Over 70 Pantry Recipes You Can Make This Week

Here are over 70 recipes you can make using common pantry and freezer ingredients this week. Perfect for when you can’t find what you need at the grocery store (or get there in the first place!)

Whether you’ve stocked your pantry or freezer thanks to a natural disaster, global pandemic or to just plain be prepared for ANY unforeseen event, there are tons of ways you can put your ingredients to good use without getting bored. Here are over 70 of my favorite recipes (from CaliGirl Cooking and beyond) that will help you get creative in the kitchen when you have limited supplies to work with.

Breakfast

A cooling rack of freshly baked Pumpkin Apple Oatmeal Cups.

The Easiest Pumpkin Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups (CaliGirl Cooking)

Weekend Hazelnut Sticky Buns with Date Caramel (CaliGirl Cooking)

Weekday Festive Funfetti Pancakes (CaliGirl Cooking)

Andy’s Fairfield Granola (CaliGirl Cooking)

Eggs in Purgatory (Pina Bresciani)

PB&J Quinoa Bowl (CaliGirl Cooking)

Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote (CaliGirl Cooking)

Slow Cooker Superfood Oatmeal (CaliGirl Cooking)

Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Cookies (CaliGirl Cooking)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Overnight Oats (Let’s Eat Cake)

Make-Ahead Freezer Oatmeal Cups with Maple and Brown Sugar (CaliGirl Cooking)

Chai Chia Oatmeal (CaliGirl Cooking)

Chunky Monkey Cinnamon Rolls (CaliGirl Cooking)

Easy Pumpkin Macadamia Nut Muffins (CaliGirl Cooking)

Matcha Macadamia Latte (CaliGirl Cooking)

Bread

A plate of freshly baked hot cross buns with icing.

Hot Cross Buns (CaliGirl Cooking)

Chocolate Cherry Bread (CaliGirl Cooking)

Buttery Soft Pretzel Bites (Gimme Some Oven)

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pull-Apart Bread (CaliGirl Cooking)

Pumpkin Popovers (CaliGirl Cooking)

Soups

A pot of warming minestrone soup surrounded by a wooden spoon and chunk of Parmesan cheese.

Warming Minestrone Soup (CaliGirl Cooking)

French Onion Soup (CaliGirl Cooking)

20-Minute Tomato Soup (Gimme Some Oven)

Easy Indian-Style Yellow Curry (CaliGirl Cooking)

Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup (Seasonal Cravings)

Caramelized Leek and Parsnip Soup with Mushrooms and Crispy Prosciutto (CaliGirl Cooking)

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili (Lemons and Zest)

Pasta

A bowl of cashew shrimp with chopsticks.

Cashew Shrimp (CaliGirl Cooking)

Orecchiette Pasta with Sausage and Baby Broccoli (Entertaining with Beth)

Easy Pasta Sauce Recipe (The Foreign Fork)

Super Quick Mexican Baked Penne (Erica’s Recipes)

Tortellini Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Artichokes (Gimme Some Oven)

Other Mains (Casseroles and More!)

A serving dish of Spicy Beet Poke and an individual bowl of the poke with chopsticks.

Spicy Beet Poke (CaliGirl Cooking)

Mexican Beef and Rice Casserole (Savory Experiments)

Quick-and-Easy Tuna Salad Sandwiches (CaliGirl Cooking)

The BEST Falafel Recipe (Gimme Some Oven)

Mom’s Peanut Butter Chicken (CaliGirl Cooking)

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quinoa Bowls (Spoonful of Flavor)

Bruschetta, White Bean and Pancetta Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (CaliGirl Cooking)

Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole (Small Farm Big Life)

Southern Salmon Croquettes (Grandbaby Cakes)

Side Dishes

A bowl of Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad surrounded by a green linen napkin and fresh cranberries.

Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs (CaliGirl Cooking)

Smoky Slow Cooker Baked Beans (This Healthy Kitchen)

Herbed Grain Salad with Broccoli Rabe and White Beans (CaliGirl Cooking)

Socca Flatbreads (Emma Eats & Explores)

Snacks

A freshly cut batch of Chocolate Chip Sunflower Seed Butter Protein Bars.

