36 Back-to-School Dinners That Are Quick and Easy

When it’s time for the kids to go back to school, you just know they’ll get home hungry and ready for dinner. Easy meals for those hectic school nights is a must-have! These back-to-school dinners can help you stay on track with food buying and meal prep, so the little ones will have something delicious to look forward to every night! You aren’t going to want to spend lots of money at the drive-thru or restaurant when it’s so easy to come up with simple, quick-to-make dinner ideas. So if you’re wondering which dishes to throw together for back-to-school week, we’ve got you covered with these yummy ideas. You’ll love making them and the kids will love eating them, so it’s a win-win!

General Tso Shrimp Stir Fry

Crispy sauce shrimp in a bowl.

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Easy General Tso Shrimp Stir Fry. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

General Tso shrimp is an easy Chinese shrimp dish which you can rustle up in less than 30 minutes. It offers sweet, tangy and savoury flavours, along with a hint of spice.
Get the Recipe: Easy General Tso Shrimp Stir Fry

Garlic Tomato Shrimp Scampi

Garlic tomato shrimp scampi in a bowl.
Garlic Tomato Shrimp Scampi Without Wine. Photo credit: xoxobella.

Many easy garlic tomato shrimp scampi recipes call for wine, but do you really need to add it? Is there a wine substitute you can add to this seafood pasta dinner recipe instead? The following recipe proves you don’t need to add wine for a delicious shrimp and tomato dish served with pappardelle pasta.
Get the Recipe: Garlic Tomato Shrimp Scampi

Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Kale Skillet

A cast iron skillet with a turkey, kale and sweet potato dish.
Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Kale Skillet. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Turkey is paired with sweet potatoes, garlic, shallot, lime, cheese, and more, for this super-simple turkey skillet dinner. You only need one pan to make it, which makes it perfect for busy nights.
Get the Recipe: Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Kale Skillet

BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizza

A flatbread pizza on a cutting board with a slice being removed.
BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizza. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Looking for a hassle-free dinner recipe that requires minimal prep? Try this delicious BBQ chicken flatbread that bakes in the oven for a crispy crust and melty toppings! With a pre-made flatbread base and simple BBQ chicken toppings, this recipe is both easy and satisfying, making it a great option for busy weeknights.
Get the Recipe: BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizza

Chipotle Chicken Fresh Mex Bowl

A Mexican inspired chicken bowl recipe served in a bowl.
Chipotle Chicken Fresh Mex Bowl – Chili’s Copycat. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

This Chili’s copycat chipotle chicken fresh Mex bowl is bursting with amazing Tex-Mex flavors like Mexican rice, chicken, spices, beans, avocado, and more. It’s the perfect dinner option for fans of burritos or rice bowls looking for something easy and delicious.
Get the Recipe: Chipotle Chicken Fresh Mex Bowl

Meatball Marinara Subs

Two meatball subs on a tray.
Meatball Marinara Subs. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Savor the juicy homemade meatballs, tangy marinara sauce, and fluffy brioche buns in Italian meatball marinara subs – a satisfying comfort food that’s perfect for lunch or busy weeknights. These sandwiches are far tastier than the fast-food version and are sure to please anyone, regardless of their Italian heritage.
Get the Recipe: Meatball Marinara Subs

Unsloppy Joes Biscuit Pockets

A biscuit pocket with ground beef filling on a plate.
Unsloppy Joes Biscuit Pockets. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Unsloppy joes biscuit pockets are a delicious take on classic sloppy joes. Basically, these are not so sloppy sloppy joes for when you want all the flavour without the mess! These manwich sandwiches are easy to make with Pillsbury biscuit dough and ground beef in the air fryer.
Get the Recipe: Unsloppy Joes Biscuit Pockets

Salt & Pepper Pork Chop Bites

Salt and pepper pork chop bites.
Salt & Pepper Pork Chop Bites. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Rather than ordering salt and pepper pork chop bites from the local Chinese takeout, why not make your own gluten free pork chop recipe instead? The Asian salt and pepper seasoning adds so much flavour and you can make this dish as spicy as you dare!
Get the Recipe: Salt & Pepper Pork Chop Bites

