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Busy Mom Meals & Recipes
When life is crazy, getting a meal on the table can seem impossible. Don’t stress - we’re here to help with make-ahead meals for busy moms. Whether you have 15 minutes, or just enough time to heat something in the microwave, we’ve got you covered with ideas that fit any busy lifestyle.
How to get started with make-ahead meals and snacks for busy moms:
- Make a plan - Taking 5 minutes to plan your meals and snacks for the week can save you hours in the kitchen. If you already know which meals you want to make, write them out on a printable meal planner. Or, if you need some inspiration, check out these ideas for easy meals. Be sure to make a grocery list as well, and save even more time by getting grocery pick-up or delivery.
- Mom Meal prep - Meal prep can sound really intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few ideas for different ways to meal prep:
- Chop all your veggies ahead of time - Gather your recipes for the week, see what needs to be diced, chopped, or minced, and go for it! With all your veggies prepped and ready to go, you can throw everything in the pan and get dinner on the table in no time.
- Make double - We all have favorite meals we make time and time again, so next time you’re making your favorite meal, double the recipe and store the rest in the freezer. When mealtime arrives, all you have to do is heat dinner up!
- Make a full meal ahead of time - Sometimes you know you’ll only have a few minutes to make dinner happen between getting home and rushing off for an activity, so having dinner already cooked, or ready in minutes is clutch! Consider getting a slow cooker or pressure cooker (like the Instant Pot) to help get dinner on the table quicker.
- Slow Cooker - Making meals ahead of time is easy with a slow cooker. Just add all the ingredients to the insert, and put it in the fridge if you don’t plan on starting it right away. When you’re ready, put the insert into the slow cooker and hit start! This is a great option for having a fully cooked meal ready the minute you get home.
- Instant Pot (or other pressure cooker) - Like with a slow cooker, you can add all the ingredients to the insert and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook. The great thing is most recipes take just minutes to cook. Just remember, even if the recipe only calls for 5 minutes of cooking time, you’ll need to plan an extra 10-20 minutes for the pot to come to pressure before it begins cooking.
- Freezer Meals - Taking some time to prep freezer meals can be a lifesaver. We love plans like this one that help you make a bunch of freezer meals at one time. Here are a couple freezer FAQ’s for meal prepping:
- How far in advance can I make freezer meals? Most meals will last 2-3 months in the freezer.
- What foods freeze well? In general soups, casseroles, meats, and vegetables freeze nicely. Some foods that don’t always freeze well include pasta, eggs, cream sauces, and veggies you would eat raw, like cucumber and salad greens.
- Stock up - If this is your first time doing make-ahead meals, you may need to get a few things to make meal prep easier:
- Glass or plastic storage containers
- Disposable foil pans
- Freezer zip-top bags
- Pre-chopped or frozen veggies
Make-ahead meals for busy moms - Every busy mom needs an arsenal of recipes she can make in advance and have ready to go in a pinch. Here are some of our favorite busy mom recipes:
- Chicken Broccoli Cheese Casserole
- Taco Casserole
- Beef Burritos
- Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas
- Slow Cooker Chicken Vegetable Soup
- Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
Make-ahead snacks for busy moms - Having snacks on hand is key when the kids get hangry. Here are some ideas you can easily make-ahead:
- Trail Mix
- Peanut Butter Energy Bites
- Bistro Snack Box
- Avocado Hummus Snack Jars
- Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
Don’t forget about grab and go snacks – You could stock up on granola bars, cereal, string cheese, individual bagged popcorn or other packaged snacks for those weeks when you don’t have time to prep anything in advance!
Busy Mom Recipes for Quick Meals - Need simple recipes with ingredients you keep stocked in your pantry or fridge? Here are a few quick and easy meal ideas.
- Chicken + Pesto + Pasta + Veggies
Toss chicken and veggies in pesto, sauté in a skillet until cooked through, toss with pasta, and store in the fridge until ready to eat.
- Chicken Sausage + Marinara Sauce + White beans + Veggies
Cook veggies, slice sausage, add beans, and toss in marinara sauce. Store in the fridge until ready to heat and eat.
- Mixed Greens + Cooked, cubed Chicken + Chickpeas + Ranch Dressing
- Toss together and serve.
Make-ahead meals can make a frenzied day seem manageable, and we’re happy to help with recipes and tips to get you going. Now that you’re armed with some ideas, jump in and make a plan and decide how you can make meal prep work for you. There’s no one right way to tackle it, so find what fits your schedule, and go for it!
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