Like all moms out there (except maybe Martha Stewart) there are days I find myself just standing there starring blankly into the fridge without the slightest idea what we will eat for dinner. On those days it seems all I can think of are dishes that will take at least an hour to prepare. We have had the ingredients for lasagna (a favorite around our house) sitting around for weeks because every time I think about making it I have all of five minutes before the kids bedtime!
Now I know what some of you are thinking... why don't you just plan better? Well... easier said than done and some days just get away from you. As hard as I might try it just happens, but that's ok! And I have a wonderful solution for those nights that you wonder... do they have to have dinner?
Here are 10 awesome family dinners cooked in less than 20 minutes! (and you don't even have to break open a Ramen packet lol)
Cheesy Chicken & Spinach Bow-Tie Pasta—Every parent knows nothing is faster than pasta but this one is a triple threat, combining chicken, cheese and just enough spinach to add color and a built-in veggie.
Ham, Cheese & Apple Melts—Got leftover pork? Ham lunchmeat? Either one would work for this super-fast meal, one that has a surprisingly crunchy and sweet addition, thanks to the apple slices. (Shh! Don’t tell ‘em what’s inside and see if they can guess.)
One-Pot Pasta—This one combines all the hearty dinner ingredients into one nice pot. Bonus, it’s vegetarian, which will go over well with any little guys who aren’t so into meat right now.
Ham, Pear & Arugula Grilled Cheese Sandwiches—These aren’t just your average grilled cheese, though that’s an option for anyone who’d prefer the classic version.
Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry with Noodles—I once thought my kids didn’t like carrots, until I made this stir-fry. Whole-wheat spaghetti noodles doused in a combination of honey, BBQ and soy sauce with chicken and as many veggies as you can muster, it’s a dinner that looks as wholesome as it really is.
Stuffed Bacon Burgers—Truth, nothing is simpler than grilling burgers for dinner. These have lots of flavorful spices built in, a tasty step which takes all of a few extra seconds to complete.
Whole-Wheat Penne with Snap Peas, Ginger & Pork—Fresh ginger and ground pork are must-haves for this fast family dinner but sugar snap peas can be replaced by any veggie your crowd enjoys.
Marinated Chicken on Sticks—I don’t have to tell you that putting food on a stick means an instant thumbs up from kids. That’s why I love this idea of pairing juicy chicken on a stick alongside your regular rice.
Sauteed Cabbage & Pork with Dried Cranberries and Almonds—Sooner than you can say “my kids won’t like that”, you’ll be amazed at how they might gobble up a new dish like this one, just bursting with savory fall flavor.
Creamy Chicken Crescent Ring—Okay, okay, this one takes 20 minutes to cook and your prep time will be added to that BUT it’s worth it to present a rolled up dinner like this one. By the time this dish is done, all you’ll have left to do is say, tada!