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Last Updated on November 24, 2013 by
This Cooking From Scratch post is sponsored by Pillsbury and My Blog Spark but all opinions expressed are mine alone.
My kids have more activities to keep them busy than I can keep up with. Every day after school we tackle homework and whatever extracurricular activity is scheduled for that evening. Occasionally that means my husband and I are taking different kids in different directions and don't get to eat dinner til 7 PM. I like that my kids are active but I refuse to eat takeout and/or delivery on nights that we are busy. You might think that cooking from scratch is impossible on busy nights but I have learned a few ways to make cooking dinner for my family a little bit quicker. Cooking from scratch is much healthier and cheaper than hitting the drive through and you get to control the ingredients you put into your meal. Sometimes, cooking from scratch requires a bit of advanced planning, though, to make it work for a busy night. Here are a few ideas on how you can make cooking from scratch a little bit easier:
Cooking From Scratch Made Easy
1. Homemade soups are much healthier than the canned variety and are an incredibly easy, one pot meal. Skip the canned stock, too, by making up a batch of homemade stock and freezing it back on the weekends. Just add leftover bones from your latest roast, a few chunks of veggies like onion and carrots, and some herbs and seasonings. After a few hours of simmering you will be left with a low sodium, flavorful stock that you can freeze back in plastic containers or zip to lock bags for the next batch of soup you want to cook from scratch on a busy night.
2. Making a casserole? Try making TWO! If you invest in a couple of extra glass pans with fitted plastic lids it is easy to make up one extra casserole or pan of lasagna on a Saturday afternoon. Freeze one back for a night when you just don't have time to cook.
3. Do the dicing and chopping ahead of time: If you dice up several onions, bell peppers, celery stalks, carrots, etc you will have a lot less work to do the next time you pull out your favorite recipe. Use a hand held chopped to really get things going quickly and then store the leftovers in the freezer so you can cook from scratch without getting out your cutting board again.
4. Throw an extra chicken breast on the grill on the weekend. I love having leftover chicken in my fridge because it is so incredibly versatile! If you have the grill on anyhow, throw one or two boneless chicken breasts on. Use them on top of homemade pizza, in a stirfry, or as a top your own salad addition. All of those meals are much quicker when you don't have to worry about cooking the meat first!
5. Realize that semi homemade is still okay: Some things can be made quickly from scratch and others cannot. I learned long ago that ALMOST homemade is still better than fast food and takeout. I do not roll out my own homemade pie crusts when I make a quiche and I do not make my own pizza dough when I make homemade pizza. I COULD...but I rarely have that kind of time during the week. Thankfully, you can buy some great premade pizza crusts at the grocery store, including the Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust with Whole Grain.
Making homemade pizza is a great way to use local and seasonal ingredients in your dinner. It is also very easy to make up your toppings ahead of time to help make dinner preparation quicker. With previously diced peppers and onions along with some leftover grilled chicken, I have a balanced meal for my family that is filling and quick to make. If you want a few ideas on how YOU can prepare homemade pizza for your family check out the Farmer's Market Pizza Ideas from Pillsbury. Also make sure to get the online coupon for $1.50 off one package of Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust.
Want to try the new Artisan Pizza Crust and make your own Farmer's Market Pizza? My Blog Spark would like to give one of my readers a prize package that includes:
- A VIP coupon for one FREE Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust with Whole Grain
- 15.5" Farberware Pizza Pan
- Food Chopper with Storage Containers
- Silicon-grip Oven Mitt
- Retail Value: $64
This is a Giveaway Tools contest so follow the directions in the form below to enter to win.
Disclaimer: In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials.”: I received product samples in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation. All opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. Some of the links in this post may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.
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Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.
For a quick dinner, we love to throw hamburgers or hotdogs on the grill!
dull2000 at cox dot net
My favorite quick go to dinner is quesadillas. I always have tortillas on hand and can fill them with any veggie or meat or both from the freezer.
My go-to meal for a quick dinner is hot-dogs. Or if it is just me, several bowls of cereal.
my favorite quick dinner meal is quesadillas
Anything Hamburger Helper. Yeah, it's unhealthy...but when I'm strapped for time, it does the job.
tacos is my favorite quick meal
pepperoni and mushroom
homemade pizza, pepperoni and mushroom
Spaghetti is my favorite quick meal
breakfast for dinner!
we love to grill so easy foods liek hot doge or chicken on the grill add a few veggies and yum
I just throw together a salad with some veggies and cold chicken.......love it.
unsloppy joes! quick, easy, and delicious.
my favorite quick dinner meal is pizza
Salads are my go-to quick and healthy meals
A big salad is a quick and healthy dinner.
My favorite quick dinner meal is my creamy chicken noodle.
Mary Beth Elderton
Our favorite quick dinner is "something with pasta"--the "something" is whatever I have on hand 🙂
my favorite quick dinner meal is a turkey sandwich with a side of green beans!
My quick dinner meal is mac & cheese.
a frozen pizza
beans and hotdogs
I make a big salad with a veggie burger patty ontop
I make grilled cheese sandwiches.
My quick meal is spaghetti & garlic bread.
My favorite quick dinner is grilled cheese with tomato soup
My favorite quick dinner meal is gnocchi with crab.
mac and cheese..sometimes pizza
spaghetti is quick and easy.
I like to cook hamburgers or a frozen pizza.
Thanks! Janna JOhnson [email protected] Janna johnson on GFC
My favorite quick dinner meal is spaghetti or tacos. My family loves both of them.
Mine is pasta!
Pasta and ragu...easy peasy.
Spaghetti or Chicken Salad
Baked macaroni and cheese is my favorite quick and easy meal.
