Weekdays can be quite hectic, and preparing dinner from scratch on such nights can be tiresome. This is where easy dinner recipes can make a world of difference. To help you prepare your dinners quickly and smoothly, and to enable you to eat healthier, we’ve curated a set of five easy dinner recipes that you can cook all under 25 minutes. We’ve also listed some tips for making your dinner prep more efficient. Take a look at these tips and these easy dinner recipes and see if you’d like to add any of them to your weekly meal plan.
Tips for Making Dinner Prep Faster
Prepping the ingredients is what makes up a major part of the cooking process. And if you get that sorted, you’ll find that easy dinner recipes aren’t that rare to come by, after all. So, here are some tips and tricks to help you prep for your meals efficiently.
Plan Your Week’s Meals
Planning is one of those basic things that make easy dinner recipes even easier. Set aside a few minutes on your weekend to make a meal plan for your weeknights and pen it down or make a list of it. You could even pin it to your refrigerator. This saves you a lot of time by ensuring that the decisions for the week’s dinners are made well in advance.
Make a Grocery List
With your weekly meal plan ready, the next thing is to go grocery shopping. Remember to stick to your list, and to get everything that’s on there. Staving off an ingredient or two to be purchased later can interfere with your dinner schedule. And if you’re having difficulty in finding an ingredient, switch it up for something else so that your plan remains unchanged.
Use Your Weekend Wisely
Prepping for a meal after a hectic day during the week can be tiresome. That’s why it’s best to take care of all the chopping, peeling, and other prep work on the weekends. You can even leisurely breeze through all the preparations while catching up on your favorite movies or TV series.
Get Some Good Storage Boxes
If you prep for some easy dinner recipes during the weekend, you’re going to need storage boxes to keep the ingredients in. To meet these needs, it’s advisable to invest in some sturdy and durable food storage containers that can be refrigerated throughout the week. For an added advantage, ensure that these containers have lids, and are safe to use in microwaves and dishwashers.
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5 Easy Dinner Recipes to Make in No Time
Let’s now look at some easy dinner recipes that you can make within 25 minutes or less.
Easy Dinner Recipes: Beef with Broccoli
With a prep time of just 5 minutes and a cook time of 10 minutes, this easy beef and broccoli recipe yields up to 4 servings and is one of the many easy dinner recipes that are also equally delicious.
- 1-pound of thinly sliced flank steak
- 1 head of broccoli, separated into florets
- 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 2/3 cup soy sauce
Start by mixing soy sauce, chicken stock, vinegar, honey, garlic, brown sugar, cornstarch, sesame oil, Sriracha, ginger, red pepper flakes, and ¼ cup of water in a bowl, and reserve the mixture. Heat a large skillet with olive oil and cook the flank steak on medium-high heat for around 4 minutes until it browns. Add broccoli florets and the reserved mixture into the skillet and cook for around 4 minutes until the sauce thickens.
Easy Dinner Recipes: Thai Basil Chicken Stir-Fry
If you’re looking for easy dinner recipes that are as scrumptious as restaurant-style meals, this is it. You can quickly whip up some Thai food that’s both sweet and spicy with this recipe that serves up to 4 people.
- 3 skinless chicken breast halves, cut into strips
- 1 and a half cups sliced red bell peppers
- ½ cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 cup vertically sliced onions
- 1 thinly sliced serrano chile
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
To prepare this dish, begin by mixing hoisin sauce, sugar, water, and fish sauce. Make sure the sugar dissolves completely by whisking the mixture continuously. Set this mixture aside and heat peanut oil in either a wok or a large skillet. Roast garlic and serrano chile for around 30 seconds, and immediately add the chicken and cook for around 4 minutes. Now, toss the bell peppers and sliced onions into the wok and stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Add the set-aside mixture and cook until the sauce thickens. Finally, add the basil and the lemon juice.
Easy Dinner Recipes: Spanakopita Scrambled Egg Pitas
Among the various easy dinner recipes around, very few areas effortless as this one. This recipe ranks high with respect to both micro and macro nutritional values per serving.
- ¼ cup feta cheese, finely crumbled
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
- A pinch of salt
- 8 large eggs, beaten
- Ground pepper
- 8 teaspoons sun-dried tomato tapenade
- 4 whole-wheat pitas, cut in half
Begin by heating olive oil in a large skillet. Add spinach and a pinch of salt and cook until steam emanates from the spinach. Now add the beaten eggs into the skillet and cook for around 5 minutes, making sure to constantly stir the entire mixture. Add the crumbled feta cheese and ground pepper, and cook till the eggs are set. Gently spoon the insides of the whole-wheat pitas with the tapenade, making sure to not use more than 2 teaspoons per pita. Stuff the egg and spinach mixture into the pita pockets.
Easy Dinner Recipes: Apricot-Glazed Pork Chops
This quick protein-packed recipe contains just 225 calories per serving and can be put together in a matter of just 15 minutes. It’s not only popular among easy dinner recipes, but is also healthy and nutritious.
- 4 bone-in pork loin rib chops
- Snipped fresh thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup low-sugar apricot preserves
To prepare this dish, you can either use a charcoal grill or a gas-powered grill. If you’re using one that’s powered by gas, preheat the grill and reduce the heat to medium. Place the pork loin rib chops on the grill, cover it up, and grill for around 8 to 10 minutes. While grilling, glaze the pork chops with a mixture of apricot preserves and cinnamon. Ensure that you glaze the chops evenly by turning it once halfway through the grilling process. Measure the temperature of the meat using a food thermometer. The ideal temperature should be around 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Before serving, sprinkle fresh thyme over the chops to add more flavor.
Easy Dinner Recipes: Quick Shrimp Puttanesca
With a total cooking time of just 15 minutes, this is also one of the many easy dinner recipes that are perfect for a meal that needs to be prepared at short notice. It serves up to 4 people and contains around 43 grams of carbohydrates and around 37 grams of protein per serving.
- 8 ounces refrigerated fresh linguine whole-wheat noodles
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
- 15-ounce can of tomato sauce
- 8 ounces frozen artichoke hearts
- ¼ cup chopped and pitted Kalamata olives
- 1 tablespoon capers
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Cook the linguine noodles in a large pot of boiling water, and set aside. Heat olive oil in a large skillet, add shrimp and cook for up to 3 minutes till they turn brown. Add tomato sauce, artichoke hearts, olives, capers, and salt into the skillet, and cook for another 3 minutes. Finally, add the set-aside noodles into the skillet and stir well.
Who Can Benefit from Easy Dinner Recipes?
Easy dinner recipes can be useful for a lot of people. Some such situations and kinds of people that can benefit from these easy dinner recipes are explained below.
People Who Work Long Hours Need Easy Dinner Recipes
With working hours becoming longer than the traditional 9-to-5 cycle, working folks may find it especially difficult to prepare dinner after a long day at work. Easy dinner recipes can help them whip something up quickly even if they get home just in time for dinner.
Easy Dinner Recipes for People Who Are Trying to Eat Healthier
Oftentimes, the possibility of prepping for dinner from scratch can make people opt for takeaways or food deliveries. Easy dinner recipes can minimize the possibility of these instances, thus allowing you to eat healthier home-cooked food instead.
People Who Are Learning to Cook Deserve Easy Dinner Recipes
Easy dinner recipes can also be useful for people who are just learning the basics of cooking. These recipes are relatively simple, and take less effort, making it possible for novices to get the hang of it quickly.
These easy dinner recipes can be prepared quite quickly and efficiently. All you need is a bit of planning. With that, and with a determination to stick to your plan, you’ll find that easy dinner recipes are quite useful, after all.