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Three Easy Weeknight Crowd-Pleasing Meals for Your Family

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, weeknight dinners can be stressful and with the boys being involved in so many more after-school sports and activities, it’s hard to get dinner on the table. Sometimes we get stuck in a rut of feeding the kids something from the freezer while we order takeout or make a boring protein shake. But this fall, I’m trying to get on a better schedule of pre-determining three dinner meals in advance, and ordering all the necessary groceries on Sunday so they are in the fridge and ready to go for the week. Here are three easy and crowd-pleasing recipes that our family loves (kids included) that will have your loved ones eagerly gathering around the dinner table. Let's dive into these flavorful dishes.

1. Italian Sausage and Butternut Squash One-Pot Wonder (recipe from NYTimes Cooking)
Italian Sausage and Butternut Squash One-Pot Wonder (Linda Xiao for The New York Times)

This dish takes all of those comforting flavors of fall (squash, sage and brown butter - yum! - and ups the ante with a hearty dose of italian sausage. The best part about this dish is that it can be made in one pot, and it keeps in the fridge for a few days. We use gluten free penne by Barilla, but feel free to use any small or tube shaped pasta you have on hand.

2. Copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Nuggets (recipe from Sunday Supper Movement)

Copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Nuggets (photo from Sunday Supper Movement)Are your kids as obsessed with Chik-fil-A as much as mine are? My kids LIVE for their nuggets, so when we learned how to make our own take on this popular recipe using our Air Fryer, I knew we’d win the kids over at home. I am gluten free and we usually sub out gluten free all-purpose flour and it works just find. We also save all of the little Chik-fil-A sauce packets when we go to the actual restaurant, so those are on hand for an easy crowd-pleasing dip. Serve with sweet potato fries and call it a day!

3. Hearty Turkey Chili (recipe from the Ambitious Kitchen)

Hearty Turkey Chili (photo from the Ambitious Kitchen)Turkey chili is a dish I learned to make in college and have considered it one of my “specialities” ever since. I usually keep kidney beans, canned tomatoes and chili packets on hand, and the best part is this dish comes together quickly and can be frozen for later. I like to serve it with gluten free cornbread (I buy whatever brand is available at my local grocery store), or if I don’t have any cornbread, tortilla chips do the trick. You can up the spice with more cayenne, or dial it down for kids with sensitive palettes.