Easy food/meal prep or grab-and-go dinners kids will love, Is certainly a “goal” for every mom with a busy schedule.
After a long, back-breaking day at work, you don’t want to reach the end of the day and be greeted with a long, draining meal to serve your family dinner.
I mean, “I sure don’t.”
You need a long list of “grab and go” dinner ideas your kids will love. So you can save your energy for literally anything else.
As a busy mom, you want to come home, get babies cleaned, and bellies fed as soon as possible so you can relax as quickly as possible and they can stay on schedule.
I am a mom who loves doing things the simple way. I like spending my time making memories with my son. Having fun- doing what he’ll reminisce about when he’s older is more important to me than elaborate weeknight dinners. I love a good meal and think lots of bonding happens when “breaking bread,” but I hate to spend hours cooking. Quick and Tasty are my requirements. Who wants to work all day and then deal with hot stoves and unnecessary sweating? Definitely not this mom.
I put out this post because I know there are millions of moms like me.
These are the quickest and easiest grab-and-go meals I try on the days when exhaustion is taking over.
These meals will take you literally no more than 15 minutes to make.
And they are definitely great for kids because they taste delicious!
Grab these recipes and spend less time in the kitchen and more quality time with your family.
Here are the best Grab and Go dinners kids will love
1. One-Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta
This is one of my favorite recipes because it takes hardly any time to get it done, and I have barely any leftovers from this dish. You won’t need a long list of ingredients to make this recipe either. Just use what you already have in your kitchen, add chicken breast, fajita spices, and veggies then you’re good to go.
Wanna make it easy to Grab and Go?
Toss it in a mason jar, and heat it a few moments before you’re headed out the door or after you head in the door. Making it the best grab-and-go food idea for a hectic weeknight meal.
Get the recipe here: The Girl Who Ate Everything-
Things you may need for a simple grab and go dinner:
2. Chicken and Rice Casserole
Dinner. This is another one of my favorite recipes because it’s so quick and easy to make using ingredients that I have readily available. In addition, you can make this meal ahead of time and store it for a few days. Simply pop it in the oven, and “scoop there it is” (admittingly, I threw this phrase in here because it’s my fav. commercial…..don’t judge me).
For this dinner, you’ll need onion, peppers, chicken breast, rice, fajita spices, etc.. all these are typically readily available in the pantry to make this. And, it only takes 25 minutes from start to finish! That’s if you don’t prep and freeze ahead of time.
*Bonus: Best of all, you only need 1 pan to cook this, making cleanup a breeze.
Also, if you don’t have one, grab a food processor. It makes chopping all of the things sooooo easy.
3. Fun sushi balls
Avocado and tuna filled, they are perfect transportable sandwiches on the go, as well as for toddlers who want to feed themselves.
Kid’s favorite and easy weeknight dinner idea.
- 1 cup sushi rice
- 2 tbsp sushi seasoning
- 95 g canned tuna
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 sheet nori seaweed
- Pour 1/4 cup of rice into a dry hand. Top with some tuna and a piece of avocado.
- Bring it together and top with another 1/4 cup of rice. Press to enclose.
- Use sharp scissors or a Nori cutter to cut nori shapes. Press balls to decorate.
- Make sushi, mix in mayonnaise, and serve.
4. Grab and go dinners kids will love: Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry
This is a delicious quick meal you can easily throw together in 15 minutes using what’s already available in your kitchen. You’ll need flank steak, broccoli, onions, and bell peppers. Just throw everything in a sheet pan with your favorite stir-fry sauce, and you’re done!
It’s so tasty. It’s one of my favorite meals from childhood. I still have my grandma cook this for me when I visit. The best part is how simple it is.
To make it more grab-and-go friendly:
- Meal prep this dish over the weekend.
- Slightly undercook it so as not to dry out the meat when reheating.
- Store it in a sealed, microwaveable bowl– I like mine with rice.
- Pop it in the microwave for a few minutes at dinner time. You’re sure to be in for a treat.
5. Butternut Squash Pasta with Bacon and Egg
A healthy meal, anybody? It is a struggle to feed children good quality food that doesn’t consist of carbs and processed sugars. I got your back. Kids love pasta. What is a better way to sneak in vegetables, aka nutrients, than through pasta and bacon?
