5 Quick and Easy Weeknight Meals


Published by Dr. Charles Gemmi

A Board Certified Orthodontist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, Dr. Charles Gemmi has been a practicing orthodontist with Orthodontics Limited since 2000 and is a member of the teaching staff at Einstein Medical Center. Orthodontics Limited is a Diamond+ Provider of Invisalign in Philadelphia and Hatboro, PA.

There’s nothing worse than getting to dinner time and realizing you haven’t taken the time to prepare a meal. The kids are grumbling and you know that if you don’t make something quickly, you’re probably going to end up just grabbing some fast food. Luckily, there are lots of options when it comes to making an inexpensive, fast, delicious meal. Here are some of the best easy weeknight meals that can be made in less than an hour.

1. Tortellini and Chicken

This is one of the simplest and easiest dishes to make. All you need is two packages of refrigerated tortellini and some skinless chicken breasts. You can always throw some baby spinach and cherry tomatoes into the dish, too, but if you have picky children, you might be better off just serving a side salad to make sure they get their vegetables.

To make this dish, start off by cooking the tortellini according to the package instructions. At the same time, cut up and sauté your chicken, until it is cooked through and golden brown on all sides. If you are going to add some baby spinach and tomatoes to the dish, add them just as the chicken is finishing up. Then, pour about a third of a cup of heavy cream over the chicken. Add about two tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese and then some black pepper to taste. Once this has all cooked together, add the tortellini to the mix, stir it together so that the sauce is spread evenly, and then serve!

This meal only takes about fifteen minutes to prepare and it is sure to please even the pickiest eaters. You can easily customize it based on what your family does or does not like. If you prefer steak, you could include steak instead of chicken. If you do not like tomatoes, you can leave them out!

2. Lettuce Wraps

If you are looking for something a little more exotic for dinner, this could be a great option for you. It tastes like it took a long time to prepare, but is actually extremely simple to get on the table. You are going to need a pound of ground beef and a half pound of prepared rice, along with sesame oil, ginger, and soy sauce for seasoning,.

Start by browning the beef in a frying pan. Add mushrooms, yellow pepper, garlic, and steamed broccoli, based on your preferences. Add three tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, two tablespoons of sugar, one teaspoon of sesame oil, one teaspoon of ground ginger, and stir until well combined. For the lettuce wraps themselves, us Boston lettuce. Garnish with thinly sliced carrots and mint leaves! Add a little bit of cooked rice to the lettuce leaves and then follow it with some of the beef and vegetable mixture and you are ready to go.

3. Cheese and Bean Burritos

Who doesn’t like a burrito? You could easily just throw a little bit of cooked chicken and some rice into a burrito and call dinner finished, but won’t you enjoy the meal much more if a little bit more work goes into it? For this recipe, gather up all of your favorite burrito fillings. Why not try some avocado and black beans, in addition to your rice, chicken, and cheese. Then, fill up your tortillas and roll them. You can make them even better by frying them a little on all sides, in a little bit of oil in one of your frying pans. This is another meal that will seem like it took a long time to make, but will actually be very fast and very simple.

4. Steak Salad

Do you want a meal that feels very finished and fancy, but that actually only took you about twenty minutes to make? If so, then a steak salad is the perfect option for your easy weeknight meals rotation. All you need to do is grab your favorite cut of steak, cut it into pieces, and start cooking it. Then, grab your lettuce and make sure it is properly washed. Dry it off, and start cutting it up while your steak is cooking. Then, all you have to do is combine your steak and salad.

What makes this meal especially great is that it can be customized for your family. Add cheese to your salads for a little more flavor. Add other types of vegetables to your lettuce to really make your meal complete. There are so many different things you can do, you do not have to worry about not being able to create a meal that your family will actually want to eat. Best of all, it is really simply to make and everyone is sure to love it!

5. Pork Tacos

Tacos will always be an easy weeknight meal, but you can really make them special by doing something a little bit different with your taco filling. Instead of trying to make the pork yourself, you can simply by prepared shredded pork for your grocery store. You should be able to find a barbecue variety that you love. Pair it with a few hard shells, some coleslaw or finely shredded lettuce, and your other favorite taco toppings and you will have a delicious meal that doesn’t even require you to turn on your oven. This is a great option for when you want a complete meal but it is too hot to actually cook something!

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