August is upon us, and that means the lazy days of summer are winding down.
For many, August signifies the start of a new school year — and the beginning of crazy, hectic schedules.
This can make meal planning tougher.
So, we’ve collected some of our team members’ favorite weeknight entrees to help make your life a little easier.Take the thinking out of dinner, and try one of these staff-recommended recipes below.
(And, we threw in a dessert for good measure, because sweets always help, right?!)
This dish defines the phrase “easy peasy.” If you have 5 minutes, then you have time to make this chile verde dish. It can even be adapted for an Instant Pot.
You can make it as mild or spicy as you prefer, but no matter what spice level you prefer, you will fall in love with this recipe from The Real Food Dietitians.
“We use chicken breasts and any kind of green salsa. Set it and forget it in the crockpot until dinner time! Serve with cilantro-lime rice. So good!” — Megan, Oakwood Trail Apartments
If you’re short on time, several of the ingredients can be store purchased instead of homemade. You also can swap out dairy-free cheese for any other cheese, if you prefer.
Either way, you’ll love this unique take on pizza from From the Bowl.
“It’s a fun twist and super-approachable recipe. It is inexpensive, quick and vegan. All things I look for!” — Hannah, Williamsburg Park Apartments
Want to spice up your crock pot recipes? Then check out this Crock-Pot Butter Chicken dish from Delish.
Throw all the ingredients in your crock pot, and come home to a fragrant home — and amazing meal.
TIPS: It calls for garam masala, which can be harder to find in your standard grocery store. Melissa recommends you can swap that out for pumpkin pie spice and still get a great-tasting dish. You can also use any type of instant rice.
“This recipe is so easy and tasty.” — Melissa, CIP Home Office
4. Slow Cooker Pepperoni Pizza Bake
It requires just five ingredients and no chopping or cutting. It’s the definition of easy yet delicious.
“I LOVE any recipe that can be thrown in the crockpot….AND I LOVE pizza! So this recipe is a match made in heaven.” — Angie, CIP Home Office
5. Chicken Satay
This chicken satay is straight from the pages of an old favorite cookbook. It only requires four ingredients, making it an excellent choice for an easy, weeknight dinner.
“I like this recipe because it is a quick, easy dinner with little cook time. You can customize the rice to suit, so it ends up being a pretty healthy dish for a lazy Monday night.” — Jill, Pine Lake Heights Apartments
- 2-4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces or slices
- 1 C. Peanut butter (creamy or crunchy will work)
- ½ C. soy sauce (or more to taste)
- Rice (to serve with chicken)
Mix soy sauce with peanut butter until blended.
Put chicken in the mixture and stir until coated. If possible, let marinate for an hour or two.
When ready, line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with Pam. Lay chicken pieces out in a single layer and broil, turning a couple times, until crispy and done.
Serve over your choice of rice.
This recipe from the Diethood also calls for just four ingredients, making grocery shopping that much easier. It’s also low calorie. Talk about a win-win!
“I eat this with a side of basmati rice and veggies!! It’s so easy and delicious!” — Brianna, Villas of Omaha at Butler Ridge
7. Instant Pot Mexican Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
These sweet potatoes are stuffed with tender chicken and topped with a quick avocado-jalapeno sauce. It’s also Whole30 approved.
“I LOVE this recipe, and while it says it’s for the Instant Pot, you can certainly make it in your oven or put the chicken in the slow cooker to be done when you get home. One thing I really like about this recipe is that it has you make a delicious avocado jalapeño sauce, and I am a sucker for sauces! I had leftovers and put this sauce on everything I could.” — Abbie, The Preserve at Normandale Lake
8. Chicken Cheddar Fajitas
This dish from HelloFresh takes a little longer to prepare at 40 minutes, but the results are so worth it. And, really, can you ever go wrong with fajitas?
“I originally got this recipe in a HelloFresh box; we loved it, and now we make it several times a month.” — Alyssa, Ascend at Woodbury
9. Tater Tot Casserole
It’s also quick and easy using only a handful of ingredients. There are a lot of tater tot casserole recipes out there, but this version with green beans is the best (in our humble opinion).
“I love that it reminds me of my childhood and eating dinner with my family. It’s also so easy to make and awesome for leftovers!” — Katie, The Northbrook Apartments
10. Warm Apple Pie and Ice Cream Treat
And last, but not least, a tasty dessert to top off our list. This warm apple pie and ice cream treat is simple to make and is the perfect way to end a long, busy day.
- 1 apple, fuji or similar
- 2 oz. milk to almond milk
- Dash cinnamon
- Dash nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Vanilla ice cream
Slice the apple in 1-inch pieces.
Toss with the milk in a pan on the stove on medium to medium-high heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly or until the apple is softened.
Add cinnamon and nutmeg to taste. Add brown sugar, and turn heat to medium-high to high and allow brown sugar to caramelize, stirring constantly.
Pour over vanilla ice cream, and enjoy!
Pro tip: Add a little granola on top for some extra crunch.
"I love making this recipe! It takes 5 minutes and has only six ingredients." — Autumn, CIP Home Office
Do you have a favorite weeknight recipe? Share it with us at [email protected], and we may feature it in a future blog post or on Facebook!