Chocolate Chip Sunflower Seed Butter Protein Bars (CaliGirl Cooking)

All-Dressed Party Mix (CaliGirl Cooking)

5-Minute Pumpkin Curry Hummus (CaliGirl Cooking)

“Nooch” (Nutritional Yeast) Popcorn (Gimme Some Oven)

Addicting S’mores Granola Clusters (CaliGirl Cooking)

Spiced Rosemary Bar Nuts (CaliGirl Cooking)

No-Bake Energy Bites (Salt & Baker)

Homemade Whole Wheat Crackers – Two Ways! (CaliGirl Cooking)

Curry Rosemary Roasted Mixed Nuts (CaliGirl Cooking)

Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates (CaliGirl Cooking)

Miso Furikake Hummus (CaliGirl Cooking)

Condiments

A dish of freshly made Three-Ingredient Calabrian Chili Spread.

The Easiest Three-Ingredient Calabrian Chili Sauce (CaliGirl Cooking)

Homemade BBQ Sauce (Gimme Some Oven)

Stupid Simple Two-Ingredient Shallot Oil (CaliGirl Cooking)

The BEST Enchilada Sauce! (Gimme Some Oven)

Desserts

A stack of three Easy No-Bake Honey Roasted Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars.

Easy No-Bake Honey Roasted Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars (CaliGirl Cooking)

5-Ingredient Indulgent Date Bites (CaliGirl Cooking)

Vegan Black Bean Brownies (Baked by Clo)

Tahini Blondies with Whiskey Date Caramel and Sea Salt (CaliGirl Cooking)

Dreamy Chocolate Lava Cakes (Gimme Some Oven)

Chocolate, Coconut and Butterscotch “Grutch” Bars (CaliGirl Cooking)

Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (Fit Foodie Finds)

Butterscotch Apple Oatmeal Cookies with Bourbon Glaze (CaliGirl Cooking)

5-Ingredient Lemon Bars (Gimme Some Oven)

For a frequently updated list of pantry recipes including these ones and many more, check out my Pantry Recipes Pinterest board!

 

What to Cook with Your Kids When You’re All Stuck at Home

Whether you’re facing a bout of snow days, a widespread virus, or anything else that’s forcing you inside with your little ones for days at a time, here’s a list of 37 recipes you can easily make together to keep everyone happy and entertained. (Look for the * for recipes that are especially baby- and toddler-friendly!)

Recipes to Cook With Your Kids

Breakfast

A finished dish full of Make-Ahead Breakfast Enchiladas.
CaliGirl Cooking is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

“Feed-a-Crowd” Make-Ahead Breakfast Enchiladas

Coconut Vanilla Chia Pudding Parfait

Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Date “Shake”

Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes*

Hidden Veggie Acai Bowls*

Kid-Approved Breakfast Banana Splits

Make-Ahead Freezer Oatmeal Cups with Maple and Brown Sugar are the perfect healthy breakfast for busy mornings on-the-go.

Make-Ahead Freezer Oatmeal Cups with Maple and Brown Sugar

Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry-Orange Compote*

Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Cookies*

Red, White and Blueberry Blender

Slow Cooker Superfood Oatmeal

Slow Cooker Cherry Pie Oatmeal

Pumpkin Carrot Muffins*

Pumpkin Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups*

Weekday Festive Funfetti Waffles

Lunch

Protein-Packed Healthy Chicken Waldorf Salad is the perfect quick-and-healthy lunch for any day of the week.

Protein-Packed Healthy Waldorf Chicken Salad

Quick-and-Healthy Tuna Salad Sandwiches

Thai Chicken Burritos

Snacks/Sides

An overhead shot of Festive Guacamole in a bed of tortilla chips.

