Life can easily get chaotic. Juggling work and home life can be difficult, especially when you have more than one mouth to feed. When you have a group of hungry people at the house and bed time schedules to stay consistent with, it’s helpful to have a number of healthy meals that can be created in a short amount of time that your family will also love. These 15 secret weapon recipes are not only tasty, but you only need 20 minutes or less to make them.
Garlic Toast Pizza
Who doesn’t love pizza? Garlic toast pizza is the perfect meal for the working mom or dad who needs to prepare a quick meal for the family. It’s not always easy finding time-saving recipes but this one definitely fits the bill. What makes this recipe especially great is the fact that the total prep and cook time is only 15 minutes and it only requires four key ingredients – 1 package of frozen garlic toast, ½ cup of pizza sauce, 1 package of sliced regular or turkey pepperoni and 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese. Here’s the quick recipe via tasteofhome.com.
First, you preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the Texas toast in a 15x10X1-inch baking pan. Bake for 5 minutes.
Next, spread the toast with pizza sauce; top with pepperoni and cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, 4-5 minutes longer.
It’s really that easy! This is a meal not only the kids will love but the parents will also love. It’s also the kind of dinner that you can allow your kids to get involved in. They can do all the prepping and get really excited about their pizza creations!
Meatloaf is a hardy and tasty meal that can feed your family on any weeknight. What’s great is that there is a recipe that allows you to make delicious meatloaf in just 20 minutes! It also only requires a few ingredients. Here’s the quick recipe via anallievent.com.
The ingredients you’ll need: 1 lb. of ground check, 1/2 tsp. of salt, 1/8 tsp. pepper, 1 onion, chopped, 1 egg, lightly beaten, 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs, 1 cup tomato sauce divided, 1 tbsp. brown sugar and 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce. Note that if you need a gluten free option, Gillian’s Foods gluten free Italian bread crumbs are a great option!
First, you preheat the oven to 450. Combine the ground chuck, salt, pepper, onion, egg, bread crumbs and 1/2 cup tomato sauce. Shape into 4 oval loaves. Bake at 450 for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the remaining 1/2 cup tomato sauce, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce together. After the meatloaves have baked for 15 minutes, pour sauce over them and bake an additional 5 minutes.
This is another meal that you can allow the kids to get involved in. During prep time, you can let them shape their own individual loaf.
Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken
If you search the internet, you will find a bunch of honey grilled chicken recipes, but what makes this particular recipe special is the fact that the prep time is 5 minutes and the cook time is 15 minutes. That means this recipe falls right at 20 minutes! Here’s the quick recipe via plainchicken.com.
The ingredients you’ll need include: 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
First, combine honey, mustard, lemon juice, soy sauce and garlic. Pour over chicken. For best results, refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Next, prepare grill. Remove the chicken from marinade. Place on grill and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until no longer pink.
This meal goes great with Spanish rice or a fresh salad depending on your preference. It’s definitely a healthy meal the whole family will enjoy.
Basic French Omelet
What’s so great about any basic omelet is the fact that you can really design it the way you choose. It’s classic and versatile. One thing you can’t beat with the basic French omelet is the total cook time. This dish only takes 2 minutes to prep and 5 minutes to cook, bringing it to 7 minutes total time. Here’s the quick recipe via incredibleegg.org.
The ingredients you will need: 2 eggs, 2 tbsp. water, 1/8 tsp. salt, dash of pepper, 1 tsp. butter, 1/3 cup filling of your choice, such as shredded cheese, finely chopped ham. Note that this yields one serving so if you want to make it for more, you’ll have to double or triple up.
First, you’ll need to beat eggs, water, salt and pepper in small bowl until blended. Next, you’ll need to heat butter in a 6 to 8-inch nonstick omelet pan or skillet over medium high heat until hot. Tilt the pan to coat bottom. Pour in egg mixture. Mixture should set immediately at edges.
Then, gently push cooked portions from edges toward the center with inverted turned so that uncooked eggs can reach the hot pan surface. Continue cooking, tilting pan and gently moving cooked portions as needed.
Finally, when the top surface of eggs is thickened and no visible liquid egg remains, place filling on one side of the omelet. Fold omelet in half with turner. With a quick flip of the wrist, turn pan and invert or slide omelet onto plate. Serve immediately.
Volia, you’re all set!
