LOOKING for: What is your favorite quick dinner recipe?

kimc444November 30, 2006

I have never posted on this forum of gardenweb before, but I had a crisis today and thought I would seek out some help! I am so tired of all of my recipes! I am a full-time graduate student and work part time so I don't have a whole lot of time to cook, but I like to have a healthy balanced meal on the table for us every night! I thought I would get some ideas on your favorite, somewhat quick recipe for dinner. Maybe that one you always resort to when you don't know what else to make? It may be boring to you, but it's probably new to us! So please...share with us... help add some variety to my meals! :)

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Kim --

When I really want something super quick and healthy, I have a super easy black bean soup recipe.

2 15 ounce cans of black beans
1 15 ounce can of chicken broth
1 cup salsa
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp oregano
Nice handful of chopped cilantro.

Combine all ingredients and cook for 10-15 minutes or so, mashing at least half the beans a little as it cooks. Garnish with a nice handful of grated cheddar cheese, and serve alongside rice or a piece of toast. Super yummy, low fat, lots of protein, fiber, and taste!

Happy eating...


    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 6:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


1 cup fresh cauliflower florets
1 cup water
1 package Knorrs Cream of Leek Soup
3 cups milk (I use 1% fat)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Put cauliflower and water in medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook until done but not mushy. Drain and return cauliflower to pan. Mash with potato masher or fork. Stir in soup mix. Gradually add the milk and mix thoroughly. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture nearly comes to a boil and is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted.

Notes: I get the cauliflower at the salad bar in the grocery store  no waste and a lot less than buying a head of it. Broccoli can be substituted for the cauliflower. Frozen vegetables can be used, just shorten cooking time. Reheats well in microwave over medium heat, stirring a couple of times. Some dried tarragon can be added with the soup mix.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 7:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Captain Ron's Supper Stew

Make this in the crockpot for a busy day, or on top of the stove for a really quick meal

Peel and quarter 4 medium potatoes
Peel, core and slice one medium apple, (the sweeter, the better)
Slice 1 lb. smoked sausage into 1-inch slices
put all of the above in a crockpot or dutch oven,
pour one can of Bavarian Kraut over the mix, add 1/2
can of water, and heat until the potatoes and apples
are tender.

This can be on the table in 30 minutes when you cook it on top of the stove. Bavarian Kraut is really best for this stew, and the apple really pulls the flavors together. Hope you'll like it as much as we do.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 11:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I always keep a package of frozen boneless chicken breasts in the freezer....and i can thaw a couple in a few minutes in the micro....and then do all sorts of stuff with them.
Season with terayaki and grill....quickly brown in a fry pan with pam and dump on some jarred marinara, simmer about 10 minutes, top with parmesan cheese and put a lid on until it melts and serve over cooked pasta.
Cut the chicken into strips and soak in water and cornstarch ( 1/2 cup water to 2 T corn starch) while you slice some sweet onion, celery, mushrooms..bell peppers, sliced roma tomato, zucchinni, eggplant, snow peas....any or most of those things...then stif fry and top with a bottled Chinese sauce and serve with rice.
Or grill the chicken breast and top with BBQ sauce.
There are more.... with frozen chicken breasts you always have something to eat.
Linda C

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 11:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have several approaches for those times.

One is to ring the changes on stir fry. No particular recipe, I just use whatever is available in terms of meats and veggies.

Soup and sandwich. I keep a range of home-made soups handy (some frozen, some canned). When things are really hectic, there's nothing like soup. Not only is it nourishing, it really perks you up for some reason.

But I also have a freezer full of home-made dinners. There's just the two of us, but I always prepare full recipes of anything I cook. This makes six to eight servings. So we have one dinner that night. The rest is put up in double-wrapped foam plates. So we always have a diverse supply of meals, ready to go.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 8:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Stir-fry recipes are very quick and they don't all have to taste like Chinese food. The rice takes time to cook but orzo pasta and linquine or spaghetti takes less time. You can cut the prep work of the veggies by picking up sliced celery, broccoli, onion, bell pepper, carrots, etc. at the salad bar if your grocery store has one. Or, prep the veggies on the weekend when you may have more time.

