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55 Easy Dinner Recipes for School Nights

These family-favorite, quick and easy school night meals are great for those nights when you're really, really pressed for time.

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School-Night Sausage StroganoffTaste of Home

School-Night Sausage Stroganoff

I found this recipe in an old church cookbook about 25 years ago and tweaked it to fit my family's tastes. It's a savory, creamy dish that's quick to fix on a busy school night. —Kristine Chayes, Smithtown, New York

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Saucy Skillet LasagnaTaste of Home

Saucy Skillet Lasagna

Thanks to no-cook lasagna noodles, this skillet lasagna makes a fresh, filling, flavorful and fast entree for any Italian meal. —Meghan Crihfield, Ripley, West Virginia

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Chicken Cordon Bleu PizzaTaste of Home

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pizza

This recipe combines my two favorite foods—pizza and chicken cordon bleu. I've made this for my family and the teachers at my school. Now my teachers ask me to make it for them for lunch! —Justin Rippel, Colgate, Wisconsin

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Asparagus Ham DinnerTaste of Home

Asparagus Ham Dinner

I've been making this low-fat ham dinner for my family for years, and we always look forward to it. With asparagus, tomato, pasta and chunks of ham, it's a tempting blend of tastes and textures. —Rhonda Zavodny, David City, Nebraska

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Weekday Beef StewTaste of Home

Weekday Beef Stew

Beef stew capped with flaky puff pastry adds a little surprise and joy to the weeknight menu. Make a salad and call your lucky companions to the table. —Daniel Anderson, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin

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Quick Tacos al PastorTaste of Home

Quick Tacos al Pastor

We loved the pork and pineapple tacos from a food truck in Hawaii. My husband, a high school football referee, gives my version a thumb’s up. —Lori McLain, Denton, Texas

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Easy Cuban PicadilloTaste of Home

Easy Cuban Picadillo

My girlfriend gave me this delicious recipe years ago. I’ve made it ever since for family and friends, and they all love it. My daughter loves to take leftovers to school for lunch the next day. —Marie Wielgus, Wayne, New Jersey

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Sausage & Vegetable Skillet DinnerTaste of Home

Sausage & Vegetable Skillet Dinner

I threw this together one night to use up produce before going out of town. Who knew it was going to be such a hit! Now it’s a recipe I turn to whenever time is tight. —Elizabeth Kelley, Chicago, Illinois

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Spanish Noodles & Ground BeefTaste of Home

Spanish Noodles & Ground Beef

Bacon adds crunch to this comforting stovetop supper my mom used to make when I was a kid. Now I prepare it for my own family. —Kelli Jones, Perris, California

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Country Chicken with GravyTaste of Home

Country Chicken with Gravy

Here's a lightened-up take on classic southern comfort food. This chicken gravy recipe has been a hit at our house since the first time we tried it! —Ruth Helmuth, Abbeville, South Carolina

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Bacon & Swiss Chicken SandwichesTaste of Home

Bacon & Swiss Chicken Sandwiches

I created this chicken sandwich recipe based on a meal my daughter ordered at a restaurant. She likes to dip her sandwich in the extra honey-mustard sauce. —Marilyn Moberg, Papillion, Nebraska

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Vegetarian LinguineTaste of Home

Vegetarian Linguine

Looking for a tasty alternative to the usual meat-and-potatoes meals? Try this colorful pasta dish. My oldest son came up with the scrumptious supper that takes advantage of fresh mushrooms, zucchini and other vegetables as well as basil and provolone. —Jane Bone, Cape Coral, Florida

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Meat Loaf MuffinsTaste of Home

Meat Loaf Muffins

Serve these tangy meat loaf muffins for dinner or slice them up for a take-along sandwich lunch. They're just as flavorful after freezing. —Cheryl Norwood, Canton, Georgia

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Cajun Shrimp SkilletTaste of Home

