Dinner Archives - Page 3 of 7 - A Crafty Spoonful

Easy Meal Planning Tips plus a Deconstructed Chicken Pot Pie recipe

Looking for easy meal planning tips and ideas for busy weeknights? We’re sharing a few of our favorites + this delicious deconstructed chicken pot pie recipe! 

skillet sauces, easy dinner, easy recipes, campbell's slow cooker sauce, campbell's skillet sauce, campbell’s oven sauce

While many people are making resolutions for the New Year, I’m continuing with some resolutions I made last year. One of which is to stick to our monthly budget and reduce the amount we eat out. Being a gazillion weeks pregnant – ok… 38 weeks – means that I’ve turned to take out quite a bit over the past few months.

This year we’re resetting ourselves and bringing out my easy meal planning tips to ensure that we’re making the most of our budget AND cooking delicious dishes that the whole family loves. Luckily I have some great help from my well-stocked pantry. 

skillet sauces, easy dinner, easy recipes, campbell's slow cooker sauce, campbell's skillet sauce, campbell’s oven sauce

Easy Meal Planning Tips

  1. Try New Recipes – one thing that I love to do when meal planning is find new recipes I haven’t tried. This keeps things fresh so I’m not continually making the same go-to dishes I always make. This also helps me stock my pantry with fun ingredients I may not have thought to use regularly. It’s also a great way to slowly expand a spice rack.
  2. Choose a day to meal plan and write it out – now this may seem simple and easy but it’s really the backbone to a good meal plan. I love to sit down Sunday morning with my husband, the Sunday paper, and any new recipes we’re trying out to plan out what we’re eating for the next week. By checking out the ads and coupons I can make sure we’re eating within budget.
  3. Keep a list of items you run out of handy – We used to have a simple note pad on the fridge that we kept our grocery list on so that come Sunday I could simply grab it and add it to the list of items I was purchasing for the next week’s meals. Now we have a super cute chalkboard door on the front of one of our upper cabinets. Find something that works for your family and put it into place!
  4. Keep a well-stocked pantry – Take inventory of the pantry items found in your favorite go-to recipes. Try and make sure you have those items on hand at all times to assure that they’ll be there when you need them. We always have a great selection of shelf stable sauces and mixes on hand to go with the frozen veggies and meat we keep in the freezer. This makes for a great go-to when recipes we try out don’t go as planned.
  5. Have a little wiggle room – While meal planning every night of the week would be wonderful for our budget, it’s just not practical. With things that come up during the week we need a little wiggle room. And that means having a floating day for take out. More than likely that means pizza!

skillet sauces, easy dinner, easy recipes, campbell's slow cooker sauce, campbell's skillet sauce, campbell’s oven sauce

 

One of my favorite go-to’s for a busy week is this deconstructed chicken pot pie using a store-bought chicken pot pie flavored oven sauce packet. Not only is it delicious, I always have chicken breasts and mixed veggies in the freezer so I know I can simply grab everything and whip up a great meal.

And I only need 5 minutes to prep. I can grab all of the ingredients and put them together in the same time it takes for my oven to preheat. Simply add the chicken and veggies to an oven-safe dish and pour the sauce over everything.

Then I bake for 40 minutes. At the same time, I bake up some homemade biscuits to go with my deconstructed pot pie. Another easy shortcut? Refrigerated biscuits! Before I know it dinner is ready to go and I have a happy family.

 Do you have any tips to make meal planning easy?

Love these ideas? Read more! 

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Shrimp Marinara Spaghetti

Shrimp Marinara Spaghetti Recipe

One of our family favorites in this house is spaghetti. It’s the one dish I can get everyone to eat without complaining. But sometimes I’m just not in the mood for a meat sauce. I want a different flavor.

This dish is not only tasty, but it’s pretty healthy too! And the best part is that all of the ingredients are usually in my pantry or fridge at all times. Meaning I can have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes without having to make a special trip to the grocery store.

I used a bag of frozen cooked shrimp from Trader Joe’s instead of fresh but it worked great. And I can always keep some in the freezer so consider this an official staple meal in this household! [Read more…]

Goldfish Crusted Chicken Tenders

This post featuring Goldfish Crusted Chicken Tenders has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GoldfishMix #CollectiveBias

Goldfish Crusted Chicken Tenders - a fun meal for kids or adults

As the kids get older they are more and more interested in helping me with the daily chores. But the one thing the are always bugging to help me with is dinner. While it sounds like it’d be something that would take forever with kids, having them help in the kitchen is actually … well… a help!

