Best Back-to-School Dinner Recipes for Busy Families

Best Back-to-School Dinner Recipes for Busy Families
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As the summer winds down and school begins, the leisure lifestyle you and your family have had the past few months will soon amp up with after school activities and late night sports practices. With the schedule changes it can be difficult to get back into the swing of things and find a good rhythm, especially when it comes to preparing and serving meals. In a busy schedule, dinner seems to be rushed, skipped, or eaten at a drive-thru restaurant. Instead of falling back into those habits, here are a few Sargento Cheese recipes that are quick to whip up and easy to eat around a table:

1. Mini Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches


1 lb. ground chicken or turkey

¾ c barbecue sauce

½ c sliced green onions

½ tsp hot pepper sauce (optional)

8 slider rolls, split in half and toasted, if desired

8 slices of Sargento Ultra Thin Sliced Longhorn Colby Cheese

Beginning with the meat, sauté either the chicken, turkey, or mix of both over medium heat until the meat is lightly browned and no longer pink. Once cooked through, about 6 minutes, drain the meat and return it to the skillet.

Pour the barbecue sauce and green onions (and hot sauce if using it) over the meat, stir until the meat is coated, and allow the mixture to simmer until it is heated through, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Lay open rolls and spoon the mixture over the bottom of the rolls. Top the meat with a slice of cheese, place the tops of the buns on, and enjoy this nutritional meal with your family.

2. Arugula Salad with Cheddar, Dates, and Toasted Walnuts

This recipe works well as a meal or as a side dish for another meal. Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 ½ Tbsp. sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. finely diced shallot or sweet onion

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

¼ tsp. salt

1 6oz package baby arugula or mixed baby greens

1 ½ c Sargento Shredded Cheddar Cheese

¾ c chopped pitted dates

½ c coarsely chopped toasted walnuts

In a large bowl, whisk oil, vinegar, shallot, mustard, and salt until well mixed. Add in arugula and toss well. Add cheese, dates, and walnuts, toss again and serve.

3. Cheddar Bacon Stuffed Potatoes


4 baking potatoes

1 ½ c Sargento Artisan Blends Shredded Double Cheddar Cheese

4 slices cooked bacon, diced

2 c broccoli florets, cooked crisp-tender

½ c thinly sliced green onion

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

Optional: salsa or sour cream

In a 400-degree oven, bake potatoes for 55 minutes. Once they have cooled 10 minutes, cut potatoes in half, and scoop out the potatoes with a spoon, leaving ¼” thick shell.

Mash potato. In a separate bowl, mix cheese and bacon. Set ¼ c aside. Add broccoli, onion, salt, pepper, and remaining cheese and bacon to the potatoes. Add mix back into potato skins, top with set the leftover bacon and cheese, and bake for 20 minutes. Top with salsa or sour cream.



Busy Family Food: Soup Sundays

In my perfect world, every night would be an exercise in homemade culinary delight, but in the real world, I need a meal plan that gives me options AND gives me an opportunity to enjoy something truly wonderful at least once a week. Here are my favorite soup recipes that mean Soup Sunday at my house.

Bring Back the Dinner Hour

Groundbreaking studies reveal family meals help kids thrive. Johnny is headed to the ball field, grabbing a burger on the way. Jane is at the computer, clicking through MySpace and eating a bag of chips. Dad is working late again. And Mom is harried as she idles at the drive-thru for another windshield meal. What's happened to the family dinner?