Some weeks, meal planning is the only defense we have against eating out or hitting a drive-thru every single night. When our schedules are super busy or we just have a lot of fun stuff on the calendar, selecting a week's worth of super-fast and easy recipes is the only way to ensure that dinner at home happens.
Twenty minutes seems about the perfect amount of time for a speedy dinner that tastes better than takeout but still gets us at the table and out the door in under an hour. Here are the five 20-minute, quick and easy dinners I'm making for my family this week.
Welcome to This Week's Meal Plan
I believe meal planning is the secret to stress-free weeknight dinners. Since I'm frequently asked by friends and family what I'm cooking for dinner each week, I share my weekly meal plan here. Whether you're just learning to meal plan and looking for a real-life example of how this works or you're an old pro on the hunt for inspiration, here's a peek at how I'm feeding my family this week.
New to meal planning? Start here.
Fish is one of those fast-cooking proteins that we don't take nearly enough advantage of, and these salmon filets are proof-positive of a speedy dinner that delivers on flavor far superior to takeout. Double up on the potatoes and asparagus for the kiddos who might eat smaller portions of the salmon.
Tuesday: Easy One-Pot Chicken Taco Soup
The chicken here cooks in the soup, plus one pot means only one dish to clean after soccer practice on Tuesday night. Make sure you've got plenty of chips on hand for dinner dipping. Grab extra broth at the grocery store — we'll use it again on Thursday night.
Packaged gnocchi is surprisingly fast-cooking despite its heft, making it a smart pasta to keep on hand for busy weeknights. This recipe is sure to become a back-pocket recipe that ends up in your weekly repertoire, because you can use almost any sausage or vegetables you have on hand. If you get the pasta water started right away, you can cook the sausage and tomatoes while the gnocchi cooks and drains, and spend just 10 quick minutes at the stove.
Thursday: Gingery Poached Egg Soup
This scrappy soup delivers so much flavor with just a few ingredients, and everyone — including my onion-hating 6-year-old — loves it. We chop the greens a lot finer, which makes them easier to eat for our little diners.
Friday: Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza
Buy yourself some extra time Friday — literally — by grabbing pre-made pizza dough at the grocery store during the weekend and freezing it for Friday's pizza. Then you can throw these pizzas together, pour some wine, and rent a movie on Amazon in less time than it would take for pizza delivery.