Do you have short time to prepare your dinner? You just went home from work and realized that it was nearly dinnertime. You poke around the freezer and look over it with blank stare. Next, you stumble on some frozen veggies and hurl them on the counter. You gaze at the fridge again, nearly frustrated.
Now you think of what was the dinner last night. Grilled turkey? Chicken steak? Is there any package of sausage, bacon, or pasta leftovers? You might be familiar with this kind of panic. In this case, I will jot down some practical tips and family-friendly quick meals for dinner.
- Get your family involved – Whether they are helping to mull over dinner ideas or truly whipping up the meals together. By talking, you might find out what they want to have for dinner.
- Prepare ahead of time – Now you have a plan of what you will be making for dinner. It is the time to prepare ahead of time! Having a few pre-packed foods on the freezer can actually lower the tension when you have short of time to prepare quick meals for dinner. On the weekend, you can prepare things like fruits, veggies, and other durable foodstuffs. Once things are all set, every dinner will get going smoothly.
- Offer variation– Dare to be creative. Cooking books, internets, your phone apps, and so forth are perfect sources of quick meals for dinner. Add in nutrient-rich foods from all five food groups on the table, but let your kids pick what and how much to eat.
- Stay simple but savory – Quick meals for dinner should not have to be complicated, but keep the rich flavors to spice up your cookings.
- Keep on family-center dinner – Bring together quality times with family, turn off TV and gadgets, serve the dinners, and have a nice chat.
You should try these super-duper quick meals for dinner that will be taking more or less 10 to 15 minutes of handy work.
Shrimp & Greeny Pasta (My favorite quick meals for dinner)
Pasta is the best quick meals for dinner. This is the most loved meal of any family. While you boil the pasta, stir-fry chopped scallion and shrimp with butter. Spinach will shrink naturally once mixed with the warm pasta.
3/4 pound any kinds of short pasta
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 scallion (just white and light green parts), chopped
100g medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Thinly grated lemon zest
3/4 cup heavy cream
12 cups baby spinach
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta as said by the package directions; drain and place it to the pot.
- For the moment, heat up butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add in chopped scallions, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp black pepper and cook. Stir occasionally, until the scallion has softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Put in shrimp and lemon zest and cook, tossing frequently, until the shrimp is solid all over, 5 to 7 minutes more.
- Pour in heavy cream and ½ tsp salt to pasta in the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring, until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add shrimp mixture and spinach and toss to mix well.
Hot Spicy Pizza Crackers
You can use Plain Sugar-free Crackers and pizza sauce as secret ingredient to create fun quick meals for dinner and family-friendly crust.
10 plain sugar-free Crackers (any kinds)
10 tsp pizza sauce (I prefer the hot spicy one)
3 small tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 package fresh basil, chopped
¾ cups shredded cheese
10 thin slices of small pizza pepperoni
1 tbsp olive oil
Oregano, salt, and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven.
- Line up a baking sheet with aluminium foil. Spray with non-stick spray. Arrange crackers on baking sheet.
- Top each cracker with a piece of pepperoni, tomatoes, basil, and spread with about 1 tsp sauce. Sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake for about 2-4 minutes, until the cheese is mellted. Serve immediately.
Sweet Caramelized Sesame Shrimp
Do not be deceived with the sweetness. This meal needs no sugar in the ingredients. You can use combination of honey and soy sauce to make caramel as key ingredient of this delicious dish.
Serving up this flavorful dish with pasta, potato, rice, or even mixed-green salad, this is one of quick meals for dinner that will be a split second time-saver.
400g medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 ginger, crushed
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce/English sauce
1 tbsp cornstarch as thickener, dissolve in 2 tbsp water
½ cup water
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Garnish: Cilantro leaves, chopped
- Heat up olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Put in onion and then ginger. Saute it, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
- Add in honey, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and water. Simmer it, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and caramelized, around 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add in shrimp and cover. Cook until shrimp cooked through, around 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and then chopped cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.
See Also : Healthy Soup Recipes for Weight Loss (II)
Sweet Potato Noodle
Inspired by a prize-winning recipe from the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission for converting sweet potato into “fettuccine,” I try to make different sharp-witted method of noodle version by using sweet potatoes and take only 35 minutes. Begin with a large, long sweet potato and a mandoline or spiralizer to make noodle-like strips, this quick meal for dinner is fun and worth to try.
1 large sweet potato (about 1 lb.)
3 tbsp butter
1 cup mushroom
1 medium onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish: fresh parsley sprigs
- Peel sweet potato, and cut lengthways into thin strips using a mandoline or spiralizer. Repeat procedure with remaining slices.
- Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat; add in onion and garlic, stiring occasionally. Put in sweet potato strips, and stir-fry for around 6 to 8 minutes or until cooked (do not cook strips for too long or they will crumble). Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss gently to coat. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve immediately.
This quick meal for dinner, Almond-Crusted Salmon is a basic fish dinner with only six ingredients. You can replace white fish, catfish, flounder, tuna, or tilapia for salmon.
1 cup almonds
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 salmon fillets
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
- Process 1/2 cup almonds in a food processor until finely chopped. Mix with 1/4 cup all-purpose flour in a bowl.
- Sprinkle fish evenly with salt; scour in almond mixture.
- Melt butter with olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; add fish, and cook 4 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove it to a serving plate.
- Add remaining 1/2 cup almonds to skillet, and cook, stirring often, 1 minute or until golden. Remove almonds with a slotted spoon, and sprinkle over fish.
Chicken and Baked Zucchini with White Sauce
Bake chicken and zucchini in the oven while you make secret ingredient of this quick meal for dinner, white sauce. It is very rich in flavor and easy to prepare.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 tbsp, olive oil
3 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
For white sauce:
1 onion, halved
1 bay leaf
50g plain flour
Salt and white pepper to taste
- Heat up oven to 400° F. Season chicken with ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper.
- Warm up 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken for 2 minutes per side.
- Place chicken to the oven and roast for 8-10 minutes.
- In the meantime, in a second skillet, over medium heat, heat up remaining oil. Put in zucchini, garlic, and remaining salt and pepper to the skillet and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.
- Add zucchini to the skillet with chicken, squeeze lemon over the top, and toss. Divide among the plates. Serve it.
Preparing white sauce:
- Lightly pour out milk to the boil in a small saucepan with onion, sprinkle with bay leaf and cloves. Turn off the heat and leave to infuse for 25 mins.
- Thaw out butter in another saucepan, and then add plain flour. Stir continuously until a paste forms – this is known as a roux. Continue cooking for 3 mins.
- Take away onion, bay leaf, and cloves from the milk with a spoon and remove. Add infused milk to the roux little by little, stirring as you do, until you get a smooth sauce. Cook for 5-10 mins, stirring continuously, until the sauce has thickened. Season to taste.