This is the first year I have struggled with making dinner. Partially because we don't live in a traditional home, but also because our lives have become very busy. My oldest does ice skating, my younger dances, and I am learning how to decorate cakes. I am also a culinary arts competition sponsor!
Needless to say, we are busy and need some quick and easy ideas to get us through this time in our lives. Here are some that I think are good and will be useful to both me and other households looking to save time in the New Year.
Quick Dinner Recipes
1. Chicken Bacon Ranch Baked Penne
Who doesn't love pasta, bacon, and chicken? When you combine that with all the other great ingredients in this warming dish, you have something that takes only 20 minutes to prepare and will be on the table before the hour is over!
Check out Holly Lofthouse's recipe over at Pillsbury.
2. Taco Pop Tarts
What I love about these is that I could make a bunch at the beginning of the week and make them for a quick dinner or even a lunch for my girls.
Find the recipe over at Babble.
3. Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole
This recipe takes ten minutes to prepare and fifty minutes total. So the good thing is you can whip it up, put it in the oven, and do other things. Worse comes to worse, have someone in your house check on the dinner if you need to.
The recipe, created by Ann, can be found over at The Gingham Apron.
4. Mini Pot Pies
This recipe uses pre-bought crescent rolls in order make it go faster. You could also use a frozen veggie mix and rotisserie chicken to make it even quicker. My husband thinks this way is super delicious as well.
The full recipe can be found over at The Food Charlatan.
5. Stuffed Cabbage Casserole
This cheesy, meaty dinner reminds me of stuffed peppers, which is one of our favorite dishes in the summer when peppers are growing so fast we cannot keep up. I love the easy combination of vegetables to meat. It's just a nice transition from the time-taking recipe to this casserole.
The Stuffed Cabbage Casserole can be found at Wonky Wonderful.
6. Pomegranate, Kale, and Wild Rice Salad
Who doesn't love a delicious salad? Even better is when it spans time and takes you right into the season you know it should be in. For this one, with its fresh pomegranate you know it is a winter recipe.
The crunch of the pecans, with the sweetness of the pomegranate and the punch of the blue cheese, makes this a salad worth eating.
This delicious salad recipe, created by Lindsay, can be found over at Pinch of Yum.
7. Grilled Chicken Tortilla Soup
This warm soup is another perfect winter recipe that will have you feeling the “ahhhh” after coming in on a cold day. Not only that, but it might make you feel a bit like it's no longer winter as it has the hint of Mexico on the sand, especially with the cilantro- a staple in most Texas households.
Jaclyn's Mexican Soup recipe can be found over at Cooking Classy.
8. Creamy French Onion Beef and Noodles
This recipe sounds delicious enough that I pinned it and am hoping to make it for lunch next week. It has a homey vibe to it. Almost like a beef version of my husband's chicken noodle soup. Dare I say it's sinful.
Don't believe me? Find out for yourself. It can be found over at Eazy Peazy Mealz.
9. Leftover Cranberry and Turkey Quesadillas
Hello, leftover quesadillas.
I like this idea because it can be used for anything from leftovers at Thanksgiving to the sandwich you didn't eat. Afterall, we understand that the bread is the worst part of a sandwich that gets put in the fridge. Take the bread off and slap the rest on a soft taco shell or two, flip it in a hot pan and mmm-mmmm you have deliciousness!
This recipe can be found at The Forked Spoon.
10. Instant Loaded Potato Soup
So many of my students swear by potato soup. It is a younger generation thing I think. But this recipe sounds good, with bits of bacon and sour cream to add to the tanginess. Although potatoes are not my favorite thing, I might re-think it after this soup recipe.
This quick recipe, created by Melisha, is found at Finding Time to Fly.
11. Buffalo Chicken Dinner
Buffalo chicken immediately makes me think of winter and quick, easy meals. Buffalo wings at winter sports games are one of my favorites.
I like this recipe as well because it is an oven recipe, typically meaning that you can throw the recipe together, put it in the oven, and (again) walk away until your timer goes off.
This recipe can be found over at Tasty Thin.
12. Roasted Lemon Butter Garlic Shrimp
Another sheet pan recipe, though this one makes you feel like summer again. Asparagus is an early spring vegetable, and lemon shrimp always makes me think of the beach. Lighter meals have their place and dinner is often where it belongs as it's so close to bedtime.
This recipe can be found over at Carlsbad Cravings.
13. Easy Hamburger Steak Recipe
The thing I like the most about this recipe is the grilled onions. They are so delicious. The meat looks good as well, and I am sure the seasoning is spot on, but the taste of grilled onions hits the spot.
If you feel the same way then check out this recipe, created by Angela Roberts, which can be found over at Spinach Tiger.
14. Easy French Dip Sandwiches
My husband loves French Dip sandwiches so if I can find a way to make this recipe quick and easy I consider that one for the win.
