Our Best Weeknight Meals for Back-to-School

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Back-to-school: the bittersweet time where schedules and structure reign supreme once more. Whether you have a regular rhythm of Meatball Monday, Taco Tuesday, Pizza Friday, or you’re more of the wing it at the last minute type, these quick weeknight meals are straightforward and easy to adapt to whatever you have in the fridge.

Smoked Stuffed BBQ Meatballs in a cast iron pan
BBQ Sauced and cheese stuffed meatballs will have both parents and kids asking for more.

Do you dread the “what’s for dinner?” question every night? Well no more! We’ve got loads of new and delicious recipes for you to try. In a time crunch? Make multiple meals on Sunday and store them in the freezer. Weeknight dinner leftovers will also make a great school lunch idea for your kiddos. Two birds with one stone? I’m here for that.

If you have time to fire up the grill, check out our Tri Tip recipe, Easy Grilled Salmon, or our Grilled Chicken round-up.

Mac and Cheese Dinners

We gussy up our macaroni and cheese with a healthy protein like chicken and even add some vegetables to make it a full meal in one pan. You can sub in gluten-free pasta to make these dishes GF.

Smoked Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
5 from 1 vote

Smoked Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe

Creamy smoked butternut squash puree mixed with smoked chicken, bacon, and cheese for a creamy and flavorful mac and cheese.
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Grilled Mac and Cheese in a cast iron pan.
5 from 2 votes

Grilled Mac and Cheese with Bacon and Chicken

Creamy cheese, crispy bacon, grilled chicken, and classic macaroni cooked on the grill.
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Smoked Tri Tip Macaroni and Cheese, Cooked on the Grill
5 from 2 votes

Smoked Tri Tip Mac and Cheese Recipe

Smoked Tri Tip Mac and Cheese is made with perfectly smoked and tender tri tip, mixed with an ultra creamy cheese sauce and cooked on the grill.
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Meatball Monday Inspiration

Meatballs are easy to make ahead and keep in the freezer until you need them for a weeknight meal. Whether it’s on the grill, in a skillet, or in a crockpot, meatballs are so easy to reheat your older kids can help you out by doing it themselves.

Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sliders on pan
5 from 2 votes

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Meatballs Slider Recipe

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sliders are an outstanding snack when you're craving a classic chicken wing but want to change it up a bit. We deconstruct a classic chicken wing and turn it into a flavorful meatball for sliders. A healthier alternative to fried wings!
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A single Italian Meatball Slider
5 from 1 vote

Grilled Meatball Sliders

A quick and easy dinner idea for the whole family. Italian Meatball Sliders made with frozen meatballs, Tomato Basil Sauce, Hawaiian rolls, and Provolone cheese, cooked on the grill. This whole meal comes together in under 20 minutes!
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5 from 3 votes

Smoked Lamb Meatballs

Smoked Lamb Meatballs, made with ground lamb shoulder, are jam-packed with flavor and a offer an awesome way to jazz up any pita sandwich or pasta dish.
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5 from 4 votes

Smoked Meatball Sandwiches

Smoked meatball sandwiches, made with a combination of beef and pork and bacon paste to bind it. Smoked to perfection and served with a smoked marinara sauce.
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Smoked Stuffed BBQ Meatballs in a cast iron pan
4.46 from 11 votes

Smoked Stuffed BBQ Meatballs Recipe

Smoked meatballs stuffed with mozzarella cheese, slowly smoked on the grill, and then finished with a BBQ sauce glaze. These are the ultimate game day food or appetizer for your next gathering. 
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Smoked Meatballs with a Cranberry and Red Wine Sauce
5 from 1 vote

Smoked Cranberry Meatballs in a Cranberry Red Wine Sauce

A simple, delicious, and elegant appetizer idea for the holidays. Smoked meatballs made with pork and beef, cooked on the smoker, and then braised in a sweet and savory cranberry wine sauce.
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5 from 6 votes

Smoked Turkey Meatballs Recipe with Bacon Paste

Recipe for easy turkey meatballs and the secret to adding delicious flavor and moisture to turkey meatballs — bacon paste! Learn the trick to amazing meatballs for your favorite pasta dish.
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Taco Night Recipes

Tacos are one of the easiest weeknight meals to make. So much so that we often have them multiple times a week! Set out filling ingredients and everyone can help themselves, making it perfect for picky eaters. We smoke a chicken or two at the beginning of the week and keep shredded pork and brisket in the freezer, so no cooking is needed during the week.

