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50 Dinner Recipes for When You Just Can’t Adult Anymore

Perfect for the days when you're feeling drained, these simple recipes are easy to throw together (and might make you feel like a kid again!).

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Pigs in a Blanket

These baked hot dog sandwiches appeal to kids of all ages. Even my husband, Allan, admits to enjoying every bite! We like to dip them in ketchup and mustard. —Linda Young, Longmont, Colorado

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Bacon Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes Exps Tohca21 165948 E03 16 7b 4

Bacon Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes

Turkey and bacon give the classic sloppy joe a frightfully tasty new spin. Freddy Krueger may invite himself to dinner! —Janine Smith, Columbia, South Carolina
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Garlic Bread Pizza Sandwiches

Garlic Bread Pizza Sandwiches

I love inventing new ways to make grilled cheese sandwiches for my kids. This version tastes like pizza. Using frozen garlic bread is a timesaver. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas
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Taco Pasta Salad Exps Ft19 26963 F 0606 1 2

Taco Pasta Salad

My family loves this savory taco pasta salad. Serve taco or corn chips on the side, and you have a complete meal. —Gert Rosenau, Pewaukee, WI
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Ham And Cheese Pockets Exps Sdfm19 1092 C10 17 6b 5

Ham and Cheese Pockets

These unique sandwiches are filled with ingredients most kids like. Pack these ham and cheese pockets in kiddos' lunch boxes, or make them on weekends for the whole family. —Callie Myers, Rockport, Texas
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Chicken Nuggets Exps Sdon18 1500 E06 13 1b 7

Chicken Nuggets

I like to make these golden chicken nuggets because they’re so quick and easy. My whole family loves them. You can also use the seasoning to cook chicken breast halves. Stack them on rustic bread with mayo, lettuce and tomato for delicious sandwiches. —Annette Ellyson, Carolina, West Virginia
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Baked Macaroni N Cheese Pizza

This mac n cheese pizza combines my kids' two favorite foods. Experiment with other pizza toppings such as sausage or diced green peppers. —Andrew McDowell, Lake Villa, Illinois
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Gnocchi Chicken Skillet Exps Chbz19 24576 C10 23 8b 5

Gnocchi Chicken Skillet

Stovetop chicken and gnocchi recipes like this one make for a homey dinner in a hurry. Personalize it with your own favorite sauce and seasonings. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Dogs in a Sweater

For a new twist on an old favorite, try these skewered hot dogs wrapped with breadstick dough and baked. They're fun to dip in ketchup, mustard or ranch dressing. The dressed-up dog recipe comes kid-tested from the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Mac 'n' Cheese Dinner

Don’t settle for ordinary mac and cheese. This version is my kids’ favorite, so I always make a huge pot. It’s an easy recipe to cut down or double (or triple!). It can also be made into a low-fat recipe if you use nonfat milk, reduced-fat cheeses and lean ham. —Raymond James, Port Orchard, Washington
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Salsa Steak Garlic Toasts Exps Sdas18 214835 D03 27  2b 6

Salsa Steak Garlic Toasts

These open-faced steak sandwiches play up the popular combo of steak and garlic bread. The salsa, sour cream and garnish elevate it into quick, satisfying meal. Substitute chopped green onions or chives for the cilantro if desired. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois
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Tacos In A Bowl Exps Gbbz19 28714 C11 07 6b 9

Tacos in a Bowl

This easy skillet dish tastes just like tacos! Garnish it with sour cream and salsa for southwestern flavor and a sprinkle of crushed tortilla chips. —Sue Schoening, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
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Peanut Butter and Jelly French Toast

Peanut Butter and Jelly French Toast

I've always tried to make cooking fun—for myself, my daughters and my grandchildren. Cooking also teaches children the importance of following directions and being organized. This gourmet peanut butter and jelly recipe is easy to make and kids really like it. —Flo Burtnett, Gage, Oklahoma
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Baked Chimichangas Exps Ft20 17520 F 0128 1 4

Baked Chimichangas

My baked chimichanga recipe is healthier than a deep-fried version, but it's just as delicious. You can omit the chiles for less heat. —Angela Oelschlaeger, Tonganoxie, Kansas
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Angel Hair Pasta With Chicken Exps Ft20 38224 F 0122 1 3

Angel Hair Pasta with Chicken

If you want to put something on the table that’ll give you time to spare on busy nights, give this delicious angel hair pasta with chicken a try. From start to finish, you’re only 20 minutes away from a vibrantly colored meal! —Margaret Wilson, Sun City, California
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Tangy Sweet And Sour Meatballs Exps Sdjj19 7920 C02 08 1b 11

Tangy Sweet-and-Sour Meatballs

Tangy sauce, a green pepper and some pineapple chunks transform premade meatballs into something special. Serve them over rice for a satisfying main dish. —Ruth Andrewson, Leavenworth, Washington
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Walking Tacos Exps101359 Th143192c02 11 3bc Rms 4

