Start the school year with easy back-to-school dinners

Family Features /

When the school bells start ringing, putting wholesome and tasty family dinners on the table can get a lot harder to schedule. These simple, seasonal recipes – from one-pot taco skillets to sheet pan pork tenderloin – can help you own the school-year dinner routine.

Fall Skillet Pot Pie

Store-bought rotisserie chicken, refrigerated biscuits and an oven-proof skillet can make this comfort food favorite a weeknight reality. Chicken stock mixed with a blend of seasonings adds savory richness to the sweet potatoes and peas for a meal that warms you inside and out.

Servings: 5

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup flour

2 cups Kitchen Basics Æ Original Chicken Stock

1cup milk

1/2 cup apple cider

1/2 teaspoon McCormick Æ Garlic Powder

1/2 teaspoon McCormick Æ Ground Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon McCormick Æ Thyme Leaves

1/4 teaspoon McCormick Æ Coarse Ground Black Pepper

2 cups cubed cooked chicken

1 large sweet potato,, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)

1 cup frozen peas

1 can (7.5 ounces) refrigerated biscuits, (10 biscuits)

Preheat oven to 450 ∞F. Melt butter in large ovenproof nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir 5 minutes or until softened. Sprinkle with flour. Stir with whisk until mixture is well blended. Add stock, milk, apple cider, garlic powder, cinnamon, thyme and pepper; whisk until mixture is smooth.

Stir in chicken, sweet potatoes and peas. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook and stir 15 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender.

Place biscuits on top of chicken mixture. Bake 10 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.

Nutrition information (per Serving)


13gTotal Fat

7gSaturated Fat






Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Lo Mein

This dish features everything you love about the Asian take-out favorite carrots, bell pepper and shrimp all flavored with a savory mixture of soy sauce, ginger and garlic. Using the microwave to cook the squash means you’ll have it on the table for your family in no time.

Servings 7(1 cup)

1 spaghetti squash, (about 21/2 pounds)

1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons McCormick Æ Garlic Powder, divided

11/4 teaspoons McCormick Æ Ginger, Ground, divided

2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided

11/2 cups matchstick carrots

1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

Cut spaghetti squash crosswise into 1-inch thick rings. Remove seeds. Place rings on microwavable plate. Pour 1/4 cup water in the plate. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on HIGH 7 minutes or until tender. Let stand in microwave 10 minutes. Carefully remove from microwave. Peel the skin off the squash, then shred the flesh, using fingers or a fork, into long thin strands. Place squash noodles in large bowl. Discard the skin. (Should yield about 5 cups of squash noodles.)

Meanwhile, mix soy sauce, honey, 11/2 teaspoons of the garlic powder and 1 teaspoon of the ginger in small bowl until well blended. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add carrots and pepper; stir-fry 3 minutes. Add shrimp and sauce mixture; stir-fry 2 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Remove shrimp mixture from skillet.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in skillet on medium-high heat. Add squash noodles, remaining 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon ginger; cook and stir gently 1 minute to heat through. Return shrimp mixture to skillet; toss gently with squash noodles. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with green onions.

Nutrition information (per Serving)


5gTotal Fat

1gSaturated Fat




3gFiber 12gProtein

Open-Faced Hot Turkey Sandwiches

Prepared turkey gravy makes this a sandwich you can really sink your teeth into. Stack your bread with spinach, turkey and cranberry sauce and serve it warm for a taste of Thanksgiving any time of year.

Servings: 4

1 container (12 ounces) McCormick Æ Simply Better Turkey Gravy

8 slices cooked turkey

1 loaf baguette bread, (12 inches long)

1 cup fresh spinach leaves

1 cup prepared stuffing, warmed

1/2 cup cranberry sauce

Cook gravy and turkey slices in large skillet on medium-high heat until heated through.

Cut baguette in half lengthwise, then cut each piece in half. Place bread, cut-side up, onto 4 serving plates.

Top bread evenly with spinach, turkey, stuffing, any remaining gravy and cranberry sauce.

Easy Roasted Pork Tenderloin and Apples

Brush pork with brown sugar and a robust blend of seasonings for a meal that equal parts sweet and savory. Bake on a single sheet pan with sliced apples and onions for an easy dinner in no time.

Servings: 6

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon McCormick Æ Paprika

1teaspoon McCormick Æ Rosemary Leaves, crushed

1/2 teaspoon McCormick Æ Garlic Powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 pork tenderloin, about 1 pound

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 medium apples, cored and cut into thin wedges

1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges

Preheat oven to 425 ∞F. Mix brown sugar and seasonings in large bowl. Reserve 1 tablespoon. Brush pork tenderloin with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Sprinkle with remaining seasoning mixture. Place in center of large foil-lined shallow baking pan.

Toss apples, onions and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in medium bowl. Add reserved seasoning mixture; toss to coat well. Spread around pork in pan.

Roast 25 to 30 minutes or until pork is desired doneness. Slice pork and serve with apples and onions.


Simply combine noodles, fresh veggies, chicken breast strips and a tangy stir-fry sauce. You’ll be left with an Asian-inspired dish that’s ready faster than you could order in a restaurant and every bit as tasty.

Servings 4

1/3 pack of Simply Asia Chinese Style Lo Mein Noodles

4 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided

2 cups assorted cut-up fresh vegetables such as small broccoli florets, sliced red bell peppers, thinly sliced carrots and thinly sliced onions

1/2pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips

1/2cup stir fry sauce

Prepare noodles according to package instructions. Drain well.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large skillet on medium high heat. Add chicken and stir fry 3 to 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from skillet.

Heat remaining oil in large skillet on medium high heat. Add vegetables and stir fry 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender crisp. Return chicken to pan. Stir in noodles and sauce; cook until well mixed and heated through.

Slow Cooker Korean Beef

Make everybody’s favorite Korean barbecue at home in the slow cooker. Beef bone broth contributes to the robust, Asian-inspired flavor of this dish, and is complemented by ginger and Korean red pepper.

Servings 10

1 cup Kitchens Basics Æ Original Beef Bone Broth

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

4 teaspoons McCormick Gourmet/¢ Korean-Style Red Pepper

2 teaspoons McCormick Gourmet/¢ Organic Ground Ginger

3pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/4 cup water

3 tablespoons cornstarch

Mix bone broth, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, vinegar and spices in 6-quart slow cooker until well blended. Add beef, turn to coat. Cover.

Cook 5 hours on HIGH or until beef shreds easily with a fork. Remove beef from slow cooker into large bowl. Shred beef; keep warm.

Whisk water and cornstarch in small bowl until well blended. Stir cornstarch mixture into slow cooker. Cover. Cook 30 minutes longer on HIGH or until sauce has thickened.

Return shredded beef to slow cooker; mix well. If desired, serve beef in lettuce leaves with cooked rice and assorted toppings, such as kimchi, bean sprouts, carrots, radishes and green onions.

Nutrition information (per Serving)


21gTotal Fat

8gSaturated Fat




0gFiber 35gProtein

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