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    Updated on Oct 17, 2019. Posted on Oct 13, 2019

    23 Easy All-Purpose Family Dinners That Won't Stress You Out

    From one parent to another.

    Figuring out dinner every night can be tough.

    And that's especially true for parents: We're always on the hunt for fast, filling, budget-friendly recipes that actually taste good. Even better when those meals are customizable — so you can quickly swap a few things to win over any (shall we say) more ~selective~ palates at your table. Here are several favorites!

    1. Easiest Chicken & Avocado Burritos

    closetcooking.com

    Customize these as you see fit — and ditch the cilantro if your kids (or you) don't like it. To save even more time, start with rotisserie chicken.

    Recipe: Easy Chicken & Avocado Burritos

    2. Instant Pot Chili Mac 'n' Cheese

    Joe Lingeman / Via thekitchn.com

    Everything cooks right in the Instant Pot — making this a true drop-and-go dinner.

    Recipe: Instant Pot Chili Mac 'n' Cheese

    3. 10-Minute Baked Tostadas

    yellowblissroad.com

    Tostada shells are super easy to make: just brush corn tortillas with olive oil and pop them in the oven for a few minutes until crispy. Then have everyone add their own favorite toppings: beans, cheese, tomatoes, you name it.

    Recipe: 10-Minute Oven Baked Tostadas

    4. Oven-Baked Pizza Chicken

    budgetbytes.com

    All your favorite pizza flavors — just with a bit more protein. (And a side of garlic bread!)

    Recipe: Oven-Baked Pizza Chicken

    5. Lighter Broccoli Chicken Casserole

    gimmesomeoven.com

    This version skips the canned soup in favor of a creamy — but still simple — homemade sauce.

    Recipe: Lighter Broccoli Chicken Casserole

    6. Loaded Quesadillas

    caitsplate.com

    Dress these up or down depending on who's eating. For easy extra protein, swap sour cream for Greek yogurt.

    Recipe: Loaded Quesadillas

    7. Sheet Pan Sliders

    realhousemoms.com

    A sheet of Hawaiian rolls as the base means you customize these however you want — maybe dressing half for kids and half for parents, depending on who likes what.


    Recipe: Sheet Pan Sliders

    8. Crock Pot Tortellini Soup

    carlsbadcravings.com

    With temperatures dropping, this comforting soup is one of the best ways to upgrade grocery store tortellini.

    Recipe: Crock Pot Tortellini Soup

    9. Sheet Pan Taco Flatbread

    life-in-the-lofthouse.com

    Can't decide between tacos or pizza? That's where this comes in.

    Recipe: Sheet Pan Taco Flatbread

    10. Crock Pot Meatloaf With Carrots & Potatoes

    familyfreshmeals.com

    This recipe cooks for a full eight hours — so it's the perfect thing to leave on all day while you're out running errands or at work.

    Recipe: Crock Pot Meatloaf With Carrots & Potatoes

    11. Vegetarian Enchilada Bake

    chelseasmessyapron.com

    Quinoa can be tricky for pickier palates. But this high-protein recipe — where its buried underneath lots of familiar southwestern-style flavors (plus cheese!) — is a great starter.

    Recipe: Vegetarian Enchilada Bake

    12. Mini Turkey Sliders

    onmykidsplate.com

    Quick tip: An easy way to keep slider size consistent is to use a cookie cutter ring to shape the patties.

    Recipe: Mini Turkey Sliders

    13. Shortcut Chicken Parmesan

    Joe Lingeman / Via thekitchn.com

    Some nights you want might to make a complex Italian-style dinner entirely from scratch — and other nights you just want to feed hungry mouths ASAP. This recipe is for the latter.

    Recipe: Quickest Chicken Parmesan

    14. Garlic Butter Steak and Lemon Green Beans

    eatwell101.com

    Slicing the steak into strips beforehand means everything cooks through in a flash. To round this out, serve with baked or mashed potatoes.

    Recipe: Garlic Butter Steak and Lemon Green Beans

    budgetbytes.com

    This makes enough for four people — and clocks in at less than $2 per serving.

    Recipe: White Cheddar Mac 'n' Cheese With Broccoli

    16. Southwestern Veggie-Packed Tater Tot Casserole

    Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

    Serious question: Who doesn't love tots? This casserole — with lots of veggies packed into the sauce and the ability to dress the top up or down — is the tastiest way to turn them into dinner.

    Recipe: Southwestern Veggie-Packed Tater Tot Casserole

    17. Chicken Sausage, Roasted Potatoes & Corn

    caitsplate.com

    Another easily customizable one: You can do spicy Italian sausage for the adults, and chicken or turkey sausage (or even hot dogs) for kids.

    Recipe: Chicken Sausage, Roasted Potatoes & Corn

    18. Slow Cooker Turkey Chili With Cornbread Dumplings

    Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

    Slow cooker chili is great. Slow cooker chili with drop-and-go cornbread dumplings on top is even better.

    Recipe: Slow Cooker Turkey Chili With Cornbread Dumplings

    19. Foil Packet Steak & Potato Bites

    savorynothings.com

    Make these in the oven or grill — and know that the foil wrapper makes cleanup way easier.

    Recipe: Foil Packet Steak & Potato Bites

    20. Slow Cooker Veggie Burrito Bowls

    Joe Lingeman / Via thekitchn.com

    I've made this — and its chicken counterpart — many times for my family, and it's always an easy, all-purpose hit.

    Recipe: Slow Cooker Veggie Burrito Bowls

    21. Chicken & Vegetable Ramen

    chelseasmessyapron.com

    Just modify the meat and/or veggies depending on what everyone likes. Either way, it will still come together in one pan — and in less than 30 minutes.

    Recipe: Chicken & Vegetable Ramen

    22. Slow Cooker Beef Casserole

    myfussyeater.com

    This freezes well, so feel free to make a double batch and save the rest for later in the season.

    Recipe: Slow Cooker Beef Casserole

    23. Build-Your-Own French Bread Pizzas

    Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed / Via BuzzFeed

    When in doubt? Pizza night! 🍕

    Recipe: Build-Your-Own French Bread Pizzas