• Abby Cirkles

Five Favorite "No Brain Dinners"



Isn't it just bizarre how the people in your home expect meals 3 times a day?! I say that jokingly, but goodness, a HUGE part of parenting is cooking.


If your kitchen is your "sanctuary" and "creative outlet" PLEASE share your tips and tricks and recipes. I can't say I'm one of those people *yet*.

I am not Julia Child by any stretch, but I am learning, day by day, meal by meal, how to get better at meal planning, cooking, and enjoying. (I mean, folks, if we're going to be doing this 3 times a day for the rest of our life, we might as well enjoy it, ya know?) Today I want to share my 5 "No Brain" Dinners. All under 30 min.

These are my "I don't have time to dig in recipe books and scroll on pinterest. I need something fast, easy, and yummy for my family.


I usually keep these items always in my pantry/fridge/freezer to make sure I always have something to pull from.


***I'm not prizing myself in the health level of these. I also am not giving full recipes because I don't have them... thus my "No Brain" Dinners. It's a lot of dump this, mix that, call it done. 1. Sheet Pan Dinner

One pan makes for easy prep and easy clean up.

  • Take chicken or sausage

  • Take some veggies. I usually do sweet potatoes/potatoes/broccoli/green bell peppers

  • Put them on a cookie sheet, drizzled in olive oil and seasoned and cook for about 20-25 min at 425.

  • Done.


A good "reset" dinner when you want to skip the fastfood temptation but also don't want to work too hard.

2. Tortellini

Frozen Tortellini is AMAZING. It takes 3 min to cook. I'm not kidding. Y

ou can't mess it up - put it in boiling water and when it rises to the top it's done.

  • Cook a bag of frozen Tortellini

  • Add sauce on hand : Pasta sauce/ pesto sauce/ etc.

  • Put it with a side salad to make you feel better about eating nothing but carbed cheese

  • Done


This is not my picture, but I couldn't find one of my own. Prorably because if I pull out tortellini it's been a crazy day and I need a 5 min dinner.


3. Breakfast for Dinner

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and for kids this is usually a winner.

  • Scrambled eggs, waffles or pancakes, sausage, bacon, cereal.... you pick

  • Done :)

  • It seems *festive and fun* but it's actually an easy win for you as the parent


For mother's day my request was to have breakfast for every meal! This was definitely a "Treat Breakfast" from Ryan!

3. Asian Stir Fry

We cook a lot of Asian food in our home. I've learned, if you have all the base seasonings it's really easy to mix it up. (Rice vinegar, sesame oil, fish sauce, ginger powder, etc.)

  • I cut up chicken into cubes and cook that in sesame oil.

  • Add some frozen Asian stir fry veggies.

  • I add in soy sauce but you can use anything or nothing.

  • Sprinkle in ginger/salt/pepper

  • I cook some "boil in a bag" rice or rice noodles (which take about 2 min to boil)

  • Done.


Pad Thai version here. Asian dishes really are such a go-to in our home.


5. Taco Dump Soup I love my slow cooker and use it a lot. This is such an easy go-to.

  • Cook ground beef

Open and dump in :

  • Can of corn

  • Can of rotel

  • Can of black beans

  • Can of red beans

  • Can of petite tomatoes

  • Pack of ranch dry mix (not needed. You can add in your own seasoning)

Cook all together on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours

* Serve with sour cream/cheese/tortilla chips if desired



I am cracking up at this throwback picture I found! Taco Soup was my staple in our first year of marriage when I was still getting confident in the kitchen. We didn't have a tv (or kids lol) for our first year of marriage so every night was dinner and a board game.

I wish I could have you all over for coffee and tea and swap, our "No Brain Dinner" lists! But since I can't, please share in the comments or on social media!


What are your easy go-to meals in your home?


Remember, you can make any meal meaningful with a joyful attitude, maybe a placemat or candle, and some good conversation. Mealtime is a GREAT time for family discipleship. Keep it simple and keep it consistent! Happy Eating, Abby

*Don't forget... The Cirkles are cheering you on!

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