15 30-Minute Dinners That Are Cheap, Easy And Kid-Friendly!

30-minute dinners are a mom’s best friend. Here are 15 meals that will save you time, money, and keep the dinnertime battles to a minimum!

30-Minute Dinners | This Time Of Mine

As a mom of 4 kids, I have a soft spot in my heart for quick and easy meals.

I love to cook and love to try new things. But in this season of my life, I’m all about easy and convenient, which is why I love these 15 meals.

All of them can be made in around 30 minutes. The ingredients are simple and the meals are incredibly inexpensive. That’s great news for my budget!

Time-saving Tips for these 30-minute dinners

These meals are pretty quick already, but to make sure they stay in the 30-minute window, try these tips:

Prepare meat ahead of time.

For the beef: Buy several pounds at a time and cook all at once. Then divide them into individual baggies in 1 lb. portions. Put all the baggies in gallon-sized freezer bags before sticking in the freezer.

For the chopped chicken breasts: Buy several pounds at a time. After chopping the chicken to your desired size, divide the pieces into individual baggies in 1 lb. portions. Put all the baggies in gallon-sized freezer bags before sticking in the freezer.

For the shredded chicken breasts: Buy several pounds at a time. Place several pounds at a time in a crockpot with some salt and pepper. Cook on high for 4-6 hours. (Low on time? Stick them in an Insta Pot with at least a cup of liquid for 8-10 minutes!) When the chicken is cooked, shred and divide into 1 lb. portions before freezing.

Cook double portions whenever possible

This is a huge time-saver. If you have a recipe that doubles well…do it!

You can use the leftovers the next night, or stick them in the freezer for another week. Just remember to write reheating instructions on the cover.

In this list of 30-minute dinners, I’ve included many that double well. Look for the recipes in bold.

Meal plan once per week

Trying to decide what’s for dinner every night is a huge headache. That’s why I love meal planning once a week.

And to make the process even faster, I order groceries online. My stores save my previous purchases which, in turn, helps me fill up my cart faster (and saves me from impulse buying!)

I also keep a list of rotating dinners in a notebook. (These are all on that list!) It makes picking dinners for the week so much easier.

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tomatoes and lettuce | 30-Minute Dinners | This Time Of Mine

15 30-minute dinners

To make it easy to find what you need, I’ve broken this list up into 4 categories, based on the meat they use.

CHOPPED CHICKEN

1. CHICKEN BURRITO BOWLS

2. CHICKEN RAMEN SKILLET

SHREDDED CHICKEN

3. RITZ CHICKEN CASSEROLE

4. CREAMY WHITE CHICKEN CHILI

5. CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

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GROUND BEEF

6. CREAMY BEEF AND SHELLS

7. TACO SALAD

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 taco seasoning packet
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 can corn (rinsed and drained)
  • Instructions: Cook ground beef and taco seasoning, drain. Add remaining ingredients.
  • Add desired toppings (cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, chips, etc.)
  • We love to top this meal with ranch dressing. Weird, I know but it’s delicious!
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8. CLASSIC CHILI

9. TACO SOUP

10. ONE-PAN BEEF TACO SKILLET

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pizza | 30-Minute Dinners | This Time Of Mine

OTHER

11. PIZZA

We love making homemade pizza. But pre-made pizzas are perfect for an easy weeknight dinner.

  • “Take and bake” pizzas from Walmart or Aldi

12. MAC AND CHEESE

13. TOMATO SOUP & CHEESE QUESADILLAS

  • We just use canned tomato soup with milk
  • Try putting the cheese quesadillas in the oven at 350 for 10 min. or so to make them crispy!

14. BREAKFAST BURRITOS

  • Use your favorite tortillas (We love the TortillaLand brand!)
  • For the filling: Scrambled eggs, cheese, crumbled breakfast sausage, shredded baked potato

15. BEAN AND CHEESE QUESADILLAS

  • For the filling: Mix 1 can of refried beans, 1 can of chopped green chilies, 1/4 cup of salsa
  • Spread filling over a full tortilla and top with cheese
  • Place another tortilla on top and cook on the stovetop until both sides are crispy
  • Slice like a pizza

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mother and son | 30-Minute Dinners | This Time Of Mine

We’ve been rotating through these dinners for a long time, and they’re still a hit. Each week, I’ll try and add other things in, just to keep it interesting (and because I love to try new things). But I still find myself pulling a few dinners from this list all the time.

I hope some of them work for you!

What are some of your favorite 30-minute meals?

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30-Minute Dinners | This Time Of Mine

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