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Best Ways to Get Dinner on the Table Fast
Best Ways to Get Dinner on the Table Fast
1. Plan the Menu
Planning your dinner menu a week or even a month in advance is extremely helpful. Not only do you have a set dinner menu, so you don’t have to think of something new every day, but you can also shop for ingredients early. Having all your ingredients for your dinner plans can save time and money through buying in bulk and preparing you for meal prepping.
If you already have all the ingredients, you can switch days around on your menu without a problem if you’re craving something different. You will not need to run to the store midweek after your shift, either. Let’s face it – life happens fast, and so does our evening, where our free time is supposed to reside.
2. Utilize Ingredients
Hamburger Helper can be a staple in your home if you’re accustomed to fast and easy meal solutions. However, it isn’t the most healthy option. Have you ever made a soup or casserole that included everything but the kitchen sink? Stir fry is a healthy and delicious option you can utilize when you don’t have a set plan and are on a time limit.
Open your cupboard and see what you have readily available. Any ingredients can work if you know how to pair them so they complement each other. Any meat- or plant-based alternative paired with a vegetable is always a good idea. Meat and a vegetable over some rice or noodles is a quick and tasty idea to make dinner taste great efficiently.
3. Meal Prep
Choose one day a week to prep your meals for the remainder of your work week. Cook the chicken or meat you need and refrigerate it until you’re ready to cook with it. Heating food is much easier than adding it to your cooking process.
Use your cooked meats in the first few days after prepping them, so it stays fresh unless you freeze them. Prep other items for later in the week. You can cook soups and stews and freeze them until they’re ready to be consumed. There are many different methods of meal prepping that you can tailor to your specific needs.
You can use some excellent meal prep recipes to create a meal for every night of the week if you so desire. Then, freeze them until you’re ready to warm and serve them. Eggroll noodle soup and chicken pesto meatballs are so delicious and relatively easy to make!
4. Use Crockpot
Your crockpot is a gamechanger when you’re busy. There are so many amazing crockpot recipes that taste so good you’ll have everyone thinking you slaved over the stove for hours. It still takes a while, but you don't have to worry about watching it cook to ensure it doesn’t burn.
You just have to add the ingredients. It’s also a lifesaver when you want a hearty and delicious meal during the winter but don’t have time to prepare them. You can use a crockpot to create a side dish, an appetizer, or an entire meal. Many crockpot recipes call for dumping ingredients in before you go to work and then letting them cook for eight hours.
What a dream, right? It almost sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. Crockpots are a time-honored and convenient cooking appliance you should utilize whenever you don’t have time to cook a full meal.
Fast and Easy Recipes
You can throw so many quick and easy meals together in a pinch. If you don’t want a casserole or stir-fry, here are some other excellent alternatives to try!
Breakfast for Dinner
Breakfast for dinner is the best. You get to have your biscuits and gravy with scrambled eggs at night. What’s better than that? Most breakfast foods don’t take long to cook, so having breakfast for dinner is an easy and fast way to prepare dinner.
Boiling water to cook noodles is about as long as it takes to throw a pasta dish together. Pasta is so versatile that you can add anything to noodles and call it a dish. You could add some olive oil and top it off with some vegetables, or you could add a traditional tomato or alfredo sauce.
Create Tortilla-Based Meals
Heat some tortillas and have every family member choose their own toppings from what you already have. Refried beans and shredded cheese are great staples that most households often have in their cupboards that can be thrown in a tortilla and eaten for dinner at the last minute. There are always options, so don’t let the kids fool you into taking them to the drive-thru.
Quick Meal Planning
If you’re in a pickle, you probably didn’t have time to plan dinner, or it completely slipped your mind. It happens. Stocking your cabinets with staple ingredients that you can always have on hand is an excellent way to prepare for nights like this. Don’t fret! These ideas will help the busiest bees quickly get dinner on the table.