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Readers weigh in: What’s your go-to meal?

Ever wonder what other people’s go-to meals are? We do! Let’s take a look at what families, couples and singles are eating for dinner when nothing’s planned.

Young couple cooking dinner

With busy schedules day after day, planning dinner can become a chore and no longer seem enjoyable.

Plan a few meals for the week, make a list, head to the store and use up the food you bought within said week. Seems simple, but we all get busy and can wind up short. We asked our readers to share what their go-to meals are when they forget to plan something. Plus, we’re sharing some simple recipes to match what our readers have shared!

Go-to meals for families

My husband and I are always chaotic when it comes to meals. I work from home, and we have two kids, so quite often the computer is next to the oven as I cook! Our best “quickie” meal is jacket potatoes — salad veggies, squeeze of fresh lemon juice, grilled chicken or bacon and a dollop of brown sauce all topped on a baked potato. — Daisy

Quick-and-easy takes on baked potatoes >>

I cook for a family of four and my go-to meal is baked ziti. It only has six ingredients — browned hamburger meat, noodles, chopped onion, jar of spaghetti sauce, mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Everyone likes it, and it’s fast and easy! — Zan

Pair it with sauteed zucchini >>

We keep it super simple around here. Our go-to meals are meals that don’t require cooking — such as cereal, salad, hot dogs or ramen. — Natasha

Try this toasted ramen noodle salad >>

Go-to meals for couples

To us, go-to meals must have five ingredients or less. Case in point — turkey pesto meatballs: salt, egg whites, breadcrumbs, package of ground turkey and pesto. Mix together, form into meatballs and cook for 20 minutes over a layer of pasta sauce. Delicious! — Cristina

Learn how to make your own pesto >>

We routinely make crustless quiche and lots of soups. Most take 45 minutes, but we only use staples from our pantry and the meals take very little preparation or effort. — Laura

Need some ideas? Try these 31 soups, stews, chilis and chowders >>

I sear salmon with a teaspoon of soy sauce and coconut oil, put spinach in the same pan once it’s done cooking and serve it with whole grain bread and apple slices. It’s easy, fast and super healthy overall! — Rachelle

Try this simple Parmesan salmon >>

Go-to meals for singles

I simply heat up refried beans with a chunk of cheese and top with hot sauce, sometimes chips. It’s got protein, starches, fats and is quick and easy. — John

Make your own slow cooker refried beans >>

I always have pasta, garlic and dried parsley around. It makes for a delicious, quick dinner for myself or if I have unexpected guests. If I have fresh veggies on hand, I throw those in too! — Shantel

Check out these 14 hot pasta recipes >>

I work crazy hours and always opt for quick and healthy. Examples include fish or boneless chicken cutlets, bagged salad or couscous with garlic, olive oil, butter, salt and pepper. Couscous is just as quick and much healthier than pasta. — Crystal

Try couscous and beans with fresh tomato sauce >>

More quick and easy meals

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