12 Easy Dinners Perfect for Back-to-School

Back-to-school is busy! Whether you’re going in person or virtually, I’m sure that as soon as you hit that first day of school, your calendar suddenly looks a lot more full.

Often, that makes getting dinner on the table harder. Easy becomes the name of the game.

If you’re looking for some new, easy dinners for back-to-school, I’ve rounded up a dozen of my favorites!

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Grilled Pierogies and Kielbasa with Mustard Sauce

In all honesty, I don’t mind cooking dinner every night during quarantine. Cooking calms me – and making dinner is part of my regular routine anyway.

What I do mind? All the dishes. I swear quarantine has tripled the number of dishes that need to washed. So, my new policy for summer to to just throw everything on the grill whenever humanly possible.

Sliced kielbasa, pierogies, and diced onions tossed in a mustard sauce in a white bowl.

This dish is the perfect summer dinner because it’s cooked entirely on the grill and then tossed with a simple sauce. It’s done in less than a half hour, and the dishes are minimal.

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Cream Cheese Stuffed Everything Chicken

You know that everything-but-the-bagel seasoning that’s all the rage? I’d had it in my cabinet forever and finally broke it open one night when I was trying to throw together dinner last minute.

This chicken was the result, and the kids happily ate it and I patted myself on the back for a successful dinner and moved on.

The kids didn’t, though. They kept asking for it again. And again. And then one night, Jake asked, “Mom, don’t you want to blog this one?” So, here it is. If you like this one, you can thank Jake for kicking my butt into gear.

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Vegetable Pot Pie

Today is Good Friday, and the wrap-up to another year of the Lenten dinner series. It’s a heavy day for Christians made heavier for everyone by the current pandemic. I chose something comforting for today – because I think right now we all need it.

This pot pie is just loaded with veggies so it’s hearty in the best way. The filling is flexible – but I chose veggies with a longer shelf life so this could easily be a “week 2 meal” if you’re trying to space out your grocery trips.

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Sheet Pan Gnocchi & Vegetables

Today marks three weeks of social distancing for us. We are trying to stay home as much as possible in this weird, temporary normal, which means my 2-3 grocery trips per week have been severely cut back – we made it 18 days before our first grocery run and we’re hoping to make it another 2-3 weeks before going back.

If you’re trying to space grocery trips, this is an ideal meal for week two. The vegetables used here hold up pretty well to a week in the fridge – and even if they start getting a little soft, you’ll never be able to tell after roasting them!

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Greek Cauliflower Rice & Chickpeas

We have hit the point of the winter when veggies are no longer exciting.

During the summer and fall, we have a CSA share that loads us up with fresh vegetables weekly and inspires me to cook them creatively. Once the CSA ends? It becomes a regular rotation of bagged salad, roasted broccoli, and roasted green beans.

I recently discovered the kids like cauliflower rice, so I’ve been playing with different ways to dress it up. This Greek-style version was a huge hit. So huge that we ended up fighting over the leftovers!

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Pretzel Crusted Chicken in the Air Fryer

Do you have an air fryer? I was a hold out for so long – I just didn’t think it would be as amazing as everyone was saying. And then I got one.

Reader, I’m eating my words. I love it.

The ability to make food that tastes fried without actually having to bust out the oil is a game changer for me!

This pretzel-crusted chicken is a dream topped off with a cheddar-mustard sauce and chopped pickles.

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Chicken Alfredo Ravioli

Does anyone else feel like February went by at warp speed? I don’t know what happened, but I feel like I blinked and it was over. I feel like so many nights I was scrambling at dinner time – where did my day go?! – so quick and easy was definitely the name of the game.

Chicken Alfredo Ravioli 2

This easy casserole is just perfect for busy nights – and a really kid-pleaser.

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Cauliflower Bahn Mi Sandwiches

It’s the first Friday of Lent which means I’m kicking off my annual meatless meal series today! Over the next seven weeks, I’ll be sharing new meatless meals every Friday.

Cauliflower Bahn Mi 3

First up is this Cauliflower Bahn Mi and, guys, it’s a good one.

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Big Mac Sloppy Joes

My kids are good eaters. I’m lucky. We can plop down nearly anything in front of them and they will try it – and usually eat it. We have yet to take them to a restaurant they didn’t enjoy.

Still, my son’s most-requested meal? McDonald’s.

Big Mac Sloppy Joes 1

He asked me a few weeks back if I could make “McDonald’s burgers”. Sure, bud, here we go.

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