Unlike the side dish of onion rings shown by Jen, the author over at Cincy Shopper, I would get seasoned french fries instead.
15. Old Fashioned Goulash
My older daughter, now twelve, fell in love with this recipe when she was about eight. It is still one of her favorites, and I have even taught her to make it herself now.
Relatively simple and the longest part of the recipe is waiting for it to simmer towards the end. Heck, this method is easy enough that my ten-year-old can make it so be sure that you try it as well. It can be found over at Incredible Recipes from Heaven.
16. Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
When I first got married, my husband wouldn't eat hamburger meat. Instead, he taught me to make fajitas but the skillet version. Since then it has become a staple in our house.
I will say I have grown to love the taste of the chicken, along with the vegetables and the spiciness of the seasoning but I would rather spend my time tending to other needs- whether tasks or bubble baths. This recipe brought to us The Moody Foodie who wrote up her recipe over at All Recipes allows me to do that.
17. Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup
Now here's a recipe that has been requested time and time again with my students and is now becoming popular among the teachers as well. I like it because it's super easy to make and has two of my favorite ingredients: tortellini and sausage. The wilted spinach and tomatoes add to the flavor of this warming dish of comfort.
See for yourself over at Kitchn and others will be asking for your recipe soon too!
18. Quick and Easy Honey Garlic Shrimp
When you put honey, garlic, and soy sauce together with shrimp and put it over a bed of rice, then you have something truly delicious. The total cooking time is twenty minutes to a healthy dinner. Whether for you or for your family, this is one that you can sink your teeth into. Afterall, you know it's great when it comes from Sally's Baking Addiction!
19. Bruschetta Burgers
I would have never thought about putting these two things together and yet surprisingly it works. You know it has to be good when there is lean ground beef, mozzarella cheese, fresh vegetables, and toasted Italian bread all combined.
Want to know more? This recipe can be found over in My Recipes.
20. Chicken and Rice Dinner
Another great Asian dish, this one is full of fresh vegetables and thankfully all ones that my family members like. We would get steamed broccoli to add to the meal and quick cooking rice to speed up the process.
No matter how you do the recipe (my way or the way shown), you are in for a treat. Their way can be seen over at Home Cooking Memories.
21. Easy Mongolian Beef
Keeping with the theme of Asian food, this delicious Asian take-out style recipe can be found over at Dinner Then Dessert. It has sweet notes of brown sugar combined with the tang of the garlic. Combine that with ginger and soy sauce, and you have something worth remembering in as long as it would take the local restaurant to make it!
22. Thirty Minute Chicken Pitas
Pita recipes are another one that almost seems too lunch-y, but Kristi whipped up this recipe, which can be viewed over at The Classy Chapter in a manner that reminds you this is the main dish. It has fried chicken bites combined with one of my favorite fruits- an avocado!
Make the chicken in advance, re-heat it and combine it all for something quick and easy.
23. Crispy Fish Sticks
This fish sticks recipe, brought to you by Sue Li over at Bon Appétit, would win over children and adults alike. For kids- traditional sauces such as ketchup is a win, while adults may prefer the dill dip provided in the recipe.
Just a reminder: anything made in the freezer section can be made at home and frozen as well. So make a big batch at the beginning of the month and go from there.
24. Beer Braised Chicken
My husband likes to make beer chicken. I like this one because we can cook it in the winter when it's too cold to grill, but still get a combination of beer chicken and a nice hearty winter soup. What could be better?
This beer braised chicken is brought to you by Teighan over at Half Baked Harvest.
25. Cornbread Waffles with Chili
Chili and cornbread were staples at my house during the winter on Sundays after church. If not that, then soup with grilled cheese. I always begged my mom to go out to eat with my Godparents but was still satisfied with eating this comfort meal.
Now it has been one-upped, making the cornbread in the waffle maker instead of the oven and adding chili, even if it's leftovers! Enjoy the recipe over at The Country Cook.
26. One Pot Cajun Chicken and Sausage Alfredo
About the same time I was ditching my beef desires and cutting up peppers for fajitas, my husband and I were settling into newlywed life living in southern Mississippi. This means we learned to love Cajun food.
Now I have a one-pot dish that takes a total of twenty minutes and satisfies our tummy and heart's desires to head back to the bayou. Special thanks to Melissa over at Number 2 Pencil.
27. Bean and Cheese Burritos
I love the taste of grilled soft taco shells formed into burritos. The first long-term real job I held was at Taco Bell. I worked there from sixteen to eighteen and came to see my fellow crew members as family. The recipe is super simple, but for some reason, I want to add pineapple. Delicious!
The recipe can be found over at Six Sisters' Stuff.
No matter what style you are looking for- from Mexican to Chinese, and humble American, there is something quick and easy for everyone here. So, take a deep breath and search through these recipes that will get you through the week and onto the weekend!