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Simple Easy Recipes for Busy Moms

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Here at 3 Boys and a Dog, we are busy.  As far as large families go, our family is on the small side with only 5 of us.  However, everyone is nearly grown. I am basically feeding 5 adults in this house.

Plus, I am doing it around baseball, football, dance, scholar’s bowl, travel, family time, and jobs!

Let us be real, Mommas. 

We want to cook for 17 hours each day, but it just isn’t feasible anymore.

That is why I pride myself on bringing you simple easy recipes that even the busiest of moms can make. AND, that even the pickiest of kids will enjoy. 

Not only that, but most of our weeknight dinner recipes are budget friendly because, we know…. we know!

You have 20 minutes to 30 minutes to get dinner on the table and it better be cheaper than Mickey D’s, am I right?

simple easy recipes

So, while I prefer home-cooked goodness for my boys, I am not above using helpers to get me there.

My best desserts are boxed cake mix hacks and some of my most-loved casseroles include a can of cream of something or a packet of Knorr’s sides!

How to Find Recipes

The best way to find something on our site is to use the search bar up top. You will see it below and to the right of my logo. However, if you aren’t quite sure of what you want, please keep reading for links to our quick and easy recipes.

If you click away from this page, don’t worry! You can get right back to it by clicking “recipes” in our navigation bar up top.

Simple Easy Recipes:

We currently offer approximately 400 kid-friendly recipes at 3 Boys and a Dog. Moreover, that number continues to grow on a weekly basis.

busy moms need this list of simple easy recipes

While we aren’t listing every single recipe post here, you can eventually get to all of them from this page. It just may take a few clicks. Instead, we are including a good portion of our best loved and most popular recipes.

If you are like me, the cereal aisle is overwhelming with so many choices.  You probably just want an easy dessert that is full of fresh flavor or an easy dinner recipe that you can make from the ingredients you already have on hand.

The thought of dragging your kids to the grocery store is more than you can muster at 5 pm and the Walmart grocery pick up doesn’t have a time available until tomorrow.

I’ve got you… Let’s do this! Make sure to also check out these Over 32 Easy 15-Minute Recipes!

3 Ingredient Recipes

Appetizer? Full meal? You tell me, but this 3 ingredient sausage dip is sure to please you no matter when you eat it.

Breakfast or dessert, either time you are going to love these 3 ingredient Nutella croissants!

As if the sausage dip up there wasn’t enough, I have gathered a list of over 30 three ingredient dips for you.

5 Ingredient Recipes

Your family is going to love these Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Get dinner going fast and cheap with these 5 ingredient recipes for the crockpot.

This 5 ingredient Tuna Casserole is sure to become a family favorite, if you guys like tuna. 🙂

Need a quick and easy side dish? This 5 ingredient risotto is sure to fit the bill.

I am not a “only eat soup in the winter” kind of person. Thank goodness, because I would miss this 5 ingredient broccoli & cheese soup so much!

Recipes By Category:

As I am sure you have already noticed, this post is exceptionally long! In fact, it contains thousands of words. To make it easier for you to navigate, I have included links to different sections and back to the table of contents.

Feel free to take your time here—there’s a lot of valuable information to explore!

In addition to this massive list of delicious recipes, we also add new content to our blog daily and a big portion of that new content is recipes.

simple food for the good life


I know I can’t be the only person who decides to make a meal out of appetizers because that is girl-dinner if I’ve ever seen one! Am I right? At our house, we call it snack night, and the boys absolutely love it.

You can access all our appetizer recipes here.  They are sorted and organized for you.

Or, you can simply visit our most popular appetizer posts:

  1.  By far, our most popular appetizer is our RoTel Dip with Ground Beef.  In addition to being a fan favorite here at 3 Boys and a Dog, it is a family favorite at Miller Manor!  Take note, this is one of those dishes we eat as a complete meal.
  2.  Our second most popular appetizer is our Southern Roasted Pecans – made better because we do them in the microwave. You are welcome!
  3.  Number three in our list of most popular appetizer recipes is my husband’s number one favorite:  Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Dip.

If you prefer to just scroll, then go to our appetizer category.


Whether you are using the oven or your favorite bread machine, it doesn’t matter.  Both produce delicious breads and amazing aromas! 

