time to make dinner before it’s time to get them in bed!

Currently it’s a scramble to go from work, to get each of them picked up, get home, throw everyone’s bags on the counter, hope that they will go entertain themselves while I quickly put together something edible and filling.

Do you ever run into this problem?

Where you really wish you had a few quick, go to meals that would take minimal time to put together and make everyone happy and even give you a little bit of a break?

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Coming up with a go-to list of a few meals that fill this void of needing something to put on the dinner table in a quick pinch has really helped me out! I typically plan one or two of these as our meals each week, deciding when I’ll used them based on what my schedule looks like and when we will get home.

Since I really try to only do 1 large grocery shopping trip every 4 months, these meal ingredients are staples to my grocery list.

What makes each of these so quick is the cook time and prep work required before they are ready to be served.

I know you are probably thinking that if this is the case, they can’t be healthy! But they are! And you are also thinking, how could a toddler and 5-year-old like them and they still be something that a mom wants to eat, again, they are!

Here are my “top 5 go-to quick dinners” for when I’m in a pinch to get something on the dinner table fast!

  • Get the recipe card
  • Precooked Shrimp or breaded or unbreaded fish
  • Asian Salad Mix
  • Small Flour Tortillas
  • Avocado or other toppings of your choice
  • Cook the fish or shrimp as directed. Mix the salad together with dressing as directed. Build tacos with fish, salad and your choice of additional toppings.
  • Get the recipe card
  • 1 box of tx toast, you can get the Texas Toast that is pre-buttered, however, I recommend doing it yourself so that you can monitor the amount of butter you put on them
  • Shredded cheese
  • Marinara sauce
  • Pepperonis
  • Bagged salad
  • Cook the Texas Toast as directed, pulling out of the oven with 2 minutes left. At that time, top with marinara sauce, cheese and pepperonis. Put toast back in the oven and cook for additional 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with salad.
  • Get the recipe card
  • Hard or soft shell tacos
  • Refried or black beans
  • Shredded cheese
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Additional toppings that your family enjoys
  • Cooked ground turkey, beef, venison
  • Taco seasoning packet or season to your liking with pepper, chili seasoning, cumin, salt, garlic and onion
  • Cook or reheat the ground meat, season accordingly. Heat beans and other toppings as desired. Build and serve tacos.
  • Get the recipe card
  • Boiled Chicken 
  • Hamburger buns
  • Sliced cheese choice
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Additional toppings as desired, bacon makes this a fan favorite
  • Mayo, Mustard, BBQ sauce, etc. as preferred
  • 90 minute seasoned rice pouch choice
  • Reheat chicken as described below, build sandwiches as desired. Cook and serve rice as directed on the pouch
  • Get the recipe card
  • Cooked ground meat
  • Sliced American cheese
  •  Pickles
  • Hamburger buns
  • Sloppy Joe Mix
  • Rice or salad choice
  • Reheat meat, add Sloppy Joe mix. Build sandwiches and prepare rice or salad as directed.

Minimal Prep Work and Tips

  • For the Sloppy Joes and Ground Meat Tacos, for a family of four, use two pounds of ground meat. We like to use one pound of venison and one pound of beef. Cook the meat in advance of the week and divide it into two servings. This way you have it portioned out for each meal and all you have to do is season and reheat.
  • For the Chicken Sandwiches, If you don’t cook the chicken for the sandwiches in advance, then it will take a little longer to have them ready. I recommend boiling the chicken in advance. When you are ready to serve, reheat the breasts covered in a skillet with a small amount of water and season to taste. This takes only a few minutes. You can also melt cheese on them if you’d like, during this process.
  • A secret to the Asian Tacos is to use either precooked shrimp, thaw and then reheat or use unbreaded fish which takes less time to cook than breaded.

I hope these meals save you some time when you need it!

Do you have any quick favorites? Share them with our Hint of Happy Community in the comments to help others out!

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