Wouldn’t it be nice if you had an hour (or even 30 minutes) each day to dedicate to dinner? Unfortunately, between work, commutes, kids’ homework, after-school activities, and other obligations, many of us can’t fathom setting aside time to prepare a home-cooked meal. But it’s important to find the time to make your family a sit-down dinner, no matter how busy you may be.
According to The Washington Post, research has revealed that dinnertime conversation helps boost young kids’ vocabulary, and adolescents who frequently eat dinner with their family may have more academic success in school. Furthermore, enjoying sit-down dinners can help parents enforce healthy-eating habits while giving family members a dedicated time to catch up and socialize.
With all of those benefits, it’s important to see why we should make time for sit-down dinners. Reach for these 10 dishes when you’re running short on time or energy; this way, no matter how busy you are, you’ll know you always have time to make your family dinner!
1. 10-Minute “No Chop” Low-Carb Chili
Preparing chili does not need to be an all-day affair. For hectic weeknights, make I Breathe I’m Hungry’s recipe, which requires very few ingredients and very little time. Cook your ground beef and sauces, add salsa, and allow them to simmer for a few minutes. Garnish with the toppings of your choosing, including onion, cilantro, avocado, lime, cheese, sour cream, corn, and peppers, and serve. It doesn’t get any easier than this!
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cayenne (optional)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup prepared salsa
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Head to I Breathe I’m Hungry for the full recipe.
2. Salmon Salad
Tired of tuna salad? Switch up your supper repertoire with Eating Well’s recipe for salmon salad. Canned salmon combines with lemon juice, olives, onion, parsley, and capers, creating a fresh-tasting dish that tastes terrific on its own or as a sandwich or wrap. The recipe yields 1 serving, so make sure to adjust the ingredients if you’re serving it to your family for supper!
- ½ cup boneless, skinless canned salmon, flaked (2½ ounces)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 kalamata olives, pitted and diced
- 1 teaspoon minced red onion, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon rinsed and chopped capers
Head to Eating Well for the full recipe.
3. Spicy Cilantro Shrimp with Honey Lime Dipping Sauce
Love Grows Wild delivers a dinner dish that can be whipped up in a matter of minutes. A combination of spices, including cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon, give this dish warm flavors while a tangy dipping sauce adds a little extra zest. Trust us — prepare this once, and it will quickly become one of your regular go-tos.
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup sour cream
- ⅓ cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1½ teaspoons grated lime peel
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Head to Love Grows Wild for the full recipe.
4. Simple Thai-Style Omelet
The next time you need an easy dinner, prepare this simple Thai-style omelet by The Kitchn. Fish sauce and green onions are added to the beaten eggs, creating a crispy, flavorful meal that requires minimal effort and ingredients. The nice thing about this versatile dish is that you can include a number of add-ins should you wish to spice it up a touch. Ground chicken or pork, shallots, chopped cilantro, and any other fresh herbs you have on hand will taste terrific in your omelet.
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon fish sauce
- 2 green onions
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Head to The Kitchn for the full recipe.
5. Pasta With Butter Beans and Red Wine
Stonesoup takes a few pantry staples — tomato paste, beans, and pasta — and cooks them in red wine, creating a hearty and satisfying supper dish. If you don’t have butter beans, feel free to use a different bean in its place; you can make this meal even more filling by including a meaty add-in, such as bacon, sausage, or prosciutto.
- 1 cup red wine
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (14-ounce) can butter beans
- 5 ounces short pasta cooked until al dente
- Shaved Parmesan, to serve
Head to Stonesoup for the full recipe.
6. Greek Salad
Vicky Vlachonis, author of The Body Doesn’t Lie and a pain management expert, explains to Well+Good that olive oil helps reduce inflammation, which may prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. Not only is this recipe great for getting your daily olive oil fix, but it also delivers a myriad of other Mediterranean ingredients, including tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta cheese, and capers. It yields 2 to 3 servings.
- 2 cups ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup Persian cucumbers, chopped
- ¼ white onion, finely chopped
- ½ cup green olives
- ½ cup parsley, finely chopped
- ½ cup feta cheese (goat)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice from half a lemon
- ½ cup capers
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Head to Well+Good for the full recipe.
7. Chicken Kale Wraps
Chicken pieces are cooked in a tangy marinade and placed in large kale leaves along with yellow squash and mango. Fold the leaves, secure with 2 toothpicks, and cook in a skillet to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. At 359 calories per serving, this is a nutritious and delicious dinner option. Self’s recipe yields 4 servings.
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup yellow squash, diced
- 1 cup mango, diced
- 16 kale leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- 16 toothpicks
Head to Self for the full recipe.
8. Chicken and Black Bean Tacos
Your microwave makes preparing She Knows’ recipe unbelievably easy. Combine black beans, chicken, cumin, chili powder, lime juice or vinegar, and salt and pepper in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Then, heat in the microwave until hot, and serve on tortillas. Don’t forget to pile on your favorite toppings!
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1 (12.5-ounce) can cooked chicken
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon lime juice or white vinegar
- 1 package small soft taco tortillas
- Taco toppings: shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, diced onions, shredded cheese
Head to She Knows for the full recipe.
9. Turkey Milanese with Mache Salad
In Redbook’s recipe, turkey cutlets are coated in a cheesy breadcrumb mixture and cooked until golden brown. Before serving, a light salad is placed atop each cutlet, creating an elegant, healthy, and easy-to-make meal. With each serving containing 382 calories, 17 grams of fat, and 36 grams of protein, this dinner dish is also diet friendly. We did mention it takes less than 10 minutes to make, right?
- 1 small head Belgian endive, cut into strips
- 1 cup diced plum or cherry tomatoes
- ⅓ cup thinly sliced red onion
- ¼ teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoon balsamic vinaigrette
- 4 (4-ounce) turkey breast cutlets, pounded thin
- ¼ teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup plain dry breadcrumbs
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Flour, for dredging
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
Head to Redbook for the full recipe.
10. Vegan Gluten-Free Chickpea Waldorf Salad
A combination of apples, pears, chickpeas, walnuts, grapes, and cranberries are coated in a creamy sauce, creating this vegan gluten-free chickpea Waldorf salad by One Green Planet. Chock-full of fruits, veggies, and nuts, this salad will satisfy any appetite. It does taste best when chilled prior to serving, so consider making this dish in the morning before work — it’ll ensure you have to take zero minutes out of your evening to make supper!
- 2 cups Red Delicious apples, chopped
- 2 cups Bartlett pears, chopped
- 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup celery, chopped
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup red grapes, halved
- ⅓ cup unsweetened dried cranberries
- ½ cup vegan mayonnaise
- ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon dried tarragon leaves
- 2 tablespoons tarragon wine vinegar
- Sea salt (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Ground nutmeg (optional)
Head to One Green Planet for the full recipe.