We all have nights where we just need dinner on the table NOW. Maybe we forgot to meal prep, maybe we’re too busy to even think about planning ahead, or maybe you forgot to defrost the chicken you were going to use and are left with the random things in your fridge for dinner…
Whatever the case, we’ve all experienced a night where dinner in a pinch is what we’re looking for.
Lucky for you I have TONS of recipes on my blog that you can make in about 30 minutes or less and you’ll be eating a delicious meal lickety-split.
We don’t use lickety-split enough in our vernacular.
Anyways, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite quick meals. Meals that I lean heavily on when things get a little crazy. Meals that still taste good even though not that much work went into preparing it. Hopefully, they will help you get through your hump day and push you towards the weekend.
I’m also including a new recipe that is also a great dinner in a pinch. Or make a bunch of chicken over the weekend and just use it throughout the week for lunches/dinners. Make it work for you!
My Favorite Dinners-in-a-Pinch Recipes (New recipe at the end!)
This looks like it’s complicated because the ingredients list seems long. Don’t panic, they’re mostly spices. This is like the simplest meal ever. And it makes a huge batch so hello leftovers!
Jackfruit is really the hero of many vegetarian/vegan recipes because of its ability to mock the texture of pulled chicken or pork and the way it takes on any flavor you add. Here you get a creamy comforting meal really fast.
This one might take all day to cook but your slow cooker is doing all the work. Toss in a whole chicken before you leave for work and you’ve got dinner ready when you get home!
Buy a jar of pesto and this recipe is even easier! You can also add a protein of your choice like leftover chicken (from the whole roasted chicken you obviously made over the weekend 🙂 ) or even shrimp.
It might seem weird to make tacos in a mini bag of popcorn, but trust me, it works. It’s also fast. Just cook up your normal ground taco meat and pile your favorite toppings into the popcorn bag. You can also use Fritos or other corn chips.
Again, if you have leftover chicken these meals are the best and easiest. If you’re looking for a new twist, try the Chicken and Jicama Curry Salad. But if you’re craving a classic, go with My Childhood Chicken Salad.
This is my go-to quick dinner, especially in the summer. Add protein of your choice if you want and boom, dinner in less than 10.
Ok, you might want to prep the sweet potatoes over the weekend, but if you have those ready to go then this is a quick meal. Simple stuff, heat, and eat!
Please excuse the horrendous picture, but this meal is still a weekly go-to in our house. It’s quick, delicious, and you can vary the herbs to suit your tastes or whatever you have on hand.
I had to include at least one Instant Pot meal because it’s really the hero of quick weeknight dinners. This might not be a traditional butter chicken (considering there is not chicken) but it still packed with flavor.
I know I keep talking about these chicken poppers but that’s because they are freaking delicious. And fast. And you need to make them. Like yesterday. Do it.
Simple Mustard Marinaded Chicken- serves 4-6
For one chicken breast: Calories: 202 Total Fat: 13.3g Carbs: .1g Fiber: 0 Protein: 20g
- 4-6 medium chicken breasts, depending on how many people you’re feeding
- 1/2 cup olive oil OR avocado oil
- 1/4 cup spicy brown mustard or Dijon
- 6 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- ghee or more olive oil
- Place the chicken breasts in a gallon size Ziploc bag or large glass dish.
- Put the rest of the ingredients, except for the ghee/extra olive oil in a blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth. I did this with an immersion blender and it worked fabulously.
- Pour the marinade in with the chicken. Seal the bag and squish everything around a little so all the chicken is covered. Place the bag in a dish to prevent leaks and then put in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes, longer if you have the time.
- Preheat the oven to 375 and get out a medium saute or grill pan as well as a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Lightly spray the dish and set aside. Heat the ghee/extra olive oil in the pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the marinaded chicken breasts (save the marinade) and sear each side for about 3 to 5 minutes. There should be a nice brown crust on each side. Place the seared chicken in the 9 x 13 dish.
- Add the leftover marinade to the bottom of the dish and bake the chicken uncovered for 30 to 45 minutes. The chicken should be 165 and the juices should run clear when pierced. Let the chicken rest for five minutes before serving!
** You can make these over the weekend and then use them throughout the week for other recipes**