15 Yummy Make-Ahead Summer Dinner Recipes

Collage of 6 dinner pictures: top row left: Glazed scallops in pan, Right: steak kabobs, Middle Row left: Creamy Corn and Blackened chicken in pan, Right: Plate of Thai Peanut Tofu Noodles, Bottom left: Beef Taco Quinoa bowl, Right, Korean beef Rice bowl

The weather is warmer, the days are longer, and there is no school.  Kids are running around all day playing and you are running around all day too, probably playing a little, and working (in some form or another) a lot.  That means it’s time for Easy Summer Dinners!  More specifically…delicious, healthy, MAKE-AHEAD Summer Dinner Recipes.

What these Dinners have in Common

  1. PREPPED OR COOKED AHEAD – Summers days are longer and packed with outdoor activities, camps, work, and more.  So, when dinner time rolls around, you need easy dinners that come together fast!  That’s where prepping or even cooking the meal entirely ahead comes to the rescue.  
  2. IN SEASON – Each recipe includes bright and fresh summer flavors and ingredients that are in season.  This means that you should be able to find all ingredients easily and even at a discount.  Produce will be fresher as it can come in from local farms vs. far away places.
  3. HEALTHY, BUT DELICIOUS – The word ‘healthy’ often scares off kids and many adults too.  However, healthy can be yummy.  It doesn’t have to be boring or bland food, it just means eating balanced meals that provide you with the vitamins and nutrients to give you energy for your Summer days! 

Here are 15 Easy Make-Ahead Summer Dinner Ideas that you can prepare ahead and finish fast at the end of long summer days!

15 Easy Make-Ahead Summer Dinner Recipes

1.  Sweet & Sour Chicken Kabobs with Green Rice

Spoon drizzling Sweet and Sour sauce over Chicken Kabobs with pineapple, onion, and red pepper over Green Rice with basil, chives, and spinach.

Get ready for a symphony of flavors and textures because this recipe has got it all! The first in the line up of Summer Dinner Recipes is my Sweet and Sour Chicken Kabobs with pineapple, onion, and red pepper.  They are sweet, savory, tangy, and salty. The chicken is marinated in a simple Sweet and Sour marinade so that they get the most amazing sweet and savory grill flavor. The pineapple when grilled, intensifies into this deep flavor, that is still sweet, but somehow also savory from the grill and the caramelization of the natural sugars. The onion and red pepper round out the flavors and textures. The remaining sweet and sour sauce is drizzled over top for the final glazed touch. It’s party time for your taste buds!

Serve these Chicken Kabobs on top of the most flavorful herb-i-licious Green Rice Recipe. Make sure to check out this recipe which comes together in minutes. Basil, chives, and spinach are blended with a touch of sour cream and mixed with fluffy white rice. The herbs pair perfectly with the kabobs.

2.  Glazed Scallops with Velvety Barley and Bacon

Glazed Pan Seared Scallops with Garlic and Honey sitting on Creamy Barley with Bacon bits and chives.

These Glazed Pan Seared Scallops with Garlic and Honey take only 10 minutes to make and taste AMAZING! Scallops are seared for a crispy, caramelized crust on the outside and then glazed with a sweet and succulent thick sauce. Garlic, lemon, and honey are added to the pan to create this easy glaze that pairs perfectly with the sweet scallops with their salty sear. Try these with my Velvety Barley Recipe with Bacon and Gruyere and you have a delicious family dinner!

3.  Taco Chicken Burger Recipe

Taco Chicken Burger cut in half on wood plate. The burger has smokey taco seasonings, cilantro, and scallions. Then on top are melty cheese, guacamole, lettuce, tomato, and chipotle mayonnaise!

Of course there would be a burger on a list of Summer Dinner Recipes!  This Taco Chicken Burger recipe was a successful experiment in how tacos can transform into the most incredible burger. They are easy to make ahead, flavorful, moist, and all together taco-licious. It is chock full of smokey taco seasonings, cilantro, and scallions. Then on top you’ve got all the taco fixings you need… melty cheese, creamy guacamole, tomato, lettuce, and chipotle mayonnaise!  You can make a double batch and freeze them raw individually. Once frozen, you can combine them in an airtight container and store for up to 4 months in the freezer.

