When your weeknights are a chaotic Tetris game of kid’s sports schedules and after school activities, you need super easy dinners that are quick and easy to make, and great for traveling. Try these super quick weeknight dinners in your next meal plan.
Evening activities often bring about the question of when to eat – 4:30 seems ridiculously early, but 7:00 is also so late that my kids (and I’m assuming yours) would be tiny little terrors of hunger and exhaustion when it was time to eat.
Currently my family is still able to eat at home (as long as we get the timing right), but I know the many families need to eat out some nights of the week – the choices tend to be picking up something on the way to the ball field, or packing a meal in.
Packing a meal doesn’t have to be as daunting or boring as it can sometimes feel. Below you will find some easy yet creative ways to make meals away from home easier, healthier, and still delicious!
Plan meals that can be prepped ahead of time so all you have to do it put food on a plate.
Plan meals that you can easily take with you (like the recipes below!)
Need more meal planning help? Check out my guide on how to make easy meal plans. And don’t forget to grab your copy of my Meal Planning Book below!
How to pack dinner to go
When you need to take dinner on the road, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Does your food need to stay cold?
If your meal needs to stay cold, like with chicken or egg salad, then you will want to make sure you have a cooler and ice packs on hand. Make sure your ice packs are high quality and large enough to actually cool your food. Your food needs to be be below 40 degrees.
Does your meal need to stay warm?
If you are reheating a meal and then traveling with it warm, you will want to make sure you have insulated bags and food storage containers like a thermos or other container that is meant to keep your food warm. Make sure your food is eaten within a few hours of placing it in the thermos!
Food tastes better when its shared! If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and rate below! Love and links are always appreciated! If you’d like to share this post, please link to this post directly for the recipe, please do not copy and paste or screenshot. Thanks so much for supporting me! xoxo
Easy "Make and Take" Meals
Add this easy dinner recipes to your meal plan when you need a quick meal you can pack with you.
Fried rice with ham and pineapple is an easy weeknight recipe the whole family loves! Made with leftover ham, sweet pineapple, and fresh bell peppers, this flavorful sweet and savory meal is ready in 30 minutes! Make this ahead of time, and reheat it and bring it in to-go containers for an easy meal on the go.
Packed with flavor and tons of great flavors, this meal would be perfect to throw together for busy nights away from home. Use leftover chicken and/or quinoa to make this come together even faster. If you are going to store this for a while before you eat it, store the salad dressing in a little container until you are ready to eat.
This easy greek meatball skillet with lemon orzo is a great family friendly weeknight meal. Greek spiced beef meatballs are cooked with orzo, diced zucchini and tomatoes and sprinkled with fresh dill and fresh lemon juice. This 30 minute meal is flavorful and easy! These reheat really well!
These puppies take only 15 minutes to make plus are a total hand-held treat! Either eat them as you walk out the door or wrap them in foil and pack them along with you. You can make them ahead of time, or right when you need them. Plus they are freezable, so you can have a ton ready for when you need something like NOW. Serve with a simple salad and some fruit.
What’s great about this dish is now versatile it is! It can easily be a main (throw some grilled chicken on top if you need to add some meat), throw it on some lettuce as a salad, wrap it up like a taco, or serve in smaller quantities as a side dish. It keeps well in the fridge, so you can be sure to enjoy it for a few days.
This easy Mexican kielbasa sausage sheet pan meal is a great weeknight 30 minute meal and is studded with fantastic Tex-Mex flavors! This would be a really easy meal to make ahead and quickly reheat when needed. Reheats and travels well.
A good chicken salad is so easy for when you need something easy! Make this ahead of time to give it plenty of time for the flavors to meld together. Serve either as sandwiches (croissants make it seem extra special), in a pita pocket, or serve with crackers for dipping, or just use a fork to dig in. Pack with some fresh veggies and fruit.
This easy Thai Chicken Casserole with Quinoa is a perfect weeknight meal packed with family friendly flavors. Made with quinoa, black beans, coconut milk, curry, and more fun ingredients for a great combination of colors, textures, and flavors. Leftovers reheat well, too! Probably one of my favorite meals for when I want leftovers!
This easy buffalo chicken wrap recipe is the perfect quick dinner or easy lunch for your family. Tender buffalo chicken is layered in a tortilla with crunchy vegetables, creamy dressing, and blue cheese!
Cajun chicken salad is an easy chicken salad recipe with fun cajun flavor. Slightly spicy chicken is combined with onion, celery, mayonnaise, and cajun spice and mustard to make a flavorful and delicious sandwich filling.
Jenni lives in Des Moines, Iowa with her amazing husband, three girls, three dogs who think they are children, and two feisty cats. She is the creator of The Gingered Whisk, a recipe blog dedicated to finding easy, healthy-ish, and tasty weeknight meals that kids and adults alike will love, and the author of "Adventures in Meal Planning." She is super passionate about helping every member of a family learn to love great food. When not cooking, eating, or thinking about food, she is often hiking around area parks, creating intricate legos castles with her girls, watching nerdy tv with her husband, or curled up in a corner somewhere reading a good book.