Suddenly find yourself struggling to figure out dinner recipes every night of the week? Trust me, me too! Not having the ability to take a break from the daily chore of figuring out meals for an entire family can be exhausting. Throw in the inability to go to the supermarket whenever you want, now we all have to get a little creative using staple pantry and fridge ingredients!
To help you out during these challenging times, these are my family's favorite meals that we eat on a regular basis featuring basic ingredients that you most likely already have on hand. Both kid and mom approved!
Quick & Easy Pantry Dinners For Families
My kids literally jump for joy every time I make this easy pantry meal. While the original recipe calls for canned tomatoes, in a pinch I've subbed everything from pasta sauce to ketchup and even salsa in. And guess what? It has always been delicious! This meal takes only 30 minutes from start to finish and can easily be made gluten free by using rice pasta. It keeps really well in both the fridge and freezer, and tastes even better the second day. Dairy free? Just leave out the cheese in the last step (which is what I have to do).
This is a great recipe to throw into the slow cooker early in the morning. Simply brown the meat first, then add everything in. The longer it cooks, the better is tastes. There's almost always leftovers that taste even better the next day, too!
If you've got a little more time on your hands, my shepherd's pie recipe is worth it. It still uses basic ingredients like ground beef, onions, peas and carrots along with a mashed potato topping, it just takes a little time to come together since you have to boil and mash the potatoes.
We make this at least once a week and the kids love it. I vary the vegetables depending on whatever I have in the fridge. More often than not, I only add broccoli and baby carrots. Instead of chicken, I use apple chicken sausage and sprinkle some basil and parsley over everything before baking. It's delicious!
Yet another family favorite. My mom made this a lot for me when I was a kid and I continue to make it for my family. My recipe is similar to this one from Averie Cooks but we add sliced banana and homemade satay sauce (just peanut butter and a bit of hot water!) at the end for a more Indonesian inspired version. Trust me on the banana. The kids just love it.
This is such a delicious dinner that we make all the time. The chicken is really tender and juicy and the garlic makes the veggies so delicious. Don't be afraid to switch up the veggies here, too. We love this with just broccoli as well as the green beans.
I like to sneak some grated carrot into my sloppy joe mix. The kids don't even notice it's there and I feel better knowing there's some veg being eaten!
My kids love this soup because it's not chunky. They do not like chunky soups. Served with my homemade brown bread (only takes 10 mins to make!), it's a delicious lunch or dinner.
Hopefully over the coming days and weeks these will serve as an easy reprieve from the monotony of figuring out dinners! And hopefully your family will enjoy these recipes as much as mine does!