Cajun Shrimp Skillet

There’s plenty of sauce with these shrimp—I always have some bread on the side to soak it up. Make it your own by using your favorite amber beer or flavorful broth. —Mark Oppe, North Pole, Alaska

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White Cheddar Mac & CheeseTaste of Home

White Cheddar Mac & Cheese

My mac and cheese is simple and has lots of flavor from the cheeses and ground chipotle chile. I use conchiglie pasta because its shape allows more melted cheese to pool inside. Yum! —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia

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Big Kahuna PizzaTaste of Home

Big Kahuna Pizza

A prebaked pizza crust and refrigerated barbecued pork make this tasty supper idea super fast and super easy. Cut into bite-sized pieces, and it can double as a great last-minute appetizer, too! —Joni Hilton, Rocklin, California

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Quick Chicken PiccataTaste of Home

Quick Chicken Piccata

Quick chicken recipes make dinner a breeze. Laced with lemon and simmered in white wine, this stovetop entree is super easy and elegant. Almost any side—noodles, veggies or bread—tastes better next to this lovely chicken. —Cynthia Heil, Augusta, Georgia

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Vegetarian Bean TacosTaste of Home

Vegetarian Bean Tacos

I love Mexican food but was looking for a healthier option to share. My family devours these tasty tacos whenever I make them. —Amanda Petrucelli, Plymouth, Indiana

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Potato Bacon ChowderTaste of Home

Potato Bacon Chowder

This chowder is like a bacon-topped baked potato in a bowl. On cold winter days, my family is thrilled to see this meal on the table.—Jacque Manning, Burbank, South Dakota

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Homemade Fish SticksTaste of Home

Homemade Fish Sticks

I am a nutritionist and needed a healthy fish fix. Moist inside and crunchy outside, these are great with oven fries or roasted veggies and low-fat homemade tartar sauce. —Jennifer Rowland, Elizabethtown, Kentucky

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Asian Lettuce WrapsTaste of Home

Asian Lettuce Wraps

This recipe is as tasty as the lettuce wraps found in national restaurants, but it's healthier! — Linda Rowley, Richardson, Texas

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Cuban SlidersTaste of Home

Cuban Sliders

These wonderful little rolls are baked until lightly toasted and the cheese melts. The leftover King's Hawaiian ham sliders keep really well in the fridge, and they make a lovely cold snack. Followers of my blog, houseofyumm.com, go nuts for these! —Serene Herrera, Dallas, Texas

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Frito PieTaste of Home

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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Quick Chicken & Broccoli Stir-FryTaste of Home

Quick Chicken & Broccoli Stir-Fry

This Asian stir-fry is a household best bet. The spicy sauce works with chicken, seafood, pork or beef. Add whatever veggies you have on hand. —Kristin Rimkus, Snohomish, Washington

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Maple Sausage SkilletTaste of Home

Maple Sausage Skillet

Maple syrup adds sweetness to this yummy stir-fry. I sometimes add a little broccoli, too, for a change of pace. Add a green salad and a crusty loaf of bread for a complete meal in minutes. —Dottie Tarlton, Malvern, Arkansas

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Homemade Chicken PotpieTaste of Home

Homemade Chicken Potpie

Why look for potpie in the frozen food aisle when this easy homemade chicken potpie tastes much better? Under its golden-brown crust, you'll find the ultimate comfort food for kids and adults. —Amy Briggs, Gove, Kansas

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Spinach Turkey MeatballsTaste of Home

Spinach Turkey Meatballs

Our children call these "Gramby Meatballs" because the recipe came from my dear mother-in-law. It's a great way to make spinach palatable. I usually make a triple batch, bake them all and freeze the extras for a quick meal later. —Mimi Blanco, Bronxville, New York

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Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli OrzoTaste of Home

Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Orzo

Broccoli and rice casserole tops my family's comfort food list, but when we need something fast, this is the stuff. Chicken and veggie orzo cooked on the stovetop speeds everything up. —Mary Shivers, Ada, Oklahoma