This is one of the fastest chicken quesadilla recipes and is sure to be a family favorite. This is another meal that can really be catered to your liking. Here’s the quick recipe via recipes.sparkpeople.com.
The ingredients you’ll need: 1 chicken breast (skin and bone removed), 1/4 cup of Colby cheese, 8 flour tortillas (medium size), salt to taste, pepper to taste, sour cream, salsa.
First, you’ll need to season the chicken breast. Then, brown and cook the chicken breast. Once the chicken is cooked, shred the chicken breast in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, chop the chicken breast.
Next, shred the cheese if not already shredded. Now, it’s time to assemble. Fill the tortillas with chicken and cheese. Place in quesadilla maker or put in heated skillet until cheese is completely melted. Finally, slice into 6 even pieces. Place a dollop of sour cream and salsa on each plate and enjoy!
This is a healthy 20 minute meal that’s super easy to assemble and has the potential to stretch for days. This is great for fast dinners on a busy weeknight. It also looks pretty once it’s all assembled! Here’s the quick recipe via kristineskitchenblog.com.
The ingredients you’ll need: 1 pound lean ground beef (or ground turkey or chicken), salt & pepper, 2 tbsp. taco seasoning, 1/2 cup water, 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce, 15 ounce can black beans – rinsed and drained, 1 cup cherry tomatoes – halved, 1 cup grated cheddar and/or jack cheese, 1 large avocado, sliced, 1 cup salsa, plain greek yogurt or sour cream for serving if desired.
First, you’ll need to heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Cook, breaking up the meal, until meat is browned about 5 minutes. Add the taco seasoning and water, reduce to a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until liquid is almost gone and meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Next, to assemble the salads, divide the lettuce, black beans, corn, tomatoes, cheese and avocado evenly between four large plates. Top with beef and salsa. Serve with plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, if desired.
Walnut-Rosemary Crusted Salmon
This is a dish that is sure to get you the best chef of the year award and can be made in just under 20 minutes. What also makes this meal so great is the fact that salmon and walnuts are both great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. This also can be paired with a side of roasted potatoes, a simple salad or even quinoa. Here’s the quick recipe via eatingwell.com.
The ingredients you’ll need: 2 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1 clove garlic – minced, 1/4 tsp. lemon zest, 1 tsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary, ½ tsp. honey, ½ tsp. kosher salt, ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper, 3 tbsp. panko breadcrumbs, 3 tbsp. finely chopped walnuts, 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, 1 (1 pound) of skinless salmon fillet – fresh or frozen, olive oil cooking spray.
First, preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Next, combine mustard, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, rosemary, honey, salt and crushed red pepper in a small bowl.
After this, you will need to combine panko, walnuts and oil in another small bowl. Place salmon on the prepared baking sheet. Spread the mustard mixture over the fish and sprinkle with the panko mixture, pressing to adhere. Lightly coat with cooking spray.
Bake until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 8 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness.
We promise this will be the best salmon you’ve ever made!
Sweet & Sour Chicken
This is a favorite Chinese takeout dish and now you can make it right at home for the whole family! This recipe requires a pretty extensive list of ingredients but we promise it’ll be worth the effort. This is a dish you will definitely make again. Here’s the quick recipe from closetcooking.com.
Ingredients: 1 tbsp. oil, 1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite sized pieces, 1/2 red pepper, sliced, 1 cup pineapple, sliced 3 tbsp. honey, 3 tbsp. rice vinegar or white vinegar, 3 tbsp. ketchup, 1 tbsp. soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free), 1 tsp. chill sauce such as sambal oelek or sriracha, 1/4 cup pineapple juice or chicken broth, 1 clove garlic – grated, 1 tsp. ginger, grated, 1 tbsp. water, 1 tbsp. cornstarch, 1 tsp. sesame oil, 1/4 cup green onion – sliced.
First, heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat, add the chicken and cook until cooked through, about 2-4 minutes per side.
Next, add the red pepper and pineapple and cook until just tender but still crisp, about 2 minutes.
Finally, add the mixture of the honey, vinegar, ketchup, chill sauce, pineapple juice, garlic, ginger and the mixture of the water and the corn starch, toss to coat and cook until the sauce thickens, about a minute.
Remove from heat, mix in the sesame oil and serve garnished with sliced green onions. Serve in bowls.
If you want to get a little adventurous, you can substitute the chicken with pork. So delicious!