4.  Grilled Flank Steak Salad w Basil Dressing

Sliced Grilled Flank Steak Salad Recipe on plate with grilled romaine, halved grape tomatoes, and creamy basil yogurt dressing.

When it comes to Summer dinner recipes, salads might be an obvious one.  But this is no ordinary salad.  This Grilled Flank Steak Salad Recipe with Creamy Basil Dressing is such a hearty, healthy, fresh, and vibrant Steak Salad Recipe! It has tender strips of garlic-rubbed grilled flank steak over grilled romaine, bright tomatoes, and fresh cool basil yogurt dressing. The romaine lettuce is grilled so it gets this slightly charred, slightly nutty, deep new amazing flavor that is nothing like the boring lettuce you know. So few ingredients, but so much flavor!!

For this recipe, you can make the Creamy Basil Chive Yogurt Dressing up to 5 days in advance.   All ingredients go into the blender and it takes only minutes!   You can also make the marinade and marinate the flank steak 2 days in advance. 

5 . Grilled Chicken and Zippy Pineapple Salsa with Avocado

Fresh, bright, sweet, creamy, crunchy, and bursting with flavor, this Zippy Pineapple Salsa has red pepper, jalapeño, cilantro, scallion, lime, and avocado. It's the perfect topping for just about anything grilled. It's also just perfect for eating with chips or as a salad on it's own!

Zippy Pineapple Salsa with Avocado is no ordinary salsa, it’s not even an ordinary Pineapple Salsa. Fresh, bright, sweet, creamy, crunchy, and bursting with flavor, this Zippy Pineapple Salsa has pineapple, red pepper, jalapeño, cilantro, scallion, lime, and avocado. It’s the perfect topping for grilled chicken. It’s also just perfect for eating with chips or as a salad on it’s own!  The salsa can be made in advance, with the exception of adding the avocado.  Just grill your chicken, then dice and add the avocado and dinner is served!

6.  Chicken Greek Meatballs  & Greek Orzo Salad

Ground Chicken Greek Meatballs on a plate with Tzatziki sauce over rice. Baked meatballs in back. These meatballs have garlic, feta, parsley, and oregano. 

Greek Orzo Salad with Kalamata Olives, Cucumbers, and Feta Cheese in a bowl with lemon on side. It's mixed with a creamy lemon dressing that's bright and light!

Ground Chicken Greek Meatballs are so moist and bursting with big flavors from garlic, feta, parsley, and oregano.  You can make them ahead and freeze for months (make a double recipe!).  Then simply bake for 25-30 minutes and enjoy!  Paired with a tangy and bright Tzatziki sauce and served with a Greek Orzo Salad with Kalamata Olives, Cucumbers, and Feta Cheese.  It’s creamy, tangy, crunchy, salty, fresh, bright, and irresistibly delicious. The base here is Orzo, which is the perfect size and texture. Cucumber brings a cool refreshing crunch. The kalamata olives and feta bring the saltiness and tang that keep you coming back for more…and more…and more. All of this goodness is combined with a creamy lemon dressing that’s bright and light!  The meatballs and the salad are completely make-ahead for such an easy-breezy Greek dinner.

7.  Quick Garlic Steak Kabobs with Creamy Cilantro Sauce

Garlic Steak Kabobs with red pepper and onion on platter with a Creamy Cilantro Sauce! #beefkabobs #steakkabobs

Nothin’ says Summer dinner recipes to me more than grilling a good kabob!  These Garlic Steak Kabobs with a Creamy Cilantro Sauce are my favorite Summer family dinner. Beef filet is cut into chunks and then marinated with a delicious garlicy sauce. Skewered and grilled with onion and red pepper, they are tender, flavorful, and utterly mouthwatering. Then, drizzle with or dip into a cool and bright Creamy Cilantro Sauce for the perfect bite!  Kabobs are also such an easy Meal Prep idea because you can prep them entirely ahead and then simply grill them when you’re ready to eat! You can also make a double recipe to have leftovers of this delicious meat and then slice for steak sandwiches, a quick stir fry, or add to a mushroom sauce over pasta!