Festive Guacamole with Cotija and Pomegranate

To-Die-For Candied Bacon Deviled Eggs

Cheddar and Chive Brazilian Cheese Bread*

Cheesy BBQ Garlic Bread

Pumpkin Popovers

Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad

Crunchy Pea Salad with Prosciutto

S'mores Granola Clusters | CaliGirl Cooking

Addicting S’mores Granola Clusters

All-Dressed Party Mix

Chocolate Chip-Sunflower Seed Butter Protein Bars

Dinner

This Loaded Mediterranean Hummus Board features slow-cooked pulled lamb, pomegranate arils and refreshing sliced cucumber to make the perfect healthy appetizer for your next get-together!

Loaded Mediterranean Hummus Board

Bruschetta Bar

Weeknight Beef & Veggie Stir-Fry

Eggplant Parmesan Bread Pudding

Ground Beef “Not-So-Sloppy” Joes*

Island-Style Teriyaki Beef Sliders

Dessert

5-Ingredient Indulgent Date Bites

Banana, Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate “Faux-Yo”

Ways to Get Your Kid Involved in the Cooking Process

You may be thinking, “Sure, these recipes are all great, but how do I actually get my kid(s) involved?” Here are a few ideas for different ages:

A toddler and mom baking together at the kitchen counter.

Toddlers

  • Let them add ingredients to a mixing bowl
  • Have them stir ingredients in a mixing bowl
  • Let them space things out on a baking sheet
  • Allow them to prepare simple ingredients, like cutting softer items with toddler-friendly knives or shelling peas or edamame
  • This is a great time to give them a pair of tongs and let them practice their hand-eye coordination by trying to grab something
  • Have them squeeze citrus
  • TIP: Pre-measure out all your ingredients before starting to cook or bake with your toddler. Things will run much more smoothly this way!

Younger Kids

  • Have them measure out your ingredients for you
  • Allow them to prep your baking vessel – whether by spraying on cooking spray or lining a cupcake tin with muffin liners
  • Continue to allow them to cut things using age-appropriate knives
  • Let them pour things into a vessel through a funnel
  • Have them wash produce
  • Ask them to retrieve ingredients out of the refrigerator or pantry for you

Older Kids

  • Have them dice or mince ingredients for you
  • Let them go through the entire process of adding ingredients, stirring and transferring to the proper cooking vessel
  • Teach them how to safely use the oven and stove
  • Allow them to come up with the menu for a meal!
  • Let them season meat and teach them about proper raw food handling techniques

I’d love to hear your favorite recipes or tips for cooking with kids in the comments below!

 

Weekday Festive Funfetti Waffles

The BEST way to celebrate a special occasion on any day of the week, these festive waffles get their slight pinkish hue (and tasty tang) from freeze-dried raspberries and are loaded with multi-colored sprinkles to really take your breakfast over the top. The best part? They come together in almost no time at all!

A stack of funfetti waffles topped with butter and fresh berries, drizzled with syrup.

CaliGirl Cooking is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

ICYMI last week, I shared some big news on Instagram – Baby Girl #2 is coming this August! We are over-the-moon about this new special addition to our family and, such as was the case with the news of our first baby girl, I felt the need to make a new special recipe to celebrate. Enter these Weekday Festive Funfetti Waffles!

I’ve not shared a specific recipe using this particular technique, but one of my favorite ways to add a festive hint of color to many baked goods and sweet treats (without a ton of artificial colors or flavors) is by mixing in some crushed freeze-dried fruit. My favorite way to use it is in a homemade frosting recipe, but I decided to branch out a bit and give mixing it into waffle batter a shot. I’m thrilled with the result!

Now, because I (like many of you) have limited free time to make from-scratch recipes these days, I decided to make these Festive Funfetti Waffles as easy to whip up as possible. They’re so easy, in fact, that you could easily make them on a weekday morning if you have something special to celebrate. So, let’s get into it!

Four quarters of a funfetti waffle stacked on top of each other and topped with butter and fresh berries with butter and maple syrup in the background.

