recipe

35 Quick & Easy Dinner Ideas for Busy Weeknights

It’s the end of the school year around here which means our schedule is full of festivities, which we are extra thankful this year, but that means we are often in a time crunch around dinner time. 

This often means meal planning goes out the window, but if there was ever a time to meal plan, THIS IS IT.

The goal of meal planning can be different in different seasons, in this season my goal is to have a simple plan for easy meals that can be made in a hurry.  Knowing there’s a plan and groceries in the fridge makes a huge difference.  

So, what are some easy meals that can be planned ahead?  Remember, it doesn’t have to be fancy to feed your family.

Psst…I record my weekly meal plan in my Simple Purposeful Living meal planner.  You can get yours here.

meal planner with accessory kit

35 Easy Dinner Ideas for Busy Weeknights

Italian Meal Ideas

Italian Chicken, Potatoes and Green Beans

This recipe is an easy all-in-one meal you can make ahead and pop in the oven later.  On busy weeks, I usually make it early in the week so we have some leftovers.    Find the full recipe here.

Spaghetti

There is nothing faster than boiling up some noodles while you warm up a jar of sauce.  You can even throw in some cubed up pre-cooked sausage or frozen meatballs for a quick protein.  

Ravioli

Speaking of pasta, ravioli or tortellini is another great option because they usually come stuffed with a protein which eliminates the need to add one to the dish.  Warm up your favorite jarred pasta sauce while you boil your ravioli or tortellini. 

costco ravioli lasagna bake

Easy Ravioli Bake

This is another great make ahead meal if you know you are going to have a busy evening.  Whip this up over the weekend or earlier in the day and pop it into the oven right before dinner.  Grab the easy ravioli bake recipe here.

Chicken Nugget Parmesan

This is so simple but another fan favorite.  We get the all-white meat chicken nuggets and cook them.  Cut up the chicken nuggets and layer on top of the spaghetti and sauce and garnish with parmesan cheese.  

heart shaped pizza valentine's day activity ideas

Pizza 

We always have a a few frozen pizzas on backup in our freezer to use in a pinch.  We also love these simple pizza recipe variations that are perfect for a quick dinner.

Pizza Quesadillas

Easy Garlic Bread Pizzas

Easy Peasy Pizza Bread

Easy Pizza Crescent Roll-ups

Easy Pizza Crescent Roll-ups

Slow Cooker Meals

On busy weeks, slow cooker meals are my favorite.  You can prep them in the morning and let them cook all day and they usually offer great leftovers which you can plan on eating later on in the week for another meal.  Cook once, eat twice I say!

Slow Cooked Pot Roast

My kids love any meat slow cooked.. This slow cooked pot roast recipe can be served with mashed potatoes and veggies or served as a sandwich shredded on a bun. Get the full recipe here.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This slow cooker recipe with just 6 ingredients is perfect for a busy weeknight.  The soup will be ready to serve with some guacamole, sour cream, tortilla chips, and shredded cheese for dinner.  Find the recipe here.

Chicken Stuffing Bake

This is another great meal you can make ahead or make in the slow cooker.  Read the full recipe here.

Sweet BBQ Meatballs

These meatballs are SO easy to throw in the slow cooker and make a delicious meal served over rice.  In a hurry?  Make minute rice, I won’t tell!  Get the easy recipe here.

leftover hard boiled eggs ideas, breakfast

Breakfast for Dinner

Scrambled Eggs & Toast

Whip up some scrambled eggs in a hurry and serve with some fruit and a side of toast.  I like to make an extra batch of bacon on the weekends and just rewarm it quickly in the microwave.

Pancakes & Frozen Breakfast Sausage

Mix together a quick batch of pancakes and cook up some frozen breakfast sausage.  You could even make an extra batch of pancakes over the weekend and rewarm them for dinner during the week.

Make Ahead Egg Bake

This easy egg bake makes a perfect meal that you can enjoy for leftovers all week as well.  It comes together in under 10 minutes and then you just need to bake it.  

Breakfast Tacos

Whip up some scrambled eggs for the taco protein and serve with traditional taco sides for a fast and different spin on tacos.  You can even add in some bacon bits or pre-cooked bacon. 

Casseroles

Much like slow cooker meals, casseroles can be made ahead and popped in the oven right before dinner!  If your kids are old enough (like mine are), you can even have them put it in the oven if you aren’t home.

Baked Super Nacho Casserole

Our entire family loves Mexican food.  This super nacho casserole makes a great warm appetizer too and we serve it with chips, sour cream, and guacamole.  Check out the recipe here.

Baked Enchiladas

Need a variation to the typical taco dish.  Try this easy baked enchiladas.  You can make ahead and refrigerate or freeze then bake for a yummy weeknight meal.  If you are in a hurry, use rotisserie chicken!  Check out the recipe here.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake

We love chicken cordon bleu (which is another great freezer staple for a fast meal).  This casserole can be whipped together in under 10 minutes and can be baked later so it makes for an easy meal to serve with a a steamed vegetable and fruit.  Get the full recipe here.

Chicken Pot Pie

This delicious and insanely easy recipe is perfect for making ahead and freezing.  It has just 4 ingredients. Serve it up with some bread!  Check out the full recipe here.

shredded chicken tacos shredded chicken meal ideas

Other Easy Fan Favorites

Walking Tacos & Taco Salads

If you never have had a walking taco, you need to try it.  My kids ask for them weekly.  It’s a great twist on a favorite meal around here, tacos!   They are great for a crowd too!  Read the full recipe here.

Sandwiches

Some nights just call for a sandwich.  Whether that means we are eating on the sidelines of a game or we need to rush out the door.  Chicken salad is perfect to eat with crackers or made into a sandwich.  I love adding pecans and apples in the fall!  Check out the recipe here.