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Whole Wheat Pasta BakeTaste of Home

Whole Wheat Pasta Bake

With a casserole this rich and saucy, it’s tempting to skip the crunchy topping and dip a fork straight into the skillet. But as one taster noted: “The bread crumbs on top make this one extra special.” —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Crispy Buffalo Chicken WrapsTaste of Home

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Wraps

I’m a busy stay-at-home mom, so I wing it at mealtime. My wraps loaded with Buffalo wing sauce chicken, lettuce and tomatoes are a snap to make. —Christina Addison, Blanchester, Ohio

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Spaghetti with Sausage and PeppersTaste of Home

Spaghetti with Sausage and Peppers

Smoked turkey sausage with strips of fresh bell peppers is a healthy change of pace from Italian sausage or ground beef in your spaghetti. —Ginger Harrell, El Dorado, Arkansas

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Easy Meatball StroganoffTaste of Home

Easy Meatball Stroganoff

This recipe has fed not only my own family, but many neighborhood kids! They come running when I make this supper. It's one of those things you throw together after work on a busy day because you know it works. —Julie May, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

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Asparagus Turkey Stir-FryTaste of Home

Asparagus Turkey Stir-Fry

When people try this dish, they ask for the recipe, just as I did when I first tasted it when visiting a friend's home. Tossed in a delicious lemon sauce, this simple skillet dish is sure to satisfy on the busiest of nights. It's a great way to use leftover turkey. —May Evans, Corinth, Kentucky

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Favorite Cheeseburger PizzaTaste of Home

Favorite Cheeseburger Pizza

My sister-in-law used to own a pizza restaurant and gave me this awesome recipe that features ground beef, cheddar and thousand island dressing. We like it on whole-wheat crust. —Katie Buckley, Wyoming, Delaware

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Skillet Ham & RiceTaste of Home

Skillet Ham & Rice

Ham, rice and mushrooms make a tasty combination in this homey stovetop dish. It goes from start to finish in just 25 minutes. —Susan Zivec, Regina, Saskatchewan

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Gluten-Free Chili Beef PastaTaste of Home

Gluten-Free Chili Beef Pasta

After I got married, my aunt gave me her recipe for skillet spaghetti and told me it was ideal for a quick weeknight meal. Over the years I’ve tinkered with the ingredients and played with the seasonings to make it healthier. It's a dish my family truly loves. —Kristen Killian, Depew, New York

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Mushroom & Herb ChickenTaste of Home

Mushroom & Herb Chicken

My easy skillet dish is a comfort food classic. It's also delicious with rice instead of noodles. No one will guess they're eating healthy with this one. —Betsy King, Duluth, Minnesota

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Honey Chicken Stir-FryTaste of Home

Honey Chicken Stir-Fry

I'm a new mom, and my schedule is very dependent upon our young son, so I like meals that can be ready in as little time as possible. This all-in-one chicken stir fry recipe with a hint of sweetness from honey is a big time-saver. —Caroline Sperry, Allentown, Michigan

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Indian Spiced Chickpea WrapsTaste of Home

Indian Spiced Chickpea Wraps

Raita, an Indian condiment made with yogurt, elevates this vegetarian dish to a satisfying gourmet wrap. If you're in the mood to experiment, try diced mango or cucumber for the pineapple and add fresh herbs like cilantro or mint. —Jennifer Beckman, Falls Church, Virginia

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Smothered BurritosTaste of Home

Smothered Burritos

My brother-in-law teased that I only knew five ground beef recipes. I proved him wrong with my inventive spicy burritos. —Kim Kenyon, Greenwood, Missouri

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Quicker Chicken and DumplingsTaste of Home

Quicker Chicken and Dumplings

Ready in 30 minutes, this easy chicken and dumplings recipe takes advantage of convenience items and uses time-saving, drop-style dumplings. —Willie DeWaard, Coralville, Iowa