These Goldfish Crusted Chicken Tenders are not only absolutely delicious but the kids have a blast helping cook them. The only thing I have to do is supervise and do the actual cooking!  [Read more…]

Easy Dinner Solutions for the Busy Mom

I found easy dinner solutions with Campbell’s® Sauces as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars. #CampbellsSauces

Easy Dinner Solutions for the Busy Mom - dinner ready in less than 30 minutes! #CampbellsSauces

This pregnancy has thrown all thought of meal planning and cooking out the window. When I find myself at a loss for what to make for dinner around 4pm I frantically call the husband to see if he can save the day. But there are only so many weeks of burgers, pizza, and tacos before it all starts to taste the same.

So I’ve decided to get a bit more serious about planning. I mean… not too serious but just enough to find some good staples to keep around for those days I’m tempted to call the husband to the rescue.

Luckily I found a great cooking aid – Campbell’s Skillet Sauces!  [Read more…]

Pepperoni Recipe Ideas: Pepperoni Lasagna Roll Ups

This shop featuring Pepperoni Lasagna Roll Ups has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PepItUp

Pepperoni Recipe Ideas Pepperoni Lasagna Roll Ups

The one thing I love about the holidays are the meals I prepare with my family. Since we’ve hosted Christmas dinner the past few years we’ve started to change up what we serve.

A few years back I made these delicious lasagna roll ups with pancetta and spinach that were a huge hit.So for this year I wanted to try something a little different for an easy to prepare meal that was full of flavor. My change? adding Hormel Pepperoni[Read more…]

Lemon Artichoke Chicken Pasta + Pantry Staples to Save Time

Artichoke Chicken Pasta + Pantry Staples to Save Time

One thing I depend on as a busy mom (and exhausted pregnant lady) are the kitchen hacks I’ve come to learn over the years. One of my favorites depends on a well stocked pantry and freezer. I’ve been saved countless nights from the dreaded “what’s for dinner” question by having go-to pantry meals to serve for dinner.

Now I’ve been buying Dorot frozen crushed garlic and chopped basil for years now but during a recent grocery trip I was surprised to find sautéed glazed onions next to my beloved garlic and basil. I may have shed a small tear of joy (because I wouldn’t have to chop onions anymore!!).

By stocking up on Dorot products I bypass the time it takes to chop up herbs, garlic, and now onions before preparing my meal. That’s like 5-10 minutes of savings!

Artichoke Chicken Pasta + Pantry Staples to Save Time like frozen herbs and onions

I also try and keep items like marinated artichoke hearts in the pantry for my favorite fresh AND easy 30 minute meals – like this lemon artichoke chicken pasta.

Being able to simply dump out a jar of artichoke hearts into the basil, garlic and onions already cooking is far easier than adding the various seasonings needed to get the delicious flavor these marinated artichoke hearts give to the dish.

Artichoke Chicken Pasta + Pantry Staples to Save Time - thin chicken saves cooking time

Bonus Tip: Another great time saving kitchen hack? Pound your chicken breasts into thin cutlets so they cook faster!

Artichoke Chicken Pasta + Pantry Staples to Save Time - dredge chicken in flour

What I love about recipes like these is that I literally have everything I need right in my pantry and freezer! The only thing I added was a fresh squeeze of lemon but if you have lemon juice in the fridge you’re good to go!

The only thing I have to remember? To take the chicken out of the freezer! You’d be surprised at how hard this step is when you’re running around all day.

Artichoke Chicken Pasta + Pantry Staples to Save Time - reduce sauce

Pasta is a great go-to on busy nights. And sauces like this don’t have to be complicated. A few simple ingredients that lend themselves to one another can create a stellar dish even picky eaters like mine will enjoy.

Or you can always reach for my other pantry staple – marinara sauce. With the holidays coming up I foresee a busy time ahead and will need all of the hacks I can use!

If you’re looking for more kitchen hacks I highly suggest checking out the Hacks of Life pinterest board. So many great ideas and a TON of genius cooking hacks.