From sweet to savory, from scratch or a boxed cake mix.  We love bread here. So, consequently we have MANY yummy recipes to help you satisfy your carbohydrate cravings. 🙂

You can access all our bread recipes here.  They are sorted and organized for you.

Or, you can simply visit our most popular bread posts:

  1. This Lemon Cake Recipe in a Bread Machine is our number one, most popular bread recipe here at 3 Boys and a Dog.
  2. If you have a mini donut maker, you need this list of perfect mini donut maker recipes.  If you don’t, it might be time to get one, because you are seriously missing on on miniature goodness!
  3. This list is our third most popular bread recipe, though it isn’t one recipe… it is 40 bread recipes – some are for the oven and some are for the bread machine.  Have fun!

If you prefer to just scroll, then go to our breads category.

easy recipes for busy moms


I am a self-proclaimed junk food enthusiast. Yes, I enjoy all kinds of sweets, whether store-bought or homemade. Seriously, I’m not very picky as long as it’s sweet! If you have a sweet tooth, like me, you are going to be super happy in this section!

You can access all our dessert recipes here.  They are sorted and organized for you.

Just want cookies? You can access all of our yummy cookie recipes here! I have them sorted by topic for you.

Or, you can simply visit our most popular dessert recipes:

  1. This Blueberry Cake Mix Cobbler is actually our number one, most popular recipe across the entire site, not just in the dessert section!
  2. And, our No Bake Peanut Butter Sandwiches come in a very close second.
  3. An old friend shared this recipe for Old Fashioned Glass Candy with me. Now, my youngest asks for it regularly.
  4. This New Year’s Eve Dessert Board is one of my favorites!

Prefer lists of similar sweets?  Try our round up dessert posts:

  1. Over 20 Candy Bar Cupcakes
  2. Low Calorie Cookies
  3. Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream Recipes

If you prefer to just scroll, then go to our dessert category.

Facebook Group Invitation


When you have high-maintenance children – cough*cough, Zachary – you realize very quickly that they like to feel special. 

All. The. Time. 

Consequently, that means making specialty drinks, for the heck of it. LOL! 

As long as Zachary has been able to order for himself, he gets Virgin Daiquiris when we go places.

Those things are like 12 bucks! No kidding!  So, I had to learn to make them myself – enter Mocktails for Kids!

You can access all our beverage recipes here.  They are sorted and organized for you.

Or, you can simply visit our most popular drink posts:

  1. Cranberry Kiss
  2. Cotton Candy Mocktail
  3. 15 Hot Chocolate Recipes

If you prefer to just scroll, then go to our beverages category.

simple recipes

Side Dishes

Growing up, my mom always had a starch and a couple colors in our meals.  As a busy Mom now, I have no idea how she created such big and elaborate meals each evening AFTER working 10-12 hours!

We haven’t organized all of our side dish recipes yet, but I bet you will love this list of over 100 side dish recipes.


  1. Oven Sweet Potato Steak Fries
  2. Oven Steak Fries
  3. Scalloped Potatoes

Side Dish List Posts:

  1. Hawaiian Side Dishes for Pork
  2. What to do with Leftover Boiled Potatoes
  3. Crockpot Side Dishes

If you prefer to just scroll, then go to our side dishes category.

Main Dishes for Lunch and Dinner:

While I am all about snacks, breakfast, or appetizers for dinner – that is only sometimes.  I eat loads of ground beef and chicken… seriously, loads!  Keep scrolling for our top main dishes for lunch and dinner.

Quick question – do you make big lunches on the weekends?

simple and easy recipe ideas


Right down the road from us is a butcher, South Alabama Custom Meats.  Man! They have BEAUTIFUL meats and at a great price, so we make a fair amount of beef recipes.

You can access all our beef recipes here. Or, you can simply visit our most popular beef recipes:

  1. Hamburger Soup in the Slow Cooker
  2. RoTel Dip with Ground Beef
  3. Best Ever Easy Hamburger Patty

My Family Favorites:

In addition to the RoTel dip and our favorite hamburger patties, we have a few other beef meals that we all love!

  1. Crockpot Pizza
  2. Taco Bake
  3. Italian Meatloaf (goes great with potato salad)

Or, you can visit our most popular beef list posts:

  1. Over 50 Hamburger Meat Recipes – this post gets about 10,000 more visitors per year than my next recipe post.  It is popular!  Head on over and find out why!
  2. Over 25 Ground Beef Casserole Recipes
  3. 20 Beef Recipes your family with love!
  4. You can find all of our Ground Beef Recipes on this list.