There is none!
This is a quick meal that even meat-eaters would love because it tastes so good and has no meat ingredients at all! In case you didn’t know, most bacon bits don’t contain meat products. This simple dinner gives you bacon flavors without the meat. Win, win!
You’ll need butternut squash cubes, bacon bits, and an egg. You’re good to go after you’ve thrown these together because it only takes 15 minutes for everything to be ready.
6. Cheesy Ground Beef Enchiladas
These enchiladas are so quick to make that you can have them done in under 30 minutes! In addition, the ingredients are readily available at home, so you’ll have no problems putting these together. You’ll need ground beef, cheese, and enchilada sauce.
Pro Trick: Add the enchilada sauce to the inside mixture of your dish. Thinly roll the delicious combination (taquito style), and the results are amazing. Now, you have a truly handheld dinner to-go—yet another fantastic dinner in the car idea.
Need a space to comfortably fit your meal while enjoying tasty enchiladas? Get these car trays. They conveniently slide into most cup holders.
7. Kid-Friendly grab and go dinners: 5-ingredient Zesty Italian Sausage Skillet
This skillet is a great dish if you’re looking for a healthy to-go dinner that also tastes good! This Skillet is a great dish if you’re looking for a healthy to-go dinner that also tastes good! It contains ingredients that most families have on hand (can’t you tell those are my favorite types of quick dinners?), so you’ll be able to make this meal at home, straight from the pantry, with no problems. You’ll need Italian sausage, zucchini, fresh tomato sauce, Italian herbs, and spices. It’s not much to it. Cook until vegetables are tender and season to taste. In no time, there’s dinner the whole family will love.
8. Taco Casserole
Simple Tupperware will do. However, these airtight, BPA-free storage containers are a fav. in my house. If you love Mexican food but don’t want to spend too much time cooking because of other commitments, this recipe is needed. It only takes 25 minutes to make this whole dish, so you can have it done in a jiffy! You’ll need chicken breast, taco seasoning, corn tortillas, and your favorite salsa. Cook, cut into squares (like lasagna), and place in separate Tupperware containers. You can freeze some and toss a few in the fridge for quick access for easy grab-and-go lunches throughout the week. Hearty family dinner for late nights- and portable!
Plus, Kids love tacos. At least mine does!
9. Cheesy Tomato Tortellini Recipe
This is an easy recipe that’s keto-friendly and will satisfy your cravings well. You’ll need chicken breast, bacon bits, olive oil, and garlic butter. This dish is so easy to make that you can have it done in 30 minutes from start to finish! As promised, there are only 15 minutes of prep time.
10. Skillet Chicken and Ravioli
Take it to go, in a cup. Yep, for another great on-the-go meal, pop this Skillet in a thermos, grab a fork and head out the door.
This keto-friendly meal is easy to make in under 30 minutes, so you’ll have this delicious meal on your plate in no time! It features the taste of Italian food but has all the goodness of chicken, spinach, and cheese.
11. One Pot Pizza Pasta
This dish will satisfy your cravings for pizza and pasta, so you’ll have a hard time resisting this dinner! It’s an easy meal for families on the go, like you and I. It only takes 15 minutes from start to finish and includes readily available/easily accessible ingredients that you can find in your local market. You’ll need pizza sauce, chicken breast, bacon bits, and cheese. That’s it!
12. 10-Ingredient Homemade Teriyaki Bowl
Easy is an understatement. If you’re looking for a healthy meal in a short amount of time because aren’t we always?!? This quick dinner is filling for a busy weeknight meal and only takes 10 minutes from start to finish. You literally can’t beat that! Make it in a jiffy and have it on your plate while you watch TV, do things around the house, or head to your kid’s Tuesday night recital. This recipe uses 10 ingredients. Many of the ingredients are readily available in your pantry and fridge! So, you’re able to save some extra time too!
Utensil- free grab and go dinners kids will love
13. Chicken Fingers
It’s no secret that kids love chicken fingers. With just a few ingredients, and a few moments of your time, your kids will be fed, and you will have gained a few more minutes in your day.
Just grab some chicken tenders, flour (season to your liking), a skillet, and cooking oil. In no time, you’ll serve up yummy fried chicken tenders- a quick and easy grab and dinner your kids will love.
14. Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf Cupcake
I am not typically a meatloaf lover, but the idea of mashed potatoes and cupcakes piqued my interest. In fairness, I usually purchase a variation of this with fried chicken from a great bakery in Los Angeles, Bree’s Cakes, and ration them for the week. But, we moved further from the city, and it’s getting more difficult to make that commute.
However, I found this recipe online, and it includes bacon. This automatically makes it a meal my husband and my son won’t refuse.
But seriously, if you need a pre-prepped meal for late nights during sports-filled weeks or long days of business meetings, product developments, and so forth, this is the grab-and-go dinner for you. No matter the week’s challenge, dinner is made simple with these handheld, hearty cupcakes. They’re filling, delicious, and make perfect dinner in the car ideas.
For Recipe- Key Ingredients
And for this delicious chicken goodness, visit Bree’s cakes in Reseda, Ca
15. Grab and go Dinners kids will love: Meatball Parmesan Hoagies
Meatball Parmesan Hoagies are perfect for pasta-loving kids. It’s difficult to find dinners that small children or picky children (like mine) will eat without a fuss. However, I’ve found that creating a few variations of the same meal goes a long way in keeping us both satisfied at the dinner table.
For those pasta-loving children, this Meatball Parmesan Hoagie is a no-brainer. You get all of the spaghetti vibes, in a bun, on the go. Trust me, you and your kids will love this car-friendly dinner to-go.
Meatball Parmesan Hoagie Ingredients:
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup fresh Italian bread crumbs
- 3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 whole egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup marinara sauce
- 1 hoagie rolls
- Hoagie Paper Wrap for easy travel
Meatball Parmesan Hoagie Instructions:
1. preheat oven to 350F degrees—Line a baking sheet (my fav baking sheet- if you need one) with parchment paper; set aside. Place beef in a large bowl; add bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, oregano, and garlic powder and mix well using your hands. Add egg and mix thoroughly to hold together- use just a little of the egg.
2. Shape meat mixture into 1 inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet; cover with foil and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until done
3. Slice rolls in half lengthwise, brush both sides generously with marinara sauce (you may have some leftover), and place on the top rack of the oven or toaster oven- broil for about 2 minutes or until just golden brown. Carefully remove rolls from the oven, spoon meatballs onto the bottom half of each roll, and replace the tops.
4. Serve with additional marinara sauce if desired, along with your favorite pasta salad side and a green vegetable.
16. Skillet Chicken Pizza
If you’re looking for an easy meal that gives you plenty of energy to last throughout the day, this is definitely the recipe for you. You need chicken breast, marinara sauce, pizza toppings, and pepperoni. This meal is so simple to make that you’ll only need 15 minutes from start to finish.
Pizza is always an easy meal for families on the go. This quick and easy dinner is no different. Handheld dishes with no plates are how I like my grab-and-go dinners. For easily transportable meals, roll the ingredients in large pepperonis and keep them rolled tight with toothpicks. Or, scoop the chicken, sauce filling in pita bread for a more pizza-ey combo.
17. Creamy Chicken Alfredo with Spinach and Parmesan Breadsticks
Looking for a quick meal that doesn’t take too long to prepare but tastes delicious, this is the recipe for you! Make this meal in under 30 minutes and enjoy the savory flavor of this meal. You’ll need chicken breast, Alfredo sauce, and parmesan cheese to add on top.
18. Chicken Fajita Pizza
This pizza is super easy to make because it’s made with just the essential ingredients. To make this, you’ll need chicken breast, bell peppers, onions, mozzarella cheese, and pizza sauce. I like mine with white sauce (alfredo sauce, or a mixture of marinara and alfredo sauce. It only takes 15 minutes from start to finish, so you can have this delicious dish on your plate in a jiffy!
Or in your hands and out the door. Chicken fajitas are another great choice for your grab-and-go meals menu. It’s portable, can be prepped and cooked ahead of time, and proposes little mess. Also, pizza is literally the best way I’ve found to sneak in vegetables with my picky-eating toddler.
Pro tip: If your kids are still hesitant about this recipe, bar b q sauce makes a great addition and helps to hide some of the vegetable flavor profile.
