By Jenny Stauffer

Summer has come and gone and it’s back -to-school time already! I know that as my own kids start school next week, it will be a shock to our internal clocks! Now is the time for easy, quick dinners that we can put together in a snap so that we have time for after school activities and homework! Here are some easy, delicious meals that you might try!


Cooking Light’s Pasta and Sausage

When using canned tomatoes, try to always use San Marzano tomatoes. If I can’t find them, I use the brands Tutteroso or Furmano.

Other Ingredients
1 (1-pound) package uncooked ziti (short tube-shaped pasta)
1 pound hot turkey Italian sausage links
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small can tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 (14.5-ounce) cans petite-diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Cooking spray
One 16 oz package of Italian shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain the pasta, and set aside.

Remove casings from sausage.

Cook sausage, onion, and garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble.

Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil.

Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine cooked pasta, sausage mixture, and basil.

Place half of the pasta mixture in a 4-quart casserole coated with cooking spray.

Top with half of the package of cheese. Repeat layers.

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

French Dip Crescent Rolls

These have been floating around Pinterest and food blogs for a while. I also like to use ham and swiss cheese in the crescent rolls, too. These have been a hit and could not be more easy to make. We had this with pasta salad and corn on the cob!

2 packages of crescent rolls
1 pound of deli roast beef, sliced
sliced Provolone cheese
1 package of Au Jus sauce, found in the packaged seasoning aisle

Separate each tube of crescent rolls into 8 triangles.

Two packages will yield 16 rolls (they are small).

Place on slice of beef and a half a slice of cheese on each roll. Starting with the pointy end of the roll, roll the crescent roll up.

Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes or until cooked through.While crescents are baking, prepare Au Jus according to directions. Serve with rolls.

Crock Pot BBQ and Quesadillas

I like to use a pork tenderloin for this. It will make enough to have leftovers or to freeze.

1 package pork tenderloin
1 bottle of your favorite bbq sauce ( I use KC Masterpiece)

Add tenderloins to the crock pot.

Add about a half a bottle of sauce. If your sauce is thick, use a little water to thin it some.

Bake on low for about 6 hours.

An hour before serving, shred the tenderloins and add more sauce if needed to the crock pot.

The shredded meat will need to cook on low for another hour to soak up the sauce.

You will need to check to see if you need to add more sauce or water throughout so that it does not dry out.

Serve on buns with slaw and pickles.

Leftover BBQ Quesadillas

Reheat the pork. Use on tortillas with cheddar cheese and cilantro, if desired, to make a quesadilla. My picky eater loves these, as the pork is sweet! We serve with salsa and sour cream. I usually heat up black beans or refried beans as a side and add some tortilla chips as a dip for the beans. Add a tossed salad or carrots with ranch and you are done!

Spicy White Bean Soup (Southern Living Quick and Easy Recipes)

Contrary to the title, this is really not spicy hot! It just has the spices and flavors similar to chili. This is easy to throw together, and you can always add rotisserie chicken, if you like.

1 large onion, chopped 2 T butter, melted
2 15oz. cans Great Northern beans, drained
2 15 oz cans yellow hominy, drained
2 14 oz cans chili-style chopped tomatoes, undrained
2 14 oz cans vegetable broth
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 T fresh cilantro

Cook onion in butter in a large dutch oven stirring constantly until tender

Add beans and remaining ingredients to dutch oven.

Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.