You can even have everyone make their own by making a “sandwich bar”.  Place all the fixings on the counter and have everyone make it how they like it.

Wraps

Switch up a traditional sandwich and make it a wrap.  BLT wraps are one of our favorites.  Check out the recipe here.  Another favorite is mixing a bagged Caesar salad kit with some grilled chicken or cooked chicken nuggets and then filling a wrap with it.  So delicious and so easy!

Baked Sandwiches

Swich up a traditional cold lunchmeat salad and try baking it or cooking it on the griddle.  Hot turkey and ham sandwiches are delicious and you can’t beat a grilled cheese.  Check out this baked turkey pesto sandwich too.

Grilled Meat & Veggies

Grab some meat and grill it up!  While its cooking, cook some vegetables your favorite way (I love these green beans) and serve with some fresh fruit for an easy and healthy meal.

Stir Fry

Grab a stir fry kit at the store and add your favorite protein for a quick meal.

Sloppy Joe’s

Ground up some beef and add your favorite marinara sauce to the meat and serve on buns for a quick and delicious meal that usually offers leftovers for another night’s meal!  

Baked Potato Bar

Cook up some potatoes in the slow cooker or oven and offer toppings like shredded cheese, sour cream, crumbled bacon, and steamed broccoli.

Mac N’Cheese

There is no shame in whipping up some macaroni and cheese. Some nights just call for it!  

Hot Dogs

Grill up some hot dogs.  They grill super fast and serve with some fresh vegetables and fruit for an easy side.

Snack Tray | Charcuterie Board

We have a snack tray every Sunday night.  We fill it with leftovers, cheese & crackers, vegetables, fruit and whatever we can find in the pantry.  Then, we eat off of one tray which the kids think is amazing.

Salad Bar

Cut up all the salad fixings and have everyone make a salad their way!  The options for protein are endless from canned tuna to chopped chicken nuggets, chopped leftover ham or lunch meat.  We like to include a variety of raw veggies, dressings, shredded cheese, chopped hard boiled eggs, croutons and sunflower seeds.

Leftovers

My husband’s grandmother called them “planned-overs” which I love.  She planned for leftovers and you should too.  Every week, we eat leftovers at least once and I plan for it in my meal planner (get your meal planner here).

Freezer Staples

On busy weeks, I always make sure I have some of our favorite freezer staples on hand just in case we need to pull something out of the freezer.  Things like taquitos, chicken nuggets, mini corn dogs, pizza rolls or frozen pizza.  Some nights just call for something super simple and you can offer some raw vegetables and fruit to go along with it.

spiral bound 52 week meal planning journal

Just Remember…

Simple meals make dinner easy.  Some seasons just call for that.  When life gets busy, it’s easy to toss out meal planning but taking 20 minutes to create a plan for the week will help so much.  It doesn’t have to be fancy to feed your family, you can plan REALLY simple meals.  You will be glad you did, I promise.

Do you have any go-to meals that you make repeatedly?  What does your family always request? Hands down we have to have a Mexican dish of some kind every single week!  Jus

 

Want more help with meal planning? 

Download the FREE 50 Meal Ideas Printable

12 Easy Shredded Chicken Recipes

Easy Grilled Chicken Recipe Ideas

Simple Kid-Friendly Lunch Ideas

25 More Simple Meal Ideas

Simple Purposeful Living Meal Planner

 

meal plan journal

I write down all my meal ideas for the week in the Simple Purposeful Living 52-week meal planner.  Get yours here.   

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

35 quick and easy weeknight dinners

The Easiest Ice Cream Pie Recipe Ever!

Now, that the weather is warming up all my kids want (& me too) is ice cream.  So, this simple 3-ingredient ice cream pie recipe is a crowd pleaser around here and takes no time at all so you can get back to enjoying the weather.
 
Plus, you can make this ice cream pie a million different ways based on the ice cream flavor and toppings you choose.  For this example, I made a mint ice cream pie because tis the season to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!
 
Think shamrock shake meets pie, it’s delicious and takes less than 5 minutes to whip together.
 
easy ice cream pie recipe
 

Easist Ice Cream Pie Recipe 

simple 3-ingredient ice cream pie recipe ingredients

Ice Cream Pie Ingredients

  • 48 oz container mint chocolate chip ice cream
  • (Any flavor you choose will work)
  • 8 oz container whipped topping
  • Pre-made Oreo or graham cracker crust
  • Green food coloring (optional)
  • Topping of choice (Ande’s mint pieces, mini chocolate chips) 

easiest ice cream pie recipe slice

Ice Cream Pie Directions

 
You can either make this pie right after you get home from the grocery store or place the ice cream on the counter for about 15-20 minutes to thaw so it’s easily scooped into the crust.  
 
Smooth the softened ice cream into the pie crust.
 
After the ice cream layer is complete, you can mix 4-6 drops of food coloring in with the whipped topping.  You can add more food coloring for a deeper color!
 
After, you mix the whipped cream and food coloring, scoop the whipped cream onto the ice cream, and smooth to cover.
 
 
You can add a garnish like Andes’ mints or mini chocolate chips if you would like. 
 
Place it back in the freezer to harden for about an hour and then wrap it in tin foil until you are ready to enjoy it.
 
For easier slicing, warm your knife under hot water before cutting into the pie.
 
Here are my 3 oldest making this pie when they were little!
 
Yield: 6-8

Easiest Ice Cream Pie Recipe

3-ingredient ice cream pie recipe

Easy 3-ingredient ice cream pie recipe with graham cracker crust makes a delicious and quick dessert.

