Dinner time is one of the most important times of the day for families. After a long day of work and school, everyone gathers around the dinner table to enjoy a home-cooked meal together. However, coming up with new dinner ideas every night can be exhausting and time-consuming. Who has time to spend hours in the kitchen after a busy day? The solution? Quick and easy dinner recipes that you can get on the table within 30 – 50 minutes.
Having a list of fast, simple recipes makes dinner time much less stressful. Even on your busiest nights, you’ll be able to put together a tasty meal without spending too much time in the kitchen. The best part is that quick doesn’t have to mean boring. With a little creativity, you can make delicious, satisfying dinners with just a few quality ingredients.
Keep reading for meals that will make your weeknight dinners easy yet delicious and bring everyone together around the dinner table.
Chicken and Cheese Stuffed Poblano Peppers
For a delightful twist on classic stuffed peppers, opt for Chicken and Cheese Stuffed Poblano Peppers. If you want this recipe with a detailed step-by-step guide, be sure to check out stuffed poblano peppers from Butter Your Biscuit.
Start by prepping the large poblano peppers. Carefully cut a thin slice off the sides and delicately remove the seeds, ensuring the pepper’s structure remains intact. As the peppers are set aside, shift your focus to the filling. Combine softened cream cheese, pepper jack cheese, bite-sized cooked chicken pieces, and a mix of black beans, corn, and diced tomatoes in a bowl. This hearty mixture gets a flavor boost with seasonings like smoked paprika, cumin, and salt. Toss in diced onions, minced garlic, and chopped cilantro for an aromatic and herby touch.
Stuff each poblano pepper with this chicken-cheese medley, generously sprinkling the top with reserved cheese. While it is baking, the peppers soften, and the cheese melts, enveloping the filling in a creamy layer. After 25-30 minutes in a 375°F pre-heated oven, you are rewarded with piping hot stuffed peppers that ooze flavor in every bite. The finishing touches. A dollop of sour cream and some tangy salsa. With just 50 minutes from start to finish, you’ve created a meal where smoky peppers harmoniously blend with the creamy, cheesy filling. For an effortless dinner that pleases the taste buds, these stuffed poblano peppers are the way to go.
Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Tomatoes
For a quick weeknight pasta dinner that still feels fresh and flavorful, try this easy pesto pasta with chicken and tomatoes. Begin by sautéing boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a skillet with a little olive oil until they are completely cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, about 5-7 minutes per side. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and let it rest on a cutting board while you cook the tomatoes. Add halved cherry or grape tomatoes to the same pan you used for the chicken and sauté them over medium-high heat until they start to blister and burst – this would take about 5 minutes. The blistered tomatoes will add a sweet, juicy pop of flavor.
While the tomatoes cook, chop the rested chicken into bite-size pieces. Then, toss the chopped chicken and blistered tomatoes together with cooked pasta, prepared pesto sauce, and a splash of pasta cooking water. The pasta cooking water helps emulsify the pesto and coat the noodles. Within 30 minutes, you’ll have a bright, fresh pesto pasta dish loaded with herby basil flavor.
Baked Fish and Chips
Fish and chips are a classic, flavorful meal, but deep-frying can be time-consuming and messy on a busy weeknight. For a healthier and faster version, try oven-baked fish and chips. Start by cutting russet potatoes into thick wedges, tossing them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and spreading them on a baking sheet. On another sheet, coat cod fillets with oil and seasonings as well. Bake both the potatoes and fish at 425°F for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are crispy on the outside and the fish flakes easily with a fork.
While they bake, the fish and potato wedges require no work from you. Serve the baked fish immediately with the hot, crispy fries, and enjoy the classic pub flavors of malt vinegar and tartar sauce for dipping. The lemon wedges add a bright pop of flavor and moisture. In just 30 minutes or less, you can enjoy flaky, tender fish and chips without deep frying or leaving your home. It’s an easy, mess-free way to enjoy the British classic.
Cheesy Black Bean Quesadillas
Quesadillas make for one of the quickest and easiest dinners. Simply fill a tortilla with cheese, fold it, and pan-fry for a fast meal kids and adults alike will enjoy. Elevate basic quesadillas by adding protein-packed black beans, sweet corn, and sautéed peppers and onions. First, cook minced onion and sliced bell peppers in olive oil over medium heat until softened and lightly browned, 5-7 minutes. Then mix in canned black beans, drained and rinsed, along with frozen corn, cumin, and a pinch of cayenne for a kick of heat. Spoon the filling onto a tortilla, top with shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese, and fold in half.
Cook the quesadilla in a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side until the cheese is fully melted and the tortilla is lightly browned. Slice into wedges and serve with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream for delicious Tex-Mex flavors. The sautéed vegetables and spiced black beans elevate these quesadillas beyond ordinary. Also, they still take just 30 minutes to make for a satisfying vegetarian dinner.
Baked Ziti with Sausage
Forget fussy lasagna assembly when you can make an easy-baked ziti that tastes like it simmered all day. Start by boiling ziti or penne pasta until al dente, then assemble the dish. Mix cooked pasta with your favorite marinara sauce and crumbled cooked Italian sausage along with shredded mozzarella cheese. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish, top with more cheese, and bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes until hot and bubbly. As it bakes, the cheese melts into the sauce. All the rich, savory flavors of lasagna come together with a fraction of the work. Thanks to this simple 30-minute preparation.
Serve the decadent baked ziti straight from the oven with a leafy green salad and garlic breadsticks for a fast and filling Italian-inspired dinner.
With a well-stocked pantry, you can make dinner time easier without compromising taste. Having go-to recipes for quick meals allows you to get dinner on the table fast. No matter how busy your day has been. These five quick and easy dinner recipes prove that you don’t need to sacrifice flavor or nutrition, even on your busiest weeknights. Next time you’re strapped for time, try one of these speedy recipes to get a delicious meal on the table that your family will love.