8.  Stuffed Tomatoes with Chorizo & Quinoa

Stuffed Tomatoes on sheet pan on counter with chorizo, quinoa, parmesan cheese, chives, garlic, and oregano are simply divine! 

These Stuffed Tomatoes are little treasures with chorizo, quinoa, parmesan cheese, mozzarella, chives, garlic, and oregano are simply divine! Juicy tomatoes are hollowed out and the insides are mixed with these amazing ingredients and then stuffed back in. You get the warm juicy tomato with a salty and hearty center. Each bite is salty, peppery, creamy, and incredibly flavorful! These can be stuffed ahead and then baked right before serving. Have as a side or a main for the perfect Summer treat!!

9.  Creamy Corn & Blackened Chicken

Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken with feta and cilantro on top in a pan.

In my opinion, corn should be in just about every Summer dinner recipe!  So, here we have a Creamy Corn and Blackened Chicken skillet dinner that’s easy to make and scrumptious to eat. The creamy corn is rich, creamy, savory, slightly sweet, and slightly smokey. The blackened chicken is coated with warm spices like chili powder, paprika, and cumin that bring huge flavor, but not a lot of heat. It finishes with a delicious salty bite from cotija cheese. Best part is that it all cooks in one large pan, can be made entirely ahead and reheats beautifully when you are ready to eat – truly a perfect dinner!

10. Garlic Lime Shrimp & Tzatziki Sauce

Garlic and Lime Shrimp with Tzatziki Sauce over Quinoa on plate. The Shrimp is simply sauteed with minced garlic, olive oil, and lemon for big bold flavors. The Tzatziki Sauce is bright and cool with creamy yogurt with fresh cucumber, lime, garlic, and scallion. #shrimp #easydinner #dinner #seafoodrecipes #shrimprecipes

I love to combine big bold flavors with cool, refreshing flavors. Enter THIS flavorful Garlic and Lime Shrimp Recipe with a bright and delicious Tzatziki Sauce. The Tzatziki Sauce has cool and creamy yogurt with fresh cucumber, lime zest, garlic, and scallion. Serve with Cilantro Lime Quinoa and you have a complete and delicious meal!  The Quinoa and Tzatziki can be made entirely ahead, then just take a few minutes to cook the shrimp when you’re ready to eat!  It’s a great Summer dinner.

11.  Lentil & Zucchini Cakes Recipe

Lentil and Zucchini Cakes stacked on wood cutting board. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.

Crispy outside, soft and warm inside, these Lentil and Zucchini Cakes are so satisfying! The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan bringing a salty and nutty backdrop and oregano adding an herbaceous note. The scallion gives a mild onion flavor. But of course, the stars here are the meaty and earthy lentils and the fresh zucchini. Formed into a perfect cake and pan fried in just a bit of olive oil.  You can either make the raw patties ahead and then cook them right before you want to eat or make them ahead and reheat!

12.  30-Min Korean Ground Beef Rice Bowls

Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowl with sliced radishes fanned out on top and scallion garnish.

30-Minute Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls are the perfect weeknight family dinner! The mouthwatering sauce comes together in just minutes and gets added to the ground beef in the pan for the most intensely perfect flavor. The Soy sauce brings salt, the sesame gives nuttiness, the vinegar gives acidity, the brown sugar brings sweetness, and the ginger and garlic bring loads of spice and flavor! Served over rice with with a simple cool and crunchy radish garnish, it’s a hearty and delicious dinner!  You can make each component of this dish ahead, reheat the beef and rice, then top with garnishes.

13.  Easy Thai Peanut Sauce Noodles & Tofu

Thai Peanut Sauce Noodles with seared tofu and veggies on a plate with chopsticks.

Get ready for a flavor explosion with these Thai Peanut Sauce Noodles with seared tofu and veggies! The sauce is nutty, tangy, salty, slightly sweet, and spicy with peanut butter, teriyaki, Thai red curry paste, sesame oil, and garlic! The tofu is seared for a perfect outside and creamy inside. The zucchini, peppers, and peanuts on top add crunch and texture. The noodles, well they let you slurp everything up perfectly! It’s irresistible!