Additional Time 1 hour
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

Just Remember When It Comes to Ice Cream Pie…

  The options are endless with this pie.  You can add any flavor of ice cream and double up on ice cream flavors.  Just let the first layer of ice cream set and come back with an additional layer.  You can also add in syrups, like caramel sauce or hot fudge.  Ice cream pies are simple and always a fan favorite.  Have you ever made one?  What flavor would you make?

Need More Dessert Ideas?

Simple & Delicious Andes Mint Cookie Recipe
Simple 6 Layer Magic Bar Recipe
2 Ingredient Simple Peanut Clusters Recipe
Simple Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Need a meal plan journal to jot this Recipe down in?

meal planner accessory kit

Check out the meal grocery list and meal planner here.

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

12 Simple Game Day Food Ideas

It’s almost time for the biggest game of the year (so far).  Who are you rooting for?  We live in the midwest but I am married to a man that grew up in the Joe Montana era so I guess we will cheer for the game day food, commercials, and the halftime show.   I don’t know about you but the game day menu is almost as important as the game itself.  Here are some simple game day food ideas to serve your big game day fans!

Game Day Appetizers

Sweet BBQ Meatballs

These deliciously sweet and savory bbq meatballs are so simple to make.  Mix up the 3 ingredients and cook in the slow cooker.  No one will believe how easy they are to make.

Easy Peasy Pizza Bread

Easy Peasy Pizza Bread Recipe

This is a fan favorite around here and a perfect addition to your game day spread.  Whip it up in under 10 minutes and bake for 30 minutes.  Cut into slices and dip into marinara sauce.  See the full, simple recipe here.

Garlic Bread Pizza

frozen garlic bread pizza recipe

Another simple pizza inspired classic. Load up your favorite pizza ingredients on top of some garlic bread and cook for 15 minutes.  Slice and serve.  Get the full recipe here.

Baked Mexican Dip

Who doesn’t love a Mexican dip?  Make this simple baked Mexican dip ahead and pop it in the oven right before the game.  It also reheats well.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip is always a fan favorite served with bread or tortilla chips.  This easy spinach artichoke dip is just 6 ingredients so its super simple to whip up before the big game.

Apple Nachos

Looking for a healthier option?  Try an apple nacho bar.  Slice up some apples and serve it with a few toppings.  Your guests will be raving about this delicious snack.

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Speaking of healthy but oh so good, you need to make this simple black bean and corn salsa.  A great way to get some vegetables in your game day spread.

Game Day Meal Ideas

Walking Tacos

Recreate a stadium staple at home with a walking taco bar for the big game.  Prepare all the fixings ahead of time and your guests can make their own walking tacos just how they like it.

Classic Chili

Is there anything that screams game day more than a big pot of chili?  Perfect for a crowd and a cold day.  Try this super simple classic chili.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Hearty like chili but with a Mexican twist, it makes a big batch so perfect for a crew watching the big game.  Get the full recipe here.

Game Day Dessert Ideas

Magic Bars

These magic bars are good they are mouth-wateringly good!  Layer on chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut with a graham cracker crust and you have a game-winning dessert for your next party.

Andes Mint Cookies Recipe

Ande’s Mint Cookies

These cookies are so delicious, make a bunch and are always a crowd favorite.  Who doesn’t love the mint and chocolate combo?  Check out the full recipe here.

Ice Cream Pie

Do you know some ice cream lovers?  Try this ice cream pie.  Easier to transfer and a fun party treat.  This easy ice cream pie recipe is easy to make but always brings cheers.  Get the full recipe here.

Just Remember…

A good rule of thumb when hosting is to cook 30% and buy pre-made the other 70%.  My Grandma always told me a candy bar tastes great on a silver platter so when in doubt, buy something and keep it simple.  That’s the name of my game and I am sticking to it!

What are you serving for game day?  Do you host a party? 

Need help with meal planning?

I wrote down this recipe along with the rest of my meal ideas for the week in the Simple Purposeful Living 52-week meal planner.  Get yours here.   Join the Meal Plan Simple on Purpose group on Facebook for more meal planning ideas and support.  Join here.

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

 

**This Post Contains Affiliate Links**

Simple BLT Wrap Recipe

This post was written in partnership with the National Pork Board, all opinions are my own.

Every day might be a blur, but bacon is the cure.  I couldn’t agree more.  Who doesn’t love bacon?  I teamed up with National Pork Board to share this super simple BLT wrap recipe perfect for a busy weeknight or your next picnic.  It’s so delicious and filled with bacon goodness.  Plus, I am going to spill the secret on how to get perfectly crispy bacon and spoiler, it’s so simple!

Let’s get cooking, shall we?

BLT wrap recipe 5 ingredients

Simple BLT Wrap Recipe Ingredients

1 pound bacon 

4 large flour tortilla wraps

Mayonnaise

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Lettuce (2-3 leaves per wrap, 8-10 leaves total)

**This recipe is adapted from this recipe provided by the National Pork Board & Yummly

Simple BLT Wrap Recipe Directions

How do you Cook Perfectly Crispy Bacon?

crispy bacon in oven

Let’s cook up some crispy bacon first.  I went to the experts at the National Pork Board to learn how to make crispy bacon once and for all.

Start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees.  While the oven is preheating, grab a lipped cookie sheet and cover with tin foil.  Place a cookie cooling rack inside and spray both sides with non-stick cooking spray to prevent the bacon from cooking. 

Start placing the bacon on the cooling rack.  Make sure to leave a bit of space between each bacon strip.  This space helps the bacon get extra crispy and the secret tip!  

Place the bacon in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.  (My oven was 20 minutes on the dot.)  When the bacon is finished cooking, allow cooling on a paper towel covered plate.

