Planning weeknight dinners can be stressful. After eight hours of work, you have to balance your time between cooking dinner and preparing for the next day. If you spend hours in the kitchen on a weeknight, you’ll hardly have any time for yourself. To help you get dinner on the table faster, here are some easy weeknight dinners that you can cook in no time at all.
Cheat’s Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese is the perfect weeknight dinner and an all-round family favourite. Rather than worrying about making a roux for the cheese sauce, cheat’s mac and cheese is much easier. Boil the macaroni and drain the pasta water, pour double cream over the pasta and heat it up, then stir in some grated cheese until it melts. This is possibly the quickest weeknight dinner you’ll ever make, and if you want to add a healthy twist to it, you can throw some peas and mushrooms into the boiling pasta water a few minutes before it’s done, so you don’t have to cook them separately.
Chicken, Cheese, and Rice
You can elevate any recipe by adding cheese. This chicken, cheese and rice recipe is a perfect example of that. Make a roux by melting butter and flour, then add milk to make a sauce. This will make the rice extra creamy. You can then add water or stock, depending on what you prefer. Cook the rice with the lid on until it has cooked all the way through then throw on some pre-cooked chicken and cheese. This dish is versatile, and you can add any veggies you want to it.
This is one of my favourite recipes on this list. When you make this, serve everything separately, so everyone can choose their own toppings. Fry up some delicious onions and mixed peppers with spicy fajita seasoning and smoked paprika. Serve on top of a flour tortilla with chicken or roasted butternut squash, black beans, salsa, and a generous helping of guacamole and chopped coriander. Don’t forget to sprinkle some cheese on top too.
Stuffed peppers look impressive but are quite easy to make. Fry up some mince (or a vegetarian mince substitute), red and green peppers, red onion, garlic, and black pepper with a tin of chopped tomatoes. Slice the top off of the peppers and broil on each side until soft. Fill the peppers with the mince and veggie mix and top with shredded mozzarella or cheddar. Put the stuffed peppers back under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
One Pot Tomato Pasta
Since pasta is easy to cook, here is another one-pot recipe. Throw some spaghetti, halved cherry tomatoes, a large onion, minced garlic, fresh basil, and some chili flakes into a small pan of hot water and keep stirring. Eventually, the water will reduce, and the pasta will cook, leaving you with perfect al dente spaghetti and a delicious tomato sauce. Grate over some parmesan just before serving.
Rather than splurging on takeout, make a simple stir fry packed with vegetables. Throw some diced chicken and some delicious stir fry veggies into a wok with a bit of oil and turn the heat up. Stir frying is a quick way to cook, so this is a great dish if you’re pressed for time. There are many different stir fry sauce options, so pick your favourite and stir it through when the chicken and veggies are almost done. Stir fry noodles only take a few minutes to cook, so you can boil them last.
Forgo cooking altogether and keep it simple with a salad. Salads don’t require any cooking time and don’t take long to prepare. You can even cut down your salad’s prep time by buying a bag of lettuce and other salad greens. You can pair a salad with leftover chicken or ham, or if you’re a vegetarian, some falafel or halloumi. Drizzle over some salad dressing or vinegarette and dig in!
These weeknight dinners will make dinnertime easier and less time-consuming. Most of these recipes can be prepared in less than thirty minutes so you will have more time to relax at the end of the day.
Image Credits: Baryslau Shoot