Sometimes it is not easy to make a big family meal for dinner, whether you work full time or just keep strange hours. And, sometimes, money is just super tight, and you need to get creative with what you have already in your pantry. You know that if you have a family to feed, you gotta do what you gotta do. Instead of stressing yourself over a big meal, we have found some super simple recipes that are great for saving time and your budget.
Sweet and Sour Chicken
This is a personal recipe, so the photo does not match. It is super easy, and your family will love it.
3-5 large chicken breast (depending on family size)
Red Russian dressing
2 packets of dry onion soup mix
Mix the Red Russian dressing, apricot preserves, and onion soup mix in a bowl. Spread some of the mixture in a baking dish large enough to fit all of your chicken. You can cut your chicken into smaller pieces, halves, or leave them whole. If you cut the chicken, your cooking time will vary. Lay your chicken out in the baking dish. Pour the rest of your mixture over the chicken evenly. Bake at 375 for 25-35 minutes depending on if and how you cut your chicken. Serve over white rice.
The recipe is super simple and quite tasty, passed down from my mother. I have also added different things like pineapple chunks and peppers to the mix, and it has come out really good that way as well. So, feel free to have fun with this recipe.
This five-ingredient chili is great any time of year. You can make this on the stove or in a crockpot, either way, it is delicious and easy.
1 pound ground beef
2 can diced tomatoes (or one regular diced and one diced with green chilies)
2 cans kidney beans
1 can of tomato sauce
1 heaping tablespoon of chili powder
Brown your ground beef in a skillet and drain the grease. Dump the ground beef into your crock pot along with the rest of the ingredients and stir. Cook on low for 4 hours. Voila! You can serve this with cornbread and add toppings like cheese and sour cream.
This recipe is delicious and could be customized to your tasting by choosing your favorite salsa.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 tsp taco seasoning
1 cup of the salsa of your choice
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp of sour cream (optional)
Lightly grease a large baking dish. Season your chicken on both sides with the taco seasoning and place it in the pan. Pour the salsa over the top of your chicken. Bake at 375 for 25-35 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle the top with cheese. Then, place it back in the oven for 3-5 minutes to melt the cheese. You can top this with sour cream and serve over Spanish or white rice.
Mushroom Pork Chops
4 pork chops seasoned with garlic salt, salt, and pepper to taste
1 chopped onion
1/2 pound mushrooms sliced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Brown your seasoned pork chops in a large skillet. Add your onions and mushrooms and saute for one minute. Pour the cream of mushroom soup over everything, then cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes until your pork chops are cooked all of the way through.
This meal is incredibly simple and can be paired with just about anything as a side. We like ours served over a bed of mashed potatoes.
Honey Garlic Crockpot Ribs
This recipe is a family favorite. They love it so much, at my house, that we make it at least twice a month.
1 rack of ribs seasoned on both sides with salt, pepper, paprika, and chili powder
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp minced garlic
Rub your seasonings into your ribs on all sides. Slice the rack in half. Mix the honey, soy sauce, and garlic in the bottom of your crockpot. Stand your seasoned ribs on their sides leaning against the wall of your slow cooker, and cover. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8.
The meat is so tender that it will fall right off of the bone, so be careful removing it from your crockpot. The taste is incredibly amazing and will last in your mouth after you are done making you crave more.
Smoked Sausage With Peppers and Potatoes
This meal is another hit with my family. It is so simple and made in one skillet, so clean up is as easy as the meal is to make.
16 ounce 2 pack of smoked sausage
6 medium red potatoes
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
Dice your potatoes into 1/2 inch chunks. Saute your potatoes in olive oil in a large skillet. Slice your sausage into 1/4 inch slices. Once the potatoes begin to soften, add your sausage to the skillet. While that is cooking, dice your bell peppers. Then, add your bell peppers to the skillet and cook for another 5 minutes until your peppers have softened. You can eat this as it is without any side dishes.
Fried Cabbage and Egg Noodles
We love this recipe, except we add a twist to ours. We add in smoked sausage or kielbasa to make it a more complete meal.
16-ounce package of egg noodles
1 stick of butter
1 medium cabbage chopped
salt and pepper for taste
16 ounce 2 pack of smoked sausage (optional)
Boil your egg noodles until they are al dente. Melt your butter in a large skillet over low heat and add your cabbage. Season your cabbage with salt and pepper. Cover and allow to cook until your cabbage starts to brown, 5-7 minutes. Stir your noodles in with the cabbage until and continue to cook until the noodles begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
If you wish to add sausage begin by using half a stick of butter to cook your cabbage. As your cabbage softens, add your sausage sliced into 1/4 inch pieces. Continue to cook the same way as the regular recipe.
Not only is this a delicious meal, but it is probably the easiest recipe out of all of these.
1 16-ounce can of refried beans
3/4 onion, diced
5 10in flour tortillas
1 cup salsa
2 cups cheese (cheddar, Colby jack, or Mexican mix...you choose)
Use a 9 inch round baking dish. Spray it with cooking spray, and preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In the meantime, cook your onions and refried beans so that the mixture is soft and easy to spread. Place a tortilla in your baking dish and spoon 1/3 of the bean mixture onto the tortilla and spread it out. Then, spoon a couple spoonfuls of salsa on top and a small handful of cheese. Repeat this until you have placed the last tortilla on top. Sprinkle that with the last of the cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes, when the cheese is melted and starting to brown. You can serve this with sour cream on top.
Tater Tots Casserole
This one is going to be a six-ingredient recipe, but it is still super simple and delicious. This one is especially good if you have little kids because we all know how much they love tater tots.
2 pounds ground beef
1 small onion
2 cans cream of celery soup
1 can of peas
1 bag of tater tots
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese.
Dice your onions and cook them with the ground beef, seasoned with salt and pepper, until your ground beef is browned. Drain the grease. Pour the meat and onions into a 9x11 cooking dish. Mix in your can of peas and two cans of cream of celery soup. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheese on top. Then, spread your tater tots over the top just like it is shown in the photo. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until the cheese on top is melted really well.
Ham and Cheddar Roll-Ups
This is a great meal if you are in a pinch and need something really quick. It also works out great for a lunch if you have a house full of children. We serve ours with cream of broccoli soup. Our kiddos love it!
1 package crescent rolls (use more depending on how many mouths you are feeding)
shredded cheddar cheese or sliced cheddar cheese
Roll your ham and cheese inside the crescent rolls and bake them using the instructions on your crescent roll package. It is that simple! Serve them right away as they are best when the cheese is all melty and gooey.