What Are Your Quick Go-to Meals?

Updated on March 23, 2012
S.B. asks from Virginia Beach, VA
20 answers

Need an idea for dinner tonight.
Would love a quick meal to throw together.
Any ideas?

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Tampa on

Hopefully you've already decided on a meal/recipe, but if it's not too late...
Something we always enjoy (especially in the warmer months) is a light throw-together pasta salad: Boiled cheese tortellini pasta, diced cucumber/celery/carrots, canned tuna or chicken (can use fresh/frozen chicken cooked from scratch if you have time), and sometimes we add black or kalamata olives - tossed in a vinaigrette dressing (balsamic or Italian) with shredded parmesan cheese.
It's light and crisp, yet satisfying & healthy!



answers from Tampa on

Fish tacos ( use fish sticks :) it's fun and kids love to do their own tacos.

Mac n cheese baked in muffin trays.

Breaded Pork chops with cream cheese on top and fresh vegetable salad.

Mini meatballs with tomato sause and spegatti.

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answers from Washington DC on


Rachel (Mom 2 KCK) gave me a GREAT - no AWESOME recipe that I kinda made my own -

8 oz wheat pasta (I used Barilla medium shells)
1 lb 95% lean ground beef
1 oz packet reduced sodium taco seasoning
1 ½ c chunky salsa
½ c water
¼ c fat free sour cream
¾ c shredded 2 % reduced fat cheddar cheese
¾ c shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I used extra sharp)
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
2. While pasta is cooking, place ground beef in a large sauté pan and cook over medium-high heat, breaking up the beef as it cooks. When the beef is cooked, drain any grease from pan. Add the taco seasoning, salsa and water and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes or until pasta is done cooking.
3. Once pasta is done, drain pasta and add it to the beef mixture. Add the sour cream, cheese, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Cheese will melt when thoroughly mixed. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

I added chopped onions, added sliced olives and put in 1lb of sausage as well - it's on the table in less than 30 minutes!! I have used pinwheel, bow tie and shell pasta for this!! My kids LOVE this - as does my husband.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Greens and beans. Non-vegetarian - saute about 4 oz sausage (today I used green curry duck sausage - yum, usually sweet Italian) until brown, add a large bunch of greens (usually kale, but broccoli rabe and most others are fine), add a little water, cover for a few minutes until wilted, mix in 1-2 cans of white beans and cook a few minutes. Vegetarian - saute a couple of cloves of garlic in good olive oil, then proceed as above, omitting the sausage. To serve - grate lots of fresh parmesan over the top (skipped that tonight with the type of sausage). Serve by itself or over pasta or quinoa and with bread.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

We are having english muffin pizzas tonight.... the best part... my daughter cooked them :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Hey! Too late for last night but I can't resist a recipe swap :)

Rosemary Chicken and white beans: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/one-dish-rosemary-chicken...

Store bought Lamb sausage with saffron rice and veggies. (Could be any sausage.)

Chicken w/ fresh mushrooms braised in mushroom soup over rice w/ salad/veggie.

Pesto with Gnocchi/Pasta (+ ham/prociutto, peas etc)

Smoked Salmon with Peas, Pasta, cream sauce

Sesame Soy Salmon: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/sesame-soy-salmon-1000000...

Trader Joe's Frozen Breaded Halibut with rice & veggies

Tuna Melts with salad or veggie

Ancho pork medallions (This one isn't super easy, but it's DELICIOUS and I skip the pepper jelly on the kiddo's medallions):

Haven't tried this yet and would require hours/day ahead soak, but otherwise sounds yummy and easy - Buttermilk Pork Chops: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/juicy-buttermilk-pork-...

Homemade Ramen (great if you have an asian market/good asian section)
Noodles (rice, egg, soba)
Broth base/mix
Scrambled egg
sliced fish cake
cooked (frozen) shrimp
brocolli/cooked spinach/bok choi
cubed ham (spam if you're from hawaii ;)
really anything can be added - the noodles and broth are the most important to making it good.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

soup w/pb and honey on saltine crackers and veggies or fruit.
We love rotisserie chicken, Uncle Ben's 90 second wild rice and steamed broccoli. This meal can literally be prepared in less than 10 minutes!
BLT's w/ baked french fries or tater tots and a vegetable
eggs and pancakes w/ fruit parfait (greek yogurt topped with fresh fruit and a dollop of cool whip)
frozen pizza and a salad

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

breakfast for dinner! always quick!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lynchburg on

Hi mom-

Tonight, here, it is 'potpourri'...meaning any leftovers available...lol

One of my quick 'go to' meals is spaghetti as I make (and freeze) both meatballs and sauce.

