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Quick Dinner Recipes & Quick Dinner Ideas from  

When you need a quick recipe for dinner!


A quick dinner recipe is one that goes on the dinner table in "30" minutes or less.  Ideally, 20 minutes from start to finish would be a busy parents dream.

Here are some tips and quick dinner recipes that hopefully will help get your dinner on the table much quicker.

Getting organized is key to getting dinner on the table without major stress.  

  • Take time to read recipes beforehand and lay out all ingredients including; cooking utensils, measuring cups & spoons on the kitchen counter before you start the meal.

  • You will also enjoy Make Ahead Meals

quick dinner recipes & ideas



Do you have $13.00 and 13 minutes to spare?  Put a great dinner on the table in less time that it takes to go through the drive-through!  

$13.00 is what this family dinner actually costs to buy EVERYTHING you need to prepare this meal.  Surprise yourself and take the challenge!  Let us know if you made it even cheaper!


fast dinner recipe for cheap

What You Need from the Store Cost

1 lb. ground beef              
1 small onion                        
1 bulb garlic                         
1 head broccoli
1 (14.5 oz.) can beef broth
small jar of peanut butter
small bottle of soy sauce
1 bag light & fluffy medium egg noodles               

   .28 ˘
   .45 ˘
    99 ˘
$2.50 (small jar Jiffy on sale)    
$1.89  (small bottle)



1 lb. ground beef              
1 small onion, chopped                        
3 cloves garlic, chopped                         
1 head broccoli, use florets only
1 (14.5 oz.) can beef broth, divided
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 soy sauce
3-1/2 cups uncooked egg noodles  

Using a large skillet with a lid, brown the ground beef with onions and garlic for 3 minutes, breaking up clumps of beef with a spatula as you brown.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the beef broth for the sauce.  Pour remaining beef broth and 1 cup of water into the skillet.   Stir and bring to a light boil. Stir in the noodles and return to a boil.  Lay the broccoli on top of the noodles and cover.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring once.  While this is cooking, mix together the peanut butter, soy sauce, and 1/2 cup of beef broth. After 5 minutes stir in the peanut sauce and blend thoroughly until all is well coated.  




MARINADES:  A great way to get dinner to the table quicker is by marinating meat, chicken, and fish.  With a simple marinade you can turn cheaper cuts of beef into tender, delicious, restaurant-quality dinners.  

A simple beef marinade:
2 hours or overnight

1/3 cup olive oil 
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
2  cloves garlic, crushed

A simple chicken marinade:
1 hour or overnight

1 cup buttermilk
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt

Even those that swear they hate the taste of buttermilk love this marinade.

A simple fish marinade: 
30 minutes

1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon canola oil 
juice from 1 lime 
2 teaspoons garlic, minced

(Great for making fish tacos)

Sticky Chicken Marinade:  1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce, 1/4 cup orange juice concentrate, 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, 2 cloves garlic minced,  1 tsp ginger.  Mix marinade ingredients and place into a large resealable bag with 2-1/2 lbs. boneless chicken thighs cut into chunks.  Marinate for 4 hours.  Remove chicken from marinate and thread onto a skewer alternating chicken and pineapple chunks.  Grill for 15-20 minutes turning often.  Boil reserved marinade and drizzle over chicken skewers before serving.  

COOKING STARCHES WITH VEGETABLES: This is one of our favorite ways to a really quick meal.  We love to cook our vegetables with potatoes, pasta, and rice.

Mashed Potatoes
Side Dish



4-5 medium potatoes
1 head broccoli, using florets
3/4 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
salt & pepper

Peel potatoes and cut each potato in half lengthwise.  Place potatoes in a medium sauce pan filled with water & salt.  Bring to a boil adding broccoli florets after 5 minutes.  Simmer on medium-high until potatoes are tender.  Drain and mash with cheese, butter, milk and salt & pepper.

Side Dish

1 cup orzo pasta
1 small carrot, shredded
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cups chicken broth
1 (10 oz) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
2 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt

Sauté carrots and garlic in butter until carrots are tender. Stir in broth, spinach, and pasta, and salt; heating to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Stir through Parmesan cheese.

Side Dish

3-1/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 small red pepper, diced fine
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup uncooked rice
2 cups frozen corn
1 (3 oz.) package of cream cheese, cut into cubes
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper

Simmer red pepper and garlic in 1/4 cup of chicken broth for 2-3 minutes.  Add rice, remaining broth, corn, salt & pepper.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 18 minutes.  Remove from heat and add cream cheese and milk.  Stir well to combine leaving on low heat until cream cheese is melted.