Hot Italian Sliders

Sliders with deli meats and cheeses on a platter.
Hot Italian Sliders. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Looking for a game day appetizer, simple funeral sandwiches or backyard picnic party ideas? If so, these easy baked Italian sliders might be ideal. The mini Italian sandwiches boast meats and cheeses, a zesty mayo and sweet Hawaiian rolls.
Get the Recipe: Hot Italian Sliders

Beef Yaki Udon Noodle Stir Fry

Beef yaki noodle stir fry in a bowl.
Beef Yaki Udon Noodle Stir Fry. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Grab some steaks and Asian seasonings, along with some fresh vegetables, and you can rustle up authentic beef yaki udon in less than 30 minutes. It’s an easy udon recipe which is sweet, aromatic and utterly delicious.
Get the Recipe: Beef Yaki Udon Noodle Stir Fry

Instant Pot BBQ Chicken French Bread Pizza

Bbq chicken french bread pizza on a plate.
Instant Pot BBQ Chicken French Bread Pizza. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Instant Pot BBQ chicken French bread pizza is a super-easy 20 minute meal which I just know you’re going to love. Barbeque French bread pizza offers a change of pace from traditional pizza recipes and combines the deliciousness of baguette bread with some wonderful toppings.
Get the Recipe: Instant Pot BBQ Chicken French Bread Pizza

Swedish Meatballs

Swedish meatballs that are served in a casserole dish.
Copycat Ikea Swedish Meatballs. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Try making these delicious copycat Ikea Swedish meatballs at home and enjoy the same great taste as the ones you find in the store.
Get the Recipe: Swedish Meatballs

Spicy Gochujang Chicken Stir Fry

Spicy gochujang chicken stir fry served on lettuce leaves.
Spicy Gochujang Chicken Stir Fry. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Gochujang chicken is sweet, spicy and very savoury. It’s a typical Korean inspired stir fry which looks so appetizing served in butter lettuce leaves with rice and Korean garnishes.
Get the Recipe: Spicy Gochujang Chicken Stir Fry

Yummy Pork Egg Roll in a Bowl – 15 Minute Meal

Pork egg roll in a bowl is a low-carb alternative to traditional egg rolls.
Yummy Pork Egg Roll in a Bowl. Photo credit: xoxobella.

A quick egg roll recipe is great for making a side dish but pork egg roll in a bowl is a complete meal by itself. You won’t believe how quick and easy this is.
Get the Recipe: Yummy Pork Egg Roll in a Bowl – 15 Minute Meal

Italian Frittata Recipe

A vegetable frittata cooked in a cast iron skillet.
Italian Frittata Recipe. Photo credit: xoxoBella

Straightforward to make and a treat to eat, this Italian vegetable frittata recipe is definitely a winning recipe. It’s simple to prepare, and you can mix and match the fillings depending on what you have in the refrigerator. It’s the perfect way to use up any vegetables or cooked meats you need to use up.
Get the Recipe: Italian Frittata Recipe

One Pot Taco Macaroni and Cheese

One pot taco macaroni and cheese.
One Pot Taco Macaroni and Cheese. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Try this taco macaroni and cheese, which combines the best of both worlds with Mexican and Italian flavors in every bite. With a cooking time of just 30 minutes in a single Dutch oven, this dish is perfect for those cooler months when you’re in the mood for something hearty and warming.
Get the Recipe: One Pot Taco Macaroni and Cheese

Crispy Turkey Tacos

A plate full of turkey tacos.
Crispy Turkey Tacos. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

A delicious alternative to beef tacos would be these crispy turkey tacos which are bursting with flavor. This turkey taco recipe is a quick and easy dinner idea that you will love. This will become one of your favorite quick dinner recipes!
Get the Recipe: Crispy Turkey Tacos