If you love Thai food, then Pad Thai is likely one of your staples. What’s so great about this Pad Thai recipe is that it’s delicious and quick. Just 20 minutes in one pan! Only 10 minutes prep time and 10 minutes cook time. Here’s the quick recipe from halfbakedharvest.com.
The ingredients you’ll need: 1 oz. box flat rice noodles 10, 3 tbsp. fish sauce, 3 tbsp. fresh lime juice, 1 tbsp. soy sauce, 2 tbsp. packed brown sugar s, 3 tbsp. peanut oil, 2 tsp. ground ancho chile powder, 1 tbsp. sambal oelek, 3 large eggs lightly beaten, 4 cloves garlic finely chopped, 1 large red bell pepper sliced thin, 1 ounces bag sugar snap peas, 1/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts finely chopped, 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 2 scallions thinly sliced, 1 lime cut into wedges (optional).
First, you’ll place noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit 10 minutes and then drain.
In a small bowl, stir together fish sauce, lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons peanut oil, ancho chile powder and sambal oelek.
Heat the remaining oil in a wok or a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add eggs and cook, stirring, until set, about 30 seconds. Remove eggs to a plate.
Return pan to stove and increase heat to high. If needed add a tablespoon more of oil. When the pan is hot add the red bell pepper and stir fry for 3-4 minutes, add the sugar snap peas and garlic stir-fry a few seconds. Add noodles and toss well with ingredients in the pan. Stir-fry 1 minute.
Add fish-sauce mixture to the pan, tossing to combine with noodles. Add half of the peanuts, and eggs. Stir to combine, and transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with remaining peanuts, cilantro, and scallions. Toss immediately and serve with lime wedges.
Now, it’s time to enjoy this rich and flavor-filled meal!
This is an easy grilled chicken cobb salad that is perfect for the whole family and takes only 20 minutes to make! It’s also jam-packed protein. Once you try this one, it will surely have a home in your roster of family meals! Here’s the quick recipe from bunsenburnerbakery.com.
Ingredients you’ll need: 6 strips of bacon, 4 eggs, 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, 1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped, 1 pint cherry tomatoes, 2 avocados, 1 cup corn kernels, frozen and thawed, 3 oz crumbled feta cheese, 1/2 cup canola oil, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp. brown mustard, 2 cloves garlic - minced, salt and pepper to taste.
First, preheat the grill to medium-high heat. While grill is preheating, cook the bacon over high heat, turning occasionally, until crispy.
While the bacon cooks, place the eggs in a small saucepan. Fill with just enough water to cover the eggs. Place the saucepan over medium high heat, waiting until the water starts to simmer. Once the water is simmering, cover the pot, turn off the lid, and set a timer for 15 minutes. When eggs are done boiling, remove and place the eggs in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Peel and chop.
While the eggs are boiling, season chicken with salt and pepper, then place on grill. Grill over direct heat for 3 minutes, then flip and grill an additional 3 minutes. Move chicken to indirect heat (or reduce gas grill to low), then cook until the chicken reaches 165 °C, an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
Next, while the chicken cooks, chop the lettuce, halve the cherry tomatoes, and slice the avocado. Place the lettuce in a bowl and arrange the bacon, eggs, tomatoes, avocados, corn, and feta on top.
To make the vinaigrette, combine the canola oil, olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, spicy mustard, garlic, and salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
When the chicken reaches 165 °C, remove from heat. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Add chicken to salad and pour vinaigrette dressing over top.
Lemon Garlic Shrimp
There are few combinations that taste better than lemon, garlic and shrimp together. It’s also jam packed full of flavor so it’s sure to be a family favorite. Here’s the quick recipe from cafedelites.com.
The ingredients you’ll need: 1/3 cup butter, divided, 4 cloves garlic minced (or 1 tbsp.), 1 3/4 pounds shrimp (or prawns) peeled and deveined tails intact, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, juice of half a lemon (about 2 tbsp. -- add more if desired), 2 tbsp. water, fresh chopped parsley, to garnish.
First, melt 2 tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).
Next, fry shrimp and add salt and pepper, to your taste. Cook 2 minutes on one side, while stirring occasionally. Flip and cook 2 minutes on the other side until just beginning to turn pink.
Add in the remaining butter, lemon juice and water. Cook, while stirring, until the butter melts and the shrimp have cooked through. Be sure to not overcook them. Take off heat. Taste test, and add more lemon juice, salt or pepper, if needed to suit your tastes. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve over rice or pasta.
