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4 Tips for Easy Weeknight Dinners

Weeknight dinners can be a challenge for every family. Between commutes and extracurriculars cutting into the evening, plus simple exhaustion from the workday, it can be difficult to come home and prepare a nutritious and balanced meal that everyone enjoys. If you need a few helpful ideas in your back pocket for the next time you are tempted to order takeout again, these tips can help.

Store Bought Rotisserie Chicken
This weeknight classic is relatively inexpensive and is a much healthier option than its fast food counterparts. Rotisserie chickens are a dietician-approved weeknight hack that can ensure that your family gets enough lean protein without needing to cook a complicated meal. Pair it with a side of fresh fruit and a store bought salad kit for an oven-free meal that is sure to please. Depending on your household’s size, you can even use the leftovers in a meal the next day. With the right sauce or seasoning added, a rotisserie chicken can be shredded and used in pasta dishes, tacos, salads and soups.

Sheet Pan Meals
Roasted veggies can be delightfully flavorful compared to steamed veggies, and baked or roasted meats can be equally tasty. Use this to your advantage by opting to make a sheet pan meal. Cook chicken, sausage or fish on a sheet next to a veggie that requires an equal temperature and time to cook. Chicken with asparagus and broccoli is a great example; roast it at a high temp to cut down on cook time and keep everything flavorful. Mix up your dishes by adding sauces and seasonings, like ranch packets or pesto. 

Slow Cooker
A classic solution to the age-old weeknight dinner problem, slow cookers allow your food to simmer and soak up flavors all day long. Since there’s nothing better than treating yourself to a home cooked meal, try to meal prep a few options for your slow cooker. Your ingredients can be put in gallon freezer bags and frozen, or placed in the refrigerator for the morning.

Paninis
Dress up your typical easy weeknight grilled cheese by adding cooked veggies and leftover meats to a sandwich. Turning your leftovers into paninis is an excellent way to get more nutrients into a typical grilled cheese night. Add BBQ sauce, marinara, aioli or pesto for extra flavor. No leftovers? Use deli meat and raw spinach for an equally beefed-up dinner idea.