5 simple dinner ideas for busy weeks

It's a busy week for most Australian families with school starting again, and it’s extra stressful for those juggling school and work and RATs and sudden Covid isolations.. the list goes on and on!

Let’s take one part of the mental load off your plate with some really easy options for dinner. 

Here are my 5 favourite simple dinner ideas to make life easier for busy, tired parents:

Sheet pan dinners

Sheet pan dinners are so good for days when you want a home-cooked meal with less effort and hardly any washing up.  Put meat, fish or beans on a tray with veggies, add a little oil and spices or seasoning, and pop it in the oven for 30 - 45 minutes on 200C.

You can serve it straight from tray to plates, pop a loaf of bread on the table, and you’ve got a very simple meal everyone will love.

My favourite part? While it’s in the oven, you can choose to either relax for a while or get something else done so you can go to bed earlier later :)

There are some really easy recipes at The Kitchn if you need ideas to get started with your sheet pan dinners. 

Slow cook dinners

Slow cook dinners are lifesavers when you have a busy day ahead of you. Meat, veg, seasoning and stock / salsa go into the cooker, then you just pop it on low and go about your day.

When you get home, dinner’s ready! You can cook pasta or rice to go with it, or just open up a pack of tortillas. Easy!

I get most of my slow cooker recipes from Eat@Home Meal Plans because the recipes are so easy and they do the whole meal plan and shopping list for me too.

Simple wraps

Speaking of tortillas, don’t underestimate the power of a simple wrap for dinner. Put a pile of wraps on a plate on your kitchen counter, wash & roughly chop some salad veggies (we like lettuce, tomato, cucumber, capsicum, grated carrot, beetroot) and lay them out on a tray, put sauces next to it, and have everyone come grab a plate and DIY their own Subway style wrap for dinner. Add some ham and grated cheese to bulk it up a bit more, and olives and pickles go well with it too.

And if you have salad veg left over after everyone serves themselves, pack it up for lunchboxes tomorrow and you’ve saved yourself a job for the morning too.

Easy pasta dinners

If you have the budget for it, grab a packet of fresh ravioli and sauce from your local supermarket and you’ll have dinner ready in 5 minutes.

If you need something cheaper, Boil a packet of penne and while that’s going, tip a tin of diced tomatoes into a pan and sprinkle some onion powder, garlic powder, oregano on top, add some water and let it simmer and reduce until your pasta is ready. It’s more watching than cooking, and then just grate a little parmesan on top before you serve it.

Or my favourite for those nights when you have no time or energy at all - use a stir-through pasta sauce. It doesn’t even need to be heated. You’ll only have to do the pasta. One pot, so less washing up too! 

Breakfast for dinner

This is such a novelty for kids and there are lots of easy options for it!

You can scramble some eggs and put them on toast, or just put a box of cereal in front of the kids and they can pour themselves a bowl. To be honest, you can use toast as a base for the entire dinner and just use whatever else you have in the fridge. We’ve done toast with ham, cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices with a piece of cheese countless times. Or toast with a little tomato paste / bbq sauce / Vegemite and grated cheese on top, just pop it under the grill for a minute or two. One of my besties calls it “Mummy pizza” and it’s always a hit. 

Those are my faves, and I’d love to know yours too! Come visit at the Beautifully Organised Mums FB page and let me know what your go to easy dinner is.

x Marissa

* I’m an affiliate for Eat@Home Meal Plans, which means if you purchase via my link, I receive a commission.