I always keep hamburger patties, individually frozen chicken breasts, pork chops, and pieces of sirloin steak on hand for quick meals. Add a steamed vegetable and I call it dinner.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 9:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Marinara over speghetti with a tossed salad an Italian Bread

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 11:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love Eileen's idea and I also like to first saute a lot of garlic til golden, add a good splash of white wine and some red pepper flakes and then dump in some frozen cooked shrimp and then add in a jar of marinara to heat it all up.

I also like to do farfalle pasta with broccoli as a one pot meal - cook the pasta til almost done then throw in broccoli flowerets til its all done al dente - drain then saute garlic in the pasta pot in hot oil, add in some red pepper flakes and chicken broth and white wine (if desired) and cook on high til hot, then add back in the broccoli and pasta for a minute to get hot. Serve with parmesan cheese.

Here is something from Rocco DiSpirito's radio show from a year or two ago, I haven't tried this yet but it's on my to do list.

Rocco: Why dont you try this go to a store by you and buy a whole roasted chicken, get a pasta called Seme di melone, basil, feta cheese, cherry peppers (in a jar). Cook the pasta, pull apart the chicken, and place in a bowl and toss with chopped cherry peppers with some of its oil, chunks of feta cheese. Drain the cooked pasta and add it to the bowl, tear up some basil and toss it in, and season with some salt & fresh cracked pepper and youll have a 5 minute meal.

The famous cooking forum easy bake chicken is very good:

4 chicken cutlets
Salt and Pepper
Garlic Powder
4 Tablespoons Mayo
4 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan
Bread Crumbs

Season chicken with garlic powder, s & p, combine mayo and parmesan. Coat chicken with mixture. Place in pan, sprinkle with bread crumbs. Roast at 400 for 20-30 minutes.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 12:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When I worked I found the best way to have quick , good meals was to bite the bullet and do a "cookathon" once month and then throw it all in the freezer.

Meat sauce for pasta
Stuffed peppers
Cabbage rolls
Italian Meatballs
Soups of all types
Swedish metballs

Make up a bunch and throw them in the freezer. Not only does it make week day cooking fast but it also makes it "think free". The problem with having a lot of really fast" make that night" recipes is that you also have to have the ingredients on hand and that takes planning.

Keep salad greens and fresh veggies on hand as well as eggs. Frittatas have to be one of the fastest most flexible meals.

Another really fast meal that goes over well here is tacos, burritos or fajitas.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 1:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow! Thanks everyone- these all sound soooooo good! We are excited to spice things up a bit with these new recipes!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 1:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kim, if there are any dishes that catch your eye let us know and betwen us we will give you a specific recipe.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 1:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here are a few quick ones that we like.

Turkey Marsala

1lb turkey breast
2T butter
3T flour
2tsp instant chicken boullion
1/4tsp garlic powder
1c water
1/2c dry Marsala wine
1c sliced fresh mushrooms

Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Brown the turkey, turning once. Place turkey on serving platter, cover to keep warm.
Combine flour, boullion and garlic powder in bowl. Gradually stir in water and wine. Add to skillet and cook over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring constantly until thickened. Add mushrooms and heat one minute more. Pour half of sauce over turkey, pass remaining sauce. 4 servings.

This one is Ginger's. My whole family makes these! 


