10 Fast & Easy Weeknight Dinner You Can Throw Together In 30 Minutes

Weeknights are busy. You still need to eat, though - so why not eat well? Here are 10 quick and easy weeknight dinner recipes to help you fit a hearty, nutritious dinner into your busy schedule each night. All the dishes included here can be finished in 30 minutes or less.

1. PERFECT BROILED SALMON

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Step 1. Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind, 1 tablespoon fresh juice (from 1 lemon), and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce in a shallow dish. Place fillets, skin side up, in dish. Let stand 15 minutes.

Step 2. Preheat broiler with oven rack 6 inches from heat. Place fillets, skin side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Broil to desired degree of doneness, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove fillets from foil using a metal spatula.

2. CROCKPOT CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

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Step 1. Season 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place chicken into a 6-qt slow cooker.

Step 2. Stir in 8 cups chicken stock, 4 cloves garlic, 1 diced onion, 3 peeled and diced carrots, 3 stalks diced celery, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary and 2 bay leaves; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours.

Step 3. Remove chicken from the slow cooker and shred, using two forks.

Step 4. Stir 8 ounces spaghetti (broken into thirds) and chicken into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for an additional 30-40 minutes, or until spaghetti is tender.

Step 5. Stir in lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley.

Step 6. Serve immediately.

3. SPINACH LASAGNA

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Step 1: Combine 2 containers of ricotta cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella, 1/4 cup of Parmesan, 2 eggs, 1 box (10 oz.) of frozen chopped spinach and 1 envelope of Lipton Recipe Secrets Kosher Vegetable Soup Mix in medium bowl; set aside.

Step 2: Spread 1 cup pasta sauce in a 6-qt slow cooker. Layer in 4 lasagna noodles, broken to fit, then 1 cup Sauce and 1/2 of the ricotta mixture; repeat. Top with remaining 4 lasagna noodles and 2 cups pasta sauce. Reserve remaining Sauce. Cook covered on LOW 5 to 6 hours.

Step 3: Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Cover and cook an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes with remaining Sauce, heated.

4. LEMON GARLIC SHRIMP

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Step 1: In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil. Add 1 lb. medium, peeled, and deveined shrimp, 3 cloves minced garlic, and 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes. Cook until the shrimp is pink, for about 3 minutes.

Step 2: Remove from heat, stir in remaining tablespoon of butter, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of dry white wine (or water), and parsley.

Step 3: Serve.

5. BEEF TENDERLOIN

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Step 1: Heat the oven to 475º. Rub beef tenderloin all over with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and rub until evenly coated. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear tenderloin, turn occasionally until golden brown all over, 2 minutes per side for about 10 minutes.  

Step 2: Transfer to a baking dish and top all over with butter and rosemary sprigs.

Steps 3: Roast until the meat thermometer reaches 140º, 25 minutes.

Step 4: Let it rest at least 15 minutes, then slice and serve.

6. Healthy Chicken Casserole

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Step 1: Heat the oven to 350º and grease a 9x13 baking dish.

Step 2: First, make chicken. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Season chicken all over with kosher salt and pepper. Add chicken to skillet and cook for 6-8 minutes per side until cooked through. Let stand for 10 minutes, then cut each breast into bite-sized pieces.

Step 3: In a large high sided skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add 1/2 chopped onion, 2 medium peeled and cut sweet potatoes, and 1 lb. trimmed and quartered brussels sprouts. Season with 1 tablespoon dried thyme, 1/2 tablespoon paprika, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Sauté until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of chicken broth, bring to a simmer, and cover for another 5 minutes.

Step 4: Mix in 2 cups of wild rice, prepared chicken and 1/2 cup of dried cranberries. Transfer mixture to baking dish, top with 1/2 cup of sliced almonds, and bake for 20 minutes.

Step 5: Let cool 5 minutes and serve.

7. Spaghetti And Meatballs

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Step 1: In a small bowl, soak 2 slices of white sandwich bread in the milk until the milk is absorbed, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, mix ground meats with the soaked bread, 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano-Reggiano, 1/2 tablespoon of the garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1 tablespoon of the chopped basil and the oregano. Form the mixture into several golf ball-size meatballs and transfer to a baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

Step 2: In a large pot over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add a pinch of crushed red pepper, two 28-ounce cans of whole chopped tomatoes, 3 tablespoons of chopped basil, and 1 large basil sprig. Bring to a simmer and cook over moderately low heat until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 25 minutes. Discard the basil sprig and season the sauce with salt and pepper.

Step 3: In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Brown the meatballs in batches on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the meatballs to the tomato sauce and simmer until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Discard the fat from the skillet. Add 1/4 cup of water and cook over moderately high heat, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, about 2 minutes. Pour the water into the tomato sauce.

Step 4: In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain and return the pasta to the pot. Pour in 2 cups of the tomato sauce and toss until the pasta is well coated, about 1 minute. Transfer the pasta to large shallow bowls. Spoon the meatballs and remaining tomato sauce over the spaghetti. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons chopped basil. Serve at once, passing grated cheese at the table.

8. Chicken Posole

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Step 1: Prepare 4 cups of chicken stock; 3 lb. chicken; 2 cups of poblano peppers, chopped; 1 white onion, chopped; 2 cloves garlic, minced; 1 tbsp. cumin; 1 tbsp. oregano; 2 tsp. chili powder; 2 tsp. salt and freshly ground black pepper into the slow cooker. Cook on low for about 6 to 8 hours, until the chicken is tender and cooked through.

Step 2: Take chicken out and shred with two folks. Return to the slow cooker along with 4 cups of drained canned hominy and cook for another 30 minutes.

Step 3: Serve soup into bowls, and garnish with thinly sliced radishes, sliced green cabbage, and fresh cilantro.  

9. Honey Garlic Glazed Salmon

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Step 1: In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup of honey, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes.

Step 2: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat two tablespoons of oil. When oil is hot but not smoking, add 4 6-oz. salmon fillets skin-side up, and season with salt and pepper. Cook salmon until brown, for about 6 minutes, then flip over and add the remaining tablespoon of oil.

Step 3: Add 3 cloves of garlic to the skillet and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the honey mixture and sliced lemons and cook until sauce is reduced by 1/3. Baste salmon with the sauce.

Step 4: Garnish with sliced lemon and serve.

10. Salmon Patties

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Step 1: Add 1 (14.75-oz.) can of salmon, 2 thinly sliced green onions, 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh dill, 1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup of Mayonaise, 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard, and 1 large beaten egg in a large bowl. Season with salt and mix well.

Step 2: Form into 5 evenly-sized patties. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Cook patties in batches until golden and crispy, 3-4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.

Step 3: Serve over spinach with lemon wedges on the side for more citrus.

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