If you prefer to just scroll, then go to our beef category.

For an alternative to beef, try these 25+ Recipes that Use Ground Turkey!

simple weekday meals


I LOVE bacon… like all things bacon.  Can you go wrong by adding bacon? I think not!  However, bacon isn’t the only part of pork that I enjoy. 🙂

Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten all of our pork recipes organized yet. I am working on it, but for now you can simply visit our most popular pork posts:

  1. Boneless BBQ Pork Ribs
  2. Apple and Pork Chops in the Crockpot
  3. Tangy Crockpot Pork Stew
  4. Orange Glazed Pork Recipe

Or, you can visit our most popular pork list posts:

  1. Over 25 Grilled Pork Tenderloin Recipes
  2. Easy Crockpot Pork Recipes for Working Moms
  3. Pork Chop and Rice Recipes

Psst, this Bacon Broccoli Salad is my favorite!

If you prefer to just scroll, then go to our pork category.


My family always jokes that I am going to grow feathers because I am a sucker for Chicken.

Honestly, it has no real flavor, so the taste is whatever you do to it. I love that and I love that yard birds are some of the cheapest meats you can get! 

Here at Miller Manor, we enjoy a LOT of easy chicken meals. In fact, we have chicken dinners 3-4 days a week. Surprisingly, no one really complains about it.

We have a few Turkey recipes here like this Asian Turkey Meatballs recipe, but our poultry of choice is Chicken.

Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten all of our poultry recipes organized yet. I am working on it, but for now you can simply visit our most popular chicken recipes:

  1. Asparagus Stuffed Chicken Breasts
  2. Loaded Chicken Breasts
  3. Chicken Tortilla Soup

Are you looking for dinner ideas featuring chicken thighs or breasts? Or perhaps you’re interested in grilled or crockpot options? If so, check out our collection of chicken recipes:

  1. Over 20 Ways to Use Chicken Thighs
  2. Grilled Chicken Wing Recipes
  3. Delicious Fryer Chicken Recipes
  4. Chicken Casseroles
  5. 20+ Grilled Chicken Recipes

Or,  if you prefer to just scroll, then go to our poultry category.

simple dinner meals and more


I have some seafood recipes on my site, but they are few and far between because I am severely allergic. 🙁 That is a long story for another day, but just know that I ate it, un-bothered, for 16 years. So, I know exactly what I am missing. 🙁

We haven’t gotten all of the seafood recipes organized, but you can still visit some of our most popular ones below:

  1. Clean Eating Tilapia
  2. Shrimp and Asparagus Stir Fry Recipe
  3. 5 Ingredient Crab and Corn Casserole

You can also just scroll through the seafood category.


We have even fewer vegetarian dishes than seafood ones. I am a Southern girl, so meat and potatoes are life for me. However, every once in a while, I get wild hair, so we do have some delicious veggie recipes here!

You can simply visit our most popular vegetarian posts:

  1. Over 25 Low Fat, Low Carb, Vegetarian Dinner Recipes
  2. Parmesan Steak Fries with Ranch
  3. Simple Carrot Salad

If you prefer to just scroll, then go to our vegetarian category.

Types of Easy Recipes:

Sometimes we aren’t really sure what we want to cook, so we just need a specific type. Like, we will be gone all day so we need a good crockpot recipe or a quick lunch recipe.  This section has you covered!  Keep scrolling to find many yummy recipes sorted by type.

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Breakfast or Brunch

Breakfast foods are my favorite, consequently IHOP and Cracker Barrel are two of my favorite restaurants – I can get breakfast all day!  But, with that aid, I also like to cook breakfast and have an annual breakfast meet-up at my house. So, I am always looking for the best breakfast and brunch recipes.

Simply visit our most popular breakfast recipe posts:

  1. 3 Ingredient Nutella Croissants
  2. Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake
  3. Easy Strawberry Smoothie
  4. Delicious Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls

Or go visit some of our most popular breakfast list posts:

  1. Healthy Breakfast Smoothies
  2. Over 35 Breakfasts Worth Waking up For
  3. 25+ Freezer Friendly Breakfasts

If you prefer to just scroll, then go to our breakfast recipes.

simple and easy cooking plan ideas

Casserole Recipes

When I think of comfort food, I think anything casserole.  From side dish casseroles main dish ones to one dish meals in casserole form, there is just something so comfort food-esque about a casserole, isn’t there?

