Though I enjoy food and cooking, my dinners tend to be simple. This means selecting menu plans with straightforward steps and no complicated cooking strategies or seemingly never-ending advances.
Following are 10 basic dinner plans I rely on when it comes to creating delicious feasts quickly.
1) Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes contain many healthy vitamins and nutrients such as beta carotene, vitamin C, potassium and fiber which make them an invaluable food source.
Add to that, their delectability makes them the ideal foundation to build an exciting meal around.
At my house, we set aside one weeknight each month to prepare stuffed sweet potatoes. First I prepare a whole sweet potato from scratch; then stuff it with ingredients such as sauteed vegetables, beans, chicken breast and cheddar.
This dinner is highly adaptable and allows for any combination of flavors. Consider one of the basic plans below or just add whatever ingredients and toppings your heart desires on a roasted sweet potato!
Chicken Pesto Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Vegan Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Mediterranean Heated Sweet Potatoes
2) Grain Bowls
Grain bowls are a hit in my kitchen. My partner and I enjoy how simple and versatile grain bowls can be; we often set one up when looking for an easy yet flavorful dinner option.
My family eats without gluten, so we typically utilize gluten-free grains like quinoa and earthy colored rice in our grain bowls; however, you can use any grain you like – farro, millet, etc.
Grains provide an abundant source of fiber and essential minerals like magnesium. Studies have demonstrated that diets rich in grains have been linked with decreased risks for certain medical issues, including colon cancer, coronary illness, and type 2 diabetes.
To create a grain bowl, combine cooked grains with cooked or raw veggies as well as protein sources like chicken, hard-boiling eggs, barbecued shrimp or salmon.
Start off your salad right by topping it off with either an individually purchased or custom made dressing, or keep things simple by simply using olive oil and lemon juice.
A Green Goddess Buddha Bowl features a striking combination of earthy-colored rice, roasted broccoli florets, sugar snap peas, avocado, hard-boil eggs, toasted pumpkin seeds and an aromatic yogurt-based sauce.
Here are a couple more grain bowl plans that make an ideal dinner choice when time is of the essence:
Thai Chicken Buddha Bowls
Salmon Grain Bowls with Lemon Tahini Sauce
Sweet Potato and Chickpea Buddha Bowl
3) Veggie Loaded Frittatas
At my home, eggs have long been used as an indispensable protein source in fast and delicious dinner dishes like frittatas. When we have chickens of our own, eggs quickly become part of everyday meals as we use the protein-packed eggs as the basis for frittata creations.
Eggs provide you with sufficient fat and protein; to meet your fiber requirements, try mixing in some delicious veggies as an additional meal option.
My favorite vegetables to add into frittatas include asparagus, spinach, sweet potatoes, zucchini, onions, broccoli florets, mushrooms and tomatoes. For added flair you could also include fixings such as cheese, spices or pesto for additional character and flair.
Your frittata recipe could even include extra ingredients like salmon, broken-down chicken and potatoes!
Frittatas are delicious supper options that you can enjoy day or night, thanks to their ease of preparation; just get them done in under 60 minutes and you’re done!
Here are a couple of delicious and easy frittata plans:
Spring Vegetable Frittata
Messy Chicken Pepper Broccoli Frittata
Wild Mushroom Frittata with Cheddar, Green Onions, and Peas
4) Dinner Salad
A huge and filling salad is one of my go-to dinner choices when I don’t feel up for exerting energy into cooking a full dinner meal.
Problematic salads often fail to fulfill their promise, leaving you hungry shortly after finishing up dinner. To create an exceptional dinner salad, ensure it contains ample proteins, healthy fats and fiber.
Start with your preferred greens such as spinach, leafy greens, arugula, kale or romaine as the base. Add more veggies such as peppers, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli or red onions for increased fiber intake.
Once this step has been accomplished, select a protein source like barbecued chicken, shrimp, salmon or hard-bubbled eggs as your main course. Supplement your protein source with some fiber-rich carbs like beans or sweet potatoes to increase totality factor dramatically.
