9 Quick & Easy Weeknight Dinners


I’m a busy person.  I’m sure you are, too.

I work part-time, write here part-time, I have three kids with various after-school commitments and homework to oversee, with lots of errands and appointments and working out to do.

My calendar is full full full, just like yours.

So when it comes to mealtimes some nights, I am like a crazy woman trying to figure out what to feed the hellions, I mean, my kids.

If I menu plan (or let Shrinking Kitchen menu plan for me), then I am a few steps ahead of my brood.  If I don’t (and if I am honest, I am not very good about menu planning), then I find myself pulling together dinners just as fast as I can (translation: before my monkeys *starve to death*).

Here are my 9 Favorite QUICK & EASY Weeknight Dinners:

  • Taco Salad– I like to brown ground turkey with finely minced onion and garlic, salt, and pepper.  I saute bell peppers and sliced onions in another pan.  For the salad, I have lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, black beans, corn, grated cheese, avocado, croutons, etc. set out for the kids to make their own salad.  Basically, whatever I have on hand is what they get to choose from for their individual meal. I hand them a paper plate and let them make their own meals.  Delish!!!
  • Chinese Chopped Salad with store-bought rotisserie chicken- Our local Costco and our favorite grocery store both carry a Chinese Ready-Made Chopped Salad Kit in the produce section.  I take 1-2 bags of that, add rotisserie chicken, and dinner is made.
  • Chili– Brown hamburger meat or ground turkey, add favorite chili seasonings (or store bought packet), add tomato sauce or a can of diced tomatoes, and throw in a can of pinto beans. Voila! Dinner is served.
  • Tostadas– Brown ground turkey with finely diced onions and garlic, salt, and pepper (does this sound familiar?). Take a tostada, spread refried beans on it, top with meat, lettuce, grated cheese, sour cream, salsa, etc.
  • BBQ Chicken– Saute chicken breasts in a little bit oil with your favorite chicken seasonings.  Mine happens to be the Montreal Chicken Seasoning.  Add enough BBQ sauce at the end for the chicken to sit in it –I also add water to dilute the thickness of the sauce.  Serve with baked potatoes, a green salad, or green beans.
  • Breakfast for Dinner-  This one is a no-brainer. Serve your favorite breakfast for dinner. My family happens to love breakfast tacos, so that is what we have.  Add a fruit bowl and you are ready to go!
  • Fajitas– Chicken or beef, you pick. Saute with olive oil or throw on the grill.
  • Tortilla Soup– I use rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken from any meal, dump it in a large pot with corn, pinto beans, enchilada sauce OR water with Knorr’s Caldo de Pollo (chicken boullion).  That’s it!  Sometimes, I will add corn tortillas to the soup and boil it until it melts down but usually not.  Ladle into bowls and top with grated cheese, sour cream, avocado, and a few crushed tortilla chips. Serve with a big green salad.
  • Pita Pocket Surprise– Basically, we take whatever leftover meat we have from another meal, throw it in a pita pocket, top it with salad and EAT IT.

As I wrote this list, I realized two things. First, our family eats a lot of Mexican food and they love it.  This is not shocking to me, but putting into list format our favorite meals really makes it apparent how much we enjoy our Mexican food.  I left enchiladas off this *quick* list.  Second, my family likes to put any and everything in a tortilla or pita pocket, throw some toppings on it, and call it dinner- ha!

What about you- what are your favorite quick weeknight meals to whip up when time is at a minimum?

I’m a runner, on my way to becoming a marathoner. I am 42 years old and have found a peaceful acceptance of my body. Through running, I have discovered who I am, besides a mom to three kids and a wife to one. I truly enjoy sharing my love of fitness with others while empowering and motivating women to conquer their fear of the unknown. In my spare time, I manage the Run with the Sisterhood Facebook page, work here and there for Zooma Women’s Race Series, and work part-time at our local YMCA.