Easy Main Course Menu – Have you ever felt overwhelmed by complicated recipes and long shopping lists? I think many of us do at some point. A few years ago I wrote a few blog posts with some of my favorite recipes that call for 5 ingredients or less. It was a big hit! I often turn to recipes with just a few ingredients when I’m busy or haven’t been able to shop for a while…or sometimes just because I don’t feel like anything more complicated than I need! I enjoy making things in the kitchen, but I don’t think weeknight cooking should be overwhelming. Cooking is fun, but it doesn’t have to include a mile-long list of ingredients either.
Since I wrote that Main Dishes Using Five Ingredients or Less appeared, I’ve come up with quite a few more recipes that only require a few ingredients to make. Actually, when I updated the post I found at least 60 of them here! I have to say that I still use these recipes regularly and my family always loves them.
Easy Main Course Menu
So if you’re looking for a quick, easy dinner option that doesn’t have a lot of ingredients, check out the post and see what you think! I’d love to hear what your favorites are and if you have any simple recipes like this that I might try myself in the future!
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When times are tough, we need recipes that are inexpensive. These recipes are not only cheap, but quick to make as well. Meal prep got you down? Get back on track with these easy meal prep ideas and quick recipes that will save you time in the kitchen and keep more money in your wallet.
When my children were very young, I worked from home as a freelance writer. As a result, I was always ready to make pancakes for breakfast or elaborate dishes for lunch. But things have changed over the years. My time is not so flexible anymore. Likewise, my children have changed too.
They are not little children anymore. They are growing teenagers with busy and active lives who need quick meals as much as I do. And their food needs are different than when they were little too. Will, who is 15, runs almost every day. Paige, who is 13, dances.
Left to the last minute, feeding my two active teenagers can become an important, stressful thing for all of us. That’s why meal preparation has become so important in our daily lives.
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If you’re not on the food bandwagon yet, now’s the time to jump on. And even if your home is different than mine, you should still try it. Meal prep isn’t just for busy families like mine—it’s for anyone who wants to take the cost, stress, and challenge of meal prep out of the equation. Not convinced? Then you should probably hear about its benefits.
Here’s what I love about meal prep: Planning a weekly menu checks off one item on life’s never-ending to-do list. Mornings are easier because there are ready lunches that you can grab and go. Evenings are easier because everyone knows what to expect. And life is easier because some daily stress is relieved.
And if you, like me, have several growing children around, preparing a family meal together can also be a solid family project. You share food knowledge, they make sure it’s prepared food they like and everyone is happy.
But there are even more benefits to meal prep. Here are some more tips before we get to simple meal prep ideas.
Easy Family Dinners
Instead of buying what I think we need or might want to eat, I prepare a grocery list that focuses on what we need to prepare a meal. That means buying exactly what we need when we need it. And it still leaves room to stock the pantry with things we use often like pasta, flour, sugar and canned tomatoes.
With these easy meal prep ideas, there’s also less waste from your kitchen. Why? When you’re planning the food you’re going to make, you’re buying exactly what you need. In other words, there is less temptation to buy suddenly.
Want your time back? Me too. Life can be pretty hectic at times. But when you plan and prepare ahead of time, meals are catered for in advance. Sure, you use some weekend hours to cook and prepare food. But you get time back in your busy week, freeing up to sit down, read, go for a walk or whatever you want to do to relax. That time saving equals a better quality of life.
Just as grocery shopping without a plan means impulse buying, eating without a plan can lead to binge eating. Have you ever stood in your kitchen munching on chips while trying to figure out what to eat for lunch? Me too! Impulsive eating is not thoughtful. Not even a little. When I’m not planning ahead, I usually wait to eat until I’m hungry and go for the fastest option. It is rarely healthy. But with these easy meal prep ideas, healthy everything is ready.
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Who couldn’t use less stress in their life? Seriously, planning ahead means one less thing on your plate on busy days. Thank you, easy meal prep ideas!
These easy meal prep ideas are perfect for prepping ahead of time. And they cover every meal of the day!
Sweet beets and carrots, earthy turnip greens, and savory onions combine with creamy, runny eggs in this easy recipe for a breakfast bowl. Make the veggie base ahead of time and all you have to do is fry an egg in the morning to finish!
Portable, easy, and so tasty, these use pantry ingredients to make a delicious, sweet breakfast. They are like oatmeal in muffin form.
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Filled with eggs, cheese, bacon, and peppers, this breakfast quesadilla recipe is something the whole family will love. Make a batch ahead of time and reheat them in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
Perfectly portioned and pre-cooked, these savory omelets with cheese, bacon, veggies and more can be reheated in under a minute.
This ham, egg, and cheese pie recipe makes plenty of this delightful breakfast dish to enjoy tonight and save for later. Plus, with fluffy eggs, flavorful ham, and sharp cheddar cheese, it’s a great meal.
Have you had overnight oats? They can be eaten hot or cold and are a great, nutritious way to start the day. Plus, these have pumpkins in them (perfect for finishing off that partially used can!).
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These mini bacon, egg and cheese bites take about 20 minutes – total – to make. And making them ahead makes them even more convenient as a quick breakfast – reheat them in the toaster or microwave!
Whip up a batch of these Make-Ahead Breakfast Burritos filled with bacon, cheese, veggies, and eggs this weekend and freeze them until you’re ready to eat.
These crunchy homemade granola bars with a delicious whisper of cinnamon throughout are easy to make with just four ingredients. Perfect for a quick and easy breakfast!
Nutrient-packed chia seeds join grapefruit, ginger, coconut, maple syrup and more in this decadent but healthy recipe. Pudding for breakfast? Why not!
Dairy Free Dinner Recipes
Since chicken is so popular for preparing lunch and dinner, I want to put it in a category of its own.
These quick and easy chicken pizza packs take minutes to whip up and are packed with great pizza flavor. Make a batch wrapped in foil for an easy, grab-and-go lunch.
Creamy and spicy, Buffalo Chicken Dip is a delightful appetizer that can be kept in the fridge for up to seven days. Make some ahead and have it on hand for dinner!
If you like chicken satay, the traditional Thai dish, you’ll love this recipe for satay chicken with peanut sauce. It has all the flavor! Plus, it’s great for making lunches.
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This easy, garlicky starter is lovely served with rice or mashed potatoes. With only five ingredients (not counting oil, salt, and pepper!), Chicken Snow Pea Skillet is the perfect stress-free dinner—or ready-to-eat lunch.
Calling all chicken thigh lovers! This sweet and salty chicken recipe includes the sides to make it a meal. Hearty, filling and perfect for lunch or dinner!
Chicken is marinated in Greek style with lemon, garlic, herbs and spices. Then it is baked to perfection. This Easy Chicken Souvlaki is great in bowls to prepare a meal with Lemon Butter Orzo.
Cilantro lime quinoa! Chicken Fajita! Vegetables! These cooking bowls have everything you need for a satisfying meal prep.
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This gorgeous meal comes together in about 30 minutes and couldn’t be easier – and the Herbed Chicken Breast with Brussel Sprouts and Mashed Potatoes is perfect for eating right away or saving for later. Pack into a serving bowl and reheat when ready to enjoy.
This bold, cheesy chicken casserole is filled with black beans, corn, salsa and more. Once cooked, you can freeze it for up to three months and defrost it
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