3 Cheap, Quick & Easy Weeknight Meals for Families

Leanne's Life
by Leanne's Life

I have for you three quick and easy weeknight meals for families. Each recipe is family-friendly for all the different taste preferences in your family. They are perfect for the school season.

1. Mexican street corn dinner

This super simple, budget-friendly meal is a Mexican street corn dinner. I am going to bake it in the oven. You will need the following ingredients:

Ingredients for the Mexican street corn dinner

A couple of pieces of either chicken breast or chicken thighs, some corn, some mayo, some sour cream, and then the seasonings. 

For seasonings, I have some salt, pepper, a pinch of cayenne, and a lot of garlic powder, and I have a spicy chili blend. You'll need the juice of one lime, some cilantro to top, and some cheese. You could put this over rice if you like. 

The first thing I am going to do is to season my chicken.  

Next, I am going to mix the mayonnaise, the sour cream, and the lime juice in a bowl.  

Easy weeknight meals

To make this dinner, all you do is dump everything into your oven dish and bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Mexican street corn chicken

This is the final dish, Mexican street corn chicken. 

Mexican street corn is typically made with cotija cheese, but I could not find a dairy-free version. I just stuck with the Mexican blend, topped it off with that delicious corn sauce, and I will top that off with some beautiful cilantro. 

You can top it or serve it over rice or even pasta.

2. Kielbasa and sauerkraut 

For tonight's dinner, I am going to be making kielbasa and sauerkraut. 

Ingredients for kielbasa and sauerkraut

I'm going to doctor up my sauerkraut with some caraway seeds, onion, salt, and pepper. 

I will fry up the kielbasa and make a side salad too, but the first thing I'm going to do is get the sauerkraut in my Dutch oven. It's going to take a little bit. I like to cook it down and get it all nice and tender. Sometimes people add brown sugar to their sauerkraut, which I'm not going to do. 

Let's get this on the stove and get this easy weeknight meal ready to go.  

I will first add about a tablespoon or two of avocado oil to the bottom of my Dutch oven, let that warm up a bit, and then add in the onions. 

So I'm going to add my onions and then saute them until they get a bit translucent and maybe even turn a little brown and caramelize a little.  

Next, add in your sauerkraut. I love the sauerkraut that's in the bag. I think it tastes fresher. I add the juice in also. I don't rinse it. Some people rinse their sauerkraut because it's too salty, but I just put it all in there.

Cooking sauerkraut

I am going to place sauerkraut in, turn it up a little bit, and then I am going to let this cook. 

First, I'm going to add some caraway seeds, just a little, but it gives such a good flavor, and then I am going to add some pepper.  

I will cook this low and slow for probably close to an hour. 

Frying the kielbasa

About 15 minutes before serving, I will fry up my kielbasa.  

I eyeball everything when it comes to salad dressings. This dressing is eyeballing everything to taste.  

When cooking, make sure you always taste what you're cooking so you can adjust seasonings if needed. I added a little bit more dijon to the dressing mixture.

This is a nostalgic dinner for me. Sauerkraut and kielbasa were family favorites growing up. So this is a quick and easy meal for a busy weeknight. 

3. Pizza and wings

Tonight's easy dinner is going to be pizza and wings, homemade style. The pizza is going to be build-your-own. It's just my daughter and me. She's working, so she will top her pizza how she'd like. 

You’ll need these ingredients:

Ingredients for pizza and wings

I have a brick of mozzarella that I will shred up, and I have pizza shells to make our pizzas on. 

I was going to get flatbread, but they didn't have any I'd like. 

I think what my daughter will like is this mozzarella cheese ball. She'll probably have a slice or two of the cheese and some balsamic, glazed, sliced tomatoes. So I'm going to slice up this tomato. I have pepperoni for myself.  

I love fresh chopped garlic on my pizza, so I will chop some of that up. 

Cooking mushrooms

I am going to wash and slice mushrooms and precook them so that they are not entirely raw when they're cooked in the oven. 

I have this Pasta Too pizza sauce. For the wings, I am going very simple. I am not going to make all of them, probably half, and freeze the rest. 

I have some Marzetti ranch to dip in this Buffalo mild wing sauce. This is delicious, this buffalo wing sauce. It was at Dollar Tree. It's almost as if you would make your own buffalo sauce with red hot and butter; it tastes just like that. 

I think my daughter might want some barbecue sauce for her wings. We got this truffled barbecue sauce at Trader Joe's. 

The first thing I will do is season up my chicken wings. 

I'm going to cook them in the air fryer because they always get nice and crispy and delicious in my air fryer. 

Pizza bar family dinner idea

Then I will continue shredding my cheese, slicing up everything, and creating a pizza bar for this evening. 

To season my chicken wings, I like it pretty simple. Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and some smoked paprika. I'm going to season these up and then place them in my air fryer.

Easy weeknight meals for families

So here is the pizza, fresh out of the oven. 

It was delicious. My daughter added some balsamic glaze on top of her piece of pizza and barbecue sauce on her wings, and hot sauce for mine. 

Easy weeknight meals for families

All three recipes were wonderfully easy for weeknight meals when we had the least time to cook. What are your favorite easy weeknight meals? Share your recipes in the comments below.

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