Five Easy Dinners for Busy Nights

Five Easy Dinners for Busy Nights

While we would love to be of service for all your meals, we know you need to cook on your own some nights. (Wah wah.) As we ramp up for school to start, and with it, soccer practice, and homework, and let’s not forget your own laundry, sales pitch prep, and OITNB calling your name…, you need dinner on the table fast. First pick is us, second pick is these five dinners from our favorite foodie sites.

Instant Pot Spaghetti

Besides hard-boiled eggs, this Instant Pot spaghetti recipe* has become my favorite use of this kitchen tool. It’s relatively quick, but even better – it’s only one pot to clean up and you can use whatever you have on hand. I’ve made it with ground chicken for more of a chicken parm flavor. I’ve added all sorts of veggies (start browning the meat, chop the veggies and add into the saute step as they are ready). I’m sure other noodles besides spaghetti would work fine, too, though I haven’t tried that.

* The ratings for this recipe aren’t great. Here’s my guess why – it doesn’t use enough pasta. Yes, it probably uses what is nutritionally sound, but this leaves you with a really watery sauce (and at least here in the Midwest, an unsatisfying portion.) Add a few more ounces of spaghetti and you’ll be golden.

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

When you need a quick dinner to go with your margarita, but #tacotuesday is starting to bore you, check out Budget Byte’s sheet pan chicken fajitas. You still have to do all the chopping, but no more standing in front of the stove stop trying not to sweat into the pan. Go sweat it out over your kids New Math instead.

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Tenders

Our gal Sarah turned us on to this chicken tender recipe from How Sweet Eats, and y’all… It’s going to be your everything, too. I mean, if you can even get through the ingredient list for the house sauce without your mouth watering, I don’t think I want to be your friend. This one will dirty up a few dishes, but it’s totally worth it. Serve with a green salad and/or frozen sweet potato fries. Sometimes you feel like health. Sometimes you don’t.

Tex-Mex Chopped Salad

I am not a salad-for-dinner kinda gal. I’m sure that surprises no one. What may surprise you is that I would pick any one of The Faux Martha’s salads for dinner over a juicy burger any night of the week. I don’t know how she does it, but I love every. single. one. of the recipes from her blog and her book. I was hoping to find the recipe for her Asian-y salad from her book here online (something like this Make Ahead Thai Mango Salad, but this has too many steps for a “quick dinner” list), but this Tex-Mex Chopped Salad also sounds amazing. Salads come together so fast! And I don’t know about your kids, but if I give mine anything + a dip, they clean their plates. This is how I’ve gotten them to enjoy salads almost as much as they like brownies. #mykids

Avocado and Shrimp Quinoa Bowls

Another revelation of the summer is… wait for it… burrito bowls! I know, I’ve been living under a rock. A rock without Chipotle, I guess. We’ve added a basic veggie and rice one to our meal delivery menu, but you can dress it up or down at home with whatever ingredients your family enjoys. This avocado and shrimp bowl from What’s Gaby Cooking caught my eye both for the use of a different (healthier!) grain and since it uses seafood. It only calls for a half-pound of shrimp, so it is relatively budget-friendly. If I were making this at home on a Tuesday, I’d probably just buy the pico de gallo and use the cilantro lime crema sauce I bought at Costco for the dressing. You do you, friend!

So there’s a quick rundown of what we’re making around here when we are too crazy to think of something new and different. What’s become a staple recipe in your place?