How to Make Funfetti Waffles

Okay, friends, I told you I was going to make this an easy one. That’s why we’re going to forego the “from-scratch” mentality and instead focus on finding a healthy and tasty boxed pancake and waffle mix. I used Bob’s Red Mill 7-Grain Pancake and Waffle Mix and loved it, but there are tons of healthy options out there.

Once you’ve settled on which mix you’re going to use, just follow the directions on the package (the recipe below is based off of the Bob’s Red Mill mix instructions) and also include the freeze-dried raspberries (which you can find at Trader Joe’s or on Amazon). You’ll want to mix together the batter using a blender to ensure the raspberries get properly incorporated into the batter.

A flat lay of all of the ingredients you need to make these Festive Funfetti Waffles: water, eggs, waffle mix, sprinkles, oil and freeze-dried raspberries.

Once you have the batter made in your blender, you simply stir in some festive sprinkles. I highly recommend using this type, as the non-pareils such as those sprinkled on top in the photos tend to bleed a lot in a batter.

And once the batter is made, all that’s left is to whip out your trusty waffle maker (here’s one similar to the one I use) and cook as you would any other old waffle.

Ways to Enjoy Your Waffles

There are tons of different ways you can finish these festive bad boys off. Here are just a few:

  • Keep it basic with butter and maple syrup
  • Add some whipped cream
  • Top with a variety of berries or your choice of fresh fruit
  • Turn them into a dessert and top with a scoop of ice cream
  • Add more sprinkles!

An overhead shot of Festive Funfetti Waffles topped with butter, fresh berries and sprinkles.

Other Festive Weekday Breakfast Recipes

In my opinion, celebrating a special occasion at breakfast is far too often overlooked. Here are some other fun breakfast recipes you can make for your next birthday celebration:

These Kid-Approved Breakfast Banana Splits take your kids’ favorite after-dinner treats and make them a healthy yet entertaining breakfast. No cooking involved!
We all know that heading off to school is usually NOT our kids’ favorite time of day, but what if you make it fun with these Back-to-School Papaya Breakfast Boats?
Prefer a more savory celebration? Prep these Make-Ahead Breakfast Enchiladas the night before and just pop them in the oven in the morning.
What kid doesn’t want to eat pudding for breakfast? This Coconut Passion Fruit Chia Pudding will transport your entire family to the tropics whether it’s the middle of winter or the start of a monotonous school day.

So, what do you think? Are you ready to take your waffle game to the next level? If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a rating and a comment to help other curious mamas find it!

A plate of funfetti waffles topped with butter, sprinkles and fresh berries.

Weekday Festive Funfetti Pancakes
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

The BEST way to celebrate a special occasion on any day of the week, these festive waffles get their slight pinkish hue (and tasty tang) from freeze-dried raspberries and are loaded with multi-colored sprinkles to really take your breakfast over the top. The best part? They come together in almost no time at all!

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: birthday, breakfast, celebration, entertaining, funfetti, kid-friendly, sprinkles, waffles, weekday
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 481 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat waffle maker and spray with cooking spray.

  2. Add first five ingredients* (waffle mix, oil, eggs, water, and freeze-dried raspberries) to a blender and blend until raspberries are completely incorporated into the batter (with no large chunks).

  3. Stir sprinkles into batter, then measure batter into waffle maker and bake waffles according to appliance directions, spraying with cooking oil after each batch to prevent sticking.

  4. Serve immediately with your favorite toppings!

Recipe Notes

*Exact ingredients and amounts may vary based on which waffle mix you’re using. Amounts for raspberries and sprinkles should remain fairly consistent for 6 waffles.

1. Topping Ideas: butter, maple syrup, whipped cream, berries or other fresh fruit, ice cream, more sprinkles!

2. Try to find a healthy, high-quality pancake and waffle mix like Bob’s Red Mill 7-Grain Pancake and Waffle Mix.

3. Waffle cooking times will vary depending on your specific waffle maker and how crisp you would like your waffles to be. I use one similar to this.