Let’s Make that BLT Wrap

While the bacon is cooling, go ahead and wash the lettuce and tomatoes.  Then, dice up the tomatoes.  You can chop up the lettuce too, it’s up to you.  I just place the leaves whole into the wrap.  

Now, let get wrapping.  Start by spreading about a tablespoon of mayonnaise onto the large tortilla wrap.  Then, layer on the lettuce, tomatoes, and 3 strips of bacon (or more)!   Then fold two sides in and roll.  Squeeze as you roll so you get a tight wrap.  Once you have rolled cut in half on a diagonal and you are ready to serve.

BLT Wrap recipe

It’s Time to Serve Up the BLT 

BLT’s are the perfect summer meal idea.  It pairs well with a dill pickle, some chips, and fresh fruit and vegetables.  Top off the meal with delicious and simple strawberry shortcake (find the simple recipe here) for the quintessential summer meal. 

Simple BLT Wrap Recipe

BLT Wrap sandwich

This delicious, quick, and easy BLT wrap recipe is just 5 ingredients. A perfect twist on the traditional BLT sandwich.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bacon 
  • 4 large flour tortilla wraps
  • Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Lettuce (2-3 leaves per wrap)

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  
    2. While the oven is preheating, grab a lipped cookie sheet and cover with tin foil.  Place a cookie cooling rack inside and spray both sides with non-stick cooking spray to prevent the bacon from cooking. 
    3. Start placing the bacon on the cooling rack.  Make sure to leave a bit of space between each bacon strip.  This space helps the bacon get extra crispy and the secret tip!  
    4. Place the bacon in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
    5. While the bacon is cooling, prepare the lettuce and tomatoes.  
    6. Assemble the wrap. Start by spreading about a tablespoon of mayonnaise onto the large tortilla wrap.  Then, layer on the lettuce, tomatoes, and 3 strips of bacon.
    7. Fold ends in and then roll-up.

Check Out These Other Awesome Bacon Recipes – 

Bacon Breakfast Pizza

Simple Bacon Egg Bake

 

Need help with meal planning?  

I wrote down this recipe along with the rest of my meal ideas for the week in the Simple Purposeful Living 52-week meal planner.  Get yours here.   Join the Meal Plan Simple on Purpose group on Facebook for more meal planning ideas and support.  Join here.

 

 

 

Find out more about the National Pork Board

To find more great recipes and learn more about the National Pork Board, follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

 

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

 

This post was written in partnership with the National Pork Board, all opinions are my own.

BLT wrap recipe idea

10 Ways to Stretch Meat & Save Money

Across the United States, grocery stores are starting to limit the amount of meat you can buy.  It can be A LOT to disconcerting especially when you have a growing family as I do.  So, what are some ways you can stretch your meat and get creative with your meal plan this week?  

 

So, how can you stretch meat and save money?

 

Check out this delicious and simple egg bake recipe!

Skip the Meat

I know that sounds crazy, that the number one tip when it comes to stretching meat is to skip it but there are a lot of delicious recipes you might make with meat that if you took the meat out, you might not miss it at all.  For example, soups, salads, pasta dishes, pizza, quesadillas, and sandwiches.

Check out this breakfast pizza recipe, quiche recipe, and egg bake recipe.  Just skip the breakfast meat in each of the recipes!  

50 easy meatless meals ideas

Download your free copy of 50 meatless meal ideas printable by signing up here.

 

 

Swap Out the Meat

You might be used to fresh chicken breast for your favorite dish but in this season tried canned chicken instead.  This chicken pot pie recipe and chicken salad recipe work great with canned chicken.  Lunchmeat is a great alternative as well.  Instead, of using a roast for french dip sandwiches, consider using lunchmeat instead.  I love to make chicken parmesan with chicken nuggets. 

 

Check out this delicious and simple corn bean salsa recipe!

 

Sub Out the Meat

Instead of swapping or skipping the meat, how about sub it in for another protein.  Think eggs, lentils, beans, and nut butter.  

 

Thin Out the Meat

If you don’t want to get rid of the meat altogether, try stretching it with a filler.  I like to stretch ground beef by adding  1 12 oz can of black beans to make 2 lbs of a meat mix.  I will also add in canned carrots for nearly no added taste and extra vegetables.  This is a great option for Mexican dishes.

 

Don’t Make Meat the Star

Instead of a traditional meat and side meal.  Consider, stretching that meat by making dishes that you add meat to. Dishes like pasta, Mexican, and oriental dishes. When it isn’t the star and just the supporting actor, we can stretch meat a little bit further.

 

Think Outside the Meat Box

When it comes to meals, we usually have a meat-heavy hitter that goes with that meal.  Tacos = ground beef but what if you did shrimp tacos or pulled pork tacos.  If you make meat for one dish, how can you reimagine that meat for another dish later in the week or freeze it and save it for another time?

 

Simple Black Bean and Corn Salsa Recipe

 

Add More Sides

To stretch your meat even further, consider adding a few additional sides like fruits and vegetables so tummies are still filled but with more variety and you can stretch that meat even further.

Speaking of fruits and veggies, buy fruits and veggies with a variety of shelf lives. My kids love strawberries but they don’t last long so then I buy apples, bananas, grapes, and applesauce for later in the week. That way I don’t waste food and we still get a variety into our diet.

Don’t be afraid of canned and frozen fruits and vegetables as well so you can stretch the time between your grocery shopping sessions.

 

Make 1 Meal Per Seating

I know this has nothing to do with meat but many of you might feel like a short-order cook. Now’s the time to communicate with your family that you are making 1 meal. Kids will eat when they are hungry and serve some sides you know they will like to help them get excited about mealtime.  Want more help with picky eaters?  Check out this post with 15 tips to get your picky eater to eat.

