After a busy day at work, the last thing I sometimes want to do is spend hours in the kitchen cooking a meal for my whole family. However, I don’t want to rely on takeout and still try to offer them a healthy and fresh meal after a busy day at school and work. That’s why I love this collection of thirty-minute meals. All of these meals require you to spend less than thirty minutes in the kitchen, including the prep and cooking time, and yet you’ll still be able to serve your family a filling meal that they’ll all enjoy.
15 quick dinner ideas you should try
1. Paprika Chicken -a 30-Minute Meal
I love a good one-pot meal, and this paprika chicken from Scrummy Lane takes just thirty minutes to put together. You’ll combine chunky pieces of chicken, paprika, and a good serving of vegetables, for a hearty and delicious meal that your whole family will enjoy. You can use any vegetables you already have in the kitchen, but the best options are peppers, onions, and mushrooms. It’s a very saucy recipe, so it would go perfectly over rice, or it can just be served in a bowl with a slice of crusty bread.
2. Chicken Stroganoff
The Chunky Chef shows us how to make this chicken version of the classic beef dish, which still creates a comfort food meal that anyone from kids to adults will love. The egg noodles that are served with this dish can cook alongside the chicken in the same pot, making this a simple thirty-minute meal. The sauce for this dish is made with chicken stock, white wine, mushrooms, garlic, onions, sour cream, mustard, and plenty of seasonings. Your family will think that you’ve spent hours in the kitchen making this sauce when it will take just minutes to put together!
3. 30-Minute Skinny Orange Chicken
For a healthy version of your favorite Asian dish, try out this recipe from Chew Out Loud. It’s a lighter version of the classic orange chicken recipe, but it is still packed with bold flavors. This protein-rich dish doesn’t involve any frying or breading and instead just creates a chicken dish with a bright orange, soy, and brown sugar sauce. For a complete meal, serve this orange chicken over fluffy white rice.
4. Greek Lemon Chicken With Rice
Your family will think you’ve spent all day in the kitchen when they see this Greek lemon chicken with rice meal, so they’ll be shocked to learn it only took thirty minutes to put together! Hello Creative Family shares this twenty-minute recipe, which can be made in one cast-iron frying pan and offers a family-friendly meal that will have everyone wanting seconds. If you have a few extra minutes to spare, you can also serve a salad or steamed broccoli on the side for a complete meal.
5. 30-Minute Chicken Fajitas
Mexican night doesn’t have to involve endless hours in the kitchen, thanks to this thirty minutes chicken fajitas recipe from Isabel Eats. From start to finish, you’ll spend only half an hour creating this meal, yet it will be one of your family’s favorite dishes. The chicken fajitas are best served in flour tortillas, which can be homemade or store-bought. However, you could also enjoy this dish with a salad, Mexican rice, or cauliflower rice for a lighter meal.
6. 30 Minute Asian Beef Bowl
A Reinvented Mom shares this great Asian dish that is not only budget-friendly but also super simple to make. You’ll use ground beef as the base for this dish, which is seasoned with classic Asian flavors. For a complete meal, serve this dish with rice or a salad for a quick and easy meal any day of the week. The Asian flavors are thanks to the sesame oil and ginger that are added to this recipe, and sesame oil is an ingredient that’s well worth keeping in your pantry for future Asian recipes.
7. 30 Minute Skillet Pasta Primavera
For a healthy pasta dish that’s loaded with nutritious ingredients, try out this pasta primavera from Flavor the Moments. You’ll enjoy a creamy pasta dish that uses half and half instead of heavy cream, so you’ll be able to create a lighter dish than the classic recipe. This meal is ideal for making during the spring, as it uses plenty of fresh produce. You’ll add even more flavor with the lemon juice, lemon zest, and fresh basil that will also make this a bright and attractive dish to place on your dinner table. For the final touch, make sure you have some parmesan cheese to grate over the top before serving.
8. 30 Minute Cashew Chicken
Don’t Waste the Crumbs shows us how to make this healthy and quick dinner that’s great for even the busiest of weeknights. Kids will love this recipe, but it’s also keto-friendly, making it easy to cater to a wide variety of dietary requirements. This dish goes best with rice and would be perfect served over a heap of coconut rice. As well as being a quick dish, it’s a really healthy option for your family, with lean chicken, plenty of vegetables, and cashews served in a light sauce.
9. 30 Minute Vegan One Pot Pasta – Greek Style
Whether you follow a vegan diet or not, you’ll love this recipe from Food by Maria. It’s a one-pot recipe that’s packed with fresh vegetables yet has a fun Greek twist to the dish to make it appealing to everyone in your family. It’s a very affordable dish to make, and you’ll barely have any cleaning up to do afterward, which any busy parent will appreciate! It’s also a great meal for prepping at the start of a busy week since it can just be reheated one night when you are in a rush for dinner.
10. 30-Minute Taco Cups
For another fun Mexican dish that takes less than thirty minutes to create, try out this recipe from Happiness is Homemade. After cooking the ground turkey, the taco cups take just minutes to put together, and then you’ll simply top the cups with salsa and shredded cheese before baking in an oven for ten to thirteen minutes. For the perfect finishing touch, serve with sour cream and some guacamole on the side.
11. 30-Minute Chicken Marsala
This simple chicken dish takes only half an hour to cook and is absolutely packed with flavor. Kids will love this dish served over noodles or mashed potatoes, and it’s perfect for a fall or winter’s night when you need a warming and comforting dish after a busy day. Prep everything before getting started with your cooking to make this dish from My Kitchen Craze even quicker, and try to use thinly sliced or pounded chicken for best results.
12. 30 Minute Fried Rice
This Pilgrim Life shares a simple yet effective recipe that everyone will be sure to enjoy, and it’s a filling meal to share at the end of a busy day. It’s a thirty-minute recipe, but you will need to cook the rice ahead of time since it needs to be cool when it’s put into the pan to fry. Sesame oil is the best option for this fried rice, and you can customize this meal with the meat and vegetables of your choice that you already have in your kitchen at the time.
13. 30 Minute Chili Recipe
Cooking chili will never need to take longer than thirty minutes again, thanks to this recipe from 30 Minutes Meals. It’s the perfect dish for when you need to serve your whole family or host your friends in a rush, and it’s ideal for game days or family gatherings. In the recipe, you’ll start by browning the beef before combining it with spices, beans, and tomatoes for a simple meal that will be a hit with everyone at your dinner table. You can serve this dish with various toppings to add more variety and excitement to the meal.
14. 30 Minute Skillet Chicken Enchilada Pasta
Pasta is one of my go-to dishes in a rush, and this recipe from Jo Cooks makes a great alternative to a plain pasta dish, yet it still doesn’t take more than thirty minutes to cook. The recipe recommends using brown rice pasta, a gluten-free pasta that doesn’t taste any different than other kinds of pasta when served in this delicious sauce. It’s a simple switch to make that will provide a healthier meal for your family without them even knowing the difference.
15. Easy Taco Salad
Crystal & Co shares this easy salad recipe that is perfect for a summer’s night when you don’t want to eat something too heavy. It’s the ideal dish for serving a big crowd, or it would be a great alternative dinner for Taco Tuesday. You’ll cook a big batch of taco meat, to begin with, and then you’ll combine the meat with beans, shredded cheese, Fritos, and dressing for a salad that even the pickiest of teens and kids will enjoy. You can top the dish with whatever you please, but the best options would be sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, and salsa.
Just because you are short on time, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice serving your family a healthy and hearty dinner. Next time you are in a rush, choose one of these recipes listed above for a family-friendly meal that will be a hit with everyone at your dinner table!
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