Quick and Simple Meal Ideas for Busy Moms – Bacon Mac n Cheese Recipe

Quick and simple meal ideas are a lifesaver at the end of the day after I’m done working.   As much as I love to cook, some days I just do not have the time to spend an hour in the kitchen making a complicated recipe.   I want something that is fairly quick to prepare but will still wow my family.   They aren’t going to be real impressed if I try to serve them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or a bowl of cereal for dinner as much as I’d like to some nights.  I have a few quick and simple meal ideas that I turn to regularly.

Quick and simple meal ideas

Quick and Simple Meal Ideas for Busy Moms

  • Subs or hoagies like these delicious baked turkey hoagies. Add tons of fresh veggies for toppings or serve a garden salad along with dinner.
  • Quick and simple casseroles (especially ones that use up leftovers).  This casserole that uses up leftover turkey is one I want to try soon.
  • Breakfast for dinner is very popular in our house and includes eggs, pancakes and waffles.
  • Anything in the slow cooker ends up being a huge time saver in my family. Just toss it in that morning and it’s ready at dinner time.
  • Family favorite casseroles that are easy to prepare.  I recently tried this Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese using Progresso Recipe Starters Creamy Three Cheese cooking sauce and it was a huge hit. It took only ten minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook.

Yields 6

Bacon Mac 'n Cheese

10 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

30 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 3 cups pasta
  • 1 can Progresso Recipe Starters Creamy Three Cheese cooking sauce
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp chopped garlic in water
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 oz American cheese loaf, shredded (1/2 cup)
  • 1 bag (2.5 oz) cooked real bacon pieces or bits
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper (optional)
panna cooking


  1. Heat oven to 400F. Spray 2 quart casserole with cooking spray. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.
  2. In 3 quart saucepan, heat Recipe Starters cooking sauce, milk and garlic to boiling. Remove from heat. Stir in cheeses until melted. Stir in pasta, bacon and bell pepper. Spoon into casserole.
  3. Bake uncovered 20 minutes or until edges are bubbly. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Visit http://goo.gl/H49j3 to download a printable coupon for $.65 off the purchase of 1 can of Progresso Recipe Starters Cooking Sauce and try some of these recipes today.

quick and simple meal ideas

One of my lucky readers will win the prize package pictured above.

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  1. How do we enter, Ellen?
  2. I learned progresso has a bunch of awesome ideas for meals and meal starter soups you can get. I think the brussel sprouts bacon one looks good. I wish someone else in my family liked brussel sprouts.
    • I like the idea of these, because I have used meal spice kits before and usually use broth for juiciness and with these it's less stuff to buy
  3. You an get a $1.00 off coupon for Progresso Light soup in their site!
  4. 4easy dinners use them
  5. they have an easy recipe section too
  6. Karen Medlin says:
    learned that By the 1930s, Progresso was known throughout the northeastern U.S. as a trusted source for superior tomatoes and tomato paste
  7. they have lots of recipes
  8. Tina Bartunek says:
    So many different recipes to make! Love it!
  9. Thomas Murphy says:
    I learned how to make Italian Sweet Potato Gratin from there recipe.
  10. I learned you can use these soups in recipes, which I had never thought of before.
  11. Ttrockwood says:
    They also offer creamy portabello recipe starter and have a great recipe database on the website!Ps Your recipe ingredient list doesnt include pasta....?
  12. I have made the cheesy bacon potatoes. They are wonderful.
  13. EMMA L HORTON says:
    In 1988, Progresso joined the Pillsbury® family of brands, which later merged with General Mills in 2001 and made Progresso products more widely available than ever before
  14. I learned the first Progresso soups — among the earliest ready-to-serve soups in the nation — were created to help keep the business and its employees busy in winter months when vegetables were out of season.
  15. The story of Progresso® began in the late 1800s in the small Sicilian village of Salemi, where young Giuseppe Uddo grew up surrounded by the authentic flavors and traditions of classic Italian cooking
  16. Dana Rodriguez says:
    I love all of the easy recipes!I am very busy so the easier the better!
  17. I learned that the company was sold to Imasco in 1969.
  18. I learned they have coupons on their website.
  19. Linda Lansford says:
    I learned they have many varieties
  20. Progresso got its name after WW1
  21. It's a very versatile product!
  22. I'd love to try the fire roasted tomato.
  23. Keely Hostetter says:
    Some yummy recipes I like the Cheesy Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
  24. I learned that there is a recipe for Loaded Twice-Baked Potato Casserole that sounds great!
  25. Kellie Rose Wilson says:
    I learned that the company was sold to Imasco in 1969.
  26. I learned how to make Italian Sweet Potato Gratin.
  27. Stephanie Larison says:
    I learned they have recipes on the site, also money saving coupons!
  28. i learned their site has a dollar off coupon
  29. l learned that Progresso soups were introduced using family recipes in 1946, and were among the first ready-to-serve soups available.
  30. Brittney House says:
    i like the easy to follow along recipes
  31. They have a pulled chicken sandwiches video that makes it look easy, I could potentially do it.
  32. I learned they have five varieties of recipe starters
  33. Kayleen Considine says:
    I learned there are a good variety of the recipe starters and you can make some pretty good looking meals with them.
  34. I learned that they have a recipes area
  35. Ellen Casper says:
    I learned the website has lots of yummy recipes!
  36. I learned there are 5 recipe starters
  37. I learned that they have a lot of recipes on their website you can choose from for ideas 
  38. Dianna Thomas says:
    Under promotions you can pick up on some savings --$1.00 off coupon for future use
  39. I learned that there are a lot of recipes and ideas on the site.
  40. They have coupons and recipes on the site...awesome.
  41. I learned that in addition to the coupon you link to, they also have one for $1brisket off of their light soups.;
  42. they have an easy recipe section
  43. Melanie Montgomery says:
    They have a great recipe section
  44. I learned that they have lots of recipes for you to use the recipes starters with
  45. I learned they have great recipes!
  46. I learned that they also make broths in convenient packaging and have money saving coupons on their site.
  47. Samantha Meyer says:
    I learned that there are numerous recipes you can use these in.
  48. I learned about the recipe starter soups...never knew they existed.
  49. Brenda Elsner says:
    I love the the recipe section!!
  50. Vicky Stuart says:
    I learnt that you have money saving coupons, Fab recipes' to try, Information on Progresso's history and back ground, video's and product information.  :)   Fantastically informative site.
  51. tons of recipes! ardelong2(at)gmail(dot)com
  52. I learned that you can use them to make recipes such as casseroles, soups, and noodles!
  53. I learned I want to get the 3 cheese and make Cheesy Southwest Chicken Skillet. Looks good and simple!
  54. Leslie L. Stanziani says:
    I learned that they had a recipe for Bacon-Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms.
  55. jessica schueler says:
    I learned how to make 20-Minute Thai Peanut Chicken
  56. kathy pease says:
    Following the death of founder Giuseppe Uddo, Progresso was eventually sold to Imasco in 1969. The new ownership strived to grow its reputation even further, highlighting the homemade taste and authenticity of Progresso foods with a classic slogan: “Make It Progresso or Make It Yourself.”
  57. They have a $0.50 coupon on recipe starters :)
  58. Leah Shumack says:
    I learned that there is a coupon on their page! 
  59. jeanne conner says:
    I learned they have an easy recipe section
  60. Michelle Tucker says:
    I learned that they have great recipes like Cheesy Brussels Sprouts with Bacon ».
  61. i learned that one of the flavors is creamy parmesan basil!
  62. Tons of recipes!


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