16 Busy Season Recipes to Get You Through it Without a Sweat
I have always felt a bit rushed during the fall season, as school began but nothing like I do now. I am a home economics teacher who has an afterschool culinary team and am a junior class sponsor (which means I have to go to the volleyball games to do concession stand). For the first time in their lives, my girls are also doing
For the first time in their lives, my girls are also doing extracurriculars after school as well, my oldest taking ice skating lessons and the little one started dancing. Needless to say, we have two nights “off” a week- Mondays and Fridays. That's it.
Since we have got such a heavy plate and it is important for me to feed my kids well, I am rounding up a delicious set of recipes to help us make it through the busy season. Hope you enjoy!
Busy Season Recipes to Save You Time
1. Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa
For a thirty minute recipe, this looks like it tastes delicious. Shrimp is so delicious and I love the light, fresh taste of lemons. Combining the two with the seven grams of protein quinoa, and we are good to go for a refreshing meal. To get the full scope on this recipe, check it out over at Erin's Well Plated.
2. Twice Baked Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potatoes
This recipe is not a super quick one, but one that could be good for freezing in advance. Make a big batch and freeze it over the weekend then eat it one night for dinner and maybe a couple of days during lunch.
I'll be honest, I like sweet potatoes over regular potatoes and can eat them savory or sweet.
I also like the fact that the writer of this recipe, over at The Creative Bite, makes this to where it could be a vegetarian recipe as well.
3. Breakfast For Dinner
This is not a link to another blog but one that I speak from experience. Breakfast items, unless you count muffins, are meant to be quick and easy. If you are looking for a quick recipe then it makes sense to make breakfast. Pancakes and bacon are simple, soul-satisfying and a great option if you are looking for something quick. My suggestion? Make a few extra pancakes and put it in the freezer.
4. Crescent Rolls
Yet another delicious one that needs no recipe. Simply roll up whatever it is that you like into crescent dough. Roll it up and bake at 350° until fully cooked. When I first thought of this recipe, my mind immediately went to rotisserie chicken, shredded up. Pulled pork would be another good one.
Pictured here is pizza roll-ups, complete with marinara sauce and cheese. So many of these had the added benefit of being able to send them with lunches as well. It would be complete with a salad.
5. Sheet Pan Fajitas
Fajitas are very popular in my household. We eat it almost on a weekly basis, yet I typically make it on the stove and not in the oven. The idea of being able to put this recipe in the oven and then walk away until it was cooked sounds very intriguing.
If you have a food processor, you have even more benefit of making this recipe quicker as you can have it do the chopping for you, guaranteeing that you will get the exact cut each time.
To see how easy it is to make this recipe, check out Tipbuzz.
6. Mom's Soup
The lady over at Smile Sandwich shared with us her mother's recipe for a hearty soup that is perfect for the crisp fall nights. I, for one, absolutely love it when the weather feels cooler and the meals begin to change in addition to the business.
She combines a lot of frozen vegetables but you can adapt it if you still have food in your garden or have an abundance that you canned over the summer. Eating fresh vegetables always tastes great.
To get the full beef vegetable soup recipe, be sure to check out Smile Sandwich.
7. Crockpot Cubed Steak
Brandie over at The Country Cook came up with this recipe and it works out well because crock pot recipes are a type of recipe that would be quick. This is not a full meal but the main dish. When we do a meal like this, typically my husband and I will do microwaveable side dishes in order to make it go even quicker.
In addition to being a quick, easy recipe the meat will become a little less tough by using the crockpot to let it tenderize.
8. Dutch Oven Cornbread Topped Chili
I have figured a few things out about making quick and easy dinners. One, you can make a big batch of something you love and eat it throughout the week and two, you can always tweak a recipe.
For example, Laura over at Family Spice made this recipe after being inspired by her husband's ability to cook with a dutch oven. She took a chili recipe and made it work for her.
In honor of her style, I am taking this dutch oven recipe and working at recreating it in my kitchen using the stove top and then the oven. This is why I love the dutch oven, it is so versatile. I can use it to make stove top chili and then add the cornbread mixture and bake it for about fifteen to twenty minutes at 350 degrees.
9. Chili Cheese Dog Bake
If you are like me, you might eat more of the cornbread than you did the chili. If you have leftover chili, then this is the perfect time to make chili cheese dogs.
