Back-to-school schedules can be complicated—cooking dinner doesn’t have to be.
Credit: Greg DuPree

The end of summer means new schedules for everybody, and getting dinner on the table can be a challenge. The secret? Keep it simple. This whole dish—yes, both the meatballs and the sauce—is cooked in one skillet, which makes after-dinner cleanup a breeze. 

Plus, there’s a bonus: Cooking the meatballs in the skillet first gives the sauce in the next step extra flavor. The combo of ground turkey and turkey sausage (and a little bit of pecorino) yields meatballs that are leaner than traditional beef meatballs yet still juicy and cheesy. If you don’t mind doing extra dishes, you can serve these over whole-wheat pasta or cooked spaghetti squash, add a big, crisp salad, and call it a meal.

But the best part of this recipe is that it makes enough to feed a family of four, with plenty of leftovers to pack for school or work lunches. Pop a few hot meatballs in a thermos, tuck a whole-wheat roll in a ziplock plastic bag, and send everyone off with make-your-own meatball sliders. Just be sure to pack plenty of extra napkins—they’re going to need them.

Gina Homolka is the founder of and @skinnytaste.