Spaghetti is my go to meal.
franks is my fastest and easiest meal
A quick made sandwich, such as a ham or a banana sandwich
I love hamburger helper and shells N cheese.
Thanks for the chance.
My quick meal is angel hair pasta with tomatoes.
We like soup and a sandwich.
Spaghetti and meatballs!
My favorite quick go to dinner is quesadillas
spaghetti every time.
Macaroni and cheese
Pizza and Salad
thanks for the great giveaway!
Chicken and mashed potatoes
Usually for something quick I have make your own pizza night or baked ravioli. Both are really good and super simple and quick
My favorite quick dinner meal is grilled chicken on a salad.
I love homemade pizza.
Ham and cheese sandwiches
Spaghetti or ordering pizza.
Soup and sandwiches
I like pasta, especially Raviolis.
Storm, the Psychotic Housewife
My quick go-to meal is tacos.
Turkey burgers is our favorite fast meal.
I always have spaghetti sauce in the freezer so all I need to do is defrost in the microwave and boil pasta.
Breakfast, either biscuits and gravy or waffles.
If we need something QUICK, it's sandwiches & chips. But that is also expensive. Quick & cheap? Scrambled eggs, every time.
soup and sandwiches, [email protected]
Thank you for the chance. Tacos are one of my quick, easy meals!
my favorite quick dinner is tacos!
Pasta w/ Marinara sauce.
Hamburgers on the grill and a salad.
Our quick meal is Chicken Caesar Salads.
Spaghetti with jarred sauce
Paula Michele Hafner
Spinach Alfredo. I found a recipe for a quick sauce that's so good 🙂
my favorite quick dinner meal is tacos.
I love making easy Enchiladas.
Frito Pie and cornbread.
Valerie Taylor Mabrey
burgers on the george foreman
vmkids3 at msn dot com
I like a quick cheese and black bean quesadilla when in a pinch.
i make homemade falafel and it is so quick as long as you don't forget to soak the beans. eat with some pita and fresh tzatziki. 🙂
Spaghetti and meatballs!
hotdogs and french fries
I love shepards pie for a quick meal
My favorite quick meal for dinner is BLTs.
I like to make grilled cheese .. my kids love it
In a hurry we do take out! OR I will get a rotissere chicken
Spaghetti is my favorite quick meal!
probably bacon eggs home fries toast
My favorite quick meal is spaghetti.
Toasted tuna sandwiches.
our family's favorite quick meal is hot dogs and baked beans.
Veggie pasta with veggies from the garden!
It's always tacos.
quick meal for us is usually frozen pizza
I heart Chicken Caesar Salad!
Spaghetti is my favorit
My favorite is mac and cheese.
For quick it's BLTs
Tacos is my favorite
pizza and tacos are our favorite quick meals.
Hot dogs and fries!
Grilled Cheese is quick and the kids love it
pancakes and applesauce! Or as my daughter would say "pannycakes and happy-sauce" 🙂
My kids favorite quick dinner is macaroni with a can of tomato soup poured over it and grilled cheese sandwiches
I like spaghetti for a quick simple meal.
Spaghetti and meatballs.
For a quick meal, I would probably make a pizza, or spaghetti. Thanks for this contest!
I can whip up a pretty quick homemade soup - takes about 20 minutes! 🙂
My children's favorite is pizza, mine is probably soup and salad. 🙂 Thank you.
Chicken & fries that we can just throw in the oven or chicken with instant mash potatoes.
As far as cooking from scratch, we like to make mini pizzas with cheese and pepperoni.
My favorite quick meal is roast, potatoes, and carrots in crock pot cooking while I'm at church - it's done when I get home.
My husband is diabetic so would love to wn this
A baked potato.
Spaghetti and meatballs is our go to easy meal
Macaroni and Cheese or the Lipton Noodle Packets!
I would say spaghetti! or some sort of salad with chicken.
My favorite to make is tacos.
mac & cheese
Spaghetti is always a quick meal. Thanks.
Pizza is our goto quick meal!
Mac and Cheese
I like porkchops
Basil Pesto pasta
my favorite quick dinner meal is spaghetti, it's so quick and easy to make!
My favorite quick dinner meal is hot dogs.
tuna with macroni and cheese
For me, it's tacos!
taco casserole and only one dish too
Spaghetti and sauce is my favorite quick meal.
Spaghetti and Meatballs is my favorite.
Pasta! So quick and easy.
fried rice with whatever leftover meat or vegetables we have
grilled cheese sandwiches
I have a few: Bacon & Eggs, Hamburger Helper, Pasta with a no cook sauce.
Scrambled eggs and toast.
Chicken Alfredo. just chop some chicken and veggies cook them real quick and make some pasta. mix all in and heat up alfredo sauce and thats it!
pasta is always an easy meal
Some breakfast item like cereal or frozen pancakes can be a quick meal for me or just a protein shake.
pepperoni rolls using Pillsbury crescent rolls
would love to make this! looks delicious
pizza and salad
Omelets or quesadillas.
I like tacos
Grilled cheese sandwiches or sloppy joes
Mine is spaghetti
Split-pea soup and a cheese sandwich.
Eggs and bacon. Yum.
We love pasta as a quick meal!
crescent dogs with cheese
Toss up hot dogs or sloppy joe's
Thanks for the contest.
Howdy! Corn meal chicken- chicken tender dipped in egg then covered with corn meal with salt and paprika. Then I throw it in a wok with hot oil and RED onion ( red onions rock cause their sweeter the brown) Viola! sprinkle more paprika as you serve them
Mine is Goulash
my favorite quick meal is pigs in blankets.
English muffing pizza with our own individual toppings. Thank you for the opportunity to win.
My favorite quick meal is black bean tacos.