These are some of the easiest ground turkey burgers to make and they take only 20 minutes to make. What you’ll love about them is just how tender, juicy and flavorful they are. They are especially great in the summer but can be made all year round. Here’s the quick recipe from saltandlavender.com.
Ingredients you’ll need: 1 pound ground turkey (I used thigh, but feel free to use breast meat), 1 large clove garlic minced, 1 tbsp. fresh chives chopped, 1 tbsp. fresh parsley chopped finely, 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used Italian flavored), 2 tbsp. mayo, salt & pepper to taste.
You will also want to serve with your favorite toppings. If you don’t want to serve on a bun, you can opt for the healthier option and place on a bed of lettuce.
First, oil and pre-heat grill to high heat. Next, chop the chives and parsley, and prepare your toppings (tomato, onion, lettuce, etc.).
In a medium to large bowl, add the ground turkey, chives, parsley, minced garlic, lemon juice, breadcrumbs, mayo, and salt & pepper. Using your hands, gently mix everything together, taking care to not over handle the mixture.
Form burger patties one by one and place them on a sheet of wax paper. You should be able to make six small to average-size burger patties or four larger ones. Using your thumb, create a depression in the center of each patty so they cook evenly. Patties will be quite delicate.
Turn the grill down to medium-high heat. Cook the burger patties until their internal temperature is at least 165F. Cooking time really depends on your grill and the thickness of the patties.
Once the burgers are cooked, you can toast the buns for about 20-30 seconds on each side if desired. Assemble burgers and enjoy!
Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Porkchops
These are the quickest and tastiest porkchops you’ll ever have, hands down and if you’re a fan of spinach and artichoke dip, this recipe will take you right to heaven. Here’s the quick recipe via delish.com.
Ingredients you’ll need: 8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature, 1/3 cup sour cream, 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped, 1 10-oz. package frozen spinach, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 2/3 cup shredded mozzarella, 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, kosher salt, pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, 4 bone-in pork chops (about 1" thick), 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided.
First, in a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, artichoke hearts, spinach, garlic, mozzarella and Parmesan. Season with salt and red pepper flakes.
Next, using a paring knife, cut pockets in the thickest part of the pork chops and stuff with cream cheese mixture.
Finally, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add pork chops and cook 4 minutes per side until golden and cooked through. Repeat with the last two pork chops and serve.
This fettuccine alfredo is restaurant quality and is extremely easy to make, even for the novice cook. What you’ll love most about it is the super tasty creamy sauce, especially good for dinners during the week. Here’s the quick recipe via errenskitchen.com.
Ingredients you’ll need: 1 pound Fettuccine, 2 cups half and half, 1 clove garlic peeled and left whole (optional), 1 stick salted butter softened, 1 pinch nutmeg, 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving, salt and black pepper to taste, chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish.
First, in a large pot, cook the Fettuccine according to the package instructions until just under-cooked. It will finish cooking in the sauce.
While the pasta is cooking, in a deep saute pan, heat the cream and garlic (if using) over low-medium heat. Add butter and whisk gently until melted. Remove and discard the garlic. Mix in the nutmeg and cheese. Season with freshly grated black pepper.
After this, drain, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid. Add it to the pan, gently toss the pasta to coat in the Alfredo sauce adding some of the pasta water if needed to loosen.
Finally, top with more grated cheese and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
While swordfish isn’t the first fish you’d probably think to prepare, it’s definitely well worth adding to your menu. Once you prepare it for the first time, you’ll know exactly why! Here’s the quick recipe from delish.com.
Ingredients you’ll need: 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, 3 swordfish steaks, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, 2 pt. multicolored cherry tomatoes halved, 1/4 cup red onion finely chopped, 3 tbsp. thinly sliced basil, juice of 1/2 a lemon.
First, heat oven to 400°. In a large cast-iron skillet over high heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add fish to pan and season tops with salt and pepper. Cook until fish is browned on one side, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip and season the opposite side with salt and pepper. Remove pan from heat and place into the oven.
Roast until swordfish is cooked through and flaky, about 10 minutes.
Make the fresh tomato salad: In a large bowl combine tomatoes, onion, and basil. Add remaining tablespoon oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Spoon salad over fish and serve.
These are meals your whole family will love, including the little ones. Depending on the size and appetites of your family, some of these meals may be finished in one sitting, but others will stretch so you’ll be sure to have leftovers that you can eat throughout the week.