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Easy Home-Cooked Meal Ideas

by Elizabeth Arnold, studioD

Even if you don't have much time to make dinner at the end of a busy day, you can still feed your family a healthy, home-cooked meal. Create easy-to-make meals using ingredients that you already have on hand. Prepare for a busy week by making larger meals to enjoy as leftovers.

Slow Cooker Meals

Slow cooker meals are convenient and easy to make as you can place all of the ingredients into the appliance in the morning and come home to a hot dinner. Make hearty chili using ingredients that you most likely have on hand, such as hamburger, canned tomatoes and beans. Other simple slow cooker meal ideas include stew and split-pea soup.


Many casseroles are easy to make and usually yield leftovers so you can save time in the kitchen the next day. Kids will love baked pasta featuring a blend of mozzarella and provolone cheeses and tangy tomato sauce. If you're in the mood for Mexican food, prepare a simple enchilada casserole by folding refried beans and cheese into flour tortillas and pouring sauce over the top. You can also make tuna casserole using basic pantry items such as canned peas, dry ranch seasoning mix and cream cheese.


Reduce your time in the kitchen on a hot summer day by preparing a quick salad hearty enough to serve as dinner. Be sure to include a protein source, such as tuna, beans or grilled chicken, along with the fresh vegetables to create a well-rounded meal. Top with a creamy dressing. Make a kid-friendly taco salad by layering seasoned ground beef, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce and cheese over crumbled tortilla chips.


Sandwiches aren't just for easy lunches, as they can serve as simple and satisfying dinners as well. You can use leftovers, such as baked chicken, turkey or steak, to prepare filling sandwiches in a matter of minutes. Try ranch dressing instead of mayonnaise for a tasty twist. Heat the meat with homemade or bottled gravy on your stove top or microwave to create hot sandwiches.

About the Author

Elizabeth Arnold has written for a wide variety of publications and websites. Her experience includes writing travel features for "Recommend" magazine and packaging marketing copy for both Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Warner Bros. consumer products. Recently, Arnold was a staff writer for "Special Events" magazine. Arnold studied English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Photo Credits

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