This article references one-dish back-to-school meals from the Cooking Light Diet and originally appeared on Cooking Light.
With everything going on in the world right now, the last thing you want to stress about is what’s for dinner. In all likelihood, you’ll want to serve something simple. You know, no sides or overly complicated meals in favor of delicious, one-dish recipes (read: a one-stop-shop type of meal that contains proteins and veggies) that come together quickly and won’t have your child spinning in circles on your kitchen linoleum screaming about how they wanted something else for dinner.
That’s why we reached out to the Cooking Light Diet Facebook Community to ask for help. For years, members there have been using the subscription-based meal-planning service to feed their families. And they’ve had lots of great results doing so. Lots.
So, we asked them what one-dish meals from their Cooking Light Diet menus they would recommend to busy parents as great back-to-school dinner options. Along with the Creamy Lemon Chicken Skillet pictured above, these are some of their responses. You can find even more in the Facebook Community, and hundreds more when you subscribe to the Cooking Light Diet.
Happy cooking! Wishing you and yours a healthy, happy-plated filled school year.
One-Pot Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes
Healthy, simple, and fresh—what’s not to like about this one-dish delight? This recipe takes about 30 minutes from start to stomach.
Slow Cooker Chicken Posole
If you have kids, time is at a premium. So, why not let your slow cooker do some heavy lifting? This recipe is as simple as dumping ingredients into the slow cooker, shredding the chicken after you’re home from work, and then dumping in 4 more ingredients. That’s it.
Sheet Pan Beefy Nachos
This recipe is a surefire crowd pleaser. Like the pasta above, this is another 30-minute meal that will be added to your regular weeknight rotation after the kids make short work of it.
Speedy Shepherd’s Pie
Using convenience items like prepared mashed potatoes and precut matchstick carrots, this filling, one-dish recipe comes together with a quickness.
Broccoli, Bacon, and Browned Butter Pasta
It’s always easier to get the kids to finish their broccoli when it’s complemented by bacon and browned butter. This superfast, 20-minute recipe is a happy plate waiting to happen.
Skillet Chicken and Root Vegetable Potpie
There are chicken potpie recipes. Then there is the chicken potpie you see here. Surprisingly, despite its rich, savory flavor and multitudinous fillings, this potpie is less than 30 calories per serving.
Banh Mi Pizza
We are totally counting a pizza as a one-dish meal, because how many people order a pizza and prepare a side salad with it? We’ll wait… And while we do, we’ll say this pizza is packed with healthy veggies. If you’re feeding hungry teenagers, you can also crack a couple eggs over the cheese before baking for some added calories.
Sheet Pan Parmesan “Fried” Chicken with Broccoli and Sweet Potato Wedges
You can sell the sweet potato wedges as “fries,” so there’s one great reason right there to make this for your kids. The second? Panko-crusted chicken, meaning you’re introducing the kids to a healthier version of “fried” chicken that’s as finger-licking as poultry fried in oils.
Short Rib and Tomato Ragout
This is one of the longest recipes on the list in terms of cook time, but the ends justify the means. Your kids will want this one-dish meal on their birthdays from now on.
Italian Turkey and Orzo Soup
Since Cooking Light Diet members love this recipe in the winter months, it’s not surprising to see it here as well. Bookmark this meal for a cold night and get ready for the kids to ask for it again…and again.
Apricot-Sage Chicken with Carrots
Eight ingredients, twenty minutes, one pan. When you’ve reached your breaking point during the week, pull this recipe out to get dinner on the table as quickly as possible. Serve with a glass of wine (for yourself, not the kids).
Mini Bow Ties with Bacon and Peas
Have a picky eater that won’t finish their peas and carrots? Throw a little bacon and pasta into the mix and watch them change their mind real quick.
Breakfast Bowl with Tomato, Avocado, and Egg
Mix it up one night by serving “brinner,” or a delicious breakfast dinner. This bowl comes together quickly, serves four, and will have your kids clamoring for more brinner in the future.
Chicken and Gnocchi Dumpling Soup
We’ve highlighted this recipe before, and that’s because Cooking Light Diet members rave about it. Make it for your kids and they will, too.
Creamy Tuna Noodle Casserole with Peas and Breadcrumbs
Look, we realize tuna casserole in 2020 could be a hard sell, but hear us out: It’s delicious, it’s crispy, it’s under 500 calories per serving, and it was developed by a Southern Living test kitchen cook, so you know it’s a good casserole, y’all.
Biscuit-Topped Chicken Potpie
Yes, this is the second potpie submission on our list. No, this was not an accident. Cooking Light Diet member Sheila D Keyes says this is a “great” recipe, and we concur. So will the kids.
This riff on the signature Korean dish will introduce your kids to tofu (just tell them it’s cheese—if they buy Santa, they’ll buy this) and give you an opportunity to teach them about how diverse the world of dinner can be.
Sweet-Spicy Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry
Your kids will want to lap up the sweet-spicy sauce, and with 31 grams of protein a serving, they should be full until breakfast. Kids, amirite?
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