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Easy Back-to-School Dinner Ideas

Cheesy Oven Fried Potatoes

Back-to-school looks very different this year for everyone. Whether kids are in the classroom, doing virtual school, or a combination of both, now more than ever, easy dinner recipes are essential. With all the things we have to worry about, what to make for dinner doesn’t need to be one of them. I’ve gathered five Blue Ribbon recipes that will help make preparing dinner a breeze.

Kids will never say no to pizza night. This week, put a twist on it with Lisa Cox’s (Blountville, TN) Mexican Pizza. “My family loves this pizza,” shares Lisa and I think your family will too.

Crescent rolls form the crust for this pizza. Then it’s topped with refried beans, taco meat, and ALL the shredded Mexican cheese. Lisa suggests topping the pizza with sour cream, chopped lettuce, tomato, and taco sauce which we loved. But, add what toppings your family loves on tacos.

“This Hearty Hamburger Pie is something I grew up on and rely on as comfort food now that I’m older,” reveals Jennifer McConnell (Las Vegas, NV). “I love this meal during the fall and winter months as it’s a stick to your ribs type of meal.”

Put this hearty casserole in your recipe box because, after one bite, it will become a new family favorite. It’s similar to a shepherd’s pie… but so much more.

The meat is full of flavor from the onion soup mix and gets sandwiched between cheesy potatoes. Tomato soup and French fried onions mixed in add tons more flavor. Jennifer gives the option to add sour cream, butter, and bacon to the potatoes. I did and it shouldn’t be optional… boy did it amp up the potatoes. An easy casserole dinner recipe.

Another simple casserole is Whitney Froehlich’s (Bellville, TX) Mom’s Chicken Scratch. “My mom made this for me as a kid and I loved it,” says Whitney. “It’s similar to a pot pie but without the veggies.”

Whitney’s casserole starts by adding a box of rice to the bottom of a baking dish. I used the four-cheese kind Whitney recommended and it adds tons of flavor to the final product. For chicken, use leftover baked chicken breasts or quickly boil a few breasts. The cubed chicken is placed in the dish with cream of mushroom soup. On top, a homemade batter forms a pancake-like crust when baked. This is a tasty, easy recipe to have in your back pocket.

Get the kids quickly to the table by serving Stephen Lee Parker’s (LaGrange, GA) Lee’s Chicken Fingers.

“I created this after trying a tempura batter recipe for frying vegetables,” explains Stephen Lee. “This is my son’s favorite.”

The mix of herbs and spices in the dry coating of these homemade chicken fingers is subtle but super flavorful. Adding ginger ale helps the batter be light and airy but also adds a sweetness to it. You’ll never buy frozen chicken fingers again after you try these.

What goes with chicken fingers? Rebecca Trent’s Cheesy Oven Fried Potatoes do. They’ll be a great side with most entrees actually (like burgers, steak, grilled chicken, etc).

“Made this recipe and thought mmm, this would be good with some cheese sauce,” shares Rebecca. “The cheese made this dish.”

Rebecca’s homemade potato wedges are coated in salt, garlic, paprika, pepper, and Parmesan cheese making a really tasty potato. The temp they’re cooked at gives the outside a slight crunch, but inside is tender. Pouring cheese sauce on top only makes the fries better!

Want more dinner ideas? We have a few recipe collections to help you out. Take a look at Back-to-School and Casserole Recipes when planning your meals. Happy Pinching!