10 Great Meal Ideas for Busy Parents in 30 Minutes or Less

easy home cooked meals, quick weeknight meals -

10 Great Meal Ideas for Busy Parents in 30 Minutes or Less

When you’re a parent, you know how crazy busy life can get. When the time pressure is on, feeding and teaching children decent nutrition can easily fall by the wayside. But you know you it’s better to cook at home than to order out all the time. So, what do you do when the hordes are hungry and the clock is ticking after a long work day?

Let's take one less stressor out of the equation and provide you (and them) with 10 delicious meals, all of which you (and they) can prepare in under 30 minutes. And because we know you probably don’t have time to read all of this, let's cut to the ‘meat and potatoes’ of this. Recipe links are in the dish names.

Chicken Noodle Soup

An all-time family favorite in a half hour! Get the kids helping on this one because they’ll want it again. You’ll get enough from this recipe for a second meal. Plus it uses egg noodles so you can go gluten free.

Thai Fish Sticks

Sounds like deep fried frozen stuff, but this comes with a very easy twist. Hardly any gluten, pan frying instead of deep frying, and using cucumber and beans. Yes, you read that right. Use any kind of white fish. Even break out the can opener to open a can of tuna. This is a delight to prepare and makes the house smell divine.

Beef Macaroni with Soy and Ginger

Every child loves mac and cheese. Try this eastern take on a western classic. It will be ready in just 27 minutes and probably the fastest thing you’ll agree on. The ingredients in the title tell a yummy story!

Honey-Soy Salmon

Salmon with ginger, sesame and a honey-soy glaze? Yes, please! Throw some steamed rice in a pan with a can of Thai-style veggies and you have an easy delicious meal that will rival any takeout. 

BBQ Baked Beans & Sausage

Few things go together better than BBQ and beans, and few things are easier than turning on the stove and using a can opener. This one calls for beans that you flavor yourself (much healthier than canned baked beans) and even chicken sausage. Throw in some greens like spinach or collard and you have a perfect dinner in no time.

Shrimp Fried Rice

This one is an instant classic that is as healthy as it is fast. Maybe it says 40 minutes, but I’ve done it in under 30. Throw some steamed rice in a pan along with some fresh veggies and canned baby corn and your kids will never want to order Chinese again.

Chicken Alfredo

Pasta is always a favorite with the family and it just got faster and more delicious. Grilled chicken, alfredo sauce, mushrooms, vegetables, and pasta cooked al dente. Eat it now or freeze it ahead of time for heating.

Super Nachos

Nachos? NOM! Everyone will totally love this. You can vary the recipe as you see fit - dice up some fresh veg, sprinkle extra cheese, use chicken instead, etc. And by using parchment paper, along with the cans of beans and even tomatoes, cleanup is a breeze. 

Green Chilli Mac and Cheese

Like spice?Then spice up plain mac and cheesewith some green chopped chillis. Then sprinkle it with breadcrumbs and cheese and bake it in the oven. Oh, yes!

Breakfast for Dinner

A great fallback. Grab your bread, eggs, bacon (try turkey bacon for a healthier option), and maybe a can of chilli beans. You can do all the cooking in one pan and a toaster. It will be ready in well under 30 minutes and cleanup is a breeze.

OK, I’m hungry now…

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