When it comes to putting food on the table, we’re big fans of convenience. We’re all too familiar with that feeling you get when it’s five o’ clock and you’ve barely had time to think about dinner, let alone make it. That’s when we pull out the frozen meals — and we’ve learned that convenience doesn’t mean sacrificing quality! Here are a few of our favorite hacks to transform Smart Ones frozen meals into homemade dinners, minimal prep required.
Start with: Ziti (We love Smart Ones Three Cheese Ziti)
Top the cooked ziti meal with parmesan and dollops of ricotta before broiling in the oven for an extra cheesy layer. Garnish with fresh basil, cracked black pepper, and a drizzle of balsamic to amp up the flavors even more.
Gourmet Mac & Cheese
Start with: Mac and cheese (We love Smart Ones Three Cheese Mac & Cheese)
Mac and cheese is a perfect “blank slate” meal to customize to your tastes. Add anything from fresh herbs (we love sage and basil) to nice cheese (Asiago, sharp cheddar) to mix-ins (broccoli, crumbled sausage). Don’t forget to top with breadcrumbs or chopped toasted nuts for a contrast in texture!
Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps
Start with: Teriyaki chicken (We love Smart Ones Teriyaki Chicken & Vegetables)
For a light, crowd-pleasing meal, wrap teriyaki chicken in lettuce. Bonus: make a DIY lettuce wrap bar with toppings like sliced pineapple, sriracha, and chopped peanuts.
Start with: Rice, beans, and chopped vegetables (We love Smart Ones Santa Fe Rice & Beans)
Give peppers a southwestern twist by stuffing them with a rice, bean, and veggie medley, mixed with tomato paste. Bake in the oven until the peppers are softened, topping with shredded cheese in the last 5 minutes.
Start with: Potatoes or tater tots and vegetables (We love Smart Ones Broccoli and Cheddar Roasted Potatoes)
Few meals are more satisfying than a one-pan breakfast, no matter the time of day. Line a baking dish with the potatoes and vegetables. Smash them with a potato masher before baking until crisp. Then whisk together a few eggs with milk and cheese, and pour over the top. Bake until cooked, and then dig in!