19. Two-Step Chicken Caesar Pita
Pita’s are delicious. Period. This pita is an easy meal to make because it only takes a few ingredients. You’ll need chicken breast, bacon bits, Caesar dressing, and pita bread if you don’t have pre-made ones at home already. Hands down the best grab-and-go dinner your kids will love.
Chicken Caesar pita’s work wonders for quick and easy school lunches too. Especially if your kid is bored of the typical peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Switch it up with these simple chicken pita’s, and I promise they’ll thank you. Chicken caesar pitas is a portable dinner idea the whole family will enjoy
20. Spicy Italian Sausage Skewers
This recipe is great if you want a filling meal easy to cook dinner. You’ll be well on your way to dinner in the car with these yummy skewers with just a few ingredients. You’ll need Italian sausage, fresh tomatoes, and your favorite hot sauce for the tangy flavor of this dish. Little effort, lots of flavors!
21. Grab and go dinners kids will love: Veggie Pizza Bites
Again, pizza is a hit with almost all kids, big or small. Coincidentally, it is also my favorite way to sneak vegetables into my toddler’s diet. That’s why these veggie pizza bites are so awesome. Snacks, lunch, or dinner can be semi-healthy when you pack in vitamin-rich vegetables. Anything goes on a pizza- avocado, spinach, bell peppers, bok choy, the list is endless.
Veggie Pizza Bite Ingredients
- 1 cup finely chopped onions
- Fresh Cheddar/Mozzarella Cheese
- Pizza dough
- Tomato Sauce
- additional veggies to your liking
Veggie Pizza Bite Instructions: For grab and go dinners kids will love
Chop the onions and add them to your Skillet. Sauté until translucent and soft. While cooking, grate the cheese (I use cheddar, but you can use Mozzarella if preferred) on top of the pizza dough, as shown in the photo above. Roll into balls with your hands, or use a small cookie scoop. Place each ball on a cookie sheet—Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes or until they are lightly browned on top. Add tomato sauce and toppings to the tops of the pizza bites, or enjoy them plain. Anything pizza is sure to be grab-and-go dinner kids will love.
22. Italian beef & Parmesan Calzone
As a busy mom, avoiding the fast-food line gets harder and harder with every passing day. But, it’s important for me to work and have my own identity while balancing motherhood. Which includes feeding my family and ensuring that they stay healthy. This meal is a slam dunk in my home. Thanks to the parmesan cheese that I absolutely love (though I’m slowly trying to wean off of dairy to get in shape for an upcoming vacation), the tomato sauce that my husband and son seem to be obsessed with, and the to-go-friendly casing of a calzone, beef, and parmesan calzones are simple, protein-packed meals for moms who do it all.
Ingredients: 1 pound lean ground beef, 1/2 cup fresh Italian bread crumbs, 3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 whole egg, beaten 1/2 cup marinara sauce, and pie crust (folded and sealed on all sides).
23. Spinach & Artichoke Baked Chicken Meatballs
Anything is possible when you hide it in a meatball, including your kids willingly eating green veggies. Spinach and artichoke chicken meatballs are so tasty your kids will hardly notice the green stuff- spinach and artichokes.
Nothing makes me feel like I deserve an A+ at this work-life balance thing more than making it to the end of the night in one piece and getting my child to eat a few vegetables all in the same day. Chicken meatballs will have you feeling like a Rockstar at Mom life. Must try
Ingredients: 1 lb. chicken breast, chopped fine 20 oz frozen spinach 2 cans artichoke hearts, drained and chopped salt & pepper to taste bread crumbs (any kind you choose)-2 (10-oz) boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained -1 cup fresh breadcrumbs -3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese -1 teaspoon dried oregano –
24. Kid-friendly Grab and go dinners: Philly Cheese Steak Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Me and Jackson (my toddler) are suckers for grilled cheese sandwiches. They’re delicious and portable. And, best of all, they contain cheese. If your family consists of cheese lovers like ours, you’ll love this simple Philly Cheese Steak Grilled Cheese. It’ll get you out the door fast and keep your vehicle mess-free on the go.
*pro tip– No sandwich bread on hand? That’s okay! Using these same ingredients in a flour tortilla gives you the same great taste and portability as quesadillas.
Ingredients: 1 pound thinly sliced steak (I like using a round tip), 2 tablespoons butter, softened 2 tablespoons green bell pepper, chopped 1 tablespoon red onion, chopped 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 4 slices of bread.
