As a new parent, I can totally relate to anyone who’s ever had a tough time fitting a meal into their busy day of caring for a baby. Sometimes I turn around and it’s pushing three or four o’clock and I still haven’t had lunch! I am trying to make a better habit of eating during normal meal times and ensuring I get a fairly healthy, balanced diet, at least the best diet I can with a little baby in the house. With busy moms (and dads) in mind, here is a list of my favorite simple meals for moms in 10 minutes or less.
Many of these meals can be made using ingredients you already have in the house. Sometimes it helps to buy a few groceries to enhance or vary your menu from time to time. Let’s get started!
Sandwiches and Melts
Keeping bread, lunchmeat, and cheese in the house almost seems too simple. If you have five minutes, you probably have enough time to make yourself a sandwich, even if you only get to enjoy it in a few ginormous bites. Here are some other ideas and ingredients for super snappy sandwiches you can enjoy with a little one in tow:
-Grilled Cheese – or grilled cheese with tomato, bacon, ham, turkey, etc. (You can make a pretty wicked grilled sandwich using a sandwich press!)
-Regular sandwiches – ham and cheese, turkey and cheese, or even PB&J…
-Croissant-wich – choose a croissant instead of bread and top with your favorite meat and cheese. Pop in the oven at 350 for 7 minutes or so.
-Pretzel Melt – same concept as croissant melt, but with pretzel rolls instead – yum!
-Tuna Melt – I like to make mine on an English muffin, but I have also made them on the top or bottom of a round roll when desperate. All you need is a can of tuna fish, a slice or two of provolone or your preferred cheese, and a roll, bagel, or English muffin. Bake at about 350 for 7 minutes or so, until warm all the way through.
-Roast Beef Au Jus – Great for a family dinner – buy sliced roast beef lunch meat, provolone cheese, and club rolls, as well as a packet of au jus gravy mix. Prepare as directed and enjoy with salad or fries (these will take more than 10 minutes).
Quesadillas, Wraps, and Soft Tacos
Tortillas make for super simple meal ideas in no time. Make soft tacos by frying up some ground meat – ground beef or turkey – and add your favorite shredded cheese, lettuce, and other toppings. You can also make wraps using lettuce, tomato, and your favorite lunchmeats and cheeses – Italian wrap, turkey wrap, the works.
A quesadilla maker pays for itself in the number of amazing lunches and dinners (or snacks and party food) that you are able to make in just a few short weeks or months. Make chicken, bacon, and cheese quesadillas, or simple cheese quesadillas, or more advanced steak and cheese or salmon and cheese quesadillas. So yummy and it only takes a few minutes to make!
Frozen pizzas can be simple food options, but they might not be that healthy for you, and they definitely don’t help you use up leftovers. Consider making your own pizzas in just minutes.
-Pizza bagels – top plain bagels or mini bagels with red sauce, shredded mozzarella, and any toppings you like. Bake in the oven until warm and cheese is melty.
-French bread pizza – same concept as above, but use French bread or a similar long roll. You can also make your own version using leftover hotdog rolls or other breads / rolls.
-White pizza bagels – instead of red sauce, use ricotta cheese and a little bit of garlic. Top with mozzarella and any other toppings you like. (This choice is great for moms wanting pizza but not able to have red sauce due to a sensitivity in their breastfeeding babies.)
Casseroles and Stir Fry Dishes
You can make some pretty awesome stir fry meals and casseroles using leftovers. Try these ideas in 10 minutes or less:
-Macaroni and cheese + frozen corn + canned white meat chicken or leftover chicken breast pieces, cubed
-Baked beans, kidney beans, and ham or hotdog slices baked in a casserole dish
-Hamburger Helper or Tuna Helper
Soup and Stew
Soups and stew, unless purchased in a can, do not take only 10 minutes to make, but once you have them at the ready, you can enjoy soup super fast by just popping it in the microwave. Same with stew. You can enjoy a wide variety of flavors simply by making soup and saving your leftovers. Of course, those Progresso soups aren’t half bad, either!
In almost all cases, it is a little easier to make a little extra dinner the night before so you can simply zap it in the microwave for a really easy and delicious lunch the next day. Meatloaf, lasagna, chicken parm, stir fry, and so many other dishes hold up wonderfully as leftovers.
In some cases, you can also make two of something and freeze one, like a meatloaf. Simply prepare the ingredients but don’t bake the second one – just wrap it tightly, label it, and stick it in the freezer for a very easy meal that requires very little prep work.
And, if you still don’t like any of these ideas, there’s always takeout. If you have any other suggestions for super easy meals to make at home in 10 minutes or less, please share them below in our comments.