How to Whip Up a Week’s Worth of 10 Minute Meals

 10 minute meals, quick dinners, whats for dinner, what to make for dinner, 10 minute dinner, healthy family dinners, weeks worth of dinners

“I’m just a girl, standing in front of the open fridge, hoping dinner will make itself.”  Keeperofthefruitloops.com

 

 10 second summary:  Plan, shop, and prep these 7 super-simple meals and you’ll have a week’s worth of delicious dinners that you can prepare in 10 minutes or less. (Full disclosure…some take more than 10 minutes to actually cook in the oven or Crockpot, but the point is YOU only have to work for 10 minutes or so then eat shortly after!

 

How to Whip up a Week’s Worth of 10 Minute Meals

Ever wish your dinner would just cook itself? I have. I once read a thought that will stick with me forever (source unknown or I would quote it) that said,

 “It’s not necessarily that we’re too tired to cook dinner at the end of the day, it’s that we’re too tired to figure out WHAT to cook.”

So true!



To aid us in solving the nightly quest of what to make for dinner, her are 7 family favorites at my house, each of which I’ve personally verified take 10 minutes or less to get into the oven, pan, or Crockpot. As it says in the summary, some take more than 10 minutes to actually cook, but all take just 10 minutes of your effort. Then wait for that timer to ding and enjoy your home-cooked meals.

As a bonus, I threw in a comprehensive shopping list at the end, to make this as easy for us as possible. And I do mean us—my family will absolutely be eating this for the next 7 days. Yum! I also have a few picky eaters in my family so I’ve included their preferred alternatives for a few items, in case you and yours can relate.

 

Today’s 10 Minute Task:

Decide if these meals work for you. If you’re gonna eat ‘em, shop for the ingredients (list at the bottom) then wash and chop the veggies to make it oh-so-easy to actually throw the meals together the night you enjoy them.

**Note—I recommend making the Crockpot Salsa Chicken the first night and/or early in the recipe series ‘cause you’ll be using some of the leftover chicken in another meal.  All meals roughly serve 4. I’ve included a side salad with most meals, but feel free to substitute other veggies/fruit of your choice.


1.  Crockpot Salsa Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds chicken breast, FROZEN OK! (Fresh will work too…just stop cooking an hour earlier if you can)
  • 1 bag frozen corn
  • 1 jar of your favorite salsa
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 bags of microwave-in-the-bag rice
  • 1 large can of black or refried beans
  • Optional toppings: shredded cheese, avocado slices, cilantro, sour cream, etc.
  • Side salad (bagged lettuce mix, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, and crunchy toppings)

10 Minute Get-It-Together Directions:

**Easy-breezy clean-up tip: use a Crockpot bag to line your Crockpot, then throw it away/recycle it when you’re through. You won’t have to scrub the pot afterward, making clean-up super simple. (I did not know such a thing as Crockpot bags existed until about 2 months ago…trying to spread the joy if you’ve never used them. They probably live at your store near the foil and baggies, and come 6 in a pack for around $3.50. Money well spent!)

 Put chicken in the Crockpot, then pour frozen corn, salsa and water over the top. Cover and turn Crockpot on Low. Cooks while you work, ready in about 6 hours but you can get away with leaving the chicken in there for 8+ if needed.

**Kid-friendly tip: if your kids are like my daughter and won’t eat chicken with salsa on it, pull out a piece, scrape off the salsa, and make them a small pile of shredded chicken from the middle of the chicken breast with no salsa on it. Add a little salt and they’re happy campers.

When you’re ready to eat, shred the chicken (which will be falling apart) and stir it back into the salsa liquid. Then microwave the rice, microwave the beans, and fix your side salads. Put the rice on your plates, scoop the chicken on top, then add the beans and optional toppings on top or on the side depending on your preference. Enjoy!

 

2.  Spinach and Ham Quiche

Ingredients:

  • 1 package pre-made pie crust dough
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 3 oz ham (about ½ a sliced deli ham pack)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • Side salad (bagged lettuce mix, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, and crunchy toppings)

10 Minute Get-It-Together Directions:

Put pie crust in a 9” deep dish pie pan (if you don’t have one of those, substitute a 9” cake pan or 8” square pan) and cook according to package directions (make sure you prick it with a fork on the bottom and sides—your box directions will hopefully tell you that).

While the pie crust is cooking, whisk eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Chop the ham into squares, and tear the spinach into smaller pieces.

Once pie crust is cooked, turn oven down to 325 degrees. Spread the spinach on the bottom of the pie crust, then add the ham, and ½ of each cheese. Pour over the eggs, and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. Bake for 50 minutes, cool for another 10, then dig in! Serve with a side salad.



3.  Nourishing Bowls

Ingredients:

  • Leftover shredded salsa chicken
  • 2 bags of microwave-in-the-bag rice
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • Tortilla chips
  • Salsa
  • Optional toppings: shredded cheese, avocado slices, cilantro, sour cream, etc.

10 Minute Get-It-Together Directions:

Warm up chicken, black beans, and rice in the microwave, 1 item at a time. Put rice in the bottom of wide, shallow serving bowls, then top with chicken, beans spinach, salsa, and other optional toppings of your choice. Serve with a side of tortilla chips.

**Picky eater tip: if these bowls are just “too healthy” for anyone in your family, swap out the rice for a thin layer of chips and turn them into nachos. Microwave for 1 minute to melt the cheese and create a yummy alternative meal.

 

4.  Tasty Ground Turkey Tacos

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ pounds ground turkey
  • ½ package taco seasoning
  • ¼ cup salsa
  • 1 pack pre-made taco shells or soft taco tortillas of your choice
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 cup fresh spinach (or lettuce)
  • Salsa
  • Optional sides of rice, beans, salad, fruit, and/or tortilla chips.

