Easy Recipe Ideas For Busy School Schedules 

Trista - September 14, 2020
Spaghetti Bolognese is a timeless Italian dish that we love and can make in just half an hour. Shutterstock.

If you have unused spaghetti, mix up this very simple spaghetti Bolognese with ingredients you probably already have at home. 

We all love a bowl of pasta – especially when it is spaghetti. This easy dish will make the whole family happy, and you can cook it up in just half an hour when you get home and store the mince for other meals. 

Spaghetti won’t store as well since it involves pasta, but the great news is that pasta only takes about 10 minutes to cook, so you can quickly cook up a fresh patch of pasta just before you want to serve dinner.

Try this recipe: 

  • Cooked spaghetti 
  • 1 tin chopped tomato 
  • 500g ground beef 
  • Tomato paste 
  • 1 onion 
  • 1 garlic clove 
  • ½ cup cream 

Pour some olive oil into a large pot and cook the ground beef until there are only a few bits of pink left. Add in the onion and the garlic and mix it all. You can season it with salt or herbs of your choosing. Add the chopped tomato and tomato paste. Mix this all in and let it simmer. Remove it from the heat before adding the cream and serving it on top of the spaghetti. 

There are so many options for quick dinners if you have leftover mince mixture from a previous meal. Shutterstock.

Nachos are one of the best dishes because it is all things you can buy from the store without making any of it yourself!

If you’re looking for an idea of what to use your leftover mince mixture for… look no further than beef nachos! This recipe is the ultimate fast dish that you can put together in just a few minutes if you have your protein prepared. 

All you need are nacho chips, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, and salsa. Place the chips on an oven dish and top with grated cheese. Let this melt in the oven and then dish it up for everyone to enjoy and help themselves. 

Try this recipe: 

  • 1 packet nacho chips 
  • As much cheese as you want 
  • 1 tub pre-made guacamole 
  • 1 tub sour cream
  • A jar of salsa (whichever heat floats your boat)

Turn on your oven’s grill setting and start to layout the nacho chips on a baking tray. Sprinkle as much cheese as you want over the nachos and then put them in the oven. Once the cheese has melted, take them out of the oven and dish them onto a plate to serve. Put all your toppings out on the dinner table, and you are ready to feast. 

Make your burgers and turn it into a fun family dinner where everyone makes their own creation. Shutterstock.

Build your own burger with just a few ingredients and let everyone make their meal for the night. 

Another fantastic option made with mince if you’re looking for a quick dinner is some basic beef burgers. You can make the patties yourself quite easily, or you can buy pre-made burgers that you can fry up on the grill or the pan. 

Slice up some buns, put some butter on, and you’re good to go. Top it all off with some onion slices, sliced tomato, and some lettuce for garnish. Put out an assortment of condiments, and dinner will go down a treat. 

Try this recipe: 

  • 1 box pre-made burgers (chicken/beef or vegetarian)
  • Burger buns 
  • Butter
  • Onion slices 
  • Tomato slices 
  • Lettuce 
  • Condiment assortment 

You can make your own patties but if you’re short on time, use store-bought burgers. Fry these up in a pan and then place them onto a buttered burger bun. Put all your garnishes on the table and let everyone have fun creating their own burger. This recipe is a fantastic idea for a weekend meal or if your kids have friends over. 

Pasta bakes are a great time saver dinner and will make sure everyone is full after dinner. Shutterstock.

Fill your tummy with a delicious pasta bake made with shredded chicken and bacon for an easy dinner option. 

Pasta bakes are a fantastic option for a busy school schedule family and will fill everyone to the brim, so you don’t even need to spend time figuring out what to serve them for dessert. How to make it? 

There are many different options, but all you need is some cooked pasta, toppings like ham or bacon, and a delicious white sauce to pour in between the pasta. Place it in the oven and let that beautiful crisp happen. 

Try this recipe: 

  • 1 packet fusili pasta 
  • 1 jar tomato sauce 
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken 
  • ½ cup cooked bacon pieces 
  • Salt to taste

Pre-cook your fusili pasta and then in a pot combine the pasta, tomato sauce, shredded chicken, and bacon. Season it with salt and pepper and some herbs if you’d like. Pre-heat your oven and then pour the mixture into a casserole dish, and spread it out evenly. Cook this in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until it starts to crisp on top. 

Make your spinach and ricotta cannelloni with leftover lasagna sheets, so they don’t go to waste. Shutterstock.

Spinach and ricotta cannelloni is so quick and easy, and it’s a great way to use up some of your leftover lasagna sheets. 

If you decided to make the beef lasagna we spoke about earlier – you might find that you have quite a few leftover lasagna sheets. Instead of letting these go to waste, use them to make your spinach and ricotta cannelloni. 

You’ll need to cook up the lasagna sheets as usual and make your spinach and ricotta filling. Place a spoonful on one end of the lasagna sheet and roll it up before placing it into an oven dish. Once it’s all filled up, pour over a delicious marinara sauce and bake in the oven.

Try this recipe: 

  • 10 lasagna sheets (cooked and cut in half)
  • A 200g bag of spinach 
  • 1 ricotta tub 
  • 1 jar Marinara sauce 

Start by wilting your spinach in hot water and then draining it completely. Chop up the wilted spinach finely and then mix it in a bowl with the ricotta. Layout your halved lasagna sheets and place a dollop of the spinach ricotta mixture on the one end and then roll it up into a tube. Place this on your casserole dish. Do this until your lasagna sheets are finished. Pour the marinara sauce over the rolled-up cannelloni and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. 