Nutrition Facts
Weekday Festive Funfetti Pancakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 481 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 82mg27%
Sodium 638mg28%
Potassium 323mg9%
Carbohydrates 64g21%
Fiber 11g46%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 17g34%
Vitamin A 119IU2%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 152mg15%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

Greek Yogurt Berry Tart with Almond Crust (Gluten-Free!)

This showstopper of a tart has a tasty almond crust, a Greek yogurt filling tasting of marzipan and citrus, and is loaded up with the freshest raspberries and strawberries. It’s a family-friendly recipe that’s easy to make and requires almost no baking. It’s also gluten-free!

A Greek Yogurt Berry Tart with Almond Crust surrounded by bottles of almond extract and almond syrup, plus fresh lemons.
This post is sponsored by Sonoma Syrup Co. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission for purchases you make through them. 

If you’re like me and absolutely obsessed with the taste of marzipan, you are going to die over this Greek Yogurt Berry Tart.

If you’re obsessed with fresh berries and can think of no better way to enjoy them than in a tasty dessert, you may also die over this recipe.

And, if you have anyone in your family who is gluten-free, or just plain wish there was a slightly healthier dessert you could serve to satisfy the masses, you are most definitely going to die over this recipe.

This Greek Yogurt Berry Tart with Almond Crust is easy to make, protein-packed, and a fun way to get a few extra nutrients into your family’s diet.

Let’s dig in!

How to Prep Your Tart

While this recipe is extremely easy to make, it does require a small amount of advanced planning. The night before you’re going to make the tart, measure out and strain your yogurt to remove any excess liquid. You want that yogurt thick and creamy to make it extra-spreadable!

It’s pretty important here to use whole milk Greek yogurt, because it’s the thickest of them all. Nevertheless, it will still have some liquid. To set the yogurt up to strain, simply place a fine mesh sieve over a small mixing bowl. Line the sieve with a paper towel, then scoop in the yogurt. Cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, you’ll see all of the liquid that strained off in the bottom of the mixing bowl.

Making a Gluten-Free Almond Crust

An overhead shot of a beautifully golden, gluten-free almond flour crust.

Once the yogurt is strained and you’re ready to “get your tart on,” you’ll want to start by making the gluten-free almond crust. This requires just a few ingredients:

Super-fine almond flour
Chilled butter
Sonoma Syrup Co. Vanilla Almond Infused Simple Syrup (or more butter!)

Combine all of these ingredients to make a crumbly dough, then press it into a greased 11-inch tart pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes (or until golden) and you’ll have a beautiful (and tasty) gluten-free tart crust on your hands!

Filling and Topping your Almond Tart

Once you’re done baking the crust, turn your oven off because this recipe requires absolutely NO additional baking. I told you it was easy!

An overhead shot of an almond tart crust filled with a zesty Greek yogurt filling.

To make the almond-flavored Greek yogurt filling, you’ll simply mix together the yogurt, some of Sonoma Syrup Co.’s delicious almond extract, a hint of lemon zest and a dash of powdered sugar. This makes for a perfectly sweet-tart base for the real showstoppers of the tart…the fresh berries!

I chose to use fresh strawberries and raspberries because (a) they’re gorgeous and (b) they pair beautifully with almonds, but you could really use any berries you like. Load up the tart with them and finish things off with a sprinkle of slivered almonds and fresh mint. Don’t skip this last step, the crunch of the almonds and freshness of the mint are both the perfect final flavors to round out this delicious dessert.

An overhead shot of a loaded Greek Yogurt Berry Tart with Almond Crust, with a piece being pulled out of it.

What You Need to Make This Greek Yogurt Berry Tart

This recipe is already easy as it is, but there are a few key pieces of kitchen equipment that will make the process even simpler:

  1. Fine mesh sieve
  2. 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom
  3. Sifter
  4. Inverted spatula
  5. Pizza sheet or large baking sheet to place the tart pan on while it bakes

I absolutely love this recipe because it has very little added sugar and is loaded with extra nutrients from the Greek yogurt, almonds and fresh berries. Something that tastes this good and also has tons of nutritional benefits?? Sign me up!