2 cups water   
1/2 cup soy sauce   
4 whole peppercorns   
1 tsp dried rosemary   
1 tsp dried thyme   
1 bay leaf   
1 tsp garlic powder (had none so used 1 minced garlic clove)   
3 lb boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed   
8 French or sourdough rolls, split 

Combine water, soy sauce, peppercorns, rosemay, thym & garlic in a slow cooker, stirring until wel blended. Place rost in cooker & cover.   
Cook on high for 5\-6 hours or until beef is tender. Remove meat from broth & shred with a fork. Serve beef on rolls. Pour broth in small bowls for dipping.~~ Good topped with Swiss cheese or sauteed onions, peppers or both. I like mustard on the rolls, too.~~   
Posted by Ginger St. Thomas   

Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.   
1/4 cup olive oil   
4 teaspoons minced garlic   
1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined   
1 1/2 cups drained canned artichoke hearts, chopped   
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese   
1/2 cup chopped seeded tomatoes   
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice   
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley   
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried   
12 ounces angel hair pasta or linguine   
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds. Add shrimp and sauté until almost cooked through, about 2 minutes. Add artichokes, feta, tomatoes, lemon juice, parsley and oregano and sauté until shrimp are cooked through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.   
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Transfer pasta to large bowl.   
Add shrimp mixture to pasta and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve. 

Serves 4. Bon Appétit June 1995 

My notes: This is also good with chicken in place of the shrimp. Add cheese last and do not cook longer than instructions.   
These are super easy and really tasty, but there are a lot of ingredients. They're even better the next day! 

[<img class="cursor-magnify js-enlarge" data-imgurl="" data-pin-no-hover="true" src="http://pic16.picturetrail.com/VOL671/4578521/9688658/t-193180409.jpg"  />](http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=10&imgid=193180409) 

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis 

Prep Time: 30 minutes   
Yield: 6 to 8 servings   
1/4 cup red wine vinegar   
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced   
1 teaspoon dried oregano   
1/3 cup olive oil   
10 large pitted green olives, chopped   
1/3 cup pitted, chopped kalamata olives   
1/4 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers   
Salt and freshly ground black pepper   
1 (1\-pound) round bread loaf (about 7 inches in diameter and 3 inches high)   
4 ounces thinly sliced ham   
4 ounces thinly sliced mortadella   
4 ounces thinly sliced salami   
4 ounces sliced provolone   
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced   
1 1/2 ounces arugula leaves   
Whisk the first 3 ingredients in a large bowl to blend. Gradually blend in the oil. Stir in the olives and roasted peppers. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with salt and pepper.   
Cut the top 1\-inch of the bread loaf. Set the top aside. Hollow out the bottom and top halves of the bread. Spread some of the olive and roasted pepper mix over the bread bottom and cut side of the bread top. Layer the meats and cheeses in the bread bottom. Top with the onions, then the arugula. Spread the remaining olive and roasted pepper mix on top of the sandwich and carefully cover with the bread top. You can serve the sandwich immediately or you can wrap the entire sandwich tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator a day before serving.   
Cut the sandwich into wedges and serve. 

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 2:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm with Lindac -- keep packages of boneless chicken breasts in the freezer, and you can eat something different and quick every night forever!

There are countless variations of even just quick-sauteed breasts. Pound them flat, dredge in flour seasoned with salt, pepper, and paprika, and then fry in olive oil over medium heat on both sides til cooked (just a few minutes). Remove the chicken from the pan and let it sit on paper towels while you deglaze the pan with ...
- lemon juice, sherry, and capers (picatta)
- canned fruit juice -- add the fruit at the end: mandarin oranges, peaches, mangoes, canned or fresh
- dried cherries or cranberries and a little wine
- mushrooms and/or onions and/or shallots and some sherry or wine (try different types of wine)
- just some orange juice, if you are REALLY in a rush!
- Almost anything you have in your kitchen, really, including leftovers. You can hardly go wrong. The whole thing takes less time to make than the pasta or rice you make to go with it.

It's an endless list of "recipes," and that's even before you get to the even more endless (???) list of things you can do if you actually CUT UP the chicken!

But you don't want chicken EVERY night. Another versatile "starter recipe" is what we call Salute to Cindy, after our friend who taught it to us.
1) Start some pasta cooking
2) Heat olive oil or butter and saute some cut-up onion and probably some garlic (depending on what else you'll add)
3) Meanwhile, look around to see what else you have that you can dump in: artichokes, olives, mushrooms, dried or fresh tomatoes, pine nuts or other nuts, carrots, celery, capers, tuna, cheese, water chestnuts, any leftover potatoes, vegetables, and meats or fish -- again, almost anything you have. You can go in a fruity direction with this, too (why not? What could happen?). This is also a good way to use up the last little bits of things -- like 3 mushrooms left in a basket or half a leftover potato. Add to onions and heat, then toss with cooked & drained pasta.

