31 Easy Back to School Dinner Ideas for Every Day of the Month

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It’s that time of year again – and I’ve got Easy Back to School Dinner Ideas 100% handled!

Omg, where did summer go? I’m not quite ready to come to terms with the fact that it’s almost the end of August. Nope, I’m just not okay with it. I’m planning on living the next 2 months like it’s still summer, because I do what I want – and it’s still very much summer in LA. But…. I know a lot of you have kids that are heading back to school in some way/shape/form and hey, I’ve been there! While Poppy isn’t quite ready for school, back in my private chef days I dealt with the hustle and bustle of back to school season every year. So here’s my take on 31 Easy Back to School Dinner Ideas to get you through the month regardless of whether you have kids heading back to school or not! And if you want even more – check out the “it’s 6-oclock and I’m starving chapter of my cookbook!)

PASTA DINNERS:

Cheesy Chicken Sausage Pasta Bake from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin) / Easy Back to School Dinner Ideas
Garlic Buttered Angel Hair with Burrata from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin) / Easy Back to School Dinner Ideas

Cheesy Chicken Sausage Pasta Bake – This Cheesy Chicken Sausage Pasta Bake is truly one of my favorite weeknight meals when I’m needing something flavorful, fast and comforting! 

Garlic Buttered Angel Hair with Burrata – This quick and easy pasta dish is one of my favorite meals from childhood.

Vegetable Lasagna – This Vegetable Lasagna is one of my favorite easy back to school dinner ideas. It has layers of caramelized vegetables, béchamel, basil vinaigrette, and plenty of cheese!

Turkey Bolognese Stuffed Shells – A quick bolognese stuffed into jumbo pasta shells makes for the easiest and most delicious dinner.

Sausage and Leek Orecchiette – It’s loaded with kale, tons of leeks, a bit of savory sausage, cheese, red pepper flakes, and more!

Tomato Basil Gnocchi – Truly the most perfect summer gnocchi recipe with burst tomatoes, burrata cheese, and herbs! 

Chicken Lasagna Roll Ups – A spin on one of my favorite dishes of all time from Don Angie’s in NYC. These Chicken Lasagna Roll Ups will rock your world.

CHICKEN DINNER IDEAS:

Better Than Takeout Orange Chicken from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)
Ground Chicken Tacos from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin) / Easy Back to School Dinner Ideas

Homemade Orange Chicken – This homemade Orange Chicken is truly perfection!! So for those of you who order this every time you get takeout – try and make it and home and see what you think!

Ground Chicken Tacos – Take it from me, make a double batch on taco night and freeze half!

Easy Mexican Shredded Chicken – A great base for so many weeknight dinners!

Skillet Chipotle Chicken Enchilada Bake – One of my favorite dinners of all times! When you layer together shredded enchilada chicken with ALL THE CHEESE, tortillas, black beans and corn it’s basically a recipe for success. This recipe for Skillet Chipotle Chicken Enchilada Bake has been in our family for years!

Poblano Chicken Enchiladas – These have plenty of enchilada sauce and copious amounts of cheese. Add to that a delicious filling of shredded chicken, poblano peppers and corn and it’s a winning combination. I make these on the regular and, one of my favorite parts about this is that unless you’re feeding 6 people, there’s always enough for leftovers the next day.

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs – These are one of the most popular recipes on my website, and I know they will quickly become your new favorite weeknight meal no matter your age! I took each and every ingredient from the chicken parm recipe, and turned it into the most amazing mozzarella stuffed chicken parmesan meatballs.

Butter Chicken – This super flavorful Butter Chicken comes together faster than you could order-in, and couldn’t be easier to make! Watch just how simple they are to make here.

Chicken Rice and Cheese Casserole – If you’re looking for comforting back to school dinner ideas – look no further! This Chicken Rice and Cheese Casserole is truly perfection! It’s comfort food in a skillet.

CHICKEN BOWLS:

Chicken Fajita Bowls from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin) / Easy Back to School Dinner Ideas
Chicken Shawarma Bowls from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Chicken Fajita Bowls with Guacamole – These Chicken Fajita Bowls are another one of my all-time favorite easy back to school dinner ideas. Truly everything you’ve ever wanted, steamed white rice, black beans, charred corn, pico, guacamole and more! And best part about it… you serve it in a bowl. Which if you’re new here, is my all time favorite way to eat anything. Bowls all day, every day.

Chicken Shawarma Bowls – 1000% fully obsessed with these Chicken Shawarma Bowls!! I took everything I love from a Chicken Shawarma pita and stuffed it into a bowl so I could curl up on my couch and eat it very carefully without spilling. Makes sense right? You’re gonna want them on the regular dinner rotation from here on out… they are THAT good!

Chicken Larb Bowls – Chicken Larb over coconut lime rice is truly a match made in heaven. I promise your family will be obsessed!!

