top of page

4 Back to School Suppers in 30 Minutes or Less

Words & images by Lisa L. Bynum

Ushering in a new school year can also usher in a lot of stress. Thankfully, getting dinner on the table does not have to be a part it. Any of these four flavorful back to school supper recipes can be made in 30 minutes or less.

Back to school supper, smothered hamburger steaks

Smothered Hamburger Steaks in the Oven

Serves 4-6 Ingredients:

  • 6 hamburger patties (about ½ lb. each)

  • Salt

  • Ground black pepper

  • Onion powder

  • Garlic powder

  • 8 oz. sliced white mushrooms

  • 1 cup thinly sliced white onion

  • 2 Tablespoons bacon grease or oil

  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup beef broth

  • Additional salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Line a baking pan with foil. Place a baking rack over the foil and spray with cooking spray.

  3. Season the outside of each of the hamburger steaks with the salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder to your preference.

  4. Place the hamburger patties on top of the baking rack. Bake for 15-25 minutes until juices from the patties are clear.

  5. In the meantime, melt the bacon grease or oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

  6. Add the mushroom and onions. Sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

  7. Add the flour and stir until the flour is incorporated and there are no lumps.

  8. Add the beef broth. Continue to simmer for 3-5 minutes until the broth begins to thicken into a gravy. Season the gravy with additional salt and pepper if needed.

  9. To serve, spoon the gravy over the tops of the hamburger steaks.

Back to school suppers, sloppy joes from scratch

Sloppy Joes from Scratch

Serves 4-6

This freezes well. Double or triple the recipe and save for a later date. Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 lb. ground beef

  • ½ cup onions, diced

  • ¼ cup celery, diced

  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced

  • 1 cup ketchup

  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Hamburger buns


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef until no longer pink, about 8 minutes.

  2. Using a slotted spoon, remove the ground beef to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Set aside. Reserve at least two Tablespoons of the grease in the skillet.

  3. Add the onions, celery and bell peppers to the skillet. Sauté the vegetables for an additional 8-10 minutes until they are tender.

  4. Return the ground beef to the skillet.

  5. Add ketchup, Worcestershire and mustard. Stir until combined and heated through. Season with salt and pepper.

  6. Serve on hamburger buns.

Back to school suppers, cheesy crescent roll chicken

Cheesy Crescent Roll Chicken

Serves 4-6


  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning (such as Tony Chachere’s)

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened

  • 1 cup diced cooked chicken breast

  • 1 Tablespoon minced onion

  • 2 Tablespoons chopped pimentos

  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

  • 2 cans of refrigerated crescent rolls

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Melt three Tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for two minutes.

  3. Reduce the heat to medium low. Slowly stir in the heavy cream. Bring the cream to a simmer and continue to cook until the cream begins to thicken. Remove the sauce from the heat and season with the Creole seasoning.

  4. Melt the remaining butter. Whip the butter and the cream cheese together.

  5. Add the diced chicken breast, onion, pimentos and one cup of the shredded cheddar. Stir together until the mixture is evenly combined.

  6. Unroll the crescent roll dough and separate the triangles along the perforations. Place about one Tablespoon of the chicken filling along the wide edge of each triangle. Carefully roll the crescent rolls up around the filling.

  7. Spread the sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 x 2-inch casserole dish. Arrange the stuffed crescent rolls over the sauce.

  8. Bake for 15 minutes. Top the crescent rolls with the remainder of the cheese. Bake for an additional 10 minutes until the crescent rolls are brown and the cheese is melted.

Back to school suppers, shrimp creole

Shrimp Creole

Serves 4-6 Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 3/4 cup chopped onion

  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced

  • 1/4 cup diced celery

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup chicken or shrimp stock

  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste

  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes

  • 3/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Hot cooked white rice

  • 2 green onions, optional


  1. Melt butter in a large sauté pan or pot over medium heat.

  2. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery. Sauté the vegetables until tender, about five minutes.

  3. Add the garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds.

  4. Add the chicken or shrimp stock, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, Cajun seasoning, Italian seasoning, and parsley. Stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.

  5. Stir in the shrimp. Continue to simmer until the shrimp are pink and opaque, about five minutes.

  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  7. Serve Shrimp Creole over cooked rice. Garnish with green onions, if desired.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page