 

Meal Planning Journal sample weekly meal plan

Grab your meal planner here!

 

Meal Plan

Making a weekly meal plan helps you reduce food waste and stretch your meat and your grocery budget. I record what we need at home before I go throughout the week in my  Meal plan journal.

Then, I look for simple meals we love and make my meal plan while I shop. You can download a free printable with 50 meal ideas to help you get started by signing up here.

 

Keep Meals Simple

We are not getting awards for how fancy or complicated are meals are right now. The other night we had grilled cheese, we have had to build your own cheese pizzas this week and everyone has never eaten better.  Snack tray suppers are another fan favorite and perfect for a night you don’t feel like cooking. 

 

Just Remember…

Don’t stress if you can’t find enough meat at the store, there are a lot of meatless options or meals that don’t require a lot of meat.  If you need more ideas, you can signup here and download your copy of over 50 meatless meal ideas to get you started. 

 

You might like these posts – 

15 Simple Ways To Save Money on Groceries

12 Items We Stopped Buying at the Grocery Store to Save Money

10 Simple Kid-Friendly Lunch Ideas

25 Simple Family Meals

 

Need help with meal planning?  

I wrote down this recipe along with the rest of my meal ideas for the week in the Simple Purposeful Living 52-week meal planner.  Get yours here.   Join the Meal Plan Simple on Purpose group on Facebook for more meal planning ideas and support.  Join here.

 

 

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

HOW TO STRETCH MEAT

 

Easy Breakfast Pizza Recipe

breakfast pizza

 

I don’t know about you but I am having to stretch my at-home cooking creativity cooking nearly every night of the week during this pandemic.  As a family, we have been thinking about some of our favorite foods from local restaurants and are recreating them at home.  My son requested we try making an easy breakfast pizza recipe and a new favorite meal was made.

It’s so quick and easy with just 5 ingredients that you can make this on a busy weeknight or for overnight guests.  Plus, you can play around and get creative with your own pizza toppings to make a fresh new taste every time you make it.

So, let’s get cooking shall we?

Easy Breakfast Pizza Recipe

 

 

Easy Breakfast Pizza Basic Ingredients

1 pizza dough dry mix (with ingredients to make based on package instructions)

6 eggs (scrambled) 

1/2 package of bacon cooked 

1/2 package spreadable cream cheese spread

8 oz cheese

**For a family of 6 I doubled this recipe**

 

 

Easy Breakfast Pizza Directions –

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Then, make the pizza dough mix based on the package directions.  Meanwhile, cook your bacon and let cool, then cut up into bite-size pieces.   I cooked the whole package of bacon since I doubled this recipe for my family of 6 and made 2 pizzas.

 

breakfast pizza process

 

Next, scramble up your eggs.  I like to add a dash of milk to help fluff them up! 

Cook the dough for 5 minutes in the preheated oven before adding toppings.

When your dough is slightly cooled, spread on 1/2 container spreadable cream cheese spread.  Then, layer on the eggs, bacon, and top with shredded cheese.

aking breakfast pizza recipe

 

Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until cheese on top is slightly browned.  

 

homemade breakfast pizza

 

It’s Time to Dish-It Up

Slice up the pizza and get ready to serve.  We love to serve this pizza with a side of fruit or fruit smoothies (check out my favorite smoothie recipe here).

 

Want to Mix Up the Easy Breakfast Pizza?

Instead of bacon, try breakfast sausage.  Want some veggies?  Try some green pepper and onion.  The options are endless when making your own breakfast pizza.  You can even try nacho cheese instead of cream cheese for a south of the border taste!

 

In a Hurry?

Instead of a dry dough mix, you can purchase refrigerated pizza dough or pre-made pizza crusts that would work great as well.  You can also buy precooked bacon.

 

Just Remember…

Breakfast pizza doesn’t just have to be served at breakfast.  This is a fun way to switch up breakfast for dinner and breakfast for dinner is always a crowd-pleaser at our house.  Speaking of which, check out my simple quiche and simple egg bake recipes as well.

 

meal planning journal

 

Need help with meal planning?  

I wrote down this recipe along with the rest of my meal ideas for the week in the Simple Purposeful Living 52-week meal planner.  Get yours here.   Join the Meal Plan Simple on Purpose group on Facebook for more meal planning ideas and support.  Join here.

 

 

Looking for More Breakfast Ideas?

Simple Quiche Recipe

Simple Smoothie Recipes

Simple Egg Bake Recipe

 

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

**This post contains affiliate links**

quick and easy breakfast recipe

10 Simple Kid-Friendly Lunch Ideas

Anyone else feel like they are cooking LOTS of meals right now?  Just me?  However, I will say that my kids don’t mind eating the same thing even though I feel the pressure to provide ample variety int their diet.  So, I thought I would share 10 simple kid-friendly lunch ideas that are on repeat around here in case you are on the hunt for new ideas like I am!

10 Simple Kid-Friendly Lunch Ideas

 

1.  BBQ Smokies or Meatballs

This simple and delicious recipe takes no time at all and is perfect paired with some raw fruits and vegetables for a quick and simple lunch at home.  I made these the other day and there were no leftovers.  You can either use little smokies or meatballs for this 3 ingredient recipe. check out all the details in this post.

 

2.  Peanut Butter 

Peanut butter on anything.  Peanut butter sandwiches, peanut butter toast, peanut butter crackers, peanut butter with celery.  You can even warm up a dollop in the microwave and drizzle over cut up bananas.  Cutting up the bread in various shapes and sizes make the meal new again.  One day you can do squares, the next triangles and then strips (as seen above).
 
 
 

3.  Snack Trays

Clean out your fridge and place all the little leftovers, fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses on a tray and enjoy.  Check out these simple smoothie recipes!
 

