Whenever I have a crazy week (and oh what a crazy one it’s been!), I reach into my arsenal of simple, one-pot meals that I can make quickly (read: 30 minutes or less). A lot of times they’re slow cooker meals but this week, spring is starting to peek through here in New York so I wanted to go with lighter, quicker meals that any busy mom can whip up.
Now, I don’t usually cook every night.
I like to throw one or two leftover days into my meal plan but I have friends that do make a complete meal 7 days a week. I also have friends that don’t love to cook so they “get it over with” by cooking multiple meals one or two days a week. And then I have the friends who do take-out multiple times a week. I’ve tried to convert them to freezer meals, but it just ain’t happenin’! One day…one day!
Just in case you decided to cook every night this week, this menu would certainly be quick enough since each can be made in less than a half hour!
ONE POT PASTA WITH ITALIAN SAUSAGE
Is there anything better than a giant bowl of pasta, some spicy sausage, and gooey cheese? Okay, that might be my Italian side peeking through, but I seriously think there’s nothing better!
I love that the pasta cooks right in the pan with everything else, especially because if you know me at all, I hate dishes! So dinners that use one pot, the crockpot, or the grill are seriously up there on my list, like this ooey gooey masterpiece.
ONE POT CREAMY WHOLE 30 MUSHROOM & SAGE CHICKEN
Now, to balance out that giant bowl of pasta-y goodness up there, I bring you a bowl of healthy yet creamy chicken and ‘shrooms…mmmm….
I like to serve some meals without a grain on the side to balance it all out, even though I grew up with a grain or potato on the side of every.single.thing. After digging into the paleo lifestyle, I’m convinced we don’t need a side of carbs at every meal. So you can serve this one as-is or add some rice, but a nice green salad would be awesome with this too!
BASIL PESTO VEGETABLE PASTA WITH SHRIMP
I think my favorite part of this dish is that the pasta is mixed with zoodles. Pleeeeease tell me you’ve heard of zoodles? If not please get on board with this trend of “noodling” vegetables! It’s a great way to get kids eating more veggies without knowing it – “it’s just colored pasta, kid”. If you don’t have a spiralizer just use a julienne peeler to get those thin little strips! Anyhoo…besides all the hidden veggies in this one… those shrimps (or fwimps as my 3 year old calls them!) – large and sautéed with some parmesan…yum!
HEALTHY VEGETABLE FRITTATA
I love eggs. SO MUCH. I was so sad when I found out my youngest was allergic and since I was nursing, I went without them for 18 (EIGHTEEN!) months.
Back to frittatas though, they are so easy and a great way to use up those leftover veggies. So even though the baby can’t eat this, I would make this for everyone except him and then the leftovers would make a perfect quick breakfast with a green smoothie!
20 MINUTE TACO PASTA
Yay, mexican! I love the bold flavors of mexican – as long as it’s not too spicy (see below!) – and that this taco pasta whips up in no time. With that new no-boil pasta that’s in the grocery stores, this is almost a 15 minute meal!
This is something I make at least once a month and there are a lot of leftovers since my family is small, and I think I might even like the leftover version even better. Especially with some avocado on there and a dollop of sour cream!
WHITE BEAN KALE SOUP
This is a nice and light, spring-type of soup and it’s another one with hidden veggies (score for moms with picky kids!) . So you blend some of the beans and veggies into the broth to thicken it up, so even if your kids only slurp the broth – does that get on your nerves as much as mine?!? – they’re still getting the good stuff.
You could always throw some ditalini or alphabet pasta in there to entertain the kiddos, or some crusty bread for dipping. I might actually make this tonight because it’s rainy and dreary here, and this looks like the perfect cure!
CREAMY ONE POT BUFFALO CHICKEN PASTA
Now, I have not jumped on the buffalo-flavored-everything train, but my oldest son certainly has. His two favorite things are cheese and buffalo sauce, I kid you not. Now, most of the time, I make dinners everyone will like but I occasionally throw in “specials” for each family member. And everyone has to just deal with it 😉 Except me, I’m a big baby with spicy food – sometimes black pepper is too much for me! No, really.
So if this isn’t toooooo spicy for me, I’ll definitely have some and serve it with a salad. But my boy will certainly be in heaven!
So which one (or two… or all seven…) of these are going on your meal plan for the week? Don’t forget, download a meal planner from the Freebie Library to write them on!