Grilled Corn and Chicken Tacos on a white plate
5 from 4 votes

Grilled Corn Tacos Recipe with Chicken and Tarragon Sauce

A great corn taco recipe with chicken and a fresh tarragon sauce. Best with Corn Tortillas.
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Ground Beef Taco Lettuce Wraps
5 from 1 vote

Taco Lettuce Wraps Recipe with Ground Beef

Smoked ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning served in crispy lettuce wraps, and finished with a soothing avocado cream sauce and your favorite toppings.
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Smoked Pulled Pork Tacos

Smoked Pulled Pork Tacos

A simple, quick, and delicious use for leftover smoked pulled pork. Smoked pulled pork tacos.
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Healthy Fish Tacos
5 from 4 votes

Grilled Fish Tacos Recipe with Citrus Marinade

An easy and healthy recipe for grilled fish tacos topped with a grilled corn slaw and creamy avocado sauce. Comes with wine pairing recommendations.
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Brisket Tacos on a serving platter
4.60 from 10 votes

Smoked Beef Brisket Tacos

A simple and delicious brisket taco recipe for leftover smoked brisket.
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Spicy Grilled Chicken Tacos topped with Avocado Crema on a serving platter
5 from 6 votes

Grilled Spicy Chicken Tacos with Avocado Crema

Grilled Spicy Chicken Tacos start with chicken breasts marinated in a simple chipotle marinade, then quickly grilled and topped with a cooling avocado crema. Perfect for a weeknight family meal. 
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Grilled Carne Asada Skirt Steak Tacos
4.43 from 80 votes

Carne Asada Skirt Steak Tacos Recipe

Carne Asada made with marinated skirt steak, then grilled hot and fast and sliced thin for the ultimate Taco Night meal.
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Ribeye Steak Tacos
5 from 3 votes

Ribeye Steak Tacos Recipe

Ribeye Steak Tacos are a great option to elevate a taco with the tender and delicious flavor of ribeye.
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Chipotle Shredded Grilled Chicken
5 from 2 votes

Chipotle Honey Grilled Chicken

An easy and delicious recipe for spicy and sweet Chipotle Honey Grilled Chicken. Grilled marinated chicken, shredded and perfect for tacos, sliders, sandwiches, and so much more. 
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Weeknight Pizza on the Grill

Pizza is another easy weeknight meal for picky eaters. We like to make several small pizzas so everyone gets to choose their own toppings. Cleaning out the fridge and found a slightly soft bell pepper and a lonely olive in a jar? Throw it on a pizza and it becomes a masterpiece!

A pizza topped with pears, prosciutto, caramelized onions, and micro greens
5 from 1 vote

Grilled Pizza with Prosciutto and Pears

An easy grilled flatbread pizza recipe with pears, prosciutto, burrata, honey and balsamic.
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Peppers Sausage Tomatoes Grilled Pizza
5 from 2 votes

Sausage and Pepper Pellet Grill Pizza

A simple recipe for making pizza on a pellet grill using a store bought dough, peppers, sausage, mushrooms, and cheese.
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5 from 2 votes

BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

An easy Smoked BBQ Chicken Pizza, made with smoked chicken, a blend of cheeses, and our favorite toppings. Perfect for Pizza Night!!!
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A grilled pepperoni and hot pepper pizza, cut into 6 slices
4.80 from 5 votes

Easy Grilled Pizza Recipe On The Big Green Egg

Get a crispy and delicious grilled pizza using a great dough and your favorite ingredients. Grilled pizza on a Big Green Egg.
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Smoked Brisket Pizza
5 from 2 votes

Smoked Beef Brisket Pizza Recipe

A perfect use for leftover smoked beef brisket. Smoked Brisket Pizza. A great treat for parties or a fun dinner.
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Smoked Buffalo Chicken Pizza sliced.
5 from 2 votes

Buffalo Chicken Pizza Recipe

Smoked Buffalo Chicken Pizza is the perfect answer for when you're wanting Buffalo wings, but also pizza! Makes for a great leftover chicken recipe.
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Thank you for being part of our community. If you make any of our dishes we’d love to see them on social media using the hashtag #vindulge and give it a 5 star review.

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mary cressler headshot

Vindulge

About Mary


I'm Mary, a wine/food/travel writer, Certified Sommelier, mom of twins, former vegetarian turned BBQ fanatic, runner, founder of Vindulge, and author of Fire + Wine cookbook. Thanks for stopping by!

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