Simply visit our most popular casserole recipe posts:

  1. Tater Tot Casserole
  2.  Taco Bake – a family favorite! I mean, it is tacos in a casserole, how can it NOT be a favorite?
  3. Cheesy Broccoli Chicken Casserole

Or go visit some of our most popular casserole list posts:

  1. Over 25 Hamburger Meat Casserole Recipes
  2. Chicken Casserole Recipes

If you prefer to just scroll, then go to our casserole recipes.

add these recipes to your menu plans

Copycat Recipes

I wish that I could eat out every single meal.  However, that just isn’t feasible for a family of 5. Heck, in addition to the expense, we would never all get there at the same time. We are just all so busy! 

Anyway, that doesn’t mean that I don’t like restaurant food!  I think my big lists of copycats attest to that. 🙂

Here are all of our copy cat restaurants:

  1. Applebee’s
  2. Cheesecake Factory
  3. Chick-Fil-A
  4. Chipotle Mexican Grill
  5. IHOP
  6. McDonald’s
  7. Olive Garden
  8. P.F. Chang’s 
  9. Red Lobster
  10. Starbucks | Starbucks Drinks | Starbucks Treats

We only have two copycat recipe on our site.  We have plans to grow that, but for now we have the lists above and theses two recipes. LOL!

  1. KFC Cole Slaw
  2. Sonic’s Ocean Water Floats

Crockpot or Slow Cooker

I love slow cooker meals so much that I have eight (yes, 8) Crockpots at my house ranging from dip size to an 8 quart that I am in love with. 

I have never used them all at once time, but I figure it won’t be too long before I do.

When my kids start having kids and we have dinner at my house, those slow cookers will be used like crazy. LOL!

Simply visit our most popular crockpot recipe posts:

  1. Hamburger Soup in the Slow Cooker
  2. Slow Cooker Whole Fryer Chicken
  3. Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Dip

Or go visit some of our most popular crockpot list posts:

  1. Easy Crockpot Tilapia Recipes
  2. Crockpot Roast Chicken Recipes
  3. Over 30 Crockpot Dips
  4. Crockpot Beef Recipes for Working Moms

If you prefer to just scroll, then go to our crockpot recipes.

Diet Friendly

I am not a big dieter that is obvious if you ever see me in person. LOL!  But, really. I think dieting is bad for you because if you want to lose weight, you have to make life-long lifestyle changes.  However, I do have a few recipes here at 3 Boys and a Dog that are geared towards certain diets.

Our KETO posts:

  1. Easy Keto Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe
  2. Keto Friendly Desserts

Our Gluten Free recipes:

  1. GF Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
  2. Gluten Free (and egg free) Chocolate Chip Cookies

Our most popular Low Calorie posts:

  1. Over 20 Low Calorie Cookies
  2. Low calorie side dishes that pair great with chicken.
  3. Spicy Blackened Bass

Scroll through all of our low calorie recipes here or the skinnier versions of  some of our popular recipes here.

easy and delicious recipes for busy mommas

Easy Snacks

I am starting to feel like a broken record because I keep saying that I have kids, they are all boys, and they are nearly grown… 19, 17, and almost 13.  The only thing they love more than food is their Momma.

At least, I tell myself they love me more than food.

However, they can’t just eat full meals all the time. So, I have to keep snacks on hand and we both know making them is healthier and cheaper than buying premade, right?

So, I don’t have all my snacks posts in one place yet, but I have lots of different lists for you!

Simply visit our most popular snack recipe posts:

  1. Easy Homemade Peanut Butter Popcorn
  2. Pizzaria Snack Mix
  3. Baked Mozzarella Bites
  4. Reese’s Rice Krispie Treats

Or go visit some of our most popular snack list posts:

  1. Over a dozen Energy Bites
  2. 30+ afternoon snacks kids can make
  3. Movie Night Snack Ideas

If you prefer to just scroll, then go to our snack recipes.

simple recipes for meals and snacks

Kid Lunches

I am pretty big on leftovers or sandwiches for lunch.  So, you won’t find a ton of lunch recipes at my house.  However, we do have a few tried and true ones that you are your family are going to love.