This is perfect for a prep-ahead and last-minute-weeknight-cook dinner. The cooking only takes about 15 minutes, so most of the work is the prep for the tofu and the veggies.

14.  Asparagus & Tomato Quinoa Risotto

Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto with parmesan on top on a plate with fork.

During the Summer, no one wants to stand in front of the stove inside adding broth to risotto every 5 minutes, so I have a quickie version for you! Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto is such a hearty, delicious, and healthy dinner. This is yet another way to incorporate that fantastic superfood, Quinoa, into your dinner rotation! The Quinoa beautifully absorbs and plumps up with all of the flavor from the broth, onions, garlic, tomato paste and oregano. Then cut asparagus is mixed in along with nutty and creamy parmesan cheese for a perfect finish.  Make this entire dish ahead and simply reheat it for dinner with grilled steak or chicken or fish!

15.  Ground Beef Taco Quinoa Bowls

Taco Quinoa Bowl with Ground Beef, corn, cotija cheese, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and cilantro lime crema drizzled on top. Bowl of crema, bowl of cotija cheese, tomatoes and cilantro on the table.

Making a Ground Beef Taco Quinoa Bowl is so darn tasty and perfect for busy Summer nights! Everything can me prepped and cooked ahead, so you only need to reheat and enjoy. The base of these bowls is the Quinoa, which is lightly seasoned and is a perfect fluffy backdrop. It’s topped with saucy ground beef that’s loaded with savory and smoky Mexican flavors from the chili powder, cumin, garlic, and scallions. Corn that is slightly seared brings a pop of sweetness. The Cotija cheese brings tang and creaminess and the tomato a burst of freshness. The avocado adds rich creaminess and the cool cilantro lime crema brings that final bright finishing touch.  Overall, this is one harmonious dinner filled with bright, creamy, savory, smokey, and delectable flavors and textures!

 

What are YOUR favorite Summer dinners?  Please share in the comments!

😍 Carrie

Dinner Ideas for Teens and Tweens

Dinner ideas for teens and tweens

When it comes to the tween and teen years, kids often change their eating habits. Sometimes kids stop wanting to eat breakfast.  Perhaps they crave more sugar and snacks.  Some become more adventurous with food, while others become suddenly picky.  They love something one week and they are over it the next.  With all of this in mind, today I have for you a list of dinners that I have heard from other parents of tweens and teens really hit the mark!  Of course, not every recipe on the list will please everyone.  My 12-year old daughter loves many of these, but not all.  However, it’s a great start, so hopefully, you can get dinner ideas for teens and tweens in your life.

What these Dinners have in Common

  1. EASY – let’s face it, your kids don’t care how easy dinner is for you, they just care that it’s there.  However, YOU and I CARE!!  Oh yes we do.  We are busy and we need easy dinners.  Besides, if your kid changes their mind and decides they no longer like the recipe, it best that you didn’t spend hours making it.
  2. FLAVORFUL – Tweens and Teens may still (or start to be) picky eaters, but they are likely looking for more flavor from their food than when they were younger.  Let’s take a simple example, pasta.  When my girls were little, plain pasta with nothing on it was perfect.  However, today, pasta must have at least butter or salt, if not a sauce.  
  3. UNIQUE – Tweens and Teens are at an age where they may start eating out with friends.  They want to be able to feel like they have tried enough variety and options so that they can make recommendations or just fit in.  While they may still want classics, such as cheeseburgers or pizza, they also may be wanting to eat more grown up, unique, or trendy foods.  For example, my daughter started eating sushi and korean tacos, among other new foods.  So, now is the time to try new things!

Here are 15 Delicious and Easy Dinner Ideas for Teens and Tweens that you can make any time of the year!

15 Delicious & Easy Dinner Ideas for Teens and Tweens

1.  Korean Beef Tacos

Korean Beef Tacos on a plate with flavorful Korean beef, crunchy Sesame Cabbage Slaw and a creamy, cool, Cilantro Lime Sriracha sauce!