Looking down on a plate with a piece of Greek Yogurt Berry Tart on it, with the rest of the tart offset in the corner.

If you make this recipe, be sure to rate it and leave a comment below!

Greek Yogurt Berry Tart with Almond Crust (Gluten-Free!)
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Refrigerator Time
8 hrs
Total Time
8 hrs 37 mins
 

This showstopper of a tart has a tasty almond crust, a Greek yogurt filling tasting of marzipan and citrus, and is loaded up with the freshest raspberries and strawberries. It’s a family-friendly recipe that’s easy to make and requires almost no baking. It’s also gluten-free!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: almond, baking, berries, dessert, family-friendly, fruit, gluten-free, yogurt
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 521 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the crust:
  • 4 cups super-fine almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon Sonoma Syrup Co. Vanilla Almond Infused Syrup
  • 1/2 cup butter, chilled and cubed (Add 1 add'l tablespoon if you don't have the simple syrup)
For the Greek yogurt filling:
  • 2 cups whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon Sonoma Syrup Co. Almond Extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
For the toppings:
  • 12 ounces fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 12 ounces fresh raspberries
  • A few sprigs of mint, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
Instructions
  1. The night before you plan to make the tart, place a fine mesh sieve over a small mixing bowl and line it with a paper towel. Measure out the Greek yogurt into the sieve, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit in the refrigerator overnight so all of the liquid strains out.

  2. The next day, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray your tart pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

  3. Combine all of the crust ingredients in a large mixing bowl using your hands. Keep working it until a crumbly dough forms, then press the dough into the prepared tart pan, doing your best to keep everything even and make sure there aren’t certain parts that are thinner than others. You want the dough to extend up all the way to the top edges of the tart pan all the way around.

  4. Place tart pan on a pizza sheet or large baking sheet (to catch any butter/grease that leaks out of the pan), and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust takes on a nice golden color. Remove and let cool completely.

  5. Next, dump the water that strained off of the yogurt out of the small mixing bowl and use it to make the filling. Add the strained yogurt, almond extract, lemon zest and powdered sugar and stir until well-combined.

  6. Scoop the filling out into the cooled tart shell and, using the inverted spatula, spread it around evenly.

  7. Top the tart with the strawberries and raspberries, then sprinkle on the julienned mint and slivered almonds. Serve as soon as possible and store in the refrigerator if you don’t finish it all in one sitting!

Recipe Notes
  1. Straining the yogurt the night before you make this is absolutely essential so that you don't end up with a soggy tart.
  2. Crust: If you don't have access to the Sonoma Syrup Co. almond-infused syrup, simply add 1 additional tablespoon of chilled butter.
  3. Utilizing a tart pan (with removable bottom) will ensure you'll have a beautiful-looking tart that's easy to serve.
  4. You can easily use your favorite brand of almond extract.
  5. This tart is best if consumed within two days.
Nutrition Facts
Greek Yogurt Berry Tart with Almond Crust (Gluten-Free!)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 521 Calories from Fat 369
% Daily Value*
Fat 41g63%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 33mg11%
Sodium 122mg5%
Potassium 217mg6%
Carbohydrates 28g9%
Fiber 10g42%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 18g36%
Vitamin A 369IU7%
Vitamin C 36mg44%
Calcium 200mg20%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

5 Easy Meal Planning Tips for Busy Moms

These five meal planning tips are easy to implement and will save busy moms hours in the kitchen each week. Start using them today and make mealtimes stress-free and enjoyable for the entire family.

5 Easy Meal Planning Tips for Busy Moms
This post contains affiliate links.

I’m the first to admit that meal planning doesn’t always come easy, but in my experience as a meal planning consultant and baby and toddler feeding expert, I can confidently say that I’ve uncovered the best hacks for making meal planning just a little bit more manageable, especially for us busy moms who NEVER seem to have enough hours in the day.