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Beef Teriyaki NoodlesTaste of Home

Beef Teriyaki Noodles

At our house, we love to combine fresh ingredients with a pantry product. This version starts with beef, onions, peppers and mushrooms, since we always have them on hand, but make the dish your own—bring out your inner chef! —Richard Robinson, Park Forest, Illinois

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Parmesan Chicken NuggetsTaste of Home

Parmesan Chicken Nuggets

My 3-year-old is going through a stage where he'll eat only chicken nuggets and French fries. I like to make these golden nuggets for him so I know what he's eating. They're so good, we like them, too! —Amanda Livesay, Mobile, Alabama

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30-Minute Chicken Noodle SoupTaste of Home

30-Minute Chicken Noodle Soup

This quick and easy chicken noodle soup recipe is perfect for a cold, wintry day. It is my favorite thing to eat when I'm not feeling well; it makes me feel so much better. —Lacy Waadt, Payson, Utah

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BLT PizzaTaste of Home

BLT Pizza

I use a prebaked crust and fixings from the much-loved BLT sandwich to create this fun variation. It's my family's favorite pizza. —Marilyn Ruggles, Lees Summit, Missouri

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Chicken Enchiladas for FourTaste of Home

Chicken Enchiladas for Four

These chicken enchiladas put a little zip into any menu. The rolled tortillas are filled with a hearty mixture of cheese, chicken and green chiles and then topped with a creamy sauce and more cheese. I sometimes use leftover turkey instead of chicken. —Karen Bourne, Magrath, Alberta

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Ham & Broccoli PastaTaste of Home

Ham & Broccoli Pasta

It's hard to beat a meal that's created in one pan, takes 30 minutes to pull together, and your kids actually thank you for making. Sounds like a keeper in my book. —Jana Cathey, Ada, Michigan

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Barbecue Pork and Penne SkilletTaste of Home

Barbecue Pork and Penne Skillet

I'm the proud mother of wonderful and active children. Simple, delicious and quick meals like this BBQ pork skillet are perfect for us to enjoy together after school activities, especially if I have leftover pulled pork. —Judy Armstrong, Prairieville, Louisiana

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Chicken and Pineapple Stir-FryTaste of Home

Chicken and Pineapple Stir-Fry

We love how the snappy veggies and pineapple make this stir-fry taste fresh and bright. Add brown sugar and you get a sweet-and-sour dish that’s packed with flavor. —DeEtta Rasmussen, Fort Madison, Iowa

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Crispy Fish & ChipsTaste of Home

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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Mom's Spanish RiceTaste of Home

Mom's Spanish Rice

My mom is famous for her Spanish rice recipe, the ultimate comfort food. When I want a taste of home, I whip up this dish. Punch up the flavor with a little lime and extra chili powder. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

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Chicken & Cheese Tortilla PieTaste of Home

Chicken & Cheese Tortilla Pie

Trust me when I say this hearty dish can be assembled in minutes, then devoured even quicker with no leftovers. —Karen Kuebler, Dallas, Texas

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Shortcut Sausage JambalayaTaste of Home

Shortcut Sausage Jambalaya

Secret ingredient alert: A pinch of coffee crystals gives my jambalaya its roasty, toasty flavor. This quick and easy dinner is one of my husband’s top picks. —Betty Henagin, Medford, Oregon

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Soft Fish TacosTaste of Home

Soft Fish Tacos

My husband Bill and I created these tasty fish tacos. The combination with tilapia and cabbage may seem unusual, but after one bite, everyone’s hooked!—Carrie Billups, Florence, Oregon

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Curry Chicken and RiceTaste of Home

Curry Chicken and Rice

I updated this chicken and rice dish by adding veggies and cashews to give it fresh and crunchy appeal. The green chilies in the tomatoes give it just the right little kick, but if you really like spice, add fresh, diced jalapeño. —Denise Klibert, Shreveport, Louisiana

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