No Takeout Recipes for the Crazy Busy End of the School Year

No takeout recipes

Seven more weeks of school, and our kids think they’re the ones who have it rough.


We’re the ones who have it rough.

We’re the ones who still have to cook dinners. The kind of dinners that can be eaten any time between 4pm-9pm. The kind of dinners that can fend off the siren song our kids’ incessant pleading for the drive-though on our way home.

This post is for us. The moms who still have seven more weeks of crazy busy nights of dinners to cook. Below are links to the kinds of meals that we can have either ready or close enough to ready that the drive-through will not be a temptation for us, and delicious enough that the drive-through will not even be noticed by sirens or kids or us. 


My kids will happily eat any of these salads for dinner. They especially love it when epic garlic bread is on the side, but in case you are the kind of person who remembers that our reward for the end of this season is that we get to wear our bathing suits in public, omit the garlic bread.

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad this is make ahead comfort food with the word salad in it to comfort us even more.

Chicken Bacon Avocado Chopped Salad Avocado is healthy! It balances out the bacon!

I call this Hoagie Chopped Salad, but that’s not the official name. It is officially delicious, though, and my boys love it. 


Sandwich night is always a crowd favorite on those nights when we eat at different times.

Thai Peanut Chicken Salad serve these in a wrap, and your kids will think you are the most amazing mom ever.

Hot Italian Sliders are for when you are pretty sure the game is going to end in the mercy rule – don’t ask me how I know.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps (see above about bathing suits, public, our reward).

These Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas are delicious and easy to prep ahead of time. You can have them ready before the backpacks are out of the car. I’m cheating a little here because the backpacks never make it out of the car until my 6th or 7th reminder.

To make these Pioneer Woman Patty Melts work for a busy night, cook the burgers and the onions ahead of time, then reheat them in the microwave before cooking them in the patty melts. 

Casseroles and One Pan Dinners

When we come home to the delicious smell of dinner in the oven it reduces everyone’s stress level. Our freezer and the timer on our oven are our best friends this time of year.

Chicken Tetrazzini is for those spring days when we have been sitting outside watching our kids run around a track or field and it was 45 degrees, windy, and rainy out there. 

No takeout needed when you have this Cashew Chicken marinating in the fridge. Just spread on a sheet pan and treat yourself to Trader Joe’s frozen cooked rice.  It is better than takeout.

These Spicy Black Bean Nachos technically require more than one pan, but if you make the beans ahead of time – which is what keeps us from driving through places on the way home-then this counts. Plus they are totally worth the extra pan.

Good Luck

I know for a fact that this season will pass, that summer will come, and that soon we will be able to really relax. Until then, good luck to us all!





















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  1. This is such an informative list! (Also, I would much rather have it rough like you – cooking I can do! -studying for 6 ap exams + 4 finals in the next 3-ish weeks? Not so much) Loving your blog! It really shows the other perspective lol.

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