Chicken Tawook Quinoa Bowls – It’s as simple as adding some grilled chicken breast skewers on top of a quinoa bowl, hummus, garlic sauce, avocados, cucumbers and a bit of shredded lettuce and lunch or dinner is DONE! You can serve it up with a little extra pita because WHY NOT and be on your way to happiness.

BBQ Chicken Quinoa Bowls – This Loaded BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad has layers of quinoa, grilled corn, black beans, shredded BBQ chicken, diced avocado, BBQ sauce and a little cheese. It’s packed with so much flavor and is one of my favorite make ahead meals!! Just assemble the entire thing, minus the avocado, so then you can grab them for lunch when you’re hungry.

GROUND BEEF DINNER IDEAS:

50/50 Mushroom Beef Burger from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)
Tortellini with Sausage and Mascarpone from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin) / Easy Back to School Dinner Ideas

50/50 Mushroom Beef Burgers – t’s made with 50% ground beef and 50% finely chopped mushrooms and it’s truly the juiciest perfect burger of all times.

Ragù alla Bolognese – A go-to meat sauce is an absolute must in my world. It’s one of those freezer meals I keep on hand at all times, so if I need a comforting/impressive/delicious meal, I pull out a Ragù alla Bolognese in like no time flat!

Spicy Beef Larb with Coconut Rice – Spicy Beef with Coconut Rice – literally what your weeknight dinner dreams are made of!! And don’t skimp on the cucumbers!!

Tortellini with Sausage and Mascarpone – The sausage, the sauce, the mascarpone, the freshly made pasta – it’s a recipe for success. We’ve been making this as a quick and easy weeknight meal and it is INSANE.

Perfect Italian Meatballs – Buckle up – these are the most perfect Italian meatballs that will ever grace your kitchen.

VEGETARIAN DINNERS:

Bean and Cheese Enchiladas from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Bean and Cheese Enchiladas – The most perfect recipe for Bean and Cheese Enchiladas!! Say hello to one of your new fav back to school dinner ideas that the whole family will love!

Stacked Eggplant Parmesan – I mean, how could you go wrong with breaded eggplant piled high with red sauce, 3 kinds of cheese and fresh basil? It’s basically everything I look for in life, all baked into one giant skillet.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers – There’s a quinoa risotto-type situation on the inside, some corn, black beans, and cheese on top because why not, and some guacamole on the side to round out the meal. It’s perfection!

Black Bean Veggie Burger – The veggie burger of your dreams! My mom used to make veggie burgers in bulk and then store them in the freezer so we could whip them out at a moment’s notice and eat. If you’re looking for back to school dinner ideas you can prep ahead these are amazing!

Cauliflower Rice Bowls with Instant Pot Black Beans and Roasted Sweet Potatoes – Cauliflower Rice Veggie Bowls with Instant Pot Black Beans, perfectly roasted sweet potatoes and all the guacamole on top! It’s the perfect lunch or dinner.

Garlic Sauce Pasta – The best quick and easy pasta dish that is super inexpensive and satisfies any craving!!

Back to School Dinner Ideas: Chicken Fajita Bowls

These Chicken Fajita Bowls are the perfect back to school dinner idea. Truly everything you’ve ever wanted, steamed white rice, black beans, charred corn, pico, guacamole and more! And best part about it… you serve it in a bowl. Which if you’re new here, is my all time favorite way to eat anything. Bowls all day, every day.
Prep Time 1 hr 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

For the Chicken

For the veggies

  • 1 poblano pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper thinly sliced
  • ½ yellow onion thinly sliced
  • ½ red onion thinly sliced

For the Bowls

Instructions
 

  • Slice the chicken breasts into thin strips, about the size of your finger. Combine the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, cumin, chili powder and red pepper flakes in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the chicken and marinate for 1 hour.
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the chicken mixture, marinade included, and sauté until fully cooked. Using a pair of tongs, remove the chicken from the skillet and add the vegetables. Sauté until tender and charred. Add the chicken back into the cast iron skillet and toss to combine.
  • Serve in a bowl with rice, black beans, charred corn, chopped tomatoes, a big spoonful of guacamole and a wedge of lime.

16 Comments

  1. I don’t have any one going back to school, but I still love all of these meals!!! They are perfect for anyone, anytime!!

  2. Every recipe here looks spot on better than the next, yum yum yum in my tummy tum tum. Those chicken fajitas look like the ones we’ll be getting tonight at our favorite Mexican restaurant. And yes, I’m getting my party hat out of the basement because It’s time to celebrate the rest of summer. Unlike CA, our summers are much shorter here in Buffalo, so we have to live it up =)

  3. Loving all of these recipes! Such a great round-up for back-to-school! I can’t get over how amazing everything looks! I am going to need to try that Cheesy Baked Gnocchi this week!!

  4. Oh I’m so not ready for Summer to be over either. But I am ready for those quesadillas! And the rest of these dishes, too!

  5. I would add your baked ravioli, blackened salmon with cucumber avocado salsa, and crispy salmon succotash to this list. All easy and all delish!

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