10 Protein-Packed Dinners That Are Actually Quick to Make

10 Protein-Packed Dinners That Are Actually Quick to Make

Kelli Foster
Oct 17, 2018
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn)

On those nights I really don't feel like cooking, it feels so easy to resort ultra-quick and comforting fallbacks, like bowl of cereal, a PB&J, or some quick buttered noodles. But I don't. Because while it feels great in the moment to rustle up those options with next to no effort, it's pretty much guaranteed that I'll be hungry again in a couple of hours.

Instead I've learned to keep a short yet reliable roster of high-protein dinners that are sure to fill me up, and come together with minimal effort, ingredients, and time on the clock.

1. Weeknight Orzo Paella

Thanks to quick-cooking ingredients like chicken sausage, frozen shrimp, and orzo, this skillet dinner will satisfy your paella craving in under 30 minutes.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

2. Chorizo Chicken Chili

It doesn't get much heartier than a pot of chili mixed with meaty chicken thighs, spiced chorizo, and two kinds of beans.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

3. Chicken Saltimbocca with Spinach and Potatoes

Thin, quick-cooking chicken cutlets are the key to pulling this restaurant-inspired dinner together in 30 minutes.

(Image credit: Chronicle Books)

4. Garlicky Shrimp with Tequila and Lime

In about five minute this skillet full of tangy, herb-flecked shrimp can be yours. I know it sounds too good to be true, but I assure you it's the real deal. Top a rice bowl with them, or stuff them into tortillas for dinner.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

5. 10-Minute Black Bean Tacos

This is why I always keep a couple of cans of black beans in the pantry at all times. When I don't really want to cook, but crave a filling dinner, these simple tacos delivery every time.

(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

6. Egg Roll Skillet

This recipe calls for ground pork, but it's also delicious with ground turkey or chicken, or any combination of these meats. And starting with a bag of shredded slaw seriously cuts down on prep time.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

7. Feta and Tomato Braised Chickpeas

These saucy chickpeas are a hit served on their own, but if you want a little extra fiber, stuff them into a baked sweet potato.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

8. Tofu and Broccoli Green Curry

Pre-made curry paste and a package of frozen broccoli are the smart shortcuts that help bring this flavorful curry to the table in a flash.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

9. Saucy Skillet Salmon

It's a good idea to serve this easy salmon dinner with a loaf of bread to mop up all the extra sauce on your plate.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

10. Easy One-Pot Chicken Taco Soup

This recipe poaches the chicken breast right in the simmering pot of soup, so it gets infused with the smoky, spiced aroma of the broth — and it means there's one less dish to wash.

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