Artichoke Chicken Pasta + Pantry Staples to Save Time - simple and easy pantry meal

Lemon Artichoke Chicken Pasta

  • 1 box angel hair pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • flour (for dredging)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 Dorot crushed garlic cube
  • 1 Dorot chopped basil cube
  • 1 Dorot Sautéed Onion cube
  • 1 jar Fresh & Easy marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  1. Set pot of water on the stove to boil. Sprinkle in some salt.
  2. While waiting for water to boil, place chicken breast (1 at a time) in a quart size zippered bag and pound to about 1/2 an inch thin.
  3. Heat a large pan on medium and add olive oil.
  4. Add salt and pepper to flour and dredge thin chicken breasts in it on each side. Place chicken in olive oil once heated and brown on both sides. Take chicken out and set aside.
  5. By this time your water might be boiling. Add pasta and cook as directed on the packaging.
  6. Add garlic, basil, and onions to the pan and sauté until thawed. Add the jar of artichoke hearts and cook for 1-2 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth and let cook until pasta is done, allowing sauce to reduce.
  7. Chop chicken into strips or small pieces, whichever you prefer.
  8. Once pasta is done, drain and add to the sauce pan. Sprinkle with juice of 1/2 a lemon.Toss, serve in a bowl, and top with chicken.

 

Artichoke Chicken Pasta + Pantry Staples to Save Time with Dinner

What’s your favorite kitchen hack?

The Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey Burger

This post featuring the ultimate Thanksgiving turkey burger is brought to you by Butterball Every Day. All opinions are 100% mine.

The Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey Burger - a quick and easy way to enjoy a delicious thansgiving inspired meal in less than 30 minutes

With school in full swing, the weather cooling, and sunset coming a lot sooner in the evenings, I’ve started to crave a few of my favorite holiday meals. And what says the holidays more than Thanksgiving dinner?

Since we definitely don’t have enough time in the evenings to make a full Thanksgiving meal I decided to take an easier approach and made the ultimate Thanksgiving turkey burger for dinner this weekend.  [Read more…]

Black Beans and Rice with Sausage

Black Beans and Rice with Sausage - a quick and easy dish that's perfect for any night of the week!

As many know, I love a good bottle of wine. But with this pregnancy I’ve had to find more useful ways of incorporating wine into my life. Luckily I was recently sent two bottles of Oberon wine, a Sauvignon Blanc and a Cabernet Sauvignon. And I knew exactly how to use one of them!

This black beans and rice with sausage recipe is one of my favorites and is full of flavor. It takes only a few minutes to throw together into a pan and about 20 minutes of simmering on low.

I served this to a few friends for lunch one afternoon and paired it with the Oberon 2013 Sauvignon Blanc for the non-pregnant women. They were quite delighted with the flavor and how it paired with this dish.  [Read more…]

Budget Friendly Meals: BBQ Ranch Chicken and Rice Casserole

This shop featuring budget friendly meals and my bbq ranch chicken and rice casserole recipe has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RollIntoSavings

BBQ Ranch Chicken and Rice Casserole - a delicious budget friendly meal for under $20

Budget friendly meals are a must for this family. After purchasing a new house and the added expenses of having a child in private school and another in preschool, I prefer to plan a little and make the most of my pantry staples and weekly grocery trips to create meal plans each week.

Keeping dinner under $20 is especially important in between paydays. Times can be tight before the 1st and 15th of the month so a well stocked pantry and a plan have allowed me to save big without losing on well-balanced meals for my family.  [Read more…]

Easy Dinner Ideas On The Grill

This shop featuring easy dinner ideas on the grill has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyGoodLife

Easy Dinner Ideas On The Grill

The official end of summer is near and the unofficial end of summer has arrived. While I’m sad to see our summertime fun and memories fade, I’m excited that we’ll still have some warm days upon us to continue using our grill instead of heating up the house inside.

Over this past summer I’ve come to realize that you can grill just about anything. And that includes pizza! Not only is it the perfect way to get a crisp, delicious crust, it evenly cooks all of the toppings so no one is left with a doughy bite.

But pizza isn’t the only thing you can put on the grill… I’ve also started grilling up some desserts and even salad if you can believe it. These easy dinner ideas on the grill are not only simple to make but quick to cook up! This whole meal took less than 15 minutes from start to finish.  [Read more…]



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