13 Easy, Quick Meals for Hard Days

13 Easy, Quick Meals for Hard Days // jessconnell.com

Happy New Year! Today, let me share with you some of my favorite easy-peasy meals for the hard days. These are the things I make when I want to pull out the paper plates, or use as few bowls/pots as possible.

For days like… today. :)

When we’ve been going-going-going and I just want something easy and tasty and mainly, just, EASY, that won’t create too much more WORK in terms of kitchen mess and clean-up.

  1. Quesadillas (2 tortillas, with melted cheese in the middle . Occasionally, we’ll do something else in the cheese, but usually it’s just cheese. Serve with ranch and/or salsa.) A dessert variation of this is to do butter & cinnamon sugar inside.
  2. Canned/frozen soup with french bread or crackers
  3. Chicken nuggets & oven-baked french fries
  4. Sandwiches & fruit
  5. Cinnamon toast- Easy enough for 5 year olds to make. Pair it with eggs if you want, but sometimes we just use a whole loaf of bread, stick of butter, and enough cinnamon-sugar to power a toddler marathon.
  6. Scrambled eggs w/ bacon or sausage (sometimes we’ll do fried eggs but mostly just scrambled) It’s filling and easy no matter whether for breakfast/lunch/or dinner
  7. Homemade lunchables – We do this one a lot. Ritz/Saltines + Lunch meat + Cheese slices. Add in some fruit, chips, spoonfuls of peanut butter, sliced veggies, or nuts.
  8. Pot Roast + potatoes + Montreal Steak seasoning in crock pot – this is a super easy, very satisfying meal. It’s simple and heartwarming and takes virtually no time to prepare. Add carrots and other stuff if you want, but I usually opt for easy. Meat + potatoes = happy family. Get it in the crockpot in the morning; enjoy it for dinner.
  9. Bagels & cream cheese– We don’t do this one often, but occasionally we will. There’s a local bakery that makes tasty varieties of bagles and this makes for an easy meal.
  10. Spaghetti noodles with sauce and meatballs- Very easy to make, and the frozen meatballs make this an easy one to do in 15 minutes or less. This is something super simple that my 10-and-up crowd know how to make as well.
  11. Cornbread w/ milk- my dad grew up eating this unusual combo. Thus, I did too. And now our kids enjoy it. It’s hearty soul-food. Make Jiffy cornbread like normal (4 boxes make a 9×13 pan); then cut off a large square, put it in a bowl, and pour cold milk over it like cereal. Yup. Go on and try it. It’s GOOOOOOD.
  12. Breakfast burritos- eggs + shredded cheese in a tortilla. Breakfast meat optional.
  13. Baked potato bar- Stick fork-poked potatoes in the oven for @ 415 for 1 hour. (Longer is OK, shorter is not.) Add toppings as desired. Our common ingredients are: shredded cheese, ranch dressing, bacon, butter, sour cream, chives, grilled onions, BBQ sauce.

If the day is really bad, use paper plates, paper towels, and if you can, head outside to the patio or porch to eat. Let the birds and wind clean up the mess.

Please add your favorite easy meals in the comments!

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Jess Connell

Jesus-follower, Happy wife, Mom of 8 neat people. Former world-traveler, now settled in Washington. Host of Mom On Purpose podcast (momonpurpose.com). I write and wrangle kids.

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8 Responses

  1. Barbara H. says:

    One of ours is to make open-faced sandwiches with English muffins. We usually slice an English muffin in half, put on a little Miracle Whip, scrunch up or fold over a few slices of ham and sliced turkey lunch meats and place on top, and top with different cheeses (different family members have different preferences). Heat in the oven until warm and cheese is melty. We also used to do this with a tuna mixture. We don’t put the English muffin back together as a sandwich – each half is eaten on its own. :-) We usually have some kind of soup with this (most often lately a Bear Creek mix for Cheddar potato soup).

    And then there is always frozen pizza.

  2. Laura says:

    A meal that I hardly ever make because my husband hates it, but my mom used to make for us all the time and I LOVE it, is spaghetti soup. Make a can of tomato soup, boil some spaghetti noodles, mix the two together. Top with a bit of pepper – YUM.

  3. Betsy says:

    We like noodles with butter, parmesan cheese,and pepper. Easy and good.

  4. Tracy says:

    This always happens to me after a long day of shopping…I will come home with a carload of groceries and have no ideas for dinner. So I started thinking about giving myself some easy, inexpensive ideas for those nights. One easy thing I do is upside-down dinner. I always make our pancakes from scratch, but if I’m at the store anyway I will buy the box mix, some sausage links, and a bunch of bananas.

  1. December 2, 2016

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