4. Grilled or Baked Sandwiches

Elevate a plain old sandwich by grilling it and serving it warm.  Try the classic grilled cheese or add some pepperoni for a fun grilled “pizza” cheese.  You can add some meat to that as well for a little added variety.
Instead of grilling, try a baked sandwich like this baked pesto turkey sandwich.
 
Speaking of sandwiches, you should try this apple chicken salad recipe.  It’s so good!
 
 

5.  Quesadillas

 
There is no limit to creativity with quesadillas.  You can make simple cheese ones.  Try breakfast quesadillas filled with egg, cheese, and meat.  You can add some cheese and pepperoni and serve with a marinara sauce for an Italian twist.    You can even do peanut butter and banana quesadillas.  They are so simple but so tasty and fun!
 
 

6.  Crescent Roll Roll-ups

 
I keep a sleeve of these in my fridge at all times.  They make a great base to whatever you want to add inside.  From hot dogs to string cheese, breakfast sausage or pepperoni.  Bonus — your kids will love helping roll them up.  These are perfect for kids to help prepare.  I have found when you invite your children to help prepare the food, they are way more likely to eat it. 
 
To make pizza roll-ups, as seen above, grab a sleeve of crescent rolls, pepperoni, and 4 string cheese.  Cut the string cheese in half.  Unroll a crescent roll and layer on 4-6 pieces of pepperoni then place 1/2 string cheese on and roll-up.  Cook as the directions indicated on the wrapper.  Usually, that is 9-11 minutes at 375 degrees or until the crescent rolls are golden brown.  You can dip in marinara sauce!

 

 

7.  Breakfast for Lunch 

I mean everyone’s favorite meal of the day is breakfast so why not have it for lunch?  You can either make up some homemade pancakes and freeze them or buy pre-made frozen pancakes or waffles to microwave or toast!   Cut them up in strips, triangles, or bite-size for fun twists.  You can serve eggs, breakfast meats, and fruit smoothies too.  Check out these simple smoothie recipes!
 
 
 

8.  Homemade Lunchables

My kids love Lunchables but they can get expensive fast.  So, we will pull out a plate-like above or serve in a bento box like this and make our own Lunchables with a variety of meat, cheese, and crackers.
 
You can make a week’s worth of meals just with those 3 items.  Who doesn’t love a meat and cheese tray? It’s like your very own homemade Lunchable.  I do love the bought ones too especially when they are on sale for a $1 ;).
 

9.  Macaroni & Cheese

No matter what type of diet you follow, there is a box of macaroni and cheese that probably fits it.  It’s normally a kid favorite and easily made and stored for leftovers the next day.
 
My tip with macaroni and cheese leftovers is rather than just microwaving it, place the leftovers in a saucepan with a little bit of milk and stir as you rewarm.  It turns back into what looks like original macaroni and cheese.  My kids will not eat macaroni and cheese rewarmed in the microwave but I have found a way to trick them ;).
 

10. Don’t Forget Freezer Favorites

 
Don’t forget about all those things you can stock up in the freezer section.  Serve alongside some fruits and veggies to balance it all out!
  • Pizza rolls
  • Taquitos
  • Chicken nuggets
  • Mini corn dogs
  • Frozen Pizza

Don’t Forget About Leftovers…

Never underestimate the power of a good meal rewarmed.  I know not all meals are a hit but plan your dinner meals to include extras for leftovers.  Leftovers my kids especially love leftovers are pizza and taco/Mexican dishes.  I try to include both of these into our menu every week for this purpose.

These recipes make great leftovers – 

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Baked Mexican Casserole

Slow Cooker Chicken Stuffing Bake

 

When All Else Fails…

Sometimes, you just need to go through the drive-thru or text a friend to meet at Chick Fil-a!  One friend used to always go out on Friday for lunch with her kids.  Remember variety isn’t as important to them as it is to us.   If all else fails, having some fun items to make eating more appealing never hurts.  Here are a few ideas to add to your wish list!

 

Mix up Your Meal  with Fun Utensils

We have these plates and I pull them out when we are going through a particularly rough phase with eating or I know dinner might not be a favorite ;).  My kids also love to eat with different utensils so those cute animal toothpicks are so fun.  We have the construction silverware and they are in high demand along with these spoon/fork combos.

 

 

Just remember this when it comes to kid-friendly lunch ideas…

Mealtime with littles can be downright crazy but hopefully, these kid-friendly lunch ideas will help you to get on the right track to smoother meal times so everyone enjoys eating.  If you have a picky eater, check out these 15 tips to get your picky eater to eat.  

As moms, we feel the need to serve a great variety because we like variety and we feel the pressure too!  I have come to find if I stick to these basic and simple kid-friendly lunch ideas and rotate, everyone is happy.  What kids lunch ideas do you have?

 

Need Some Family Meals Ideas? 

 
 
 

 

Want help with meal planning?  

I wrote down this recipe along with the rest of my meal ideas for the week in the Simple Purposeful Living 52-week meal planner.  Get yours here.   Join the Meal Plan Simple on Purpose group on Facebook for more meal planning ideas and support.  Join here.

 

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

crescent roll pizza with text 10 kid lunch ideas

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Simple & Easy Desserts

I am always on the hunt for easy and quick desserts to make for an impromptu get together with friends or just to whip up for my own family.  My family loves dessert so we are well-versed in easy desserts but sometimes you just need a new easy recipe.  

So, from chocolate and ice cream to fruit, we have your easy desserts bases covered with these quick and easy dessert recipes sure to please the taste buds.  What are your favorite easy desserts to make?

