10 of our favorite quick and easy meals

13 August 2018

It seems kind of funny to follow up such a momentous post as sharing the meaning of our son’s name with dinner ideas, but that’s Em for Marvelous for you! :) If you think about it, a post about quick and easy meals actually makes perfect sense a few weeks after we welcomed a baby — quick and easy is the name of the game right now! With that, I wanted to share a few of our favorite meals in this genre to continue our mini “ten favorites” series

From Pinch of Yum

1. Grilled chicken caesar salad wraps. We grill chicken breasts on the grill, then chop and mix them with pre-washed lettuce (or lettuce from our garden in-season!), croutons, and store-bought caesar dressing. Everything gets stuffed in a flatbread or tortilla, depending on what we have on hand.

2. Lemon roasted chicken and vegetables. The recipe calls for salmon but we sub in chicken. You basically just toss everything onto a sheet pan and call it a day! We’ll sometimes pair with rice.

3. Buffalo chicken pizza. Pizza dough from Publix, jarred pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella, frozen buffalo chicken nuggets, a little chopped red onion, a drizzle of blue cheese dressing after it comes out of the oven… yum!

4. Grilled chicken, sweet potatoes, and a vegetable. The chicken goes on the grill with salt and pepper and we cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave and eat them plain. For a vegetable, we’ll most often saute broccoli or green beans with a squeeze of lemon or grill zucchini. This meal has the benefit of being quite healthy and cheap, too!

5. Chicken fajitas. Do you see a theme with grilled chicken? :) The grilled chicken gets chopped into strips, then everyone assembles their own fajitas with tortillas, shredded cheese, sauteed onions and green bell peppers, salsa, and Greek yogurt.

6. Bratwursts and cucumber tomato salad. The salad is an invention of John’s – it includes halved cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumber, balsamic or red wine vinegar, olive oil, sugar, oregano, thyme, and a little bit of salt!

7. Cobb salad. Our version includes pre-washed lettuce, bacon, hardboiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and our favorite dressing – olive oil, red wine vinegar, and Dijon mustard.

8. Dumplings and a vegetable. This is as simple as it sounds – frozen dumplings from an Asian grocery store (we love H Mart, if you have one near you!) and a vegetable like broccoli, green beans, carrots, or zucchini. We’ll also make a dipping sauce of rice vinegar, soy sauce, a little bit of sesame oil, and sambal oelek.

9. Whole Foods chicken pot pie. I am a fiend for chicken pot pie, and though I’ll sometimes make it from scratch, honestly, the WF refrigerated version is at least as good as a homemade version and less expensive in the end. This actually does take awhile to heat (about 35-45 minutes), but there’s zero prep, so it still counts as a quick meal in my book :)

10. Chicken tinga tacos. If you pick the rotisserie chicken in advance, this recipe comes together in a snap. The avocado-lime-garlic powder mash is a must-do! Bonus: it makes a lot of leftovers.

I would love to hear: what are some of your favorite quick meals? Y’all had so many good suggestions on the first post!

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Kensi Neely
August 13, 2018 10:50 am

Loving ALL of these! I prefer cooking over takeout or frozen meals any day (my husband thinks I’m crazy!), but I can’t stand fussy recipes. All of these count as major wins in my book! One meal on rotation weekly in our house is a “Greek Power Salad”: roast sweet potatoes, red onions, and broccoli together in the oven with olive oil, and salt & pepper. Combine with brown rice (or cauliflower rice), and add the special sauce – greek yogurt, red vinegar, honey, greek seasoning, garlic salt, salt & pepper. When you mix together, it turns into casserole-type goodness, but without the guilt of butter, cheese, etc. We serve as-is, or with hummus over a bed of spinach for leftover lunches!

August 13, 2018 11:20 am

Chicken pot pie is one of my top all-time favorite foods! I made the recipe from So Much to Celebrate by Katie Jacobs last week and it was the best chicken pot pie I’ve ever had. Our favorite quick meals include the Taco Soup from Cup of Jo, (also her Lemony Linguine with Zucchini). Last night we had Egg Roll in a Bowl from Real Food Dietitians – SO easy, healthy, and delicious! So many of my dinner recommendations have come from you, but I’ve saved most of my favorites here: https://www.pinterest.com/kyla_mary/recipes-to-make-again/

Bethany Howe
August 13, 2018 7:25 pm

We are big on turkey nachos, kale caesar salad with sweet potato fries, enchilada casserole, chicken quesadillas, and black bean burgers. I don’t mind a labor intensive meal; I enjoy cooking but these are all (delicious) meals that take less than 30 mins, from start to finish!

August 19, 2018 11:57 am
Reply to  Em

I would love to grill, but we don’t have one! Grilled quesadillas sound so delicious. Maybe next summer!

August 14, 2018 5:39 am

I’m a sucker for meals from the Trader Joe’s frozen section. We’ve never has a bad one! I always make sure to swing by there periodically to pick some up for days I don’t feel like cooking. I especially love their mandarin orange chicken and their frozen dumplings and fried rice.

August 14, 2018 6:38 am

I used to get chicken caesar pitas at Chili’s in high school (don’t judge, ha! It was one of the only American restaurants in Qatar so it was a hot spot for my friend group ;)) but have never thought to recreate them at home. Now I really want to…yum!

I am not sure what type of jarred pizza sauce you use, but I have to insist that you try making pizza with Nellino’s marinara sauce! I’m sure you’ve seen it but it’s a local brand (formerly called Nello’s) and it is a homemade pizza GAME CHANGER. The Raleigh Costco sells it, so we buy it there for the best price, but I’ve seen it in lots of places!

August 17, 2018 3:59 pm

I love to cook (I used to have a food blog!) but it’s definitely harder with two littles. They LOVE the Whole Foods chicken pot pie, and so do I, so why fight it? :)