Finally, sometimes when it's a hurry hurry night we have something we don't usually think of for supper, like salami and eggs, bagels, or omelets. Whoever cooks always apologizes, and then we ALWAYS find our selves saying, "This is such a good supper -- why don't we have this more often even when we're not in a hurry?" So think Breakfast for Dinner and you'll get more quick options.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 5:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If I'm in a real hurry, here's a couple we like:

We like the pre-roasted chickens you get at the grocery - either warm or if I bought it earlier in the day, cold. You can either pick up a couple of deli salads while you're there, or cook some rice and make a salad.

Another fast one we like is the fresh pastas and sauces in the refrigerator case. If you get an alfredo sauce you can even add some of that leftover pre-roasted chicken and have chicken fettucini alfredo :-) Get a loaf of the the garlic bread that's already made and a bag of salad, and you're done.

Lompoc, CA

    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 6:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

mmmmmm- y'all are really motivating me to get cookin'! I am really open to any recipes-- I think part of my crisis is that I am sick of chicken by itself, but have a hard time finding anything else besides beef or pork. I have kind of been afraid of shrimp because I don't know how to buy it or cook it-- can y'all enlighten me? The shrimp recipes y'all have posted sound really good!

I also like recipes where you cut up a bunch of vegetables and throw them all in together with some meat(like a soup or stir fry, I guess) Or what about other casseroles?

Thanks for taking me under your wings! :) I really LOVE cooking and wish I could do it more!!


    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 10:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kim, there's nothing easier than a quick shrimp scampi.I buy large prawns either at the market or preferably at Costco (on weekends ours has a seafood booth). Freeze them in ziplocks in appropriate portion sizes. When needed dump them into a collander/strainer and run cold water over them to defrost which takes about 10 minutes or less.
I heat some olive oil in a skillet, add the shrimp, a mixture of lemon juice, dijon mustard, white wine (vermouth is cheap, has a screw on cap and is always in my cupboard)and some minced garlic (in the freezer from Trader Joes' but fresh would be good too). Saute until pink then I dump in a handful of seasoned bread crumbs and serve.
Super easy and quick meal. Come to think of it, I should visit Costco tomorrow and buy more shrimp!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 5:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kim, you really should explore the world of seafood, as it is ideal for fast meal prep.

The whole secret with cooking shrimp, scallops, and other shellfish is to make sure you don't overcook it. But the particular critter usually gives you a clue.

Shrimp turns pink when it's done. Scallops turn opaque. Clams and oysters curl at the edges. The hard ones are calamari and abalone. But even they give you clues.

To clean shrimp you need to remove the shells and the mud vein that runs down the back. This can be done before or after cooking, depending on recipes. Hint: Shrimp cooked in their shells are more flavorful.

There are special tools for prepping shrimp. But a regular table fork works just as well. Stick one tine into the shell from the head end, pointing into the mud vein. Then push the shrimp onto the tine. The shell and vein will pop right off.

If you look at the Nuts & Bolts thread I've posted a simple recipe for Shrimp & Sausage Carbonade that you might want to try.

Finned fishes, too, can broaden your choices. Fish does not require a long cooking time in any recipe (the rule of thumb is to cook ten minutes for each inch of thickness).

Virtually any cooking method---from poaching to deep fying, baking to barbecuing---can be used for fish cookery.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 9:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Breaded Turkey Patties w/steamed veggies

I invented this recipe while in TJs one day and trying to think of something healthy, quick, and easy for dinner. It's now one of our favorites. Seasoning can be anything you choose.

