What a difference a week makes. A week ago, going to the grocery store didn’t seem so daunting. A week ago, if you didn’t have something prepared for dinner, you most likely had backups. Today, having a plan for dinner and cooking at home has become essential.
A lot has changed and there is a lot we don’t know. But there are some things we can look to for comfort. A home cooked meal is one of them. For most of us, this might be the first time in years your whole family, from the busy parents to the too-cool-for-you teenagers, is under one roof for an extended period. It might be overwhelming, but the silver lining here is the opportunity we have to take a breath, reflect, and reconnect with our loved ones over nightly dinners together. We know, for many of you, this might be a challenge, and a pretty big one.
So, if you are wondering how you are going to pull this off night after night, we wanted to jump right in with a practical tool you can use today.
We have put together a ready-to-go menu for five of our Members’ most well loved easy dinner recipes. We have also included the grocery list so you can get up and down those grocery aisles quickly. Although we have created hundreds of easy recipes, we selected these meals for following reasons:
- They are among our Members’ most Favorited recipes so you can feel confident they will work.
- They make use of many of the items you most likely have on hand right now.
- If you don’t have some of the ingredients as listed, there are easy substitutions. See our suggestions for each recipe below.
Easy Dinner Recipes and Substitution Suggestions:
Listed below are highlights for each recipe and tips for substitutions. All recipes are intended to serve a family of 4 to 6. Flexibility is key.
- Upside Pizza Bake:
- Great to make ahead, great for kids
- We used ground beef, but you can use ground turkey or ground chicken as well. To make vegetarian, substitute the meat for beans
- If you don’t have mozzarella, use whatever shredded cheese you have on hand
- If you don’t have mushrooms or green peppers, use carrots or chopped cauliflower
- Crunchy Asian Chicken Fingers:
- This is a great one for your kids who might be missing their favorite restaurant version
- If you do not have panko breadcrumbs, use regular
- No limes? Use a lemon or orange
- Lemony Tuna with Pasta & Peas:
- Super simple and makes use of pantry staples and frozen veggies
- Double the batch and use leftovers for an easy lunch the next day
- Roasted Veggie Pasta:
- Easy meatless meal, with lots of flexibility on veggie choices
- If you don’t have butternut, use sweet potato or carrots. Other veggies that would work well are chopped broccoli, chopped cauliflower, or green beans. Just be aware you might need to adjust cooking times as a result
- Feta cheese can be substituted with cheddar, parmesan, goat cheese, or none at all
- Shortcut Shepherds Pie:
- All time family favorite, super easy comfort food
- Can use ground beef or ground turkey
- If you do not have frozen peas & carrots, use whatever frozen veggies you have on hand or fresh. If fresh, cook them separately and add to meal at end
The full menu and shopping list are below – simply click on the images to download a printable pdf of each one.
Also, if you are looking for some general tips for meal planning and getting organized, check out our Meal Planning Guide here: