Our 50 Best Back-to-School Recipe Ideas

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Fall-Off-the-Bone Chicken

A dry brine combined with low and slow roasting, produces some seriously succulent and juicy meat. A quick flash under the broiler at the end turns the skin crisp and golden. What’s not to love about that?!

Get the Recipe:Fall-Off-the-Bone Chicken

Minestrone Soup with Pasta, Beans and Vegetables

This hearty bean-and-pasta soup will keep everyone full and warm them up — even on chilly fall nights.

Get the Recipe:Minestrone Soup with Pasta, Beans and Vegetables

Pumpkin Bread

This recipe can be used to bake one loaf or 18 muffins, so it’s easy to portion out for the week — making a healthy, grab-and-go breakfast possible, even on busy school days.

Get the Recipe:Pumpkin Bread

Baked Pork Chops

This simple preparation is perfect for a weeknight — just shake and bake!

Get the Recipe:Baked Pork Chops

Egg Roll in a Bowl

Here’s what to make if you are craving everything an egg roll has to offer: crunchy vegetables, savory pork and a sweet, tangy sauce. Be gentle and slowly fold in the cabbage when you add it to the pan; it will seem full at first but will eventually wilt down. This recipe comes together quickly so be sure to have all the ingredients prepped before you begin.

Get the Recipe:Egg Roll in a Bowl

Sheet Pan Caprese Chicken

Your dishwasher will thank you for this easy one-sheet weeknight dinner — no prep bowls needed! Juicy roasted tomatoes and cheesy chicken breasts get a hint of brightness from fresh basil and a balsamic reduction.

Get the Recipe:Sheet Pan Caprese Chicken

Chicken Nuggets

Kids (and kids at heart) will be thrilled to sit down to a dinner of homemade chicken nuggets. And you’ll feel good serving them up, knowing that they’re made with simple ingredients like chicken breast, egg and seasonings.

Get the Recipe:Chicken Nuggets

Butternut Squash-Stuffed Shells

These stuffed shells are packed with a spicy spinach and ricotta filling and nestled in a cozy roasted butternut Alfredo sauce for a fall meal you’ll make again and again.

Get the Recipe:Butternut Squash-Stuffed Shells

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

With just a little bit of prep work in the morning, you can come home to a warm, comforting, fully-cooked main. All you’ll have to do when you’re ready to eat chop the pork, reduce the sauce for about 10 minutes and serve.

Get the Recipe:Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Fill the cookie jar with everyone’s favorite treat: soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies! Pro tip: the darker the sugar you use, the softer your cookies will be.

Get the Recipe:The Chewy

Sheet Pan Shrimp Scampi

When you want to make a knockout dinner without dirtying a bunch of pans, this is it. The whole meal — veggies, garlicky shrimp and crusty French bread — comes together on a single sheet pan, so all you have to do is set the table.

Get the Recipe:Sheet Pan Shrimp Scampi

Chicken Noodle Soup

Fill an insulated container with a good, old-fashioned favorite. No time to make the stock from scratch? Store-bought works just as well in this recipe.

Get the Recipe:Chicken Noodle Soup

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Sunny uses quick-cooking chicken tenders and store-bought pie crust to save time and effort when making pot pie. The only catch? If you buy frozen pie crust, make you plan ahead — you’ll need to thaw it before you can make this recipe.

Get the Recipe:Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Two-Ingredient Easy Banana Pancakes

Belive it or not, you can make a pancake with just two ingredients. Simply blend one large banana with two eggs to make the easiest-ever batter — that cooks like a dream. If you prefer your pancakes with a hint of spice, a dash of pumpkin pie spice will do the trick.

Get the Recipe:Two-Ingredient Easy Banana Pancakes

One-Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta

You can have this creamy and comforting pasta with chicken on the table in just 30 minutes and best of all, it all cooks in one pot — you won’t even need to boil water first! It’s packed with tender chicken thighs, bell peppers, and onions, and finished off with a creamy tomato sauce.

Get the Recipe:One-Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta

Sheet-Pan Glazed Meatloaf

Cooking meatloaf in a sheet pan cuts down the cooking time dramatically, making this a perfect weeknight dinner. Shaping it thin and flat ensures that you get enough sticky-sweet glaze in every bite.

Get the Recipe:Sheet-Pan Glazed Meatloaf

Arroz Con Leche

Looking for a simple dessert that you can make with just a handful of pantry staples? We love making rice pudding in the fall; it’s warm, cozy and full of sweet, cinnamon-y flavor.

Get the Recipe:Mexican Rice Pudding (“Arroz Con Leche”)

Miracle Mango Salsa Chicken

A flavorful, family-pleasing dinner with just 5 ingredients? This recipe will show you how to whip one up in just 35 minutes.

Get the Recipe:Miracle Mango Salsa Chicken

Apple Bread

This bread is chock-full of apples, the perfect way to use up your orchard-fresh fruit after a day of apple picking. When you’re making it, use McIntosh— they soften just enough without completely disappearing into the batter.

Get the Recipe:Kids Can Bake: Apple Bread

Crispy Sheet Pan Gnocchi with Sausage and Peppers

Broil (instead of boil) gnocchi in this quick sheet pan dinner. Peppers, onions, tomatoes and sausage are the perfect bed for the little potato dumplings, which are crusted with Parmesan and cooked until crispy and tender.

Get the Recipe:Crispy Sheet Pan Gnocchi with Sausage and Peppers


When you need a wholesome breakfast in just 5 minutes, break out your skillet. You can cook eggs and toast together at the same time, getting a filling morning meal on the table fast.

Get the Recipe:Egg-in-a-Hole

Breaded Chicken Cutlets

These family-friendly chicken cutlets are easy to make and don’t require any special ingredients. Serve with your favorite veggies and you’ve got a weeknight meal everyone will enjoy.

Get the Recipe:Breaded Chicken Cutlets

Chicken Tortilla Dump Dinner

Combine all your favorite Tex-Mex flavors in this comforting casserole that’s easy to throw together — and ready fast.

Get the Recipe:Chicken Tortilla Dump Dinner

Maple-Oatmeal Scones

These homemade scones feature a handful of better-for-you ingredients like whole-wheat flour, oats and real maple syrup, making them the sweet breakfast treat you can feel good about indulging in!

Get the Recipe:Maple-Oatmeal Scones

Beef and Cheddar Casserole

Need a standby one-dish dinner? A hearty casserole never disappoints. This one combines ground beef with savory cheddar and tender egg noodles.

Get the Recipe:Beef and Cheddar Casserole

Vanilla Dutch Baby (Puffed Pancake)

Don’t let this impressive puffed pancake fool you; it’s easy to make. Plus, it bakes for 20-25 minutes giving you enough time to get everyone’s bags packed and ready to go while breakfast is in the oven.

Get the Recipe:Vanilla Dutch Baby (Puffed Pancake)

Stovetop Mac-n-Cheese

Alton’s stovetop version is a cinch to make. Best of all, you only need to dirty one pot to quickly whip up all of that down-home, cheesy goodness.

Get the Recipe:Stove Top Mac-n-Cheese

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Sneak a few extra veggies into everyone’s supper with this crave-worthy pizza. The crust is made from a mix of cauliflower, cheese and Italian seasonings.

Get the Recipe:Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Meet your new favorite sweet treat. Just a little bit of this edible cookie dough will enhance your ice cream sundaes, milkshakes and even buttered toast. The perfect dessert on a Friday night, to celebrate the weekend!

Get the Recipe:Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Parmesan Fish Sticks

Why settle for frozen fish sticks when you can make your own from scratch in a matter of minutes? With Ree’s easy recipe you can serve a family of 5 in well under an hour.

Get the Recipe:Parmesan Fish Sticks


Anne Burrell’s decadent, multilayered lasagna is perfect for a family dinner. Loaded with cheese, zucchini, mushrooms and chunky Italian sausage, this classic dish ensures your daily dose of protein and vegetables.

Get the Recipe:Lasagna

All-Purpose Pork Shoulder

This simple pork roast makes a great main with whatever sides you’re serving up. Plus, it makes 8 servings so you can get ahead; stash the leftovers in the refigerator and use them to make a completley different meal later in the week.

Get the Recipe:All-Purpose Pork Shoulder

Cinnamon Baked French Toast

The great thing about this breakfast casserole is that you can prep it the night before, making a fresh-from-the-oven breakfast easy — even on a school day.

Get the Recipe:Cinnamon Baked French Toast

Sausage and Peppers Sheet Pan Dinner

Throw together a classic dish of sausage and peppers in a matter of minutes with this easy sheet-pan preparation.

Get the Recipe:Sausage and Peppers Sheet Pan Dinner

Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

Cut a few carbs by subbing roasted spaghetti squash for pasta in this classic dish. You’ll be amazed how satisfying these veggie “noodles” can be — especially when paired with our homemade meatballs. They’re tender, juicy and packed with flavor.

Get the Recipe:Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

Maple-Mustard Chicken Thighs

Ellie proves that white meat isn’t the only good-for-you part of the chicken. She uses bone-in chicken thighs with the skin removed and brushes the meat with a tangy low-fat glaze before baking.

Get the Recipe:Maple-Mustard Chicken Thighs

Garlic Chicken and Potatoes

This satisfying meal comes together remarkably quickly. Plenty of garlic plus a hint of brown sugar and red pepper add loads of flavor to boneless breasts. Cooking the chicken in the oven helps keep it tender and juicy.

Get the Recipe:Garlic Chicken and Potatoes

Chocolate Cake in a Mug

This decadent cake-for-one is ready in minutes. Simply put your ingredients into a microwave-safe mug, stir and bake. You’ll be enjoying warm chocolate cake (and a break from all the back-to-school craziness!) in no time.

Get the Recipe:Chocolate Cake in a Mug

Chicken Pot Hotdish

Molly’s chicken-and-veggie casserole gets a fun topping: frozen, store-bought potato tots!

Get the Recipe:Chicken Pot Hotdish

Garlic Oil Sautéed Pasta with Broccoli

No one will complain about eating their veggies with this garlicky, cheese-topped pasta. Make it a complete meal by adding some protein: shredded rotisserie chicken or cooked chickpeas both make great options.

Get the Recipe:Garlic Oil Sauteed Pasta with Broccoli

Italian Chicken Sheet Pan Supper

Any busy parent will tell you that dinner on one sheet pan is an essential strategy for busy weeknights. Not only can you make just about anything (like this meal of juicy chicken thighs, garlicky veggies and toasty ciabatta bread) but cleanup is a breeze.

Get the Recipe:Italian Chicken Sheet Pan Supper

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

These fruity oat bars are perfect for lunchboxes, after-school snacking or breakfast on the go.

Get the Recipe:Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Chicken and Dumplings

Rachael uses convenient items, like store-bought chicken stock and biscuit mix, to whip up a comforting dish that’s ready to eat in less than an hour.

Get the Recipe:Chicken and Dumplings

Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

These fruit- and nut-packed treats bring the best of both worlds: crispy edges and a soft, chewy center. Perfect for lunchboxes or weeknight dessert.

Get the Recipe:Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

Shrimp Tacos

Shrimp is a great source of protein and cooks up in a flash, making it an excellent choice for weeknight dinners. Here, Ree uses it to make a batch of tacos — that are ready in just 16 minutes.

Get the Recipe:Shrimp Tacos

Barbecue Chicken and Brussels Sprout Sheet Pan Dinner

This simple dinner of barbecue-glazed chicken, Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes is assembled and cooked on just one sheet pan, making it an ideal weeknight meal.

Get the Recipe:Barbecue Chicken and Brussels Sprout Sheet Pan Dinner

Lighter Chicken Parmesan

Trade your usual chicken breasts for tenders in Ree’s easy recipe and you can have saucy and cheesy chicken Parmesan on the table in 16 minutes. Now that’s how you avoid the weeknight dinner rut!

Get the Recipe:Lighter Chicken Parmesan

Homemade Granola Bars

Send your little ones off to school with more homemade snacks this year; Ina’s 5-star granola bars make it easy. Her recipe makes a big batch so you can whip these bars up on the weekend to have on hand for the week ahead.

Get the Recipe:Homemade Granola Bars

Lemon And Herb Roasted Chicken With Baby Potatoes

You only need 5 ingredients in addition to the chicken (plus a little salt and pepper, of course!) to make this satisfying meal. Just be sure to plan ahead and start cooking a little earlier than usual; roasting a whole chicken usually take an hour or more.

Get the Recipe:Lemon And Herb Roasted Chicken With Baby Potatoes

Lemon Capellini

This 10-minute side is popular for a reason: it pairs with everything. The light lemony flavor means you can just as easily serve it with shrimp or salmon as you can with chicken or pork chops.

Get the Recipe:Lemon Capellini

Back-to-School Made Easy

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