Simply visit our most popular lunch recipe posts:

  1. Ham Salad Sandwich
  2. Tofu Vegetable Salad
  3. Chicken Avocado Wraps

Or go visit some of our most popular lunch list posts:

  1. 13 Bento Lunch Ideas
  2. Over 50 Perfect Lunchbox Recipes
  3. 3 Weeks of Bento Lunch Ideas for Kids

If you prefer to just scroll, then go to our lunch recipes.

simple easy recipes for busy parents

Recipes By Ingredient:

Sometimes, the grocery store has things on sale or the garden produces more than expected.  When that happens, I go on a mad hunt for new and interesting recipes to help me use up certain ingredients. 

So, I thought it best to compile some of my favorite go-to recipes when I find myself with a plethora of ingredients.


Fresh, canned, or frozen… asparagus is a delicious vegetable that is super good for you.  So, I like to use them as much as possible in recipes.

Simply visit our most popular asparagus recipe posts:

  1. Thai Sweet Asparagus
  2. Asparagus and Potato Egg Bake
  3. Simple Asparagus Spirals (love these as cute appetizers or a simple side dish)

Or go visit some of our most popular asparagus list posts:

  1. Over 15 Yummy Asparagus Recipes
  2. Frozen Asparagus Recipes

If you prefer to just scroll, then go to our recipes using asparagus.

kid friendly meals and snacks


My parents have several blueberry bushes at their house and their house is about 6 miles from mine.

Consequently, we have LOTS of blueberries and are always on the search for more ways to enjoy them.

Simply visit our most popular blueberry recipe posts:

  1. Cake Mix Blueberry Cobbler
  2. Blueberry Muffin Smoothie – although one of our newest recipes, it is one of our most popular!
  3. Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake
  4. Easy Blueberry Crumble

If you prefer to just scroll, then go to our recipes using blueberries.

super easy recipes for busy moms

Boxed Cake Mix

Why should you bother measuring the dry ingredients when you can buy a box of them for 89 cents?  Really, pre-measured makes my life easier, however, boxed cake mixes are boring!  So, I like to hack them into much better versions of themselves.  

You can find all of our cake mix recipes here and some delicious boxed brownie mix hacks here.

Simply visit our most popular Boxed Cake Mix recipe posts:

  1. Blueberry Cobbler made with Cake Mix
  2. Cake Mix Cinnamon Rolls
  3. Sparkling Cake Mix Cookies

Or go visit some of our most popular boxed cake mix list posts:

  1. 5 Ways to Make Cake Mix Better
  2. Yellow Cake Mix Recipe Ideas
  3. Huge list of Cake Mix Cookie Recipes

If you prefer to just scroll, then go to our recipes using boxed cake mix.

kid friendly simple recipes for busy moms


I am not a big fan of plain cherries, but I love the flavor of them!  Is that weird?  Like,. I don’t like the texture, but like the flavor…

I guess it is like children liking ketchup, but hating tomatoes? LOL!

Anyway, the best way to get to our recipes that contain cherries is to visit our most popular ones:

  1. Chocolate Covered Cherry Cupcakes
  2. Cherry Almond Coffee Cake
  3. Homemade Cherry Cordials

We only have one list post at the moment, but have plans to grow that this Fall.  Find our list of recipes that use cherries here.

If you prefer to just scroll, then go to our recipes using cherries.

easy recipes of dinner desserts snacks and more for busy parents


Cranberries are another thing I like the tart flavor of, but won’t eat plain.  I know, I am weird. 🙂

Simply visit our most popular cranberry recipe posts:

  1. Wild Rice and Cranberry Bread
  2. Cranberry Pecan Coffee Cake
  3. Cranberry Mocktail
  4. Cranberry Apple Pie

Or go visit some of our most popular cranberry list posts:

  1. Over 18 Recipes for Cranberries

If you prefer to just scroll, then go to our recipes using cranberries.

Facebook Group Invitation


Both of my grandmothers have multiple orange trees and my parents have one (maybe two?).  So, we have oranges a plenty down here come winter (November – January)!  I love them, especially when they are sweet.

But, I can only eat so many orange slices, ya’ know?  I like to mix them up into some delicious recipes, too. 