Walking Tacos

These Walking Tacos are great for an on-the-go dinner, campfire meal or easy game night supper. The ingredients transform a bag of chips into a taco in a bag! —Beverly Matthews, Pasco, Washington
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Breakfast Wraps Exps Tohpp19 35683 B08 23 6b 6

Breakfast Wraps

We like quick and simple morning meals during the week, and these wraps are great when prepared ahead of time. With just a minute in the microwave, breakfast is ready. —Betty Kleberger, Florissant, Missouri
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Fair-Favorite Corn Dogs

Bring the county fair home to your kitchen with these summer-ready corn dogs. A tip for dipping: Pour the batter in a tall Mason jar and dunk your dogs to create an even coating all around. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Chicken Taco Pockets Exps Sdas18 205120 C03 28  4b 3

Chicken Taco Pockets

We love these taco-flavored sandwiches made with crescent dough. They make a quick, easy lunch or supper with a bowl of soup or a crisp salad. I also like to cut them into smaller servings for parties. —Donna Gribbins, Shelbyville, Kentucky
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Honey Lemon Chicken Enchiladas Exps116111 Th143193c04 10 1b Rms 2

Honey-Lemon Chicken Enchiladas

Honey, lemon and chili flavors blend wonderfully in enchiladas. My family devours this dish, so I also use the chicken filling for soft tacos with toppings. —Kristi Moak, Gilbert, Arizona
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Upside-Down Frito Pie

Using ground turkey is a smart way to lighten up this hearty family-pleaser!—Mary Berg, Lake Elmo, Minnesota
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Stovetop Cheeseburger Pasta Exps Sddj18 191524 D08 01 2b 3

Stovetop Cheeseburger Pasta

Cheeseburgers are delicious in any form, but I'm partial to this creamy pasta dish that seriously tastes just like the real thing. It's weeknight comfort in a bowl. —Tracy Avis, Peterborough, Ontario
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Pork Barbecue Sandwiches

We were happy when there was pork roast on the menu because we were sure that, within the next few days, we'd be feasting on leftover pork in these tasty sandwiches. -George Hascher, Phoenicia, New York
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Pizza on a Stick

My daughter and her friends had fun turning sausage, pepperoni, veggies and pizza dough into these cute kabobs. Give our version a try or make your own using you favorite light pizza toppings. —Charlene Woods, Norfolk, Virginia
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Chili Chicken Strips

Instead of ordinary bread crumbs, seasoned crushed corn chips coat these slightly crunchy chicken fingers. If your family likes food with some heat, use the full 1-1/2 teaspoons of chili powder. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Thai Peanut Naan Pizzas

I'm a huge fan of Thai food, but don't always have the time to make it at home. To get my fix, I top fluffy naan bread with a ginger-peanut sauce, fresh veggies, a sprinkle of cilantro and a spicy squiggle of Sriracha. —Rachel Seis, Taste of Home Senior Editor
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Crispy Fish Chips Exps58536 Th143193c04 10 4bc Rms 6

Crispy Fish & Chips

A British pub classic turns crown jewel when you add horseradish, panko and Worcestershire. You can also try it with white fish like cod or haddock. —Linda Schend, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Pierogi Chicken Supper

Chicken, cheese and onion combine with frozen pierogi to give dinner a change of pace. Best part is, it takes just 30 minutes to get this satisfying skillet supper on the table. —Barbara Scott, Walkersville, Maryland
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Exps116189   Sd153320c12 05 6b 2

Frito Pie

Frito pie is legendary in the Southwest for being spicy, salty and cheesy fabulous. Here’s my easy take on this crunchy classic. —Jan Moon, Alamogordo, New Mexico
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Peanut Butter Honey Pear Open Faced Sandwiches Exps Thn18 165203 B06 01 4b 4

Peanut Butter, Honey & Pear Open-Faced Sandwiches

I work a 12-hour night shift at a hospital, and when I come home in the morning, I don't want to cook a big breakfast. I love these sandwiches because they're versatile; sometimes I use apples instead of pears and different cheeses, such as Brie or grated Parmesan. —L.J.Washington, Carpinteria, California
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Sloppy Joe Dogs Exps Gbbz19 44721 E11 28 8b 5

Sloppy Joe Dogs

There are so many different ways to top a hot dog, but this tasty sloppy joe version beats them all. ‐Kimberly Wallace, Dennison, Ohio
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Breaded Ranch Chicken Exps 13x9bz19 12015 E10 03 11b 2

Breaded Ranch Chicken

A crunchy coating of cornflakes and Parmesan cheese adds delectable flavor to this zesty ranch chicken. The golden, crispy chicken is a mainstay dish I can always count on. —Launa Shoemaker, Landrum, South Carolina
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Family Favorite Cheeseburger Pasta Exps Ft19 44476 F 1211 1 7