1 lbs. boneless chicken breast, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons butter
box bow tie pasta
1 head broccoli, using florets
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into 3" pieces
1 (8 oz.) container heavy cream
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. Cajun seasoning

In a large skillet, sauté chicken in butter until chicken is no longer pink. Add heavy cream to skillet with Cajun seasoning and cheese; stir to combine.   Cook pasta with carrots, adding broccoli after 5 minutes.  Drain well and put back in the pan.  Add chicken mixture in with pasta; stir well and simmer until heated through. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese. 


Package mixes of gravy, taco seasoning, fajita seasoning, and a beef stew mix should always be kept on hand.  Cheating is fine on the days when you just don't have time to cook.


1-1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 (8 oz.) package sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic, (jarred)
2 tsp. canola oil
1 tsp. Worcestershire
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. onion salt
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1 packet brown gravy mix
1/2 Tbsp. flour
1-1/2 cups water
1 (8 oz.) container sour cream

Heat canola oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add ground beef, mushrooms, onions, and garlic. Brown for 5 minutes while breaking beef up using a spatula. While browning; season beef with, salt, pepper, onion salt, parsley, and Worcestershire. When beef is well browned and mushrooms soft, drain beef of any extra grease. Keep heat on medium-high, sprinkle brown gravy mix and flour over beef mixture. Add water and stir through to combine. Let simmer for about 3 minutes; remove from heat and stir in sour cream.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1-1/4  lb. ground beef
1 medium onion,  chopped
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 (29 oz.) can tomato sauce
6 Burrito size flour tortillas
2 cups cheddar Jack shredded Cheese

Brown ground meat and onion well.  Drain grease.  Sprinkle taco seasoning through ground meat and stir well to combine.  Add tomato sauce and simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Spread 1/2 cup sauce on bottom of a 9 x 13" casserole dish.  Place 2 tortillas on top of sauce; overlapping.  Spread more sauce on tortillas and then cheese.  Finish with another layer of tortillas, sauce, and cheese.  Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.


1-1/2 lbs stir fry beef 
1  packet of McCormick's fajita seasoning mix 
1 medium onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1/2 cup of water

Place all ingredients in a crockpot on low for 7-8 hours. Serve with warm tortillas, cheese, and sour cream.




1 tablespoon olive oil
1-1 1/4 lbs. boneless chicken breast, cut into small pieces
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1 lb. package Birds Eye sugar snap stir-fry

1/2 lb. Vermicelli pasta, broken in pieces

Sauté chicken in olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, teriyaki sauce, and ginger; bring to a light boil. Add pasta and cook while stirring for about 6 minutes on medium-high heat. Add package of vegetables and stir well to blend. Cover and continue cooking for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.


1-1/4 lbs. lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tsp. minced garlic (jarred)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 (15 oz) jar Bertolli Alfredo Sauce
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
3-1/2 cups medium-size egg noodles (uncooked)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 cup sour cream

In a large skillet with lid, brown ground beef and onions, breaking up beef with a spatula. Salt and pepper beef as you brown. Carefully drain any remaining grease. Add minced garlic and brown for an additional minute.

Pour Alfredo sauce into ground beef mixture. Pour 1-1/2 cups chicken broth into empty Alfredo sauce jar and place lid back on tightly. Shake well and pour broth into skillet. Add nutmeg and allspice; Stir well to combine. Bring to a light boil and add egg noodles, stirring until all noodles are well coated. Reduce heat to a simmer; cover and cook for an additional 6-7 minutes or until noodles are tender. Remove from heat and add sour cream.



1 lb. lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped 
10 oz. can Rotel tomatoes and chilies 
15.25 oz. can whole corn (drained) 
4 oz. can green chilies, chopped 
15 oz. can tomato sauce
15.5 oz. can hominy, drained 
2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed 
15 oz. water (fill the tomato sauce can)
1 pkg. taco seasoning 
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing mix (dry) 

shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream for garnish (optional)
sliced black olives for garnish (optional)
corn chips (optional)

In a large, nonstick soup pot or Dutch oven, brown the ground beef. Drain and return to stove top. Add all other ingredients with the exception of the cheese, sour cream, olives, and corn chips. Mix well, and simmer on medium-low heat until heated through, approximately 15 minutes.

To serve, ladle into bowls, then top with cheese, sour cream, and olives if desired. Serve immediately with the corn chips on the side.