Directions: 1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add steak, and vegetables and cook until meat has reached the desired doneness. 2. Place one piece of bread on top of another on a clean surface with the unbuttered side facing up. Spread the remaining butter on the bread, cover it with 1/2 cup cheese, and close to form a sandwich. 3. Grill in Skillet or panini press until golden brown and place meat mixture on top of cheese when done 4. Serve warm with ketchup if desired
25. Avocado Fries with Yogurt Dipping Sauce
I don’t know about you, but I can get my son to eat anything that contains French fries or remotely looks like a fry, even with avocados on it. Try these Avocado fries with yogurt dipping sauce, and you’ll never not want them this way again. Hands down a go-to recipe when looking for grab-and-go dinners kids will love.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until crispy on the outside -Top with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream, or ranch if preferred) and sprinkle with salt -Serve warm.
Healthy grab-and-go meals are hard to come by. Not anymore! Feed the family this delicious meal with time to spare by using a fry cutter for quick and easy avocado fries.
26: Chicken Pesto Sandwiches
Another sandwich for another meal on the go. Pesto is light and flavorful. Try it and make your night run smoother when too many things are on your plate.
Ingredients – 1 cup mayonnaise – 2 Tbsp. pesto sauce – 1/2 tsp. garlic powder – 4 chicken breasts – Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except for chicken (or use a food processor) 2. Brush mixture on each side of the chicken breast in a 9×13 dish 3. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until cooked through
27. BAKED RANCH CHICKEN TAQUITOS
These Baked Ranch Chicken Taquitos are a quick and easy kid-friendly lunch or dinner option for the whole family, and they’re a great way to use up leftover chicken. Make a double batch and save some in the freezer for a busy week.
Leftovers make for a tasty snack as well.
Grab and go dinners kids will love: Ranch Chicken Taquitos Ingredients
- ½ cup black beans drained and rinsed
- one-third cup of hummus
- ½ cup black beans drained and rinsed
- one-third cup of hummus
- taco seasoning
- shredded, cooked chicken (finely chopped)
- 1/2 cup Mexican-style cheese
- 2–3 Tbsp ranch dressing
- 6 (10-inch) whole-wheat tortillas, halved
- add cheese or salsa if you want.
- Heat the oven to 425°F.
- Blend black beans and mashed potatoes until they resemble a paste.
- Add Hummus and taco seasoning and mix well.
- Add chicken, cheese, and ranch, and stir.
- Dip each half-tortilla into the mix and roll it into a ball.
- Bake for 12 minutes on a baking sheet.
- Serve with ranch, guac, or salsa, or with any of the above for dipping.
Veggie grab and go dinners kids will love
Perhaps you’re vegetarian or just a busy mom trying to increase your kid’s vegetable intake, even when you’re on the go. You’ll love these grab-and-go dinners.
28. Veggie Burritos
This mom is a California girl (sorta), and we love our burritos. Fill a large flour tortilla with things ranging the gamut from rice and beans to peppers, sweet tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and more for a veggie-filled, protein-packed burrito to-go. For flavors you can’t resist, add lime and salsa.
29. Gran and Go Dinners: Falafel
Utensil-free, vegetarian friendly, and fried, falafel is a working mom’s dream food. Kids can’t tell what it is, but it’s crunchy and tastes delicious, so they’ll eat it. Plus, it’s small and compact, so it is easily portable for those chaotic weeks full of extracurricular activities.
30. Veggie Sandwiches on Whole wheat bread
Yum, yum, yum! The age-old sandwich will take you places. For a no-fuss, grab-and-go dinner, kids will love, make a sandwich and head out the door. Sometimes we (moms) make thing more difficult than it is (I’m talking about myself). Kids love sandwiches. Perfect with practically anything from the cupboards, from pb&J, to tomatoes and cucumbers with cream cheese for a tangy kick- sandwiches are every mom’s go-to grab-and-go dinner.
With your grab-and-go meals menu, you and your family will be prepared for whatever the weeks throw your way.
Grab your Free Menu Printable to keep track of your favorite grab-and-go meals so you tackle those family dinners like a pro.
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Looking for more ways to make your week easy? Try these simple home organizing hacks to make more space for the moments that matter