These Korean Beef Tacos are crazy good!   The super easy marinade and sauce comes together in just minutes and marries with the steak for the most intensely perfect flavor.  Flank steak is one of those cuts that I find you cannot go wrong with, as it’s always tender and easy to eat.  The Soy sauce brings salt, the sesame gives nuttiness, the vinegar gives acidity, the brown sugar brings sweetness, and the ginger and garlic bring loads of spice and flavor!  Each amazing taco gives you this perfect steak PLUS, crispy and crunchy Sesame Cabbage Slaw, PLUS creamy, cool, Cilantro Lime Sriracha sauce!  Some kids may not want the cabbage slaw on the tacos, so plan ahead and make a quick veggies for the side that they will eat.

2.  Ramen Noodle Bowl with Chicken & Veggies

Rockin’ Ramen Noodles with Chicken have flavorful broth, hearty chicken, crunchy veggies, creamy egg, sesame seeds & scallions.  Gluten-Free too!

This Ramen Noodle Bowl Dinner is a kid favorite at any age…tons of noodles, flavorful broth, chunks of hearty chicken!  This recipe also has crunchy cabbage, sweet carrots, hearty mushrooms, creamy soft boiled egg, sesame seeds and scallions to give a fresh bite. Here is where you can customize the ingredients to what your family likes.  The broth is super flavorful with scallions, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, and chicken broth. Is your mouth watering yet?  Ramen Noodles are a great dinner option to turn into a make-your-own noodle bar.  You can make all of the various toppings/ingredients ahead, reheat, then serve in separate bowls that everyone can help themselves to.

3.  Easy Slow Cooker Short Ribs

Easy Slow Cooker Short Ribs are always a show-stopper and the perfect main dish for entertaining.  Teens and Tweens seem to love this recipe because while there are so many wonderful flavors and seasonings, it really is all about the tender, melt-in-your mouth delicious meat.  They are incredibly decadent and taste like you slaved away in the kitchen for your guests.  The flavors from the onion, carrots, demi-glace, thyme, and garlic all seep into the meat, which is fall-apart tender and absolutely delicious.  These Easy Slow Cooker Short Ribs taste amazing with mashed potatoes, Roasted Garlic Cauliflower mash, Fresh Pasta, or Creamy Parmesan Polenta.

4.  Oven Fried  Chicken with Bacon & Honey

Oven Fried Chicken Breast cut on plate with fork. The chicken is coated with Bacon Crumbs and Honey and it's healthier because it's baked, not fried, but still gives you all of the crispy, crunchy goodness!  It also gives you sweet and salty crunch with the addition of honey and bacon!

This is the ULTIMATE Family dinner that turns an ordinary chicken breast into an AWESOME treat!  My tween continues to ask me to make this one, so for me, there is no better endorsement.  Easy to make and amazingly delicious, it’s my Awesome Oven Fried Chicken Breast with Bacon Crumbs and Honey!  When it comes to dinner ideas for teens, I mean…bacon!  It’s healthier because it’s baked, not fried, but still gives you all of the crispy, crunchy goodness!  It starts with healthy, lean skinless and boneless chicken, which cooks nice and quick. That gets coated with sweet honey and then fantastic combination of crispy bacon and garlic seasoned panko breadcrumbs. Each bite delivers salty and smoky crunch on the outside and sweet moist and tender chicken on the inside.

5 . Taco Casserole with Ground Chicken & Black Beans

Close up side view of taco casserole piece on plate with sour cream drizzled on top and diced tomatoes and scallion on top. What could be better than tacos? A Taco Casserole that's made with healthier lean ground chicken and can be made ahead for your busy schedule. This Taco Casserole has corn tortillas layered with browned ground chicken seasoned with smokey mexican spices, black beans, tomatoes, and cheese, and then more cheese.

What could be better than layers of taco meat, tortillas, beans, and cheese?  I have a family dinner delivery service in Hoboken, NJ and this is a client FAVORITE!  You will love it because it’s entirely made ahead and your teens/tweens will love it because it darn delicious!  It’s a Ground Chicken Taco Casserole that’s made with healthier lean ground chicken, can be made ahead for your busy schedule, and can feed the entire family with leftovers for another night. Now THAT’s what I’m talkin’ about! This Ground Chicken Taco Casserole has corn tortillas layered with browned ground chicken seasoned with smokey mexican spices, black beans, tomatoes, and cheeeeese, and then more cheeeeese. Then topped with cheeeeese. Did I mention there was cheeeeese?

