Weeknight dinners can feel like a drag sometimes. When you're tired from your day, why spend time in the kitchen cooking up the same old thing week after week, when you can just pick up the phone and order a pizza?
There's certainly no denying that some nights call for a big, greasy box of pepperoni and mushroom, but don't let the weeknight drudge get you down!
From beefy baked noodles to bright green chicken and even a fluffy tamale pie, here are a few easy, fun recipes you can add to your weekly rotation that are sure to become instant favorites for the whole family:
1. Beef and Cheddar Casserole
With hearty, filling ground beef, gooey cheese and chewy, wide egg noodles, this crowd-pleasing dish is a far cry from anything bland and mushy that you might associate with the word.
2. Spinach, White Bean, and Taleggio Pizza
Making your own pizza crust on a busy weeknight can be a fair bit of work. Feel free to take a shortcut by either buying your favorite pre-made stuff or making it in advance, portioning it out and chucking it in the freezer. If you need to thaw frozen dough in a hurry, you can float a sealed bag of it in cold water for around 15 minutes.
3. Grilled Green Chicken
A few handfuls of fresh, zingy green herbs, bright lime zest and some other aromatics all get zapped in the blender for a quick, low-maintenance marinade that brings the flavor in a major way. You can totally make a double batch of this and toss extra marinated raw chicken in the freezer until you need another fast entree.
4. Baked Black Bean and Avocado Burritos
These versatile wet burrito-enchilada hybrids cook up in a flash, and they're easy to customize to be vegan, omnivorous, gluten-free or fit just about any other dietary requirement. Want a paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free tortilla alternative? Try using these plantain tortillas.
5. Salmon Cakes With Salad
Crab cakes are great, but they aren't always easy to come by. Canned (or leftover, cooked) salmon mixed with Old Bay, corn, red peppers and lemon zest make for a fabulous and much cheaper alternative that won't leave you longing for pricier crab meat.
6. Chicken Tamale Pie
If you love shepherd's pie and tamales, this is the meal for you! With canned beans, sharp cheddar cheese, your favorite salsa and cooked chicken (or any leftover protein of your choice), this filling dish puts a fun new spin on your favorite flavors. P.S. You're more than welcome to use instant polenta rather than cornmeal to save a couple minutes of kitchen time.