10 Minute Get-It-Together Directions:

In a large sauté pan, brown turkey meat over medium heat.

**Kid-friendly tip: take out some browned turkey prior to adding the seasoning for your little ones if they won’t eat it with salsa and spices. Add a little salt to theirs and use for their tacos. My daughter prefers “deconstructed tacos” with the meat, cheese, and lettuce separate on the plate, and a side of chips instead of a taco shell.

Add ½ package taco seasoning and ¼ cup salsa to the meat and stir until well coated. Spoon meat mixture into taco shells and top with spinach, cheese, and salsa. Serve with sides of your choice.

 

5.  Spaghetti With Sausage and Garlic Bread

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz thin spaghetti noodles
  • 1 package sweet Italian turkey sausage
  • 1 large or 2 medium jars of spaghetti sauce
  • 4 slices of pita bread (or regular bread)
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1/8 tsp garlic salt
  • ¼ cup Mozzarella cheese
  • Side salad (bagged lettuce mix, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, and crunchy toppings)

10 Minute Get-It-Together Directions:

Boil a large pot of salted water and cook the spaghetti noodles according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, put the sausage in a sauté pan, and add about ½ cup water (enough to cover the bottom of the pan). Cover with lid and cook on high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 12 minutes. Drain the water, slice the sausage into bite-sized circles, and return to the pan on medium heat. Brown on both sides, then add the spaghetti sauce and simmer on low.

Butter the bread and sprinkle with garlic salt and mozzarella cheese. Crisp up in a toaster oven (put on Medium toast setting for about 4 minutes.)

Prep side salads, and serve spaghetti sauce with sausage over the noodles, garlic bread on the side.


6.  Fish Sticks and French Fries

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fish fillets of your choice (halibut, cod, tilapia, etc.)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 bag frozen French fries
  • Side salad (bagged lettuce mix, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, and crunchy toppings)

10 Minute Get-It-Together Directions:

**Time-saver: feel free to use a bag of pre-prepped fish sticks or fillets of your choice instead. I won’t tell! We all need a break from regular fully-prepped meals sometimes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil, and spray generously with non-stick cooking spray.

Wisk eggs together in a shallow bowl, along with the salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Cut fish fillets into 1 ½” strips. Put panko crumbs on a plate, dip fish fillets into egg mixture (be sure to cover both sides, then coat with the breadcrumbs. Place on cookie sheet, and sprinkle with a little extra salt.

Fill another cookie sheet with as many French fries as your family will eat (1/2 bag or so). Bake both trays for 10 minutes, stir fries, and flip fish if needed.

If your fish is very thin, check to see if it’s flaky and cooked in the center. If not, continue cooking till done—they should crisp up and take approximately as long to cook as the French fries. (Read the directions on your bag of fries—the shoestring ones my family buys take about 18 minutes to cook total, so another 8 minutes at this point.)

Prep a side salad or steamed veggies while everything bakes, serve and enjoy.

 

7.  Veggie and Ham Scrambled Eggs and Toast

Ingredients:

  • 8 eggs
  • 3 oz ham, diced
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 4 oz mushrooms, sliced or diced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 ½ cups fresh spinach
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices bread (pita or regular)
  • Butter

10 Minute Get-It-Together Directions:

In a large pan, sauté onions, mushrooms, and zucchini in 1 tsp butter or oil over medium heat until onions soften and turn clear. Add fresh spinach and continue cooking until leaves wilt. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add ham and cook another 2 minutes or so until ham is warm and slightly caramelized.

Meanwhile whisk eggs in a bowl, and sprinkle in some salt and pepper. Pour over the cooked veggie and ham mixture, and cook on medium, stirring frequently. Cook 2 to 4 minutes or until eggs are fluffy and cooked. Stir in cheese until just melted. Toast and butter bread, serve everything and enjoy.


Shopping List

  • 2 pounds chicken breast (frozen OK)
  • 1 ¼ pounds ground turkey
  • 1 package sweet Italian turkey sausage (1 pound+)
  • 1 pound fish fillets of your choice (halibut, cod, tilapia, etc.)
  • 6 oz ham
  • 18 eggs
  • Milk
  • 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 package pre-made pie crust dough
  • 2 jars salsa
  • 4 bags of microwave-in-the-bag rice (my family loves basmati rice with quinoa blends—you know, the kind that microwave in 90 seconds)
  • 1 large can of black or refried beans
  • 1 medium can of black beans
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 bag tortilla chips
  • 1 pack thin spaghetti noodles
  • 1 large or 2 medium jars of spaghetti sauce
  • 8 slices of pita bread or regular bread
  • 1 pack pre-made taco shells or soft taco tortillas of your choice
  • 1 bag frozen corn
  • 1 bag frozen French fries
  • 5 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 onion
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 4 oz mushrooms
  • 3 packs bagged salad (or 1 very large)
  • Baby carrots, grape tomatoes and/or other salad topping veggies
  • Crunchy salad toppings of your choice (I like fruit and nut blends, and my husband loves croutons or crunched-up Goldfish crackers)
  • Optional meal toppings: shredded cheese, avocado slices, cilantro, sour cream, etc.

 

Pantry staples you probably have (but double-check)

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Butter
  • Oil

quick dinners, whats for dinner, what to make for dinner, 10 minute dinner, healthy family dinners, weeks worth of dinners

I hope you enjoy this week’s worth of 10 minute recipes.  Send me an email or leave a comment to let me know how it went, and which one was your favorite.

Selene

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