6.  Bacon Mac & Cheese

Bacon Mac and Cheese in baking dish. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

Luscious, decadent, mouthwatering, and irresistible. This is my daughter’s Dreamy Bacon Mac and Cheese recipe and it’ll make you sooooo happy!  She came up with this recipe while we played Chopped at home and she had bacon and crackers in her mystery basket.  I was so impressed, that I immediately turned it into a recipe.  The creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta. You get the traditional cheesy backdrop from the cheddar and then more depth and nuttiness from the manchego. On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!  This is one of the best dinner ideas for teens, in my opinion ;).

7.  Teriyaki Chicken Summer Rolls

Teriyaki Chicken Summer Rolls with carrots, basil, red pepper and rice noodles inside, cut in half and stacked on slate platter with Garlic Honey Soy Dipping Sauce. Easy, fun, and delicious!

These Easy Teriyaki Chicken Summer Rolls with Garlic Honey Soy Sauce are so light, full of flavor, gluten-free, and fun to make with kids of all ages! These are filled with teriyaki chicken strips, rice noodles, carrots, red pepper, bean sprouts, and basil. However, you can use whatever filling ingredients you and your family love best!  All get rolled up in a light moistened rice paper. What you get is this bite of freshness that you dip into the sweet, tangy, and salty Garlic Honey Soy Sauce.  Summer Rolls are the healthier, non-fried version to egg rolls. They may seem intimidating to make, but once you find the rice paper, they are actually extremely simple!

8.  Teriyaki Meatballs Veggies & Noodles

Teriyaki Meatballs with Veggie Stir Fry, and rice noodles on a plate.  #asianmeatballs #teriyaki #noodles #familydinner #easydinners #dinnerideas

These Teriyaki Meatballs are sweet, salty, tangy, and so incredibly moist and addictive. It can be hard to get kids to try new flavors. But sometimes using familiar foods to introduce new flavors works wonders. Enter meatballs! The garlic, ginger, scallion, red bell pepper, and soy sauce all infuse the meatballs with the most amazing flavor. Combined with a simple Garlic & Ginger Soy Veggie Stir Fry and served over rice noodles, it’s a perfect family dinner. Drizzle over or dip the meatballs in the tangy Teriyaki mustard sauce and they burst with even more flavor.  

9.  Creamy Ground Chicken Tomato Soup

Creamy Tomato Soup with Ground Chicken and Spinach in a pot on counter with spoon and spinach leaves on counter. It

This Creamy Ground Chicken Tomato Soup is creamy and chunky and has a ton of deep flavor. AND it’s healthy!   But maybe don’t use ‘healthy’ as your opener with teens.  This recipe is loved by so many families with kids!  I have clients in my delivery service that love it and others that have made the recipe at home and the oIt uses all white meat ground chicken that you cook until it is incredibly browned for some serious flavor. Then tomato paste adds the flavor back drop for the soup and a flour roux plus broth creates the amazing creaminess! Finally Spinach is your veggie boost. So delicious and so EASY!

10. 5-Ingredient Easy Meatloaf without Breadcrumbs

Close up picture of sliced meatloaf with ketchup on top with mashed potatoes on plate. This 5-Ingredient Easy Meatloaf recipe may be short on ingredients, but it is loaded with flavor. The lack of breadcrumbs means you don't have them soaking up the juices, so the meat stays moist - and it's gluten free too! Parmesan cheese, onion, egg, ketchup, salt, and pepper are all that go into this yummy loaf of goodness!