Pesto Fettuccini with Bolognese Sauce

A large servicing bowl of pasta and sauce.
Pesto Fettuccini with Bolognese Sauce. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Indulge in a delicious homemade Italian pasta dinner with pesto fettuccini and Bolognese sauce, bursting with fresh veggies in every bite. This hearty dish, featuring a homemade beef Bolognese meat sauce and fettuccine pasta, will satisfy your cravings for a flavorful Italian meal.
Get the Recipe: Pesto Fettuccini with Bolognese Sauce

Honey Walnut Shrimp

A plate with honey walnut shrimp.
Honey Walnut Shrimp. Photo credit: Sugar and Soul.

This Panda Express honey walnut shrimp copycat recipe coats crispy deep-fried tempura shrimp in a tantalizing sweet and savory sauce that’s served with candied walnuts. This will become one of your favorite quick dinner recipes!
Get the Recipe: Honey Walnut Shrimp

Bucatini Cacio e Pepe

A large plate of pasta.
Bucatini Cacio e Pepe. Photo credit: Sugar and Soul.

This bucatini cacio e pepe is a classic Italian pasta dish that’s made with thick pasta, two types of cheeses, and two other easy ingredients! Ready to enjoy in just 25 minutes from start to finish!
Get the Recipe: Bucatini Cacio e Pepe

Tortellini Alla Panna

A cast iron skillet with a pasta dish.
Tortellini Alla Panna. Photo credit: Sugar and Soul.

Tortellini alla panna is a simple, mouthwatering Italian pasta dish that covers store-bought tortellini in a homemade creamy parmesan sauce! Take your first bite of this incredible dinner recipe in just over 30 minutes!
Get the Recipe: Tortellini Alla Panna

Cheesy Bacon Hasselback Chicken

Cheesy bacon hasselback chicken on a plate.
Cheesy Bacon Hasselback Chicken. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Cheesy bacon hasselback chicken recipe is so good! Combining chicken with cheese, bacon, spinach, herbs, and spices, this creamy bacon chicken is low in carbs but high in flavour.
Get the Recipe: Cheesy Bacon Hasselback Chicken

Crunchy Beef Tortilla Folded Wrap – Tik Tok Recipe

Folded tortilla wraps with beef on a table.
Beef Tortilla Folded Wrap. Photo credit: xoxoBella

Discover how to fold a tortilla for this special Tik Tok wrap hack. It’s one of the most delicious recipes you can make with ground beef and a tortilla wrap. Use a large flour tortilla if you’re ravenously hungry or smaller tortillas if you prefer. This is a genius way to enclose ground meat, shredded cheese, fresh tomatoes and more in wraps.
Get the Recipe: Crunchy Beef Tortilla Folded Wrap – Tik Tok Recipe

One Pot Cheesy Taco Pasta

On pot taco mac and cheese in pot.
One Pot Cheesy Taco Pasta. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

This easy taco pasta is wonderful for dinner and it’s one of the best skill pasta dinner ideas I’ve found. Beef, onion and garlic are dominating flavours in this creamy taco pasta with macaroni noodles.
Get the Recipe: One Pot Cheesy Taco Pasta

Butter Herb Shrimp Pan Seared Pork Chops

Pork chops with shrimp in a pan.
Butter Herb Shrimp Pan Seared Pork Chops. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Pan seared pork chops make a wonderful dinner. But if you want a ‘surf and turf’ twist on easy pork chops, considering adding shrimp! There are many meat dishes which also include seafood.
Get the Recipe: Butter Herb Shrimp Pan Seared Pork Chops

Mexican Spaghetti

A skillet with a spaghetti dish.
Mexican Spaghetti. Photo credit: Britney Breaks Bread.

This easy Mexican spaghetti is a delicious one-pot meal of noodles cooked in a tomato sauce with beef, poblano peppers, and shredded cheese. It’s a fun way to put a spin on traditional spaghetti by adding Mexican flavors.
Get the Recipe: Mexican Spaghetti

Easy Skillet Lasagna

Scooping lasagna out of a skillet.
Easy Skillet Lasagna. Photo credit: Noshing with the Nolands.

