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Easy “Make and Take” Meals

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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.

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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!

How to meal plan for busy nights

When you aren’t sure how you are going to get all the kids to their different activities and feed them all dinner, that’s when you need a rock solid meal plan!

Try these easy tips for how to make dinner easy.

  • 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!)
  • Utilize leftovers

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!

photo of meal planning book with buy now button

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!

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Pineapple and Ham Fried Rice
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.
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Easy Blackened Chicken and Quinoa Salad
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.
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Greek Meatballs and Lemon Orzo Skillet
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!
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Easy Chicken Parmesan Wraps
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.
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Curried Egg Salad
Seriously the best egg salad out there! Tons of awesome flavor and healthy ingredients, you will want more and more of this! Leftovers are great for days, too! Serve as a sandwich, or with crackers!
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Chickpea Avocado Salad
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.
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Southwest Sausage Sheet Pan
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.
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Amazing Chicken Salad Sandwich Recipe
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.
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Thai Quinoa Casserole in cast iron skillet with peppers
Thai Chicken and Quinoa Casserole
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!
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Easy Cuban Sandwich Wrap
These sandwiches are super easy to make, but have tons of flavor! Make the special dressing ahead of time. Serve with a small salad and some fruit and/or fresh veggies.
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Buffalo Chicken Wrap Recipe
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!
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Cajun Chicken Salad Sandwich
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.
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One Comment

  1. Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens says:

    This is a terrific, much-needed post! Parents these days are so busy, but still truly want to be able to provide nourishing meals for their families, even on those grab-and-go nights! So many wonderful ideas here – I’m definitely pinning to share! And thanks bunches for including our Chicken Parm Wraps – they quickly became one of the all-time most popular recipes on our site, and I hope your readers will love them just as much as ours do! 😀

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