Ok, so you might think meatloaf sounds boring, but this is some freakin’ good, super simple, 5-Ingredient Easy Meatloaf!  When it comes to teens and tweens, this recipe has two huge selling points.  First, it’s sort of like a giant hamburger.  Second, it has a sweet ketchup glaze on top – and when I say glaze, I mean it.  The ketchup cooks on top and turns into this thick, rich flavored glaze that’s still reminiscent of ketchup, but evolves to a whole new level.  This Easy Meatloaf recipe may be short on ingredients, but it is loaded with flavor. Because there are no breadcrumbs, you don’t have them soaking up the juices, so the meat stays really moist – and it’s gluten free too.  The best part (aside from the amazing taste) is that this is only 5 simple ingredients and you can make it ahead and Freeze before cooking! I like to double up the recipe and then make one meatloaf to cook and eat and the other to freeze.  Your kids will just love this yummy loaf of goodness 🙂

11.  Tomato Cream Sauce Pasta

This Luscious Tomato Cream Sauce Pasta tastes amazing - and it's amazingly simple to make!! I call it Luscious because the tomatoes, which are still slightly chunky become this thick, creamy, smooth, velvety, and flavorful sauce. The combination of the San Marzano tomatoes and sour cream takes a simple red sauce to a perfect pink heavenly cream sauce!

This Luscious Tomato Cream Sauce Pasta tastes amazing – and it’s amazingly simple to make, taking only 25 minutes!! I describe it as luscious because the tomatoes, which are still slightly chunky become this thick, creamy, smooth, velvety, and flavorful sauce. The combination of the San Marzano tomatoes and sour cream takes a simple red sauce to a perfect pink heavenly cream sauce!  I don’t think I need to tell you why this is a teen/tween favorite!

12.  Teriyaki Peanut Sauce Chicken & Broccoli Noodles

Teriyaki Peanut Sauce Chicken and Broccoli stir fry with rice noodles is a super simple, delicious, one pan weeknight dinner option. But the flavor tastes anything but simple!  It gets a complex, rich flavor from the peanut butter, teriyaki sauce, and the sesame oil.  Mixed with the Chicken and Broccoli and then the rice noodles, it really is a perfectly delicious one pan dish.  Kids love this because the noodles soak up the amazing teriyaki peanut sauce so they can slurp it up with every single bite. YUM.

13.  Comforting Slow Cooker Beef Stew over Noodles

Slow Cooker Beef Stew over Noodles on a plate. This is downhome comfort food that's full of flavor and texture with carrots, onion, garlic, thyme, beef, and more. Now, try pouring that salty, chunky, saucy goodness over noodles...yup, even more amazing! #beefstew #crockpot #slowcooker #easydinners #dinnerrecipes

Slow Cooker Beef Stew over Noodles is a downhome comfort dish full of flavor and texture. The meat is fall apart tender, the carrots slightly sweet, and the onion, garlic, dijon mustard, worcestershire sauce, and thyme create an incredible flavor. Now, try pouring that salty, chunky, saucy goodness over noodles…yup, even more amazing!  As with the Short Ribs dinner #3, this is another teen/tween favorite because the meat is so incredibly tender and juicy and easy to eat.  If anything requires more than a few chews, my kids complain…’this is too chewy, it takes forever to eat’.  Is it just me???  Well, the tender delicious-ness is why this one is on the list of dinner ideas for teens.

14.  Chicken & Cherry Tomato Pasta

Chicken and Cherry Tomato Pasta with basil and parmesan in a skillet. It's easy and so delicious! #pasta #tomatoes #easydinner #dinner #easyrecipes #healthydinner #chicken

This EASY Chicken and Cherry Tomato Pasta has a garlic-y backdrop with sweetness from the natural sugars that are released from the cherry tomatoes. Then you get freshness from the basil, salty and nutty flavors from the Parmesan and a hearty bite from the chicken and pasta!!  For teens or tweens that prefer to not have a sauce all over their pasta, this is a great option!

15.  Cheesy Hamburger Potato Casserole

Cheesy Hamburger Potato Casserole in a bowl with a spoon. It's an easy, yummy, and cozy weeknight family dinner. 

Warm, cozy, ooey gooey, cheesy and delicious! This Cheesy Hamburger Potato Casserole is an easy and yummy weeknight family dinner. Ground beef and onion are cooked and then added to a casserole dish with diced potatoes. Then an easy-to-make sauce is added on top and mixed into the beef and potatoes with shredded cheese. You get all of the yummy flavors of Hamburger with cheese and fries in this delicious casserole!  I mean, you can see why this one made the list of dinner ideas for teens, right?

 

What are YOUR tween’s or teen’s favorite dinners?  Please share in the comments!

😍 Carrie