Start off your dish with crunchy sunflower or pumpkin seeds for an eye-catching texture, then finish it off with an easy dressing such as olive oil and balsamic vinegar; or follow our recipe for Hand crafted Green Goddess Dressing for more inspiration!
Here are a few additional ideas for dinner salads:
Chicken Shawarma Salad with Tahini Dressing
Superfood Salmon Salad
Crunchy Asian Cleaved Salad
5) Loaded Earthy Colored Rice Pasta
Many of us enjoy a delicious pasta dish, yet many do not provide adequate amounts of proteins and fiber that help us feel satisfied afterward.
Utilizing some basic tips will enable you to whip up an delicious and nutritional pasta dinner quickly.
Start by choosing your pasta of choice; I prefer Tinkyada earthy colored rice pasta but any variety will do. Additionally, zucchini noodles may provide an alternative lower-carb solution.
First, choose a source of protein. I prefer chicken bosom or ground chicken as sources for my protein intake; alternatively, for vegetarian or plant-based sources I may include chickpeas in the recipe.
First, choose your vegetables. I suggest spinach and broccoli, but any vegetable will do. Next, decide on a sauce such as pesto, marinara sauce or olive oil as your final touch.
Here are a few considerations when looking for a pasta dish:
Broccoli Pesto Chicken Pasta
Roasted Vegetable Chickpea Pasta Salad
Zucchini Noodles with Small scale Chicken Feta and Spinach Meatballs
6) One-Pot Soups
ew meals can compare to the satisfying sensation of enjoying a rich, hot bowl of soup. Plus, soup preparation can be easy – perfect for meal prepping as you can create massive sections without issue!
I love making soups that require just one pot, as this requires less cleanup time. While I typically use my burner for this task, any of these recipes could also work beautifully in an Instant Pot to save you some effort and time!
Rich Yellow Split Pea Soup
Curry Chicken Soup
Lentil, Kale, and Quinoa Stew
Curry can make for a quick, filling dinner option as it is flexible, straightforward to make, and family-friendly. Eating curry on a regular basis has also been shown to help with cardiovascular illness risk factors, including higher fatty oil and glucose levels.
As I enjoy warming chickpea and sweet potato curry during cold weather months, I like serving it over rice or quinoa for an indulgent yet filling dish.
Many basic curry dishes take 30 minutes or less to prepare, such as these staples:
Fast and Basic Thai Chickpea Curry
Simple 1-Pan Salmon Red Curry
30-Minute Thai Chicken Curry
Burgers are an easy and delicious meal choice that will please even the pickiest eaters in the family.
Though hamburger burgers may be the go-to protein source, you can create your own with ground chicken, salmon, fish or lentils as an alternative protein source.
My better half makes an incredible chicken burger that pairs perfectly with an ample salad and sweet potato fries from our garden.
Your burgers can be enjoyed on a wide range of fresh buns or wraps; lettuce leaves make an attractive and nutritious alternative, or serve them on top of greens to meet specific dietary requirements.
Here are two quick and simple burger plans:
Chickpea Pizza Burgers
Spinach Feta Salmon Burgers
Great Sweet Potato Cheddar Grill Chicken Burgers
9) Whole Roasted Chicken
Although cooking a whole chicken takes time and patience, the process should not be any harder than necessary. Check out this aide on how best to achieve perfect chicken cooking results.
When I roast whole chickens, I like to fill my simmering pan with potato wedges, onion slices and carrot chunks so they cook alongside my poultry.
After your chicken has finished roasting, allow it to rest for 15 minutes before cutting it up and creating a quick salad like those listed here:
Simple Tomato Avocado Salad
Most loved Green Salad with Apples, Cranberries, and Pepitas
Sun-Dried Tomato Salad with Olives and Feta
10) Sheet Pan Meals
Most recipes require multiple pots and pans in order to prepare food; however, sheet pan meals allow you to combine all your ingredients on one single sheet pan for cooking, saving both time and effort in the kitchen.
Here is an amazing sheet pan meal selection:
Sheet Pan Harissa Chicken with Chickpeas and Sweet Potatoes
Sheet Pan Lemon Earthy colored Margarine Salmon with Parmesan Asparagus
Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
Vegan Mediterranean Sheet Pan Dinner