10 Fast Family Dinners: Home-Cooked in 20 Minutes or Less

Making dinner doesn’t have to be so hard. With four small kids of my own (seriously, the oldest one is five), who insist on eating dinner every single night, I’ve armed myself with a few fast dinner recipes that will always be done just around the time that 22-minute Clifford video starts rolling credits. Here are a few of our favorites:

10 fast family dinners

Cheesy Chicken & Spinach Bow-Tie Pasta—Every parent knows nothing is faster than pasta but this one is a triple threat, combining chicken, cheese and just enough spinach to add color and a built-in veggie.

Ham, Cheese & Apple Melts—Got leftover pork? Ham lunchmeat? Either one would work for this super-fast meal, one that has a surprisingly crunchy and sweet addition, thanks to the apple slices. (Shh! Don’t tell ‘em what’s inside and see if they can guess.)

One-Pot Pasta—This one combines all the hearty dinner ingredients into one nice pot. Bonus, it’s vegetarian, which will go over well with any little guys who aren’t so into meat right now.

Ham, Pear & Arugula Grilled Cheese Sandwiches—These aren’t just your average grilled cheese, though that’s an option for anyone who’d prefer the classic version.

Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry with Noodles—I once thought my kids didn’t like carrots, until I made this stir-fry. Whole-wheat spaghetti noodles doused in a combination of honey, BBQ and soy sauce with chicken and as many veggies as you can muster, it’s a dinner that looks as wholesome as it really is.

10 fast family dinners

Stuffed Bacon Burgers—Truth, nothing is simpler than grilling burgers for dinner. These have lots of flavorful spices built in, a tasty step which takes all of a few extra seconds to complete.

Whole-Wheat Penne with Snap Peas, Ginger & Pork—Fresh ginger and ground pork are must-haves for this fast family dinner but sugar snap peas can be replaced by any veggie your crowd enjoys.

Marinated Chicken on Sticks—I don’t have to tell you that putting food on a stick means an instant thumbs up from kids. That’s why I love this idea of pairing juicy chicken on a stick alongside your regular rice.

Sauteed Cabbage & Pork with Dried Cranberries and Almonds—Sooner than you can say “my kids won’t like that”, you’ll be amazed at how they might gobble up a new dish like this one, just bursting with savory fall flavor.

Creamy Chicken Crescent Ring—Okay, okay, this one takes 20 minutes to cook and your prep time will be added to that BUT it’s worth it to present a rolled up dinner like this one. By the time this dish is done, all you’ll have left to do is say, tada!




101 Kids Activities that are the Bestest Funnest Ever
Charity Mathews About Charity Mathews

Meet Charity. She writes at Foodlets, a blog about trying to raise kids who eat real food and instilling the habit of loving healthy foods.  Stay connected with her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.