Do you have a hankering for comforting classic lasagna but don’t want all the fuss? Then this easy skillet lasagna recipe is for you. In a mere 30 minutes, you can have comforting cheese lasagna for you and your family. A great weeknight meal!
Get the Recipe: Easy Skillet Lasagna

Beef Taco Salad Bowls

A taco salad bowl on a plate.
Beef Taco Salad Bowls. Photo credit: Averie Cooks.

Making homemade taco salad bowls is so easy and they’re perfect for holding this family-favorite taco salad including seasoned ground beef, black beans, cheese and more! Everything is topped with a creamy lime-cilantro dressing that’ll have everyone finishing their salad!
Get the Recipe: Beef Taco Salad Bowls

Parmesan Pesto Crusted Salmon Fillets

Parmesan pesto salmon on a platter.
Parmesan Pesto Crusted Salmon Fillets. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Fish comes out perfect when you’re using the air fryer and parmesan pesto crusted salmon fillets are no exception. This is a simple air fryer salmon recipe which includes parmesan, garlic and homemade pesto.
Get the Recipe: Parmesan Pesto Crusted Salmon Fillets

Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Stuffed poblano peppers on a cutting board.
Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

If you’re looking for a flavorful Mexican inspired dish, try making Air Fryer Fiesta Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers. Seasoned with cumin, salt, pepper, and margarita mix, the chicken is stuffed inside poblanos and topped with pico de gallo, sour cream, and cotija cheese, creating a delicious blend of flavors.
Get the Recipe: Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Air Fryer Bruschetta Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Chicken breasts that have been stuffed with bruschetta on a plate.
Bruschetta Stuffed Chicken Breasts. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

This air fryer bruschetta stuffed chicken breasts recipe infuses chicken with the best Italian flavours. Chicken, tomatoes and provolone cheese pair up beautifully in this easy chicken recipe.
Get the Recipe: Air Fryer Bruschetta Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Italian Minestrone Soup

Homemade minestrone soup in a bowl.
Minestrone Soup. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

An authentic Italian minestrone soup recipe is always worth knowing. The nutrient-packed combination of beans, pasta and seasonal vegetables means every spoonful is a great flavour experience.
Get the Recipe: Italian Minestrone Soup

Herb Grilled New York Steak

A plate with grilled steak.
Herb Grilled New York Steak. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

Whether you’re cooking for a special occasion or just want a treat, grilled New York steak is hard to beat! Just imagine steak with bacon and scallions. The aroma, the juicy meat, the side dishes… this is one meal you will never get tired of.
Get the Recipe: Herb Grilled New York Steak

Fiesta Chicken Pasta Casserole

A casserole serving on a white plate.
Fiesta Chicken Pasta Casserole. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

This fiesta chicken pasta casserole bake features a delicious blend of chicken, corn, black beans, and Mexican-inspired seasonings. Whether you’re using a rotisserie or leftover chicken, this southwest-style casserole will surely become a family favorite!
Get the Recipe: Fiesta Chicken Pasta Casserole

Chopped Italian Sandwich

Chopped sandwitch on a tray.
Chopped Italian Sandwich. Photo credit: xoxoBella.

A chopped Italian sub is sure to satisfy even the strongest hunger pangs. This Italian bread sub with deli meats, cheese, pepperoncini peppers, red onion, and more make a great lunch. Add this to your list of stress-free recipes.
Get the Recipe: Chopped Italian Sandwich

Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup in a bowl.
Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup. Photo credit: Sweet Tea and Sprinkles.

Make this hearty and soul-warming Chicken Noodle Soup in just a few minutes using your Instant Pot! There is nothing like a steaming bowl of tender chicken strips, egg noodles, and hearty veggies in a flavorful broth to keep your whole family warm and toasty on a cold winter night!
Get the Recipe: Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.

Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.


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