On Saturday and Sunday, you might have the time and energy to craft culinary masterpieces — but during the workweek, dinners you can whip up in no time are more likely to rule your kitchen.
Save the roux and the aromates for the weekends and try out these quick, easy dinners during your jam-packed weekdays:
Monday – Pasta with Turkey and Broccoli
The key to a quick but tasty weeknight meal is to take one meat, one veggie, and one grain (rice or pasta work well), mix them together and throw them in a bowl. Add a few spices and you’ve just taken this dead simple meal to the next level.
This recipe for pasta with ground turkey and broccoli from Real Simple only takes 20 minutes to make and feeds four. If you wanted to be really lazy and sacrifice a bit of taste for a little more time, you could sub out the minced garlic for a little bit of garlic powder.
Tuesday – Crockpot Chicken Parmesan
Whoever invented crockpots deserves a medal and a billion dollars. They’re basically magic: you just toss a bunch of stuff in, turn the crockpot on, go to work, and come home to find the most mouth-watering meal you’ve ever made just sitting in there, waiting for you.
This crockpot chicken parmesan recipe is super simple to prepare and cooks while you’re out during the day. Although it recommends browning the chicken before you put it in the crockpot, you can skip that step if you’re short on time. You can also omit the bay leaf if you don’t have any lying around. When you get home, whip up some pasta and maybe a salad and you’re good to go.
Wednesday – Pepperoni and Cheese Scrambled Eggs
This one might sound weird, but don’t knock it ’til you try it. It only takes eight minutes to prepare (and that’s if you’re not using pre-sliced pepperoni) and seven to cook, and serves two to four people. Feel free to switch out the grapeseed oil for the oil of your choice.
Serve it with some orange juice to complete the “breakfast for dinner” experience!
Thursday – Fancy Ramen
Ah, Ramen noodles: cheap, amazingly simple and quick to prepare, and favored by college students everywhere. You can take this classic staple and knock it up a notch for an easy weeknight meal that won’t give you flashbacks from your college days.
First, avoid buying the Ramen packets with the premade seasoning. Grab some plain Chinese egg noodles (they look just like noodles from the Ramen packets but they’re usually sold in larger quantities and without the seasoning) instead. Then, make yourself some fancy Ramen by cooking the noodles in the broth of your choice and throwing in whatever you have on hand: frozen or leftover veggies, meat or tofu, spices, soy sauce, a little Sriracha if you like it spicy. It’s quick and easy and allows for lots of experimentation.
Friday – Slow Cooker Chili
I know we already did a crockpot meal and I know chili is a really obvious choice for this list, but honestly, sometimes the obvious choice is obvious for a reason. This slow cooker chili recipe from Kraft is awesome, and you can make so much chili and freeze it, thus providing your future self with weeknight meals that only take two minutes to reheat.
I have personally prepared this recipe many times, and it is solid. I use leftover beef from taco night, which I save in the freezer until I have enough for chili, to save myself from having to brown the beef specifically for this recipe, and also gives a little extra flavor. Try it!