Back-to-School Season Made Simple: A Week's Worth of Dinners Ready in 30 Minutes or Less

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With new routines moving at full tilt, somehow the first weeks of school suddenly feel busier than the rest of the year. These five quick weeknight meals will ease you into the transition and, with any luck, provide a few leftovers to pack into lunches the next day too.

Fusilli with Spinach and Asiago Cheese

Pasta is good, yes. But let’s be honest: Cheesy pasta is better, especially if kids have anything to say about it. Giada De Laurentiis’ colorful recipe is indeed ooey-gooey, tossed with both Parmesan and Asiago cheeses.

Taco Soup

Skip the tortillas and break out the chips! This fresh take on a family favorite is done in 20 minutes and works as well on warm fall evenings as it does in the dead of winter.

Skillet Chicken and Ravioli

I love hearty recipes like this one, which combines two kid-friendly favorites in one easy dish. Want to save even more time? Dice up a rotisserie chicken instead of cooking the chicken yourself.

Homemade Sloppy Joes

This made-over version of a classic dinner uses fresh ingredients that add more flavor than the stuff out of a can, but it’s still a simple meal that comes together in minutes.

3-Ingredient Naan Bread Pesto Pizza

Of all the keep-in-your-back-pocket meals I’ve started making in the last year as a full-time working mom, this is one of the biggest hits — and the easiest. In fact, I’ve started making extra to serve the kids for lunch the next day.

Charity Curley Mathews is the mom of two preschoolers, a kindergartener and one second grader. She also blogs at Foodlets.com about what it’s like to feed four small kids. Every recipe is simple, practical, full of fresh flavors and, best of all, kid-tested x 4.