7 easy weeknight meals

September 22, 2021

Keeping up with a busy work schedule and the kids going back to school leaves little time for cooking healthy meals that everyone loves. Here are some quick and clever ideas for easy weeknight meals that require minimal prep time and will keep the whole family happy.

7 easy weeknight meals

[Photo Credit: jackfrog]

1. Freezer-to-Instant Pot Sausage and Veggie Medley
Preparing and freezing food at the start of the week is a true time-saver and a great shortcut to creating easy weeknight meals. For a hearty option that goes a long way, chop up sausage and whatever veggies you have available. Mix in some herbs and keep the medley in a gallon-size bag in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat, just throw the frozen block into the Instant Pot and watch it sizzle. Check out our helpful tips for freezing your food properly to avoid freezer burn and spoiling.

2. Sheet Pan Lemon Herb Salmon
Sheet pan dinners have become a go-to solution for quick and easy weeknight meals. If you’re looking for a lighter, healthier dish, try cooking salmon, or your favourite fish, with lemon slices, herbs, and some greens on a sheet pan. Ready in under 30 minutes.


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3. Heat-and-Eat Veggie Chili Bowl
Possibly the cheapest and easiest ingredient, and one most people stock in their pantry, beans come in all shapes and sizes. Canned beans make a great base for a wholesome veggie chili. Include your favourite toppings and heat your dish in the oven or microwave for just a few minutes.  Add some crushed tortilla chips and sour cream, and you have a hearty, vegetarian meal that’s ready in under 30 minutes.

4. Leftover Veggie Soup
Soups are great for loading healthy ingredients into your evening dinner. They’re also one of the easiest freezer meals, since you can reuse any leftovers you have on hand. Collect uneaten veggies from yesterday’s salads or side dishes, or those that are soon-to-be-spoiled. Mix them up in a large Ziploc with some salt, a bit of broth, and freeze. Frozen soups keep well and can be cooked up in just moments when needed. Here are a few soup recipes for all seasons to get you started.

5. French Bread Pizza
For those days when you’re extra tight on time, this is a family crowd-pleaser. Make use of small bits of unfinished ingredients in the fridge — veggies, herbs, cheeses —  by placing them on an open-faced baguette slathered with pizza sauce. Simply add cheese and melt your impromptu pizza by toasting it in the oven. Make it a fun activity by letting the kids get creative with their toppings.

6. The Elevated Sandwich
Why not repurpose remaining lunch meats at the end of the school week by crafting an elevated sandwich? Add ham or turkey to a puff pastry with some cheese and lightly toast it in the oven for a gourmet-style dish of melted cheesy goodness. Add a side of soup or salad for a French bistro-style supper.

7. Muffin Tin Lasagna
Muffin tins are a fun tool for preparing delicious 30-minute meals. First, boil a batch of lasagna noodles. Lay individual pieces flat inside the muffin tin cups. Fill each cup with your favourite pasta sauce and cheese and bake in the oven. These individual servings of saucy pasta are a hit with kids and make for easy weeknight meals with few dirty dishes to clean.

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