To make your own yummy orange recipes, simply visit our most popular orange recipe posts:

  1. Orange Muffins
  2. Yummy Orange Mocktail (or what about a Blood Orange & Lemonade Mocktail?)
  3. Low Calorie, super delicious Orange Coconut Salad

Or go visit some of our most popular orange list posts:

  1. Halo Orange Recipes

If you prefer to just scroll, then go to our recipes using oranges.

simple and easy family recipes

Peanut Butter

To me, peanut butter ranks right up there with bacon. I love it! I love it with everything! I could eat peanut butter every day for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy! Creamy, crunchy, in chocolate, on a banana… I love it all!

Simply visit our most popular peanut butter recipe posts:

  1. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
  2. Peanut Butter Popcorn
  3. Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
  4. Buckeye Fudge

Or go visit some of our most popular peanut butter list posts:

  1. 30 No Bake Recipes with Peanut Butter
  2. Over 15 ways to make peanut butter cookies

If you prefer to just scroll, then go to our recipes using peanut butter.


With over 40 acres of pecan trees in our family, you would think I would have more recipes using them. But, we really eat just a few recipes using our pecans for some reason.

These are all the pecan recipes I have here at 3 Boys and a Dog. Hopefully, I can rectify that soon!

  1. Spiced Pecans
  2. Southern Roasted Pecans
  3. Easy Turtle Brownies
  4. Cranberry Pecan Coffee Cake
  5. Pecan Pie Coffee Cake
  6. Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix
easy recipes of dinner desserts snacks and more for busy mommas


Finally, an ingredient that I have created a convenient hub for! 

You can find all of our recipes that use RoTel, nicely sorted and organized to make to easy to find what you are looking for right here: Easy RoTel Recipes.

Or if you prefer, simple visit our most popular RoTel recipe posts:

  1. Our most popular RoTel recipe is by far our RoTel Dip with Ground Beef recipe.  At our house, we make a full meal out of this quite often.
  2. 3 Ingredient RoTel Dip
  3. Lobster Cheese Dip
  4. Impossible Taco Pie

Or go visit some of our most popular RoTel list posts:

  1. 15 Spicy RoTel Recipes
  2. RoTel Recipes with Ground Beef

If you prefer to just scroll, then go to our recipes using RoTel.

simple recipes for busy moms and kid friendly meals


While I am not a big fan of squash, I do like it grilled – but more importantly, my Mom, husband, and two children love it.  So, I get to make it for them. 🙂 

Simply visit our most popular squash recipe posts:

  1. Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin
  2. Roasted Butternut Squash
  3. Butternut Squash Fries

Or go visit some of our most popular squash list posts:

  1. Pinned by the Pinterest creator’s mother way back in 2013, this list of Spaghetti Squash Recipes has remained one of my most popular.
  2. 17 Winter Squash Month Recipes
  3. Spaghetti Squash Dessert Recipes

If you prefer to just scroll, then go to our recipes using squash.

easy recipes for busy moms (1)


While Tilapia get a bad rap, it is actually very good for you. Sometimes called the “chicken of the ocean”, this fish doesn’t have loads of flavor, making it perfect for most meals. Why? Because it will pick up the flavor of the spices used!

Simply visit our most popular tilapia recipe posts:

  1. Clean Eating Tilapia Recipe – consistently my MOST popular recipe on my site.
  2. Blackend Tilapia
  3. Tilapia Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

Or go visit some of our most popular tilapia list posts:

  1. 14 Healthy Tilapia recipes
  2. Easy Crockpot Tilapia Recipes
  3. Tasty Tilapia Recipes

If you prefer to just scroll, then go to our tilapia recipes.

simple and easy family recipes

What is the easiest way to keep dinner simple?

One of the easiest ways to keep dinner simple is to plan ahead.

Before heading to the grocery store, it is helpful to have a meal plan for the week; this allows for shopping for just what is needed and saves time perusing aisles.

By having an outlined menu in place, dishes can be prepared from simple ingredients that do not require complex cooking techniques or long ingredient lists.

Other tips that keep dinner preparation easy include prepping food in advance when possible; such as chopping vegetables or marinating proteins so they are ready when needed.

Taking advantage of shortcuts like pre-packaged frozen meals or pre-cooked items like rotisserie chickens will also save time and energy during the dinner prep routine.

What are food staples to have on hand for easy meals?

Having certain food staples on hand can make meal preparation a much simpler task. Common ingredients such as eggs, cheese, pasta, frozen vegetables, and canned tuna can provide the building blocks for many nutritious meals.