Family-Favorite Cheeseburger Pasta

I created this cheeseburger pasta recipe to satisfy a craving. What a delicious, healthy classic! —Raquel Haggard, Edmond, Oklahoma
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Homemade Fettuccini Alfredo Exps Toham21 21260 B12 02 13b 1

Homemade Fettuccine Alfredo

This easy Alfredo sauce is creamy, comforting and coats fettuccine noodles in fine fashion. This recipe is wonderful as is, but sometimes I like to add sliced fresh mushrooms and black olives that have been sautéed in butter and garlic. —Jo Gray, Park City, Montana
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Meatball Pizza

I always keep meatballs and pizza crusts in the freezer to make this specialty on the spur of the moment. Add a tossed salad and you have a delicious dinner. —Mary Humeniuk-Smith, Perry Hall, Maryland
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Nacho Chicken Exps Chbz19 14424 B10 23 6b 2

Nacho Chicken

I have been serving this rich and zippy chicken casserole for years, and it's a favorite of my family and friends. It disappears quickly at bring-a-dish gatherings, too. —Thom Britton, Three Rivers, Michigan
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Potato Kielbasa Skillet Exps Sdon17 41361 C06 23 7b 21

Potato Kielbasa Skillet

No need to hunt through kielbasa and potato recipes, this smoky take steals the show as a hearty home-style, all-in-one meal. It's especially perfect on those cold late fall and early winter nights. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Pizza Wraps Exps53169 Th2379800c04 27 2bc Rms 2

Pizza Wraps

This recipe features the flavors of your favorite pie but only takes a few minutes to make—and there’s no cooking or baking required. Perfect for when you’re rushing to get kids on the bus! —Elizabeth Dumont, Boulder, Colorado
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Tater Tot Chos Exps175046 Th14191c11 21 2b Rms 5

Tater Tot-chos

Playing with food is loads of fun when you have Tater Tots and taco toppings. Let kids build their own for smiles all around. —Eleanor Mielke, Mitchell, South Dakota
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Pizza Meat Loaf Cups Exps Sdfm18 19241 D10 11 4b 1

Pizza Meat Loaf Cups

Fix and freeze these moist little meat loaves packed with pizza flavor. They're great to reheat for an after-school snack or quick dinner on soccer night. My family likes to drizzle extra pizza sauce on top. —Susan Wollin, Marshall, Wisconsin
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Mexican Pasta Bake

This casserole makes a delicious change of pace from ordinary pasta casseroles. The corkscrew noodles? They make it fun! —Joy Smith, Bigfork, Minnesota
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Quick Bean And Rice Burritos Exps Srbz16 34918 B09 02 5b 3

Quick Bean and Rice Burritos

These hearty and zippy burritos can be whipped up in a jiffy. —Kimberly Hardison, Maitland, Florida
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Lazy Lasagna For 2 Exps Cf2rds19 4574 C01 23 1b 3

Lazy Lasagna for 2

One day when I craved lasagna, I devised this simple recipe and it worked out beautifully. Celebrate weeknights, too! —Carol Mead, Los Alamos, New Mexico
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Dinner in a Bag

I get a head start on this family-pleasing dinner by assembling ready-to-grab pantry kits. I measure dry macaroni and the spice mixture into separate containers, storing them in a paper bag with canned tomatoes. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Chicken Biscuit Bake Exps 9x13bz20 12155 C10 01 5b 7

Chicken Biscuit Bake

Golden biscuits cover this homespun dish laden with chicken, broccoli and cheese. It's then topped with a celery seed mixture. My family requests this all-in-one dinner once a month. —Karen Weirick, Bourbon, Indiana
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Quick Tater Tot Bake Exps Diyd19 4289 B06 25 2b 3

Quick Tater Tots Bake

I like to make this dish when time before supper is short. If we have unexpected company, I just double the ingredients and use a 13x9-in. pan. I call it my Please Stay Casserole! —Jean Ferguson, Elverta, California
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Chili Mac

This chili mac has regularly appeared on my family menus for more than 40 years, and it's never failed to please at potlucks and bring-a-dish gatherings. Sometimes I turn it into soup by adding a can of beef broth. —Marie Posavec, Berwyn, Illinois
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Ham & Cheese Potato Casserole

This recipe makes two cheesy, delicious casseroles. Have one tonight and put the other on ice for a future busy weeknight. It's like having money in the bank when things get hectic! —Kari Adams, Fort Collins, Colorado
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Sweet And Sour Popcorn Chicken Exps Ft20 23870 F 0117 1 5

Sweet-and-Sour Popcorn Chicken

This sweet and sour chicken dish is one you’ll find yourself returning to again and again. Pre-cooked, frozen popcorn chicken simmered in a thick, homemade sweet-and-sour sauce is the secret to this fast and fabulous recipe. And what a great way to dress up frozen chicken nuggets! —Amy Corlew-Sherlock, Lapeer, Michigan

Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.
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