Are you short on time when your family is long on hunger? Today’s hectic schedules make dinner a hassle even when your meal-prep game is on point.
What can you throw together with minimal fuss and maximum flavor? The 12 recipes below are ideal for busy weeknights — or lazy Saturdays when you don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen. Let’s dig in.
1. Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese is a favorite of all ages, but if you or anyone in your family follows a low-carb diet, you probably deleted it from your menu. Bring back the creamy goodness with this keto-friendly version of the classic dish. You can whip this meal together in 15 minutes or less, and you only need seven ingredients.
2. Lobster Hash
Seafood is one of the richest sources of selenium, a vital nutrient that protects your cells from damage. This recipe cooks up without much effort, and the potatoes give you a satisfying sense of fullness. Although it’s the ideal weeknight meal, this dish also elevates any Sunday brunch — add scones and jam for an elegant weekend spread.
3. Oven-Baked French Bread Pizza
You could pop a frozen pizza in the oven, but then you risk feeding your family a ton of additives. Instead, make pizza night personalized with this oven-baked french bread version. You can let each member of your family select their toppings — carnivores and vegetarians alike can delight their palates. Are you seeking variety? Try substituting alfredo or even barbecue sauce for the traditional tomato version.
4. Spaghetti With Tomato Sauce
Commercial spaghetti sauce often comes laden with a ton of sugar. However, if you opt for standard tomato sauce, you can doctor up the flavor without causing blood glucose spikes. You only need a dash of oregano, salt and pepper, but you can add more. Try adding a freshly crushed garlic clove or tossing some veggies in to boost your phytonutrient intake.
5. 15-Minute Lo Mein
Takeout can get pricey, and tips for delivery drivers further dent your food budget. Recreate this Chinese restaurant staple in only 15 minutes. You can add nearly any veggies, not only staples like broccoli and bok choy. It’s the ideal way to get dinner on the table quickly and use up the rest of that half-eaten head of cabbage before it goes bad.
6. Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas
You don’t have to head down south to enjoy this Tex-Mex meal that’s sure to delight the entire family. It’s the ideal dish to spice up a store-bought rotisserie chicken — you can use leftover turkey from your Thanksgiving feast for variety. You can select as mild or wild a sauce as you like.
7. Buddha Bowls
Buddha bowls delight the vegan set. If one of your kids adopted the lifestyle, they won’t balk at this dish if you omit the chicken from their portion. The brown rice, spinach and sunflower seeds provide a protein punch. The sweet potato fills you up while giving you a healthy dose of beta carotene.
8. One-Pot Thai-Style Rice Noodles
If you have a taste for Thai, don’t stop for takeout. You can put together this rice noodle dish in 35 minutes or less. It contains ginger and garlic, both of which are antioxidant powerhouses that boost your family’s immune system health. However, they won’t focus on the benefits — they’ll be too busy enjoying the flavor.
9. Ground Turkey Sloppy Joes
This recipe elevates the high-school cafeteria version of the classic messy sandwich. The sourdough bread provides more protein than your average hamburger bun. The addition of crisp cucumber slices and red onion get you some vegetables, plus you can serve this dish with a side salad for more phytonutrients.
10. Chickpea and Kale Stew
Can’t get your kids to eat kale? If they balk at eating the superfood in a salad, see if they’ll be more receptive to a stew. The chickpeas give you ample protein when paired with the greens. If you have a bumper crop from your garden, use it for this ideal rainy-day treat.
11. One Pan Mexican Quinoa
You only need 10 minutes of prep time and 20 more for your stove to go to work to prepare this dish. Quinoa is an ancient grain that even many people with gluten intolerance can consume without problems. The beans add meatless protein, and the avocado gives you vitamin E to keep your skin supple and arteries pliable.
12. Parmesan Crumbed Fish
Do you want to get more fish in your family’s diet? Even picky kids will adore this crumbed version that’s much tastier than frozen fish sticks. Using mustard instead of egg to make the mixture gives the coating a pleasant tang. Pair it with summer slaw, and you have a healthy meal in less than ten minutes.
Get Dinner on the Table Quickly With These Tips
Even on the busiest weeknights, your family needs to eat. Serve up a quick, healthy dinner with one of the recipes above for less mess and stress.