5 Easy Meal Planning Tips for Busy Moms

Here are my top five meal planning tips for busy moms that you can implement today to save not only hours in the kitchen each week, but your sanity and peace of mind.

#1. USE PINTEREST TO GET ORGANIZED

If you’re one of the millions of mamas who mindlessly scrolls through Pinterest at least a few times a week, chances are you’ve already got a board or two devoted to your favorite recipe pins. So, put them to use!

Create three to four new boards on Pinterest and label them something like this: Meal Plan – Breakfast, Meal Plan – Lunch, Meal Plan – Dinner, Meal Plan – Snacks. To see an example of how this is done, check out my own personal meal plan Pinterest boards I’ve made here.

Next, go through all of the pins you’ve already saved to other boards, and re-pin those that you would realistically make on a regular basis to the appropriate Meal Plan board. Now, when you’re putting together a meal plan each week, you’ll have all of your recipes in one place for easy scrolling and selecting.

#2. SCHEDULE IT IN

Much like other menial tasks, meal planning can easily get pushed off for better, more exciting things. However, none of us can survive without eating, so us busy moms need to make meal planning a priority. That’s where physically scheduling in time to meal plan is essential. Whether you use a scheduling app, your Google calendar or a pen-and-paper planner, block off at least 30 minutes a week to devote to meal planning.  There are 168 hours in the week, so setting aside such a tiny portion of that will be completely worth it for all of the time you will save later on!

A busy mom working on her family meal plan for the week.

#3. IF YOU’RE COOKING ANYWAY, MAKE EXTRA

Whenever you’re whipping something up in the kitchen, take a moment to think if there’s any way you can make a little extra to save for later. Have a recipe that feeds six yet only have a family of three? Make the whole thing anyway and save the rest for another meal! Cooking some vegetables to throw into a salad? Cook some extra while you’re at it and use it in your kids’ lunches throughout the week. When you’re already taking time out of your day to prepare food, it will take much less time to make a little extra for later at the same time than it will for you to have a whole other cooking sesh later on.

#4. THE FREEZER IS YOUR MEAL PLANNING BFF

This simple meal planning hack is the one I have taken the most advantage of since becoming a mom, and it goes right along with the “making extra” tip mentioned above. Utilize your freezer!! When you make extra of something, freeze it up. If you have an hour or two on the weekend to meal prep some healthy snacks for your little one(s), freeze them for easy access throughout the busy week. Use resealable glass containers, Mason jars and/or Ziploc bags for freezer-friendly storage, and label them using blue painters’ tape and a Sharpie. It’s the best way to keep things organized!

Finally, if you don’t already have it, be sure to grab my Freezer Meal Cheat Sheet – part of my Ultimate Meal Planning Toolkit – to keep track of everything you’ve stashed and whatever you need to reheat and serve it when you’re ready.

A toddler helping her mom meal prep some healthy snacks.

#5. ORGANIZE YOUR SHOPPING LIST

Taking multiple trips to the grocery store – or running all over the store in one trip to grab everything you need – can be THE biggest time-suck. But it doesn’t have to be! Once you start devoting at least 30 minutes a week to meal planning, you’ll be able to make one big shopping list that should get you through most of the week. On top of that, if you organize your shopping list by section of the grocery store, you’ll be able to be the most efficient on this one trip, without bouncing back and forth from produce to dairy to meat to produce, etc. To grab your very own organized shopping list template, click here.

The goal of this tip is twofold, to (1) minimize the total number of times you’re having to go to the grocery store each week – something that takes at least 30 minutes per trip even if you’re just going for one item – and (2) to maximize your efficiency on that one trip.

So, what do you think? Are you ready to tackle some of these meal planning tips? If you give them a shot, I’d love to hear how they worked for you in the comments below.

If you still feel overwhelmed – that you still can’t fit these tips into your busy schedule, that you don’t even know where to start in the kitchen, or that you just plain don’t want to think about it – be sure to check out my personalized meal planning services, where I do all of this work for you 😉

Here’s to healthy, happy and stress-free cooking for all you busy mamas out there!