Simple & Easy Desserts 

strawberries, whipped cream and biscuit strawberry shortcake recipe

Simple Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

I was intimidated for years at the thought of making shortcake but this recipe is so easy and is my husband’s favorite dessert.  If he gets to pick dessert and strawberries are in season, he always chooses this!  It’s light, sweet and delicious!

 

ice cream pie recipe Pinterest pin image

Simple Ice Cream Pie Recipe

If you are looking for an alternate way to serve an ice cream sundae, you need to try this ice cream pie.  It’s so simple but can be sliced and served right on to a plate for guests.  You can mix and match any ice cream flavor for endless ice cream pie options!

 

rhubarb crisp with pecan crumble in a white dish on a wood table

Simple Pecan Rhubarb Crisp Recipe

Crisps are such an easy but delicious dessert and served a la mode, you have a fan favorite on your hands.  This recipe calls for pecans for a nutty twist on a classic.

 

oreo crumbs topped whipped cream pie Pinterest pin

Simple Oreo Pie Recipe

I haven’t met a person that doesn’t love Oreos.  They are so delicious and this pie is a great variation of a french silk pie with a chocolate pudding base with the addition of Oreos!  Not only will the kids love it but the adults will too!

 

Magic Bar Recipe

And a bonus…because this is just too good not to share.  The name says it all – magic bars. It’s like magic in your mouth and these bars are so easy and so good, they won’t have time to melt before they are gone.

 

Apple Nachos Recipe

These are my kids’ favorite snack or dessert. Slice up an apple thin and then drizzle warmed peanut butter, caramel, and sprinkle on chocolate chips.  Serve it up as a bar and let everyone make their own.  If you haven’t tried these, you need to because they are SO good!

 

Simple Smoothie Recipe

Although, smoothies are not usually considered a dessert.  They are a great healthy sweet treat.  They are easy to make ahead and all you need to do is blend them right up and you have a delicious sweet treat that’s healthy too!

 

What are your favorite simple desserts to whip up for guests or your family?  You can never go wrong with brownies too!  A dessert is a food group around here so we are always looking for more simple recipes to add to the rotation!

 

 

 

Want help with meal planning?  

I wrote down this recipe along with the rest of my meal ideas for the week in the Simple Purposeful Living 52-week meal planner.  Get yours here.   Join the Meal Plan Simple on Purpose group on Facebook for more meal planning ideas and support.  Join here.

 

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

quick and easy dessert recipes

 

Simple Italian Chicken, Green Beans and Potatoes

Nearly every week when I ask my family what they want for dinner, someone inevitably says Italian chicken, green beans and potatoes.  I always happily oblige because this simple, one-pan recipe is perfect for a busy weeknight plus EVERYONE eats it and you know what a big deal that is if you have kids.

My sister-in-law brought us this meal when my youngest daughter was born and it’s been a go-to staple ever since.  I also love to take this meal to others as well.  With only 5 ingredients, it can be tweaked for lots of different flavors too.  Do I have your attention?

Let’s get cooking shall we?

 

Psst…Need help with meal planning?  I wrote down this recipe along with the rest of my meal ideas for the week in the Simple Purposeful Living 52-week meal planner.  Get yours here.

Join the Meal Plan Simple on Purpose on Facebook for more meal planning ideas and support.  Join here.

Simple Italian Chicken, Green Beans, and Potatoes

 

Italian chicken, green beans, and potatoes recipe

What you will need?

3  thawed chicken breasts 

1 lb small red and yellow potatoes cut into fourths

1 stick of butter (8 T.)

1 bag of frozen green beans 

1 packet dry Italian dressing mix

 

one pan Italian chicken, green beans and potatoes

Italian Chicken, Green Beans, and Potatoes Instructions – 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Then grab a 9×13 pan and all of your ingredients.  Start by trimming the fat off the chicken.  That’s my least favorite part, just me?  If your chicken breasts are thick, I like to cut them in half and butterfly them so they are thinner and cook faster.  

Layer the chicken down the center of the 9×13 pan.  Pour the bag of frozen green beans to one side.  Then, rinse your small potatoes and cut them into fourths.  Place them on the other side of the chicken.

Now, slice the butter into 1 tablespoon chunks or roughly 8 pieces and place evenly on top of the chicken, green beans, and potatoes.

Last, sprinkle the dry Italian dressing mix evenly across the 9×13 pan.

Cover with tin foil and place in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Before serving check that the potatoes are soft when you put a fork in them and that the chicken is cooked through.  If not, place covered in the oven for an additional 10-15 minutes.

 

easy Italian chicken, green beans and potatoes recipe

 

What to serve with your Italian Chicken Green Beans and Potatoes –

This dish really hits the protein and sides but you could certainly add a fresh salad, some bread, and fruit to round out the meal.

 

What about all that butter?

While you do put a whole stick of butter in the pan, you can use a slotted spoon to leave most of that butter behind.  If you rather not use butter, you could pour a bottle of Italian dressing over the top.  Try a drizzle of olive oil too.

 

Italian Chicken green beans and potatoes

 

How can you mix this dish up?

Swap Out the Veggies

You can put any vegetable adjacent to the chicken.  Try Brussel sprouts, frozen stir fry vegetables, broccoli or any other vegetable you love.  

You can even double up on the green beans and put it on both sides of the chicken which I do sometimes because my kids love those green beans.  I can’t say that always!

Swap out the Flavor

For a different flavor, mix up this dish with a ranch dressing dry mix.  Just follow the recipe above but switch out the dressing.

Swap out the Chicken

Last, but not least swap out the chicken breast with 8 boneless chicken thighs.  This is my husband’s favorite switch.  

