Quick Back-to-School Dinner Recipes

Buttermilk Chicken Tenders with Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans
Photo: Greg DuPree

We know back-to-school season is already a hassle, so we rounded up some kid-friendly recipes to help with meal prep. These quick back-to-school dinners will keep the whole family happy with delicious classics like grilled cheese and tomato soup or shrimp fried rice. We've even included a few recipes that have clever twists to please the grown-up palate like our Sheet Pan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese. Whatever your schedule is like, these quick back-to-school dinners can be ready in an hour or less. We've got your weeknight dinner menu covered with these quick recipes.

01 of 15

Chicken and Herbed Cornmeal Dumplings

Chicken and Herbed Cornmeal Dumplings
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Chicken and Herbed Cornmeal Dumplings

Move over chicken noodle soup, there's a new recipe in town. With only 40 minutes in total prep and cook time, this dish will be your new go-to dinner.

02 of 15

Shrimp Fried Rice

Shrimp Fried Rice
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Shrimp Fried Rice

Fresh green beans and shrimp combine for an easy weeknight dish. Store the leftovers in the fridge for a quick lunch later on.

03 of 15

Grilled Chicken Tacos

Grilled Chicken Tacos
Wynn Myers; Prop Styling: Lauren Smith Ford

Recipe: Grilled Chicken Tacos

Here's a delicious (and healthy) change of pace from the usual ground beef tacos.

04 of 15

Pizza Spaghetti Casserole

Pizza Spaghetti Casserole
Beth Dreiling; Styling: Lisa Powell Bailey

Recipe: Pizza Spaghetti Casserole

Your kids will love this combo dish of their two favorite meals, and you'll love that you can make it ahead and store until it's time to dig in.

05 of 15

Chicken Fingers Coated With Cheesy Snack Crackers

Chicken Fingers Coated with Cheesy Snack Crackers
Sheri Castle

Recipe: Chicken Fingers Coated With Cheesy Snack Crackers

You probably already have the ingredients for this recipe in your kitchen. After just 15 minutes in the oven, these chicken fingers are golden and oh-so delicious. Pro Tip: Let them cool for five minutes before serving.

06 of 15

Quick BBQ Chicken Pizzas

Quick BBQ Chicken Pizzas
Jason Wallis; Styling: Cindy Barr

Recipe: Quick BBQ Chicken Pizzas

Pizza is always a family-favorite dish. Why not step it up a notch with sautéed veggies and BBQ chicken?

07 of 15

Buttermilk Chicken and Waffles

Buttermilk Chicken and Waffles
Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lydia Degaris Pursell

Recipe: Buttermilk Chicken and Waffles

If your kids like breakfast, then they'll love this twist on waffles for dinner. These bite-sized chicken and waffles are an easy meal to prepare when you're craving something sweet and salty.

08 of 15

Ham and Cheese Sliders

Ham-And-Cheese Sliders
Photography and Styling: Karen Rankin

Recipe: Ham and Cheese Sliders

Ham and Cheese Sliders are a classic dish good for any day of the week. Pair with a side of veggies for a simple weeknight dinner.

09 of 15

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup Image
Southern Living

Recipe: Broccoli-Cheddar Soup

Your kids won't even know they're eating veggies in this warm, creamy Broccoli-Cheddar Soup. Top it off with some croutons for added crunch.

10 of 15

Classic Grilled Cheese

Classic Grilled Cheese
Stephen DeVries, Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Classic Grilled Cheese

Some nights just call for the easiest of meals. Pair our Classic Grilled Cheese with the best tomato soup recipe for the ultimate comforting dinner.

11 of 15

Sheet Pan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Sheet Pan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Sheet Pan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

You can't beat a creamy mac and cheese recipe. This one even has a surprise ingredient: Butternut Squash.

12 of 15

Air Fryer Popcorn Shrimp

Air Fryer Popcorn Shrimp
Southern Living

Recipe: Air Fryer Popcorn Shrimp

Crispy, poppable, and ready in just 30 minutes! You'll never pan fry shrimp again.

13 of 15

Buttermilk Chicken Tenders with Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans

Buttermilk Chicken Tenders with Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Buttermilk Chicken Tenders with Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans

Consider this your healthier alternative to fast-food chicken tenders and fries. The best part? It's just as tasty.

14 of 15

Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas

Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas
Southern Living

Recipe: Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas

Bite-sized and customizable, these Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas are a fun way to get the kids involved in the kitchen.

15 of 15

Grilled Cheeseburger Nachos

Grilled Cheeseburger Nachos image
Caitlin Bensel; Prop Styling: Lucy Barr; Food Styling: Liz Mervosh

Recipe: Grilled Cheeseburger Nachos

This dish is the ultimate finger food. The kids will love this fun take on nachos, and you'll love using leftover cookout ingredients to make it.

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