What Defines a Quick Meal for You?

published Sep 10, 2013
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(Image credit: Emily Han)

Quick weeknight meals: just typing the phrase feels like repetition of a cliche. It’s what the magazines tell us we want — dinner fast! Ten 30-minute meals! It’s all you have time for! And yet underlying the sensationalism of the push towards ever-decreasing cooking time (10 minutes! 5 minutes! 2 minutes!) there is a real need, which is that most of us are crunched for time and love all the help we can get in making our evening meals materialize more quickly, more easily.

But what does that mean, for you? What is a quick meal? Something you’ve prepped ahead? Something that takes less than 30 minutes?

For me, a quick weeknight meal is one where I don’t need an extra trip to the store, or one where I don’t need to do a lot of extra preparation. The scallop dish I shared with you earlier today is a good example — if I’ve shopped already it comes together in just a few minutes.

But maybe your idea of a quick weeknight meal is different? How much time do you usually spend cooking dinner, and what sort of recipes do you turn to repeatedly? Have you found ways to speed up dinner preparation, or dishes that make frequent appearances?

Here are a few roundups of quicker weeknight recipes we’ve shared in the past —each with a slightly different take on what a quick meal can be. What’s yours?

(Image: Emily Ho)