Dessert is also one of the most important meals of the day, and there are some effortless but delicious ideas out there. Shutterstock.

Chocolate Oreo truffles are a quick treat you can enjoy at home – you don’t need to go to a patisserie to enjoy this decadence! 

You didn’t think we’d forget about easy dessert recipes, did you? Not all of us have the time to create a Master Chef worthy dessert, but these simple and time-saving desserts will hit the spot for you and your family. 

Truffles are a lot easier than they may seem, and they can be the perfect bite of something sweet after dinner. Try mixing cream cheese and crushed Oreos in a bowl, making them into balls, and coating them with melted white chocolate. 

Try this recipe: 

  • 1 packet Oreos 
  • 1 tub cream cheese 
  • ½ cup icing sugar 
  • 1 slab white chocolate 

Crush your Oreos in a ziplocked bag and then add them to a bowl with cream cheese. Mix this and then sift your icing sugar into the mixture. Mix and then roll it into bite-size balls. Let these set in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Melt your white chocolate in the microwave and then pour it into a bowl. Dip your Oreo truffles into the white chocolate and then place on a baking tray to set in the fridge until eating time. 

Oreos make an excellent base for desserts, and you can even just cover them in melted chocolate to make them more delicious. Shutterstock.

Chocolate-covered Oreos are a great dessert if you have to whip one up quickly for dinner guests or hungry kids on the weekend!

And since we’re on the topic of Oreos… there are many ways to use them for your dessert. Oreos are great on their own with a glass of milk – but you can take them to the next level. 

Coat them in your favorite chocolate – white, milk, or dark. Simply melt the chocolate, dip your Oreos, and then let them set on a baking sheet in the fridge. Once they’ve hardened, you can dish them out with a glass of milk to enjoy. 

Try this recipe: 

  • 1 packet Oreos 
  • 1 slab chocolate (white, milk or dark)

Melt your chocolate of choice – or all three (we aren’t going to judge you!). Take an Oreo, one by one, and coat it all over in the chocolate. Place the Oreo onto a baking tray with baking paper on it. Place the baking tray with the Oreos on the fridge to set. Take them out of the fridge 10 minutes before you want to eat them and serve with a glass of milk! 

This dessert can be prepared in advance and stored in your freezer to enjoy whenever you need dessert. Shutterstock.

Cookie dough ice cream sandwiches are so easy to make, and you just need two ingredients to enjoy this delectable dessert. 

This recipe is the dessert version of a pasta bake or lasagna – it’s cookie dough ice cream sandwiches! Start by making your cookie dough or using store-bought. Flatten it out in a baking tray on baking paper to prevent sticking. 

Do this in two baking trays to make two layers. Once this has been set in the fridge, take out the vanilla ice cream from the freezer and spread it across its own layer. Place the second layer of cookie dough on top and let it set in the freezer. You can then cut it into squares, serve, or store!

Try this recipe: 

  • 1 can cookie dough 
  • 1 tub vanilla ice cream 

Roll out your cookie dough in a baking tray on baking paper (make sure you have enough left for the top layer as well). Place this in the fridge to set and harden a bit. Take your vanilla ice cream out of the refrigerator and let it soften a bit. Once it is soft enough, take out the cookie dough from the fridge and put a layer of vanilla ice cream on top of this. Place the second layer of cookie dough on top of this and put it in the freezer to set. 

Don’t let leftover or stale cake go to waste – turn them into these delicious cake pops for a delicious dessert option. Shutterstock.

Use your leftover cake to make cake pops so that it doesn’t go to waste – all you need is icing, old cake, and a chocolate slab to dip the balls into. 

If you ever find yourself with a leftover cake that you don’t want to waste, you can repurpose them into this fabulous dessert – cake pops! This recipe is also perfect for cakes that are about to go stale. 

Crumble up the cake into a bowl and mix in a cup of icing – chocolate or vanilla. Mix it all and then roll into small balls. You’ll then need to melt chocolate and dip the cake balls is attached to a wooden skewer. Set these in the fridge, and you have your dessert ready!

Try this recipe: 

  • Leftover cake 
  • Chocolate/vanilla pre-made icing 
  • 1 chocolate slab (your choice of chocolate)

Crumble up your leftover cake into a bowl and then add in a spoonful of pre-made icing at a time. When there is a good ratio of icing to crumbled cake, roll it up into small balls. Stick each ball onto a wooden skewer. Melt chocolate of your choice in a bowl and then dip each cake ball into the chocolate. Place these onto a lined baking tray before putting it into the fridge to set. 

The microwave mug cake has become one of the most popular desserts this year because of its ease. Shutterstock.

The microwave mug cake is the perfect midnight snack that can be whipped up in no time and with very few ingredients! 

And for the easiest dessert of all time that is perfect for a busy family – the microwave mug cake! All it needs is a few minutes in the microwave, and it’s ready to serve. It also creates the perfect portion per person. 

Many varieties are available to choose from vanilla, chocolate, and even some mug cake brownie recipes. These recipes also require very few ingredients, so they’re perfect for a last-minute dessert too. 

Try this recipe: 

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp chocolate spread
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Whisk all your dry ingredients together before mixing in the milk and oil. Pour the mixture into a safe microwave mug and then add your chocolate spread to the middle of the batter in the cup. Microwave for 70 seconds on high and enjoy!