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Are you a busy single mom? Busy single moms know that sometimes dinner is the last thought on your mind. On top of the hard work it takes to raise your kids, it also takes a lot of effort and time to plan for dinner

Sometimes the plans you may have had earlier in the week slip through the cracks when you are the only one who plans meals and cares for the kids. 

It can be helpful to have some recipes or ideas on hand for times like these when cooking something extravagant is definitely not an option. 

Here are five dinner ideas for the busy single mom. For more single parenting advice, feel free to check out this article at BetterHelp.

Sitting mum and child

Spruced up jarred pasta sauce

One staple that can stay in the pantry for weeks until mealtime is always pasta with jarred sauce. Both the dried noodles and the jarred sauce are shelf-stable and come in many different shapes and flavours. 

The key to making it a meal everyone can enjoy is sprucing up the jarred sauce with some fresh vegetables, meats, or grated cheese. Just sautee some spinach, courgette, mushrooms, ground beef, chicken, or whatever you like in a pan until cooked through, then add your jarred sauce to warm while the noodles boil. 

In less than 20 minutes, you can have a fresh and healthy meal from your pantry.

One pot chicken and rice

Oftentimes the worst part of mealtime comes when you have to wash the dishes. This is why a one-pot or pan meal can be a life-changer. 

If you don’t have a slow cooker, fear not. You can still make one-pot chicken and rice. 

Simply sautee any vegetables in a pot, then add your rice, liquid, and chicken in bite-sized pieces. Allow the liquid to come to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover until the rice is tender and the meat is cooked through. 

For a pro tip, sautee your rice in some butter until it is lightly toasted to add more flavour to the meal.

Make your own pizza as a busy single mom

A great way to incorporate your kids into mealtime, to occupy them and get a little help, is to have a make-your-own pizza night. Chop up some veggies and pepperoni, and allow your kids to build their pizza with sauce and shredded cheese on some sliced crusty bread or store-bought dough. 

Place all the pizzas on a sheet tray and bake until golden.

Stone soup

One of the most delicious, nutritious meals you can make for your family is vegetable soup. This hands-off, flexible recipe also allows you to use up anything in the fridge that might go bad soon. 

Simply sautee some onions and garlic, if you have them, before filling your pot with water or stock. Then add any vegetable or meat you have on hand and boil until they are soft or cooked through. 

The name of this recipe comes from a folk tale in which characters share a little bit of anything they have to make a rich and flavorful soup.

Burrito bowls

Burrito bowls are a great way to get your kids to eat their veggies, and a great recipe for you to customize however you’d like. 

Simply load up a bowl with some rice, lettuce, tomato, beans, and any meat you’d like and top with some grated cheese. Customize as needed for picky eaters, then serve alongside tortillas for an extra fun way to eat.

These dinner ideas are perfect for the busy single mom who may not have as much time to prepare for dinner. 

All of these recipes cut back on prep time or time spent standing over the stove and some are even perfect for a kid’s helping hand. 

Next time you’re in a rush, try one of these simple and creative meals.

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