I also freeze sausages and sauerkraut...and they are quick as well...

Best luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Hamburger Helper

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on


Rotisserie chicken w/corn

Hamburgers (pre-made patties)

Spaghetti w/salad

Steak on the grill, serve w/green beans & salad

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Pesto pasta and peas is our #1.

Others include:
Grilled cheese and tomato soup
Bean burritos

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sherman on

my go to meal when i haven't been to the store and i dont feel like thinking any more today....

Tex-Mex casserole.
can of white meat chicken
package of taco seasoning
can of well drained diced tomatoes.
can of black beans
can of corn or hominy
shredded cheese.

dump it in a casserole dish and put in the oven.

You can add crushed tortilla chips, or corn meal if u like.

serve with salad and a dollop of cream cheese.

not a recipe i am super proud of, but it is tasty, and every once in a while its ok to give ur self a break.



answers from Minneapolis on


Rice with meatballs

BLT sandwiches (or lettuce wrap since DH has gone gluten free) add turkey and avocado to jazz up a bit.


answers from Phoenix on

I try to keep pre-made tostada shells and canned refried beans in the pantry. We always have lettuce and cheese so tostadas are a quick, easy and no cook meal for us that everyone loves.

Another fast, but not so "healthy" recipe is chili-mac. Make 2 boxes of mac and cheese, stir in 2 cans of chili, heat and eat. I usually serve with green beans or a salad. Everyone LOVES that. If I have time, I'll make canned biscuits with it. =)


answers from San Antonio on

Tortilla wraps - I use any left over meat on hand, then fill the table with extras like lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, olives, onions, mayo and mustard. Then everyone can make their own.
A quick stir fry - Saute any meat then set aside. Saute onions, cabbage, garlic or any veggie. While these are cooking get a ramen noodle and cook the noodles w/o adding the spice. Then mix all together with 1/2 of the ramen spice mix and a soy sauce to taste. You can also use frozen veggies.
Anything I can throw on the grill; hamburgers, pork chops, chicken with macaroni as a side and a veggie.
Good luck!!



answers from Modesto on

1) Spaghetti with meatballs (I keep frozen ones in my freezer) salad, garlic bread. 2) Meatloaf, frozen green beans (I partly boil and then sautee in a pan with onions, baked potato ( or bread w/butter or some kind of starch). 3) I also keep Costco Kirkland brand of jarred pesto on hand. Put it together with pasta, chicken chunks (pre-cooked frozen or just boil a breast yourself and cut up) and tomatos.



answers from New York on

I am not a meat eater, but this is a very good recipe:

Bag of pre-cooked meatballs-frozen (turkey or beef)
1 glass jar of chili sauce
2 T. of grape jelly
2 T. of dijon mustard

Mix all the ingredients and toss in a crock pot or simmer on the stove top.



answers from Sacramento on

Our standby for quick meals is breakfast for dinner. In our house, this usually consists of eggs fried over hard, perhaps a bit of ham or bacon (other meat could be substituted or the meat could simply be left out), toast or pancakes or waffles, and some cut up fruit. Often, the children in the family will ask for this even if I'm not needing a quick go-to meal, so we have it.


answers from Dallas on

We like shake and bake pork or chicken. Tonight is shake and bake chicken, scalloped potatoes and roasted asparagus

City chicken (pork loin on small skewers pan fried)

Chicken cutlets lightly browned then simmered with cream of chicken soup and spices, served with noodles

Pork chops pan fried with mashed potatoes and green veggie

Grilled steaks


I make my own marinara sauce and serve with pasta or make manicotti or stuffed shells


We love caprese salad (baby tomatoes, mozz cheese, basil, lemon juice, oil, seasoned to taste)

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