After a long day of work, sometimes the last thing you feel like doing when you get home is laboring over an extravagant dinner or juggling dozens of ingredients for a complicated meal. Weeknight meal planning can be difficult, but there are several recipes that can make mealtime simple but still pack a punch with flavor and satisfy everyone nutritionally.
So, what are some quick, but delicious, weeknight meals that you can pull off in about 30 minutes? Check out the top 10 easy dishes from SAGE Chefs!
10. Fish Tacos – Simple, quick-cooking fish tacos are perfect for a busy weeknight. A flaky white fish like cod or halibut works best. Try adding a cabbage slaw, pico de gallo, salsa verde, or spicy sauce to give it a kick.
9. Bruschetta Pasta with Chicken – Take the classic ingredients of bruschetta — the traditional Italian appetizer made of tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil, and cheese — and instead of serving them over bread, toss them with some pasta and chicken for a filling dish.
8. General Tso’s/Orange Chicken – Either of these Asian-inspired dishes make mealtime simple. It’s OK to have frozen chicken bites and a premade sauce (tangy for orange chicken or spicy for General Tso’s) in your pantry for a quick, satisfying meal. Air fryers are a great kitchen tool to help speed things up, too.
7. Salisbury Steak – When you’re short on time, reach for this classic of seasoned ground beef “steaks” with a rich mushroom gravy. Serve it over creamy mashed potatoes or steamed vegetables for an easy weeknight meal.
6. Jambalaya – One-pot meals are a great way to save time on cooking and dishes afterward. This Cajun/Creole dish is traditionally made with sausage, chicken or seafood, onions, celery, green bell peppers, and rice.
5. Quesadillas – This Mexican dish is about as easy as they come. Spread some shredded cheese between two tortillas, then brown each side until the cheese is completely melted. Try adding different types of protein, cheese, beans, or vegetables to take it up a notch.
4. Stir-Fry – By definition, stir-fry dishes are quick. Ingredients — such as chicken, beef, tofu, and vegetables — are fried in a small amount of very hot oil while being stirred or tossed in a wok or skillet with a flavorful sauce. It’s then often served with rice or noodles to fill out the meal.
3. A Hearty Salad – Add grilled chicken, shrimp, or salmon to give your salad a protein boost. Switch out traditional romaine for kale or even shaved Brussels sprouts. And don’t be afraid to add some unique toppings like feta cheese, lentils, roasted chickpeas, or toasted walnuts.
2. Breakfast for Dinner – There’s nothing like ending the day with some classic morning dishes. Whether it’s putting together a simple, delicious omelet or cooking up some hash, waffles, or pancakes, these favorites are fun to eat morning or night.
1. Flatbread Pizza – You can make your own flatbread dough, but there’s nothing wrong with buying a premade one from the store. The best part is that the pizza can have whatever toppings you have on hand, including any of the leftovers from the above recipes.
One last helpful tip: Buying a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store can yield several quick recipes that can make dinner easy. Shred some meat to top a salad or add to a soup, or incorporate it into other simple recipes like pad thai, enchiladas, nachos, or cheesy stuffed peppers to cut down on cooking time.