10 Quick 30-Minute Meals to Add to Your Meal Plan
It's a brand new year! Time to start prepping for your upcoming weeks with ease. When you're planning your meals for the week, it can be tempting to put the same five dinners on repeat. If it's not broke, why fix it, right? That's all well and good until everyone at the kitchen table, including yourself, can hardly stand another bite. Luckily we're here to help when that feeling sets in and you're desperate for something new.
1. Saucy Skillet Salmon
Saucy dinners have a way of feeling more dressed up than most, but this recipe is as quick and easy as they come. The sauce comes together in the food processor or blender (cherry tomatoes, garlic cloves, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and thyme are simply blitzed a few times to marry their flavors while still letting each sing out on its own) and then the salmon fillets are pan-seared, skin-side down, to ensure that their skin gets cracker-like before they're flipped over and finished with a quick braise in the vibrant sauce. Served over couscous to catch every drop of sauce, this salmon dinner is a show-off that will hardly make you sweat.
2. Creamy Corn and Basil Orzotto
Classic risotto will forever and always be one of my favorite dishes to make at home, but that doesn't mean I don't have room for riffs. No, this version made with orzo pasta is not traditional, but it's seriously delicious and it's got a fun name, so I think it works. It's creamy, cheesy, and flecked with summer sweetness in the form of corn kernels and chopped basil. It's also incredibly easy to throw together, thanks to the quick-cooking pasta. That means you can get a satisfying vegetarian dinner on the table in under 30 minutes.
3. One-Pan Basil-Plum Pork Chops
I like to think of plums as the silent heroes of summer, sitting patiently among other more celebrated stone fruit like peaches and nectarines. Biting into a perfectly ripe, juicy plum is a rite of summer, and turning plums into dinner is one of the best ways to give them a place in the spotlight. When roasted with bone-in pork chops, plums get a bit jammy and turn into a sweet-savory sauce built around a few pantry staples and finished with a fistful of soft basil leaves. All this quick one-pan dinner needs is a crisp salad and a crusty loaf of bread for capturing all that saucy goodness.
4. Warm Fajita Steak Salad
I crave light and fresh dinners in my meal plan more than ever during the summer, which means I often transform some of my regular favorites into a salad. This version, inspired by my favorite fajitas, skips the tortillas and instead layers slices of juicy, cumin-rubbed flank steak along with charred peppers and onions over a bed of crunchy, chopped romaine and red cabbage. It's finished off with a chili-lime vinaigrette for a tangy kick and a little bit of heat.
5. Chicken Saltimbocca with Spinach and Potatoes
Did you know that saltimbocca literally means "jumps in the mouth"? That description could not be more fitting for this weeknight version of the Italian restaurant favorite. This dish starts off with crisp, tender potato rounds and soft bundles of garlicky spinach, which creates the base for the herbed chicken that's covered with salty prosciutto and melted cheese. It's basically the dish chicken breast has been waiting for.
6. Spicy Ground Pork & Zucchini Stir-Fry
This spicy, satisfying pork and zucchini stir-fry, rich with ginger and garlic, is the ultimate solution when you don't know what to cook midweek. Toss everything together in one skillet or wok and it comes together in next to no time. Pile the good stuff on top of rice in a bowl and enjoy the comforting, well-balanced dinner in front of you. Go ahead and take that bowl to the couch if you'd like, along with a glass of wine, if you're in need of serious respite after a long day — it will most definitely help nudge you along toward the weekend.
7. Brown Butter Parmesan Pasta
There is something eternally satisfying and soothing about buttered pasta. Toss warm strands of spaghetti with a pat of rich butter and a sprinkle of grated Parm and you've got an ultra-comforting meal that comes together in minutes. Use that as inspiration, then up the ante with nutty brown butter, golden toasted panko, and a double dose of cheese and you've got a comforting dish that's fancy enough for when friends pop over.
8. Gnocchi Skillet with Chicken Sausage & Tomatoes
Late summer nights call out for easy food that is also fresh and vibrant, abundant with tomatoes, herbs, and other garden booty. This skillet is the dish I make when I want a 15-minute meal with just a handful of ingredients, but one that tastes like summer in the mouth.
9. Last-Minute Spicy Coconut Wonton Soup
Frozen dumplings are one of my freezer secret weapons. They can be a hearty snack, quick appetizer when friends drop by, or even the star of a dinner stir-fry. Whether they're little Japanese gyoza or Chinese potstickers, all are welcome freezer staples to me. Now how about giving them the soup treatment? This sour-spicy soup, inspired by Thai tom kha gai soup, combines broth with creamy coconut milk, lots of ginger and lime zest for zing, pepper flakes for spiciness, frozen dumplings, and veggies for a soup hearty enough to be a full meal when that wonton soup craving hits. Oh, and it comes together in just about 15 minutes!
10. Spicy Shrimp Skillet with Tomatoes and White Beans
Quick-cooking shrimp is an ideal contender for a fast weeknight skillet dinner — especially when juicy tomatoes and hearty white beans join the party. This spicy dinner relies on just a handful of ingredients to become something that's simple and satisfying. Serve it in low bowls to catch the flavorful broth, along with some crusty bread for dunking and a salad for something green, and you've got complete meal.
Source: The Kitchn