It can also be useful to stock up on items like rice or quinoa for a high-fiber base along with pantry items like flour, cooking oil, spices, and condiments.

Pre-chopped fresh fruits and vegetables can also make it easier to include antioxidants and vitamins in quick dishes.

Having a selection of these items in the kitchen creates more options when planning meals, as they can be mixed and matched to create countless tasty dishes that require only minimal cooking time.

Are freezer meals a simple way to create quick dinners?

Freezer meals can be an effective tool for busy individuals looking for quick, low-cost dinners. While the pre-preparation may take a bit of time and effort, once these meals are placed in the freezer they can provide an easy solution when you are short on time and unable to think up dinner ideas.

Additionally, by pre-prepping and freezing meals in bulk, individuals can save money due to meal planning and bulk shopping.

Furthermore, options for freezer meals are vast and can accommodate most dietary needs such as vegetarianism or veganism.

If used strategically, freezer meals provide a viable solution for saving both time and money when preparing dinner.

What are some good meal ideas for picky eaters?

For those who have picky eaters in the house, coming up with meal ideas can be a challenge. However, it is possible to provide tasty and nutritious food that even picky eaters will enjoy.

One great way to do this is to get creative by attempting familiar dishes with a new twist.

A kid-friendly mac and cheese could be dressed up by adding diced celery or warmed-up canned corn; a turkey sandwich can become interesting when topped with pineapple slices; sandwiches could be cut into fun shapes and patterns using cookie cutters.

Additionally, there are several options for meals that are specifically designed with picky eaters in mind and require minimal preparation time.

Foods such as tuna melts, quesadillas, mini-pizzas, open-faced hot dogs over mashed potatoes, pasta casseroles, fish sticks, and egg sandwiches are all viable meal ideas for finicky people of all ages.

What food ingredients can help make meals more affordable?

One of the easiest ways to make meals more affordable is to focus on replacing premium ingredients with more cost-effective alternatives.

For example, rather than purchasing expensive cuts of meat, cheaper proteins such as canned beans or tuna are a great source of nutrition and can do the same job for much less.

When cooking with fresh produce, opting for frozen or canned fruits and vegetables is often much cheaper.

Bulking up meals with legumes like lentils or quinoa can also help lower costs while providing plenty of flavor and nutrients.

By finding creative substitutions like these that taste great while costing less, it’s possible to make delicious yet affordable meals using ingredients that won’t break the bank.

What is a great food ingredient to cook and use as leftovers?

Quinoa is becoming increasingly popular among health-conscious cooks and is an excellent ingredient to cook and use as a leftover.

Its nutty flavor, combined with its mild crunch, makes it a great base for many dishes due to its versatility.

Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning that it contains all of the essential amino acids necessary for growth or tissue repair.

Additionally, quinoa is a source of fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron which contribute to its nutritional profile.

Finally, quinoa can provide meals that are both delicious and nutritious while offering an opportunity to reduce food waste as they can be repurposed into numerous dishes over the course of a few days following the initial cooking session.

What are simple side dish ideas to add to meals?

From light and easy salads to heavier sides made with whole grains and legumes, there are plenty of simple side dish ideas that can be added to meals.

Eating a variety of simple side dishes can help boost nutritional quality, as it prevents people from relying too heavily on the same ingredients.

For example, adding roasted vegetables such as sweet potatoes or beets to a meal provides an array of healthy vitamins and minerals.

Furthermore, incorporating leafy greens such as kale or spinach into salads or soups is another great option.

Adding beans or lentils to recipes is also a fantastic way to increase dietary fiber and protein content in meals.

In conclusion, there are many creative ways to add nutrition and flavor to meals through the use of simple side dishes.

How do I meal plan in a few minutes of time?

Meal planning is an essential step in achieving a balanced diet while also saving time and money. It takes only a few minutes to brainstorm simple meals that can be eaten throughout the week.

It helps to prepare meals in advance, allowing you to take advantage of the time-saving opportunities meal prepping offers.

Researching quick and easy recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks not only ensures dietary consistency but also keeps food from going bad by taking inventory of what is available in pantries or fridges and lowering food waste.

Creating individual meals ahead of time also eliminates decision fatigue from having to cook something each night.

Taking just a few minutes out of the day to plan ahead can save considerable time throughout the week!

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