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Quick Easy Recipes for Busy Moms, Dinner Ideas

Updated on November 14, 2013
Lily Rose profile image

I am a mom of two beautiful girls (10 & 12). We love to read, play, cook, shop and have fun together. I love to share great products/toys.

Busy Mom - Is this how your days are, too?
Busy Mom - Is this how your days are, too?

Okay, so I’ve published the quick and easy appetizers, dips and side dish recipe hubs… for the pièce de résistance – the main dishes, the dinners! All of the following dinner recipes are quick and easy. Some may actually take some time to cook, but at least the hands-on time, the prepping, is quick and easy – and the result, delicious! I hope you enjoy these…

I actually ended up pulling out too many favorites from my recipe binder to fit here, so please don’t miss More Main Dishes and Even More Main Dishes.

Crock Pot Barbeque Ribs

3-3 ½ lbs pork or beef Country-style ribs

1 cup ketchup

1/3 cup orange marmalade

¼ cup vinegar

1 tbsp dried minced onion

¼ tsp dried minced garlic

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

¼ tsp celery seed

2-3 dashes hot pepper sauce

Set oven to broil.  Place ribs on the unheated rack of a broiler pan.  Broil six inches from the heat for about 10 minutes or until brown, turning once.  Transfer ribs to a 3 – 4 quart crock pot.  Combine ketchup, marmalade, vinegar, onion garlic, Worcestershire, celery seed and hot pepper sauce in a small bowl (or in the crock pot while the ribs are broiling.)  Pour the sauce over the ribs, turning to coat.  Cover and cook on low setting for 10-12 hours, or 5-6 hours on high setting.  Transfer ribs to a serving platter and cover to keep warm.  For sauce, transfer cooking liquid to a medium sauce pan.  Skim off any fat.  Simmer the liquid for about 10 minutes or until reduced and slightly thickened.  Pour sauce on ribs or place in bowl for others to pour on themselves.  Makes 4 servings. 

Bagel Strata with Spinach

2 cups milk

6 eggs

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

1 ½ (6 oz) cups shredded swiss or cheddar cheese

1 (10-oz) packet frozen chopped spinach, thawed & well drained

6 cups plain bagels split & cut into bite-sized pieces

2 tbsp chopped onion

Beat milk, eggs, sale and pepper in a large bowl with a wire whisk until well beaten.  Add all remaining ingredients & mix well.  Pour into greased 9” x 13” baking dish.  Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake, uncovered for 55 to 60 minutes or until puffed and golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let stand 5 minutes before cutting and serving. 

Mami’s Brisket

2 pounds brisket meat

1 bottle Open Pit BBQ sauce (original or thick-n-tangy onion, or sauce of your choice)

2 tsp chopped garlic

1 onion, sliced

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large pot, sauté garlic and onion in a little bit of oil; remove and put aside. In the same pot, brown the brisket 5 minutes on each side (add oil if needed.) Spray a baking pan with a non-stick spray and place the brisket on the pan on top of a little bit of BBQ sauce. Cover brisket with the onion and garlic mixture, then top with remaining BBQ sauce. Cover tight with foil and bake for 3 hours. Remove, carve meat diagonally (against the grain), recover and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

Broccoli and Chicken Casserole

1 pound cooked chicken

1 large bag frozen broccoli

1 large can cream of chicken soup

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 small box of croutons

In a baking dish, layer frozen broccoli, soup, chicken, then top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Sprinkle croutons on top and broil for 1 minute.

Chicken Pot Pie

1 (10 ¾ oz) can cream of chicken soup

1 (9 oz) pckg frozen mixed veggies, thawed

1 cup cubed cooked chicken

½ cup milk

1 egg

1 cup Bisquick baking mix

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a 9-inch pie plate, mix soup, vegetables and chicken. Mix milk, egg and baking mix. Pour over chicken mixture and bake 30 minutes or until golden.

Easy Macaroni-Ham Dinner

1 (14 oz) pckg macaroni and cheese dinner

1 ½ cups chopped, cooked ham

1 can peas and carrots, drained

½ cup grated cheddar cheese

Cook macaroni and cheese dinner according to package directions.  Stir in ham, peas and carrots.  Place in a 9” x 9” baking dish and sprinkle the grated cheese over top.  Bake at 350 degrees until cheese spreads.

This is a great recipe to double when having a large crowd or when you want to have leftovers for freezing or eating the next day.

Honey Cornflakes Crusted Chicken

4 small skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Non-stick spray

1 tbsp. honey

1 tbsp. orange juice

¼ tsp. ground ginger

¼ tsp. black pepper

¾ cup corn flakes, crushed – about 1/3 cup

½ tsp. dried parsley flakes

Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels.  Spray a shallow baking pan with the non-stick spray.  In a small bowl, combine the honey, orange juice, ginger and pepper.  Brush honey mixture onto both sides of chicken breasts, then coat with the corn flakes (if you like it extra sweet, you can drizzle any remaining honey mixture over top of chicken.)  Place each coated chicken breast in the baking pan.  Sprinkle parsley flakes over chicken.  Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for 18-20 minutes until tender and no longer pink. 

Layered Chicken Enchilada Casserole

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 ½ cups cooked chicken breast, shredded

1 (7 oz) can diced green chiles

1 envelope taco seasoning mix

8 corn tortillas

1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained

2 cups cheddar cheese, grated & divided

1 (16 oz) jar salsa, mild or medium

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 13” x 9” baking dish.  Heat oil in a large skillet and cook onion until tender; remove from heat.  Stir in cooked chicken, green chiles and taco seasoning mix.  Layer half of the tortillas in the baking dish.  Top with chicken mixture, beans and 1 cup of the cheese.  Layer with remaining tortillas.  Top with salsa and remaining cheese.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until cheese is melted. 


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    • Leenie Pooh profile image

      Leenie Pooh 

      8 years ago

      Your mac-n-cheese w/ ham is a stepped up version of my "cut up last nights leftover hotdogs and add it to tonights mac-n-cheese" recipe. Mac-n-Cheese is a great way to hide leftovers and/or get the kiddies to eat their veggies (by hiding them in the cheese sauce).

    • breakfastpop profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you so much. More wonderful non-time consuming recipes.

    • Lily Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Lily Rose 

      8 years ago from A Coast

      Thanks Holle! I'd love to hear how you liked it if you try it! My husband and I love Mexican food and this one is good!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      All these sound great, but I think my fave is the enchilada casserole - hubby will love it!


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