These dinner recipes will help you modify your cooking lifestyle during busy nights. Picture: Instagram
These dinner recipes will help you modify your cooking lifestyle during busy nights. Picture: Instagram

Easy weeknight meals for busy school nights

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Jan 16, 2020

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The back-to-school season has arrived, and that means less time for dinner for most people. 

There are many quick and easy recipes available, but there comes a point in time when you run out of ideas and get bored with your favourites. 

These dinner recipes will help you modify your cooking lifestyle. 

Baked Ranch Chicken with Bacon

This simple recipe is ready in only thirty-minutes from start to finish and makes four generous servings.


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 1-1½ cup grated Parmesan cheese divided

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly grated black pepper

  • 1½ cups Ranch dressing

  • ½ cup sour cream

  • ¼  cup cooked bacon crumbles

  • Garnish: diced fresh parsley


Heat oven to 190 degrees Celsius and spray a 223 cm baking dish with cooking spray.

Sprinkle both sides of meat with half the grated Parmesan cheese, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the chicken in the prepared baking dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk together Ranch dressing and sour cream. Pour the mixture over the chicken breasts and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast reads 66 degrees Celsius.

Set the oven to broil and broil the breast an additional 2-4 minutes or until the chicken turns golden. It will burn quickly so watch closely.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with cooked bacon crumbles. Allow the chicken to rest a few minutes before serving.

Garnish with diced parsley, if desired.


Recipe by The Cookie Rookie

Taco Cups

There are tomatoes and beans stirred right into the taco meat making them less noticeable while tasting.


  • 1kg ground turkey, ground pork, or ground beef, browned and drained

  • 410ml can diced tomatoes, drained

  • 1 can refried beans 

  • 1 tsp granulated garlic

  • 1 tsp onion powder

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • ½  tsp salt

  • ¼  tsp pepper

  • ¼  tsp crushed red pepper flakes

  • 12 15cm flour tortilla shells (fajita size)


Preheat oven to 191 degrees Celsius. 

Brown meat, drain and return to the pan.

Stir in diced tomatoes, refried beans, and spice

Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray.

Fold flour tortillas to fit into muffin tin.

Divide meat mixture evenly between tortilla.

Top with cheese and desired topping.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until shells are crispy and brown.

Optional toppings: Salsa, tomato, onion, black olives, cilantro, Greek yogurt or sour cream.

Recipe by Create Kids Club

Instant Pot Crack Chicken Spinach Soup with Cream Cheese and Bacon 


  • 1.5 cups chicken stock

  • 100g chicken breast

  • I pack of dry ranch seasoning

  • 340ml of cream cheese

  • 1.5 cups of cheddar cheese

  • 2 cups of spinach

  • Crumbled crispy bacon


Layer all the ingredients in the instant pot as stated above except spinach and bacon. 

Set instant pot to high pressure for 20 minutes then do a quick release.

Once the pin drops remove chicken and shred it with 2 forks (or hand mixer). 

Stir soup in the pot until well blended. 

Add chicken back to the pot and spinach. 

Stir until spinach is wilted down.

Top with bacon and enjoy. 

Recipe by Chef Theresa

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