35 Genius Recipes for School Nights from 35 Genius Recipes for School Nights

35 Genius Recipes for School Nights

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35 Genius Recipes for School Nights

360 Cookware

35 Genius Recipes for School Nights

The words “quick and easy” are too often used in regard to cooking and recipes. It makes me think of boxed macaroni and cheese or pre-made microwave dinners. Don’t get me wrong, some days just need real quick and easy meals, but the ritual of cooking and enjoying a meal shouldn’t be rushed — especially since it’s a great way to spend quality time with family and loved ones.

So when we are faced with busy schedules and are pressed for time, let’s reach for recipes that are instead “simple and thoughtful.” Pastas that can be made in a flash and hearty, nourishing chili, quick baked salmon, and one-pan chicken are all great dinner solutions for busy weeknights.

The Daily Meal rounded up 35 genius recipes that are both simple and thoughtful and are sure to please the whole family. The ingredient lists are short, the cook time is less than an hour, and in many cases, all you need is a quick trip to the grocery store and some knife-wielding skills for chopping.

Alfredo Sauce With Linguine

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Alfredo Sauce With Linguine

Make this super easy version of alfredo sauce with just cream cheese, butter, milk, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Click here for the Alfredo Sauce With Linguine recipe.

Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Lisa Grant

Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps

This sweet, spicy, and crunchy turkey lettuce wrap is addictive; once you make it, you will crave it every week!

Click here for the Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps recipe.

 

Baked Salmon With Tangy Glaze

Shutterstock

Baked Salmon With Tangy Glaze

This easy sheet pan salmon recipe is made with simple spices for a delicious sweet and spicy glaze. The whole dish takes only 20 minutes to cook, making it perfect for weeknight dinners.

For the Baked Salmon With Tangy Glaze recipe, click here.

 

Baked Ziti With Ground Beef

Jane Bruce

Baked Ziti With Ground Beef

This is a delicious, inexpensive meal to cook when feeding a crowd or making lunches for the week. It's hearty, simple, and, of course, delicious.

For the Baked Ziti With Ground Beef recipe, click here.

 

Broccoli Rabe and Black Bean Quesadillas

Thinkstock

Broccoli Rabe and Black Bean Quesadillas

Fill corn tortillas with vegetables, beans, and cheese and place in a hot skillet until the cheese is melting and the tortilla becomes crispy.

For the Broccoli Rabe and Black Bean Quesadillas recipe, click here.

 

Carroty Mac and Cheese

Andrew Scrivani

Carroty Mac and Cheese

In this recipe, you’ll spend some time grating carrots, but you make up for it by not needing to make a cheese sauce on the stove.

For the Carroty Mac and Cheese recipe, click here.

 

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

Whole Foods Market

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

A whole head of cauliflower can be sliced to create several large "steaks." Roasting these cauliflower steaks along with the remaining florets is a fun and different way to enjoy the vegetable. Deviate from the original recipe by adding your favorite spices.

Click here for the Roasted Cauliflower Steaks recipe.

 

Chicken Teriyaki

Amiko Chen

Chicken Teriyaki

This recipe walks you through how to make teriyaki sauce from scratch, but in a pinch, you can use a store-bought bottle.

For the Chicken Teriyaki recipe, click here.

 

Chicken Caesar Salad With Potato Croutons

Fed and Fit

Chicken Caesar Salad With Potato Croutons

This salad is a perfect to make on a weeknight; you can whip up your own Caesar dressing and serve it with hearty potato croutons.

Click here for the Chicken Caesar Salad With Potato Croutons recipe.

 

Cold Sneaky Sesame Noodles

Jerry Errico

Cold Sneaky Sesame Noodles

If you wanted to make this a two-pronged meal, just double the recipe — serve it first for dinner, then have the kids take the leftovers to school the next day.

Click here to see the Cold Sneaky Sesame Noodles recipe.

Crescent Dog on a Stick

Pillsbury

Crescent Dog on a Stick

This crescent dog on a stick is baked instead of fried, making for a healthier version of a corn dog. This recipe is great for picky eaters or when you just want to make something really fun for the kiddos. Dip these guys in homemade mustard or ketchup, too.

For this Crescent Dog on a Stick recipe, click here.

 

Cuban Rice and Beans

Jane Bruce

Cuban Rice and Beans

What could be simpler than rice and beans? In this recipe, rice and beans come together with a medley of Cuban flavors for a tasty, satisfying dish.

Click here for the Cuban Rice and Beans recipe.

What could be simpler than rice and beans? In this recipe, rice and beans come together with a medley of Cuban flavors for a tasty, satisfying dish. Click here for the recipe.

Easy Fish Tacos

Jessica Chou

Easy Fish Tacos

These tacos, with crispy fried white fish and fresh avocado, are the perfect weeknight meal after a busy day at work or school.

For this Easy Fish Tacos recipe, click here.

 

Easy Lentil Chili

Easy Lentil Chili

Easy Lentil Chili

This simple vegetarian chili recipe uses lentils instead of beans. Brown lentils work best as they will hold their shape even when tender after cooking. Serve over brown rice or with whole-grain hearth bread.

For this Easy Lentil Chili recipe, click here.

 

French Bread Pizza

Shutterstock

French Bread Pizza

The Daily Meal’s former cook editor Kristie Collado shares tips on how to make the best French bread pizza ever — she lists how to make the recipe components from scratch, but don’t be afraid to substitute trusted pre-made bread and tomato sauces.

For the French Bread Pizza recipe, click here.

 

French Lentil Soup With Sweet Potato Croutons

Ashley Fahr

French Lentil Soup With Sweet Potato Croutons

This is a simple and delicious recipe for those who want to make a warm meal with minimal effort. Serve with a few slices of good bread to sop up the delicious juices.

