Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a stay-at-home mom or a career woman, your days are packed incredibly tight. But that doesn’t mean you don’t want your family to eat well. The family dinner is about much more than food; it’s the time everyone comes together and stays involved in each other’s lives. It’s a necessity, and shouldn’t be sacrificed because anyone is too busy. Even so, you won’t always be able to place a work of genius on the table, not with a full workload and all your kids’ social and school commitments. With all that in mind, consider some options for quick and easy last minute dinner ideas that will still keep your family coming back for seconds and thirds.
Last minute dinner ideas with chicken
Chicken is a staple of many family dinners, but it isn’t the quickest or simplest thing to cook. Luckily, rotisserie chicken can now be found at most supermarkets. Some even have organic options, if that’s important to you. With rotisserie chicken at the centerpiece of the meal your family will already be thrilled, but that’s just the beginning. Anything you surround that meal with can also be quickly prepared. On the veggie side go for peas or carrots, which stand up to being frozen but also cook quickly. And couscous is a nice alternative to rice, cooking up in a hurry. If that’s a deal-breaker for your family, there are boxed rices on the market that cook up much quicker than rice has in the past.
Last minute dinner ideas with mexican
A Mexican themed meal will be greeted with cheers most of the time, and the best part is that much of the preparation can be a fun part of the dinner itself. While you cook up the hot fillings, get your older kids involved chopping up the veggies or setting up bowls of toppings and condiments. Even with heating the tortillas, you can knock out a fantastic Mexican meal in thirty minutes even your first time through it.
Last minute dinner ideas with finger food
A finger food-focused dinner, though not something you’ll want to do often, can be a great way to quickly mix things up. Check out the best frozen appetizers, any of which will heat up in twenty minutes or so. Or buy a few cheeses, some hard meats and a great, crusty loaf of bread and everyone can make their own perfect bites. Cut up vegetables and fruit would be a great way to fill it out.
Last minute dinner ideas with one bowl dinners
Consider one-bowl dinners. Pastas will always be an enjoyable option for a last minute meal, and serving it is as easy as the preparation. You can get the pasta boiling and then come up with any range of different sauces and ingredients, which will make each pasta vastly different from the last. Soups and stews are good one-bowl options as well, but take a bit more time to prepare. Think about making one on the weekends and then freezing it into servings. If you know things will be tight, pull them out in the morning to defrost, and then you just have to reheat them with a bit of water or stock when you get home.
Finally, if all else fails, grab a menu and call ahead to pick up some take-out. These days, you can order almost anything to go, so fast doesn’t mean it has to be bad for you. Of course, pizza deliveries are the classic option for a busy schedule, and your kids will never be sad to see that. Just settle your guilty conscience by ordering a salad alongside that pepperoni pie.