Hard to believe summer’s about over and kids are already going back to school. Didn’t we just celebrate Independence Day…like, last week?

Like yours, our family schedule is nutso. I work full-time in addition to my freelance writing, and my husband is a lacrosse coach in addition to being a stay-at-home dad. Our 8-year old is a dancer, and has to be shuttled to and from the studio three afternoons a week, and our 4-year old (gloriously) has no extracurriculars to add to the chaos – yet.

We don’t shun take-out, but I do enjoy cooking (hello – I’m a foodie blogger) and I love the fact that despite all of our craziness, I’m still able to put home-cooked meals on the table most nights in less than an hour.

Are you little nervous about school starting back up and trying to fit dinner into the mix? Don’t sweat it. Here are my five favorite weeknight meals for back to school:

Easy Weeknight Meals - Orecchiette with Parmesan & Pistachios, (cool) progeny

Orecchiette with Parmesan & Pistachios (30 minutes)
This pasta dish will become a quick favorite in your house with its light-but-creamy texture from the Parmesan cheese, and gentle nuttiness from the pistachios. Great reheated the next day (or at room temp – perfect for lunchbox leftovers!), you can also pair this with a seared chicken breast, or grilled shrimp.

SUPERHERO Cast Iron-Man Skillet Pork Chops - (cool) progeny

Cast “Iron-Man” Skillet Pork Chops (25 minutes)
Even though the recipe calls for only two pork chops, I find that with the thick-cut it’s plenty of meat for the four of us. My husband inhales one all by himself, I eat half of one, and my kids (ages 8 and 4) split the other half. Make sure you let the chops rest for 5 minutes before cutting into them – this trick keeps them extra juicy!

Easy Weeknight Meals - Chicken Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo, (cool) progeny

Chicken Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo (20 minutes)
Homemade Alfredo sauce is not as scary as it may seem, and once you try it you’ll never go back to the jarred variety every again!

Easy Weeknight Meals - Crispy Chicken, (cool) progeny

Easy Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs with Perfectly Crispy Skin (55 minutes)
This recipe has been a reader favorite on my blog for over a year, and it’s easy to see why: a minimal, budget-friendly set of ingredients married with a simple cooking process. And yes, the skin really does get super crispy! Hint: Don’t skimp on the salt!

Easy Weeknight Meals - Seared Shrimp Spaghetti Marinara, (cool) progeny

Seared Shrimp Spaghetti Marinara (15 minutes)
Frozen raw shrimp are a staple in my house – I love them and their versatility! Pasta, tacos, fajitas, jambalaya, and more – the meal options are endless. Plus, frozen raw shrimp only take minutes to thaw, and I can often find the jumbo on sale for a mere $7.99/bag at my local grocery store.

What’s your favorite quick weeknight meal?

Image Credit: Liza Hawkins, (a)Musing Foodie