Click here for the French Lentil Soup With Sweet Potato Croutons recipe.

 

Grilled Glazed Sweet and Spicy Salmon

Shutterstock

Grilled Glazed Sweet and Spicy Salmon

You are just five ingredients and 15 minutes away from setting this dish down on the dinner table.

Click here for the Grilled Glazed Sweet and Spicy Salmon recipe.

 

Ground Beef Sloppy Joe

Shutterstock

Ground Beef Sloppy Joe

If you are looking for a simple weeknight meal, look no further. Serve your sloppy Joes with a side of vegetables or a salad for a complete meal.

For the Ground Beef Sloppy Joe recipe, click here.

 

Kale Mac and Cheese

Flexi Foodie

Kale Mac and Cheese

This recipe takes only 20 minutes, but you do need to do a little planning and place the cashews in a bowl of water the night before. Then you’re ready to go when you come home the next evening.

Find the Kale Mac and Cheese recipe here.

 

Loaded Sweet Potato

Emily Jacobs

Loaded Sweet Potato

Instead of a loaded baked potato with cheese and bacon, try this fresh and healthy new spin with sweet potatoes, greens, and feta.

For the Loaded Sweet Potato recipe, click here.

 

Lemon-Crusted Chicken Breast

Shutterstock

Lemon-Crusted Chicken Breast

This easy and delicious baked chicken breast is perfect for topping a light and healthy salad; it has lots of lemon flavor and an irresistible crunch.

For the Lemon-Crusted Chicken Breast recipe, click here.

 

Lemony Kale Spaghetti

Feed Me Dearly

Lemony Kale Spaghetti

Not only is kale a superfood packed with antioxidants, including 206 percent of the recommended daily dose of vitamin A, but it also tastes great and can be used in just about any recipe you can dream up, like this lemony weeknight pasta.

For the Lemony Kale Spaghetti recipe, click here.

 

 Maple-Roasted Acorn Squash With Quinoa

Shutterstock

Maple-Roasted Acorn Squash With Quinoa

The sugar in maple syrup creates a crispy, sweet crust on roasted acorn squash. The sweetness is also guaranteed to attract even vegetable skeptics.

For the Maple-Roasted Acorn Squash With Quinoa recipe, click here.

 

Mexican Lasagna

Will Budiaman

Mexican Lasagna

You can cut down the cook time by using pre-made tomato sauce, and cut out the heat by omitting the peppers.

For the Mexican Lasagna recipe, click here.

 

Mediterranean Salmon en Papillote

Shutterstock

Mediterranean Salmon en Papillote

Feeding your kids salmon, a protein-rich brain food, doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply wrap up the fish and thinly sliced vegetables in parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes.

For the Mediterranean Salmon en Papillote recipe, click here.

 

Mini Naan Butter Chicken and Rice Tacos

Stonefire

Mini Naan Butter Chicken and Rice Tacos

Use store-bought naan and in 15 minutes you can create a delicious, easy meal for you and your family.

For the Mini Naan Butter Chicken and Rice Tacos recipe, click here.

 

One-Pan Crispy Chicken in a White Wine Sauce

Shutterstock

One-Pan Crispy Chicken in a White Wine Sauce

You can make this delicious chicken breast recipe in fewer than 30 minutes, and it requires only one pan to make.

For the One-Pan Crispy Chicken in a White Wine Sauce recipe, click here.

 

 

One-Pot Cheesy Chicken Enchilada
iStock

One-Pot Cheesy Chicken Enchilada

With this one-pot recipe, you’ll have a wonderful meal on the table in fewer than 30 minutes and the cleanup will be a breeze!

For the One-Pot Cheesy Chicken Enchilada recipe, click here.

One-Pot Chicken Meal

360 Cookware

One-Pot Chicken Meal

To make this deliciously complete meal, just dump vegetables and a whole chicken in a big pot and cook for 45–50 minutes until the juices run clear and the vegetables are tender.

For this One-Pot Chicken Meal, click here.

 

Parmesan Chicken Fries

Jerry Errico

Parmesan Chicken Fries

These breaded chicken fries skip the time-consuming three-step flour, egg, and breadcrumb breading process. Raw, skinless chicken is very sticky and holds the breading quite well. Use kitchen scissors to shape the chicken breasts into the fry shape and bake in the oven to achieve crunchy, irresistible chicken.

Click here to see the Parmesan Chicken Fries recipe.

 

Pasta With Tuna and Tomato Cream Sauce

Thinkstock

Pasta With Tuna and Tomato Cream Sauce

To transform this incredibly easy pasta dinner into an even healthier meal, you can swap the regular pasta for whole-wheat spaghetti.

For the Pasta With Tuna and Tomato Cream Sauce recipe, click here.

 

Pennette With Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta

Michael Harlan Turkell

Pennette With Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta

This pennette recipe is made with fresh Brussels sprouts, crunchy breadcrumbs, and pancetta for a balanced and delicious bite.

For the Pennette With Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta recipe, click here.

 

Shrimp Fried Cauliflower Rice

Fed and Fit

Shrimp Fried Cauliflower Rice

This paleo-friendly recipe makes a satisfying meal that will leave you feeling good afterward.

For the Shrimp Fried Cauliflower Rice recipe, click here.

 

Sweet Potato Mash

r.mission.inc

Sweet Potato Mash

Sweet potatoes are a great way to get some good food into your kids’ bellies in a crazy- delicious way. The addition of maple syrup and honey makes this especially attractive. Click here for the recipe.

For 50 more great potato recipes, click here.

 

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35 Genius Recipes for School Nights

35 Genius Recipes for School Nights

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