Easy and Delicious Dinner Recipes for Busy Weeknights

Making dinner is such a demanding task for a busy schedule during weekdays. You are probably tired of the workload after a long day at work and returning to cook a heavy dinner that would take forever in the kitchen. It is okay because cooking dinner on a busy night does not have to be a big deal. With a bit of meal preparation and some easy and quick recipes, everyone in the family can enjoy a decent meal without the hassle. Here are simple and delicious dinner recipes perfect for a busy weeknight.

One-Pot Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (450g) large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 8 oz (225g) spaghetti
  • 4 cups (1 liter) chicken broth
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (100g) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add the shrimp to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until pink and opaque. Remove the shrimp from the pot and set aside.
  3. In the same pot, add chicken broth and bring it to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook according to package instructions until al dente.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the heavy cream, parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add the shrimp back in and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
  • 3 bell peppers (red, yellow, green), sliced
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Tortillas and your favorite toppings (sour cream, guacamole, salsa, etc.)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the chicken strips and bell peppers and onion slices. Drizzle with olive oil.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle the seasoning mix over the chicken and vegetables and toss to coat evenly.
  4. Spread the chicken and vegetable mixture evenly on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
  6. Serve the chicken fajitas with warm tortillas and your favorite toppings!

Quick and Easy Beef Stir-Fry

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain
  • 2 cups of broccoli florets
  • 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • Cooked rice, for serving

Instructions

  1. Combine soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Put aside.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add sliced steak to the skillet and cook until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the steak and set aside.
  3. Add the minced garlic and ginger to the same skillet and sauté for about one minute or until fragrant.
  4. In a large bowl, add the broccoli florets, and bell pepper slices. Stir-fry the vegetables for 3 to 4 minutes or until tender-crisp.
  5. Add the steak back into the skillet and pour the sauce mixture over the top. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and coats the beef and vegetables.
  6. Serve the beef stir-fry over rice.

Baked Lemon Herb Salmon

Ingredients

  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon slices, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, oregano, basil, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  3. Arrange salmon fillets on a prepared baking sheet. Brush the olive oil mixture on each fillet.
  4. Bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
  5. Add lemon slices for garnish and serve.

Veggie-Packed Fried Rice

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked rice (preferably day-old, 450g)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed (150g)
  • 1 cup broccoli florets (150g)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and minced garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the peas, carrots, and broccoli florets to the skillet. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until veggies are tender.
  3. Push veggies to one side of the skillet and pour the beaten eggs into the other side. Scramble the eggs, then mix with the veggies.
  4. Add the cooked rice to the skillet and mix. Pour the soy sauce over the rice and veggies and mix well.
  5. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the rice is heated through and slightly crispy.
  6. Garnish with sliced green onions and serve immediately.

Conclusion

These quick and simple self-cooked dinner recipes will help you get a home-cooked meal without spending hours in the kitchen. These recipes are perfect for those busy weeknights when you just want something simple, nutritious, and fulfilling. From one-pot pasta and sheet pan chicken to fried rice and baked salmon, easy dinner inspiration, and the variety of flavors that you can get with different ingredients, your dinner will be exciting and stress-free. Happy cooking!

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