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School-night Dinner Ideas

Oct 25, 2021 / MIN READ

Between work and after-school activities, come autumn it can feel pretty impossible to find the time to plan, shop for and cook nutritious, good-tasting meals during the week. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way! With a few staple ingredients and classic sides, you can whip up some dinners that your entire family will enjoy.

While you still may hear that the school day was just “good,” these recipes will be sure to get everyone excited to sit around the dinner table.

Keep it simple with a pre-seasoned option

From a marinated tenderloin to a crockpot-ready pork roast, dinner can be as easy as cook and serve! All that’s left is to pick your flavor and your sides.

Craving BBQ? Place a juicy, boneless pork roast in the crockpot, pressure cooker or instant pot and enjoy a no-fuss, straight-off-the-grill flavor. Pair with some greens of your choice and buttery mashed potatoes for the ultimate weeknight cookout feeling!

Have an air fryer on hand? We recommend going with a Garlic Parmesan Dry Rub Seasoned Pork Loin — all you have to do is cook the filet for 30 minutes and dinner is ready to go.

Roasted brussels sprouts are an easy, last-minute side that can pair with any meal, but they’ll prove especially delicious with your easy-made pork tenderloin.

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Get cheesy with a Brown Sugar Pork Loin Filet

Have some extra time but not enough to plan out your sides? Introducing your new weeknight go-to: Mac and Cheese with Savory Brown Sugar Pork. As your pre-seasoned loin filet bakes in the oven, all that’s left is to cook up some mac and cheese on the stove.

This hearty meal is sure to delight both kids and adults. Our only warning is to plan to make some extra for those inevitable second servings. For those super busy nights, you can even go with your favorite premade option to cut down on time — and on dishes.

A grab-and-go option for those extra-curricular-packed nights

As we all know, some days it’s just impossible to get everyone around the table. When schedules don’t allow for a meal together, you can still ensure the entire family has time to eat something that doesn’t come in a microwavable box.

Mini Pork Meatloaf Muffins are a great option for the most jam-packed nights. They can be cooked ahead of time, heated up or eaten cold as your family heads out to their respective activities. Pro tip: If you plan on sending your kids out the door with your meatloaf muffins, use some fun, patterned cupcake liners to cut down on any on-the-go crumbs that ensue.

Planning for your next week of meals

One helpful tip is to plan your dinners in advance so you don’t have to think about cooking the second you come home. There’s no shortage of options when it comes to low-fuss, weeknight meals. And, when time allows, feel free to get creative in the kitchen and try new recipes.

Just remember: There’s nothing wrong with a take-out meal on those extra busy nights. All that truly matters is gathering everyone around the table and sharing a meal. The adventure starts at home!