* 1 lb. ground turkey meat
* bread crumbs (seasoned or not)
* seasoning of your choice
* one onion, sliced (we used Maui onions from our garden)
* 1 package bok choy mix or other stir-fry vegie mix (I'm not sure what the mix is called, but TJs sells it in bags in the fresh produce aisle. Not frozen!)
* Olive oil for pan

Mix turkey with seasonings and form into 4 patties. Cover patties with bread crumbs.

Add olive oil to skillet. Add patties and cook until done on one side. Turn patties. Top with sliced onions and bok choy mix. Cover with lid to keep in steam. Cook until patties are done.



    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 11:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kim, my two fast recipes and, family favorites, are both used with canned meat. First, we love hot roast beef sandwiches. I saute onions first in a skillet, add the canned roast beef breaking it up into smaller pieces, add some milke and one package of brown gravy and mushroom if desired. Simmer until heated through. Serve on rolls, sliced bread, whatever and served with a ready made salad.

The other is Corn Beef Hash. I open the can of corned beef and put on a paper plate and place in freezer (makes it easier to cube.) I cook potatoes in microwave, with skins,
until done. Leaving skins on, I cube and then place in a skillet with some oil to brown. When browned to your likeness add the cubed corned beef and brown, too. Onions can be added. While doing this I steam cabbage or fry cabbage.

Both of these recipes are inexpensive and very good.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 11:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am a working mom with 3 kids. I use my crockpot a lot. I keep gravy mix packets (mushroom gravy, brown gravy, or chicken gravy) and creamed soups on hand. In the morning I'll throw a gravy mix with a can of creamed soup, soup can of water and meat. Meat doesn't even need to be thawed. Serve over instant rice or instant potatoes and it's a very quick meal. Not gourmet, but it works. With the new crockpot liners, you have easy cleanup.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 12:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is my FAVORITE quick dinner, and it literally takes 15 minutes to make! It is even "company" worthy!

Garlic Tomato and Spinach Pasta

1/2 box cooked, angel hair pasta
3-5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp chili pepper flakes (optional)
1 can diced tomatoes (juice and all)
1 bag baby leaf spinach
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesean cheese

In a large skillet, preheat olive oil on medium heat. Add garlic and chili pepper flakes and sautee slowly until garlic is just barely brown (don't brown garlic because it makes the flavor bitter). Add diced tomatoes with juice and whole bag of spinach. Sautee about 6 minutes to evaporate some of the liquid, but not all. Add cooked pasta and toss with tomato/spinach mixture. Add salt and peper to taste, serve with grated parmesean cheese and a glass of white wine! :-)

    Bookmark   December 5, 2006 at 9:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I know this is a very old post. I just wanted to thank everyone for the recipe ideas. I have gotten into a dinner rut lately & have been looking for new ideas. There are so many things I'd like to try, starting with the last recipe of garlic tomato spinach pasta. It sounds devine!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 12:26PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
RECIPE: Christmas Cookies
Think we are late getting this one started this year...
LOOKING for: Sweet potato recipes : not pureed or sweet
I love sweet potatoes. I would like to incorporate...
LOOKING for: how to use peaches
somebody just gave 60 huge beautiful peaches BUT I...
RECIPE: Onion Soup What to mix with Guyere cheese
I'm planning to make my French Onion Soup for a number...
LOOKING for: Easy Everyday Cooking Recipe Cards
Hi, I am looking for anyone that might have the "Easy...
Sponsored Products
30 Inch Bathroom Vanity Set
White Toddler Bedside Stand
$53.99 | zulily
Dove Chandelier by Arteriors
$2,760.00 | Lumens
Bermuda Brown Rectangular: 5 ft. x 8 ft. Rug
$356.40 | Bellacor
Primo Grill 2 Piece Island Cart - Oval Large 300/XL 400 - AMK439
$651.00 | Hayneedle
Canopy Stripe Elsie Headboard
Cost Plus World Market
Rural Green Circle Rings Ovo Table Lamp
Lamps Plus
Arteriors Home - Kapera Lamp - 17069-302
Great Furniture Deal
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™