Quick & Easy Dinner Ideas

Quick & Easy Dinner Ideas

Let's face it, sometimes cooking dinner isn't quick and it isn't easy. I totally understand now why my mom hated the "I don't know" answer when she would ask us what should we have for dinner. And I definitely didn't appreciate her always having dinner ready for us after a long day of work and practice (Mom - if you're reading this, thank you and sorry for all the grumbling).

I'm fortunate to have a husband who cooks so we usually can split the cooking nights. We realized we are terrible when it comes to planning our meals, and part of the reason is his work schedule (he's a firefighter so his schedule is a little weird). My husband cooks good food but when it's my turn, I tend to go quick & easy and if I can do it for cheap even better (4 hungry kids can get expensive real quick).

People always ask me how I do it all and honestly, I can't. It's a juggling act and sometimes I drop the ball. Lately I haven't really been in the mood to cook and I just can't figure out what we should eat for dinner. We probably have eaten out a little too much (but hey, we're supporting local eateries so that's good right?) and we have probably gone to McDonald's a few too many times. 

The Keiki Dept Pizza Night

Thankfully, when I put the call out for some quick (and cheap) dinner ideas, the IG Fam came through with some great ideas and some that brought back those childhood memories of my favorite dinners.

Below are some of our go to meals and some that were suggested by our IG Fam. These aren't in any particular order, but let's start with some of my family's go to meals:

  • Make Your Own Sushi Night - get some poke, nori, cucumber or raddish sprouts, and cook rice. Everyone makes their own sushi for a fun meal! 
  • Chili & Rice (Kili's favorite) 
  • Breakfast Night!
  • Kalua Pig, Kalua Pig & Kale, Kalua Pig & Cabbage 
  • Pasta - we usually let the kids take turns choosing the noodle shape for dinner
  • Spam & Fresh Green Beans - saute with some oyster sauce and minced garlic
  • Hamburger Steak or add an egg and make it a loco moco
  • Shoyu Chicken
  • Taco Night & Quesadillas
  • Rotisserie Chicken & Rice
  • Chicken Nuggets & Rice
  • Copy Cat Kamehameha Schools Homestyle Chicken 
  • Grilled steak (buy steak in bulk from costco or sams) & veggies
  • DIY Pizza Night - use the pre-made dough and let the kids decorate their own pizza with their favorite toppings

From Our IG Fam:

  • Broke Boy Poke Bowls (I love this name BTW) - canned tuna with spicy mayo, rice, and kim chi cucumber (DIY)
  • Lazy loco (I love this name too) - cook beef, drain, add gravy powder/water & mix. Add egg and more gravy on top.
  • Spam, Portuguese sausage and cabbage - add a little bit of oyster sauce
  • Baked Salmon
  • Can salmon & rice
  • Can tuna, rice & nori
  • Tuna Patties & rice - mix tuna with a little flower and an egg to form a patty, fry on the stove
  • Pork & Beans with hot dogs (or vienna sausage) and rice
  • Corn beef hash patties - use white potato or sweet potato
  • Soybeans and spam with onion
  • Tomato & Onion with poi
  • Hamburger Curry, Chicken Curry
  • Beef Broccoli
  • Chicken with string beans 
  • Lettuce wraps
  • Bacon & Corn Chowder
  • One pan sausage and veggies
  • Pasta with broccoli
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Hotdogs stuffed with cheese and wrapped with bacon - throw in oven on broil
  • Hot dogs with green beans and onion slices
  • Hamburger & 2 cans of the alphabet soup can - perfect for a rainy day
  • Hamburger & cabbage
  • Hamburger Helper
  • Little smokies sausages and mixed color mini peppers
  • Pigs-in-a-blanket or make it festive - mummies in a blanket with Mac & Cheese
  • Ground pork (or hamburger), cream of mushroom and corn
  • Costco Lasagna
  • Taco salad night
  • Chicken patties with curry sauce - kind of like chicken katsu
  • Chicken patties with brown gravy - kind of like chicken cutlet 
  • Costco pumpkin raviolis - toss with butter, spinach, garlic & parmesan cheese
  • Costco Bulgogi
  • Steak and veggies with butter and oyster sauce
  • Mapo tofu
  • Chicken long rice
  • IP Pot Roast
  • IP Luau Stew 
  • Instant Pot meals
  • Sheet pan meals


Favorite Cooking Accounts to Follow:


Okay, I know there are probably way more meals we could add to this list. Let us know in the comments if there is any meals that you feel is quick & easy! Bonus points if it's cheap since groceries aren't cheap here in Hawaii. 

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1 comment

Hamburger casserole:
2# hamburger
1 can cream of mushroom, 1 can cream of celery soups
Onion, sliced
Mushrooms, sliced
Tater tots (Safeway brand is the best, IMO)
1 pkg Lipton onion soup mix

Brown hamburger, drain most of the liquid. Add onions and mushrooms, sauté until onions get soft. Pour pkg of Lipton onion soup mix over, mix well. Pour meat
Mixture into an aluminum pan, mix two cream soups together and spread over meat, then top with tater tots. Cover with foil, bake at 350° for 45 min, remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes or until tater tots are golden brown. This one is a family favorite, all my kids asked for the recipe when they left home and had to cook it themselves!


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