20 Miracle Meals That Save Dinner During the Holiday Rush

20 Miracle Meals That Save Dinner During the Holiday Rush

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Sheela Prakash
Dec 5, 2016
(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Yes, you still need to eat regular weeknight dinners during the holiday season. Does this seem impossible with your schedule in high gear? Between all the parties and shopping and general running around, fitting in a wholesome meal at the end of the day becomes a matter of smart choices and savvy shopping. That's why you need a few miracle meals up your sleeve.

These dinners are fuss-free, fast, and lean on pantry staples or store-bought conveniences to make a home-cooked meal possible. Here are 20 recipes to help you out.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

1. Easy Skillet Chicken Pot Pie

Yes, you can make a comforting chicken pot pie amongst the madness. You just need to rely on store-bought pie dough, a bag of frozen veggies, and quick-cooking chicken breasts.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

2. Orecchiette with Caramelized Fennel and Spicy Sausage

This flavorful pasta is quick to assemble but looks and tastes like it took you much longer to make. That means it's a contender for when impromptu guests drop by throughout the season and you want to impress without the stress.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

3. Weeknight Skillet Paella

No need to dust off the fancy paella pan (if you actually even own one). Escape to Spain with this skillet version that comes together in 30 minutes and can be made with pantry basics.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

4. Skillet Mac and Cheese

Among the holiday stress, a little comfort food is just what we all need. The sauce for this mac and cheese is made right in the skillet it's then baked in, which means you have one less pan to clean.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

5. Spicy Shrimp Skillet with Tomatoes and White Beans

A few cans of white beans form the base of this light and saucy shrimp skillet that's best served with plenty of crusty bread for dunking.

6. Broccolini, Chicken Sausage, and Orzo Skillet

This recipe calls for fully cooked chicken sausage, which saves you the hassle of browning and cooking it yourself — that means dinner's on the table 10 minutes sooner than you expected.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

7. One-Pot 30 Minute Zoodles and Meatballs

While this recipe calls for purchasing whole zucchini and spiralizing it yourself, we won't tell anybody if you buy pre-spiralized zucchini from the grocery store instead.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

8. Freezer-t0-Slow Cooker Vegetable Tagine

Leaning on a few bags of cut frozen vegetables, like carrots and cauliflower chunks, along with canned tomatoes and harissa paste, means it's really just a matter of tossing everything into the slow cooker in the morning to have veggie tagine for dinner.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

9. Quick Butternut Squash Curry

Store-bought Thai red curry paste brings a powerhouse of spicy, fragrant flavor to this simple vegan curry. To bulk it up further, feel free to toss in some cubes of baked tofu, either store-bought or baked yourself.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

10. Weeknight General Tso's Tofu

No, you don't have rely on take-out during the busy holiday season. This easy take on the Chinese restaurant favorite is proof.

(Image credit: Brie Passano)

11. White Rotisserie Chicken Chili

A good ol' rotisserie chicken lends all that slow-cooked flavor to this quick-cooking white chicken chili. Top the bowls with diced avocado, crumbled tortilla chips, and a dollop of sour cream to make it a meal.

(Image credit: Brie Passano)

12. Slow-Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Thanks to the slow cooker, this cozy soup tastes like you stood over a simmering pot all day to make it, but in reality you barely lifted a finger.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

13. How To Make Classic Tomato Soup

Homemade tomato soup takes less time than you think to make. This classic version comes together in under 30 minutes with just a handful of pantry staples.

(Image credit: Jerrelle Guy)

14. Ranch Chicken Wraps

While this recipe has you make your own ranch sauce, don't panic. It's made with a simple mix of Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, fresh chopped herbs, and garlic and far surpasses the bottled stuff.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

15. 10-Minute Black Bean Tacos

Yes, tacos in 10 minutes. Crack open and drain a can of black beans, simmer them quickly with diced onion and spices, and assemble the fixings.

(Image credit: Chungah Rhee)

16. Sheet Pan Chicken with Red Potatoes and Sage

This recipe has all the good qualities of a classic roast chicken — the crispy skin, tender meat, and flavorful side of herby potatoes — but it all comes together in just about 30 minutes.

(Image credit: Chungah Rhee)

17. Sheet Pan Sweet Potatoes and Black Bean Hash

Make this for dinner, but don't be surprised if you find yourself making it again over the weekend for a quick but hearty breakfast before heading out the door for all those fun holiday activities.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

18. Smoky Roasted Brussels Spouts and Kielbasa

Smoked kielbasa and smoked paprika lend a wallop of earthy, hefty flavor to this sheet pan dinner.

(Image credit: Chungah Rhee)

19. Sheet Pan Honey-Sesame Tofu and Green Beans

Feel free to use any vegetable you may have in your crisper drawer for this vegetarian dinner — broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts would all great.

(Image credit: Chungah Rhee)

20. Sheet Pan Steak and Veggies

If you can't find top sirloin steak when you're running through the grocery store on your way home, don't fret. Hanger, flank, or New York strip steak are all perfect substitutes.

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