Chances are you have weekday breakfasts down to a science by now: whether you’re a granola bar girl or an oatmeal guy, you know what works and you stick to it. (As long as there’s coffee, you’re good with eating the same thing every day.) It’s a similar situation with lunch: by now you probably have a handful of tried and true favorites that you’re happy to rotate on a regular basis. For many of us, dinner is where it all starts to fall apart.
If the concept of cooking for an hour when you get home from work doesn’t appeal, you’re not alone. Enter the holy grail of suppertime: quick weeknight dinners that don’t come out of a box, don’t take forever to make, and (most importantly) don’t leave you with a Mount Everest of dirty pots and pans to summit before bed. We embarked on a mighty quest through the world of food bloggers, and returned with these precious recipes. Each of these quick after work meals is healthy, delicious, and truly fast and easy.
Dump, stir, bake.
Don’t fear the casserole. The casserole is your friend — and it has evolved way beyond the dried-out canned-soup tuna nightmares of your childhood. (If you love tuna casserole, sorry about that. No judgement.) The best thing about baked dinners is how low maintenance they are: once they’re in the oven there’s no fussy stirring or watching to do: just set the timer and watch an episode of your favorite show, and you’re golden.
This insanely delicious Vegetable Enchilada Bake is a perfect example–almost all the ingredients can come straight from cans or the freezer. There’s a recipe for enchilada sauce included, which I’m sure is delicious, but using a high quality jar sauce will shave half an hour off your prep time. Serve with some tortilla chips and salsa on the side
There are plenty of one-pot-wonder recipes out there, but not all of them are actually simple: we came across plenty which still had a dozen ingredients and steps to slog through before you even think about tucking in. Behold the glory of the Three Ingredient Orange Chicken. Invented by one of our own and introduced on this blog last year, this wonderful recipe is a stroke of genius that has saved many a desperate dinner time for us all, so we thought it deserved a place on this list. Three ingredients, one pan, twenty minutes, and you’re done.
Not your mom’s slow cooker.
The great crockpot comeback has arrived, and slow-cooking is cool now. Even if you’re not a morning person, you can find ten minutes to chuck ingredients into this bad boy and switch it on before you run out the door. Your reward will be great: dinner ready and waiting.
These Tarragon Lamb Shanks With Cannellini Beans will blow your mind. So easy: some lamb chops and some canned beans and tomatoes from your pantry and you’re already almost there. Also, there’s no shame in buying your carrots/onions/celery pre-chopped if you want to save another step.
You may have dreams of cooking a different healthy and delicious gourmet meal every day after work, but in reality it almost never happens. It’s not your fault! After a demanding day on the job, energy is running low. By the time you’ve walked in the door at home you’ve already calculated the shortest distance between you, your PJs, the couch, and the takeout menu. Let yourself off the hook on the occasional Friday, but you can do wonderful things for your health and your budget by cooking delicious, easy meals for supper most nights. It doesn’t have to be hard. With a roster of failsafe, fast weeknight dinners to turn to when the going gets tough, you’ll be living the dream.