Kid Approved Easy Weeknight Meals

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Published Sep 21, 2015

Some easy, kid-friendly recipes to keep you sane this busy school year!

Tagged in Fun Reads, Healthy Eating & Advice, Back To School

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Back to school is a busy time of year for all of us, kids and parents alike.  Between the homework and extracurricular activities, sometimes we find our way in the drive-thru instead of around the dinner table.  I don’t know about you, but that time spent around the table catching up on each other’s lives is one of my favorite parts of the day, and studies show it's also very important, too. 

My husband and I decided very early in our family life that we would do our best to always sit around our kitchen table and eat a meal together.  This is a time that is “device free”-- no cell phones, iPads, etc. Instead it's a time to talk and connect with one another.

I host a food blog at, and when I poll my readers for what kind of content they want to see more of, I get a resounding “Quick Meals for Busy Weeknights!”  So I made it my mission to add lots of these types of meals to my blog.

There are different ideas of what an easy meal is. To some, it’s a meal made in your crock pot.  To others, it's a meal with very few ingredients--or maybe one that comes together in 30 minutes or less.  Maybe you prepare extra chicken when you make one meal, and use the leftovers in another meal or two.  Maybe you are super-duper organized and prepare freezer meals, and stock your freezer up in one afternoon?  Regardless of what you classify as an easy meal, I have some family favorites that are tried and true by my family.

Here are a few of our favorites that are done in 30 minutes or less:

Pizza Meatloaf Minis – These Pizza Meatloaf Minis bake up in your cupcake pan, they are a quick and easy meal, with the flavors of pizza in a cute little meatloaf. Kids love pizza!

UnStuffed Cabbage Roll Skillet – These taste just like cabbage rolls, but this unstuffed cabbage roll skillet is done in no time and perfect for weeknight meals!

Crispy Oven Chicken in a Biscuit Sandwiches – Perfectly crispy without frying - these chicken sandwiches flavorful and served on a flaky biscuit. Dinner in about 30 minutes!

Tuna Tetrazzini – My kids’ FAVORITE casserole! So simple, and tastes amazing!

Little King Salad – This is like a hoagie sandwich in a bowl! So hardy, even the boys in your family will love this salad!

Potato, Green Beanand Bacon Soup – Flavorful creamy broth, with fresh green beans, potatoes and bacon, make this a great soup year round, but especially when you have those fresh garden green beans!

Use left overs for these two:

Chicken and Doritos Casserole –  Great for leftover chicken, this casserole bakes up in about 30 minutes, top like you would tacos!

Tater Tot Casserole – Tater Tot casserole is a classic, but not everyone makes it the same! Here is our version. Perfect for leftover ground beef, and easily made ahead and baked when you’re ready!

A couple of our favorite Crock Pot Meals –

Chicken Tortilla Soup– Dump it all in the crock pot, let it cook low all day, top with tortilla strips and sour cream for a great weeknight meal the whole family will enjoy! Also works great with leftover chicken.

Hawaiian Pork Sliders –  Sweet Hawaiian barbecue, pineapple and teriyaki served on a Hawaiian roll, perfect for those busy nights when dinner needs to be ready when you are!

Hamburger Noodle Soup – Handed down to me from my Grandmother, this soup is delicious with or without noodles, it’s full of veggies and a family favorite.

Make Ahead Meals:

12 Family FriendlyFreezer Meals from Aunt Bee’s Recipes – My dear friend, and fellow food blogger, Brandi, did this amazing recipe post last year, and I had to add it to make this complete.

I hope that you have found some new meals to gather your family around your kitchen table! For more ideas, visit my website.

Written by Michaela Kenkel

Michaela is a native Omahan, and a stay-at-home-mom to her four children. She began her website, An Affair from the Heart, in 2011. It is primarily a food blog, but Michaela also throws in the occasional party she has planned.

You will find a little bit of everything on her site, from brunch ideas to cocktails, from easy weeknight meals, perfect for families, to decadent desserts. It’s not all about the recipes though. Food and family and the connection between the two is what Michaela writes about most; sharing recipes and stories from her childhood, as well as current ones from her own family.

She named her blog An Affair from the Heart, because she loves celebrating, cooking and baking, and when she makes something, she puts her whole heart into it.


Brandi Burgess
Chats: 1
Votes: 0

What an incredible selection of kid approved easy weeknight meals! Bookmarking this for a meal planning resource! Thank you!!!!

Posted by Brandi B on Sep 21, 5:59 p.m. | Like | Flag as abuse

Chats: 3
Votes: 0

I'm trying to start meal planning so food blog posts are my new guilty pleasure. I don't have kids, but I'm a ridiculously picky eater so I though I'd check these out. These all look so good! Tator tot casserole is already in rotation at my house, its so easy! The chicken recipe looks so good - I'm gonna have to try that one next.

Posted by jamie on Jan 20, 7:17 p.m. | Like | Flag as abuse

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