 

Short on time?  Try the Slow Cooker

This dish easily turns into a slow cooker dish too!  Add the chicken, potatoes, green beans, sliced butter and Italian dressing mix to the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

 

Are you ready to try?

Trust me, you won’t regret it.  The chicken stays so moist and juicy with the delicious flavor of the Italian dressing mix.  We rarely have leftovers and the kids ask for seconds. I don’t know a better way to say this recipe is legit than that!  

Not to mention I shared this recipe on social media and every week I get asked for the recipe so it was time for it to have its own post.

 

 

Looking for other simple meals, try these!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Stuffing Bake

Simple Turkey Pesto Sandwiches

 

Need help with meal planning?  

I wrote down this recipe along with the rest of my meal ideas for the week in the Simple Purposeful Living 52-week meal planner.  Get yours here.   Join the Meal Plan Simple on Purpose group on Facebook for more meal planning ideas and support.  Join here.

 

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

slow cooker Italian chicken, green beans, and potatoes recipe 

Simple Baked Turkey Pesto Sandwich

turkey pesto baked sandwich with fruit and salad

 

Do you want to invite people over for lunch or dinner but have no idea what to serve?  Does the thought just overwhelm you?  Me too until I started making this simple baked turkey pesto sandwich recipe.  

It is so simple.  Did I mention it’s just 4 ingredients?  Plus it’s so delicious no one will ever believe how simple it is.  Stop sweating about what you are serving, your guests will gobble this easy baked turkey pesto sandwich right up and they will be asking you for the recipe.  Trust me!  

Let’s get cooking, shall we?

Simple Baked Turkey Pesto Sandwich Recipe 

 

baked pesto turkey sandwich ingredients

 

What you will need  – 

1 lb turkey lunch meat

1 8 oz container (12 slices) Provolone deli-sliced cheese

Jar of pre-made pesto sauce

1 loaf of bakery french bread

 

Baked Turkey Pesto Sandwich Instructions –

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Then, grab a large cookie sheet and line with a piece of tin foil big enough to wrap the sandwich in when you are finished.  Grab the french bread, cut it in half and lay it on the tin foil-lined pan.

 

 

Brush on a thin layer of pesto sauce onto the bread.  Pesto has a strong flavor so less is more in this case.  A thin layer will still give you a great flavor.  

After, you have brushed a light layer of pesto on your bread, layer evenly 1 pound of turkey lunch meat and provolone cheese slices.

 

add turkey to baked turkey pesto sandwich

 

Place the bread together and wrap in tin foil.  Then, put the turkey pesto sandwich into the 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. 

wrapped turkey pesto sandwich

 

After 30 minutes check that the cheese is melted and the meat is warm.  Pull out and slice to serve to your guests.

 

simple baked turkey pesto sandwich recipe

 

What to serve with your baked turkey pesto sandwich –

To keep it simple, grab a bagged salad mix kit from your local grocery store and assemble while the sandwich is baking.  You can also serve it alongside some soup, chips, a veggie tray and a fruit salad.  The options are endless.

 

turkey pesto sandwich with fruit and salad

 

What do you do with leftovers?

Didn’t eat it all? Don’t worry, the sandwich rewarms well in the microwave or oven for leftovers.  

 

Ready to mix this sandwich up?

Turn this baked sandwich into a panini with some sliced sourdough bread.  Butter both sides of the bread and then brush a thin layer of pesto on and pile on the turkey and provolone. Then,  cook it in an uncovered skillet browning both sides.

 Looking for a little more flavor? Try some added toppings like sliced tomatoes, onions, mayonnaise, more meats like pepperoni or salami, and oil & vinegar.

 

Baked turkey artichoke dip sandwich

Want a Fun Alternative?

Instead of pesto, try adding spinach artichoke dip to your sandwich (find a recipe here).  It’s so delicious!

 

Just Remember…

Not entertaining?  No worries this is a perfect weeknight meal for your family.  If your kids are not into pesto, skip the pesto on one side.  This meal packs the flavor punch without you breaking a sweat. This will quickly become an entertaining go-to recipe for when friends come over.

Yield: 4-8 sandwich slices

Baked Turkey Pesto Sandwich

turkey pesto baked sandwich with fruit and salad

Hot and delicious baked turkey pesto sandwich. Just 4 basic ingredients in this simple and delicious recipe.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb turkey lunch meat
  • 1 8 oz container (12 slices) Provolone deli-sliced cheese
  • Jar of pre-made pesto sauce
  • 1 loaf of bakery french bread

Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  
    2. Grab a large cookie sheet and line with a piece of tin foil big enough to wrap the sandwich in when you are finished.  
    3. Cut the french bread in half length wise and lay it on the tin foil-lined pan.
    4. Brush on a thin layer of pesto sauce onto the bread.  Pesto has a strong flavor so less is more in this case.  A thin layer will still give you a great flavor.  
    5. Layer evenly 1 pound of turkey lunch meat and provolone cheese slices.
    6. Place the bread together and wrap in tin foil.  
    7. Put the turkey pesto sandwich into the pre-heated 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. 
    8. Slice up the sandwich and serve with a side salad, chips or fruit.

Notes

Swap out the pesto with a thin layer or mayonnaise or spinach artichoke dip for a different flavor!

 

 

Need help with meal planning?  

I wrote down this recipe along with the rest of my meal ideas for the week in the Simple Purposeful Living 52-week meal planner.  Get yours here.   Join the Meal Plan Simple on Purpose group on Facebook for more meal planning ideas and support.  Join here.

 

 

Now, what’s for dessert?

Simple Layered Magic Bars

Ice Cream Pie

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

 

Need More Entertaining Recipe Ideas?

Simple Egg Bake Recipe

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

 

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

Let’s Connect | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

4 ingredient turkey pesto sandwich recipe 

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