The concession stand at school sells a lot of these but we use the regular hot dog buns. I don't know about you but I much prefer rolling pastry dough. The ladies over at Incredible Recipes from Heaven share their version of chili cheese dogs and I think it looks mighty good. I might even make this soon for my family!
10. Boneless Pork Chops and Vegetable Dinner
Another great sheet pan dinner. I like this one because it's not mixed together. My husband and youngest daughter want their food to not touch (with the exception of fajitas and stirfry) so this is one that we would be able to eat and I would not have to do a whole lot which to me is a win-win.
Tiffany from Eat at Home gives several recommendations for different side dishes to eat with this recipe in addition to the green beans. She points out that the green beans took longer than the potatoes to prep.
11. BBQ Chicken Tostadas
This was Brianne's rendition of a recipe out of a cookbook she had recently purchased called ‘Easy weeknight dinners'. She changed up a few things on the recipe, including making it pulled chicken instead of pulled pork and not adding the green onions to the top.
It still looks like a really great idea, especially because you could almost make this buffet style, putting up different things that you know your family likes and letting them make their own, and then baking them all at once.
For more on the recipe, check out Cupcakes and Kale Chips.
12. Crock Pot Chicken and Gravy
After I learned recently that you could make a large batch of mashed potatoes and freeze them, it only made sense to me that this would be the perfect meal for a night when I needed something quick and easy. Simply put the chicken and gravy together before I leave and pull out a container of pre-portioned mashed potato clouds. When I get home the chicken and gravy are done and the mashed potatoes are defrosted so all that is needed is warming up.
This recipe has my heart for more than one reason though. Mashed potatoes and gravy is a comfort food. After a long day of teaching and then extracurriculars for my little ones, I know that I could come home to a meal that everyone will love. That is soul satisfying.
Find out more about the recipe at Daily Appetite.
13. Homemade TV Dinners
I love this one for so many reasons. The first being that it just makes sense. Make a big batch of something you know your family likes and you can purchase at the grocery store. For example, I know that I can purchase a TV dinner that has spaghetti in it. I also know that spaghetti is pretty quick and easy to make. I make spaghetti using fresh hamburger meat. This is key here – do NOT use frozen meat ever with these types of meals.
Anyways, I eat spaghetti for dinner with garlic bread and a salad. Later, after I am full and comfortable, I go back and make five TV dinners with spaghetti and bread.
I do the same the following two nights with burritos and Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes and green beans.
Three weeks later we come home from a busy night and my oldest wants spaghetti, but my little one wants burritos, all I have to do is warm them up in the microwave and dinner is on the table.
So no more work is put into it than making dinner as I normally would and spending an extra few minutes packaging up the leftovers in individual portions.
To see exactly how the author of the photograph did it, head over to Frugal like Grandma.
14. Ham and Cheese Pockets
Here is another recipe that would be good to pre-make, eat for dinner, and then freeze the leftovers. Only thing I recommend differently is to heat them up in the oven and not the microwave when you are reheating.
My kids, my husband, and pretty much everyone I know love hot pockets. Sally from Sally's Baking Addiction created this recipe for people like us who desire something satisfying but homemade. And still easy enough that it only takes a few minutes.
This and the numerous desserts is why I love her website.
15. Cheese Skillet Baked Gnocchi Recipe
This is a hearty recipe that only takes about half an hour to make. Most of this time is on the stove with the last twelve or so minutes being in the oven, ten of that just cooking and the last two placing it under the broiler. If the broiler is not your thing, whip out the torch. Play with fire, it's okay as long as your safe!
The author of this recipe got it from a friend of hers and tweaked it, changing out the cheese for one she preferred and adding bacon.
Now that's my kind of lady!
16. Sausage and Potatoes
Jaren over at Diary of a Recipe Collector created this recipe and I thought it sounded good at first. Then as I started typing it in here, I thought about all the side dishes you could have to go with this and I got a bit carried away.
If I wanted to have a big dinner and still make it quick, this recipe would be perfect. I was thinking that you could have the sausage and potatoes with a side of cinnamon apples, green beans, cranberry jello, corn, etc…
Given all the different sides that go with it and, yet again, the delicious feeling of comfort, this is a great recipe to have around when you are wanting to make a decent sized meal, but don't have the time to devote to several different recipes at one time.
The busy season is upon us and there is always stuff to do. Settling for fast food is not the way to go because it leaves everyone feeling bleh at a time when we need our energy.
Why don't we come up with a routine of cooking over the weekend some of these delicious recipes and spreading them out over the week to enjoy as well?