Easy meals ideas for dinner

8 Dinners to Make When You’re Short on Time and Money

When you’re short on time, money and energy, cooking dinner can seem almost impossible. Here are 8 easy dinners to make when you’re short on all three things!

1) One Pot Chili Pasta Recipe

One of my favorite dinners is something that I call One Pot Chili Pasta. It’s a simple, easy dish that can be put together in just about 30 minutes. Plus it’s  very inexpensive, with most ingredients costing less than $3. 

Below is the recipe for this awesome meal! 

2 cups elbow macaroni 

1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes 

1/4 tsp garlic powder 

1 tsp onion powder Salt & pepper Dried basil, oregano and thyme 

1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers (I usually get mine from Trader Joe’s) 6 tbsp tomato paste (optional) 

In a large pot bring water to boil then add the pasta. 

Cook pasta for 10-12 minutes or until al dente according to package instructions. 

Drain the pasta into a colander then set aside. 

Next, heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. 

Add in the chopped green bell peppers and sauté them until they start getting soft – approximately 5 minutes. 

Stir in the garlic powder, onion powder salt and pepper – sauteing another minute or two more. 

Add your canned tomatoes (and tomato paste if you want). 

Bring everything to a simmer then cover. Let cook for 10-12 minutes while stirring occasionally so nothing burns on the bottom of the pan. 

Next, add back your drained pasta into your pot along with dried basil, oregano and thyme stirring everything together well. 

Give everything one last stir then serve up hot!

2) Slow Cooker Taco Quinoa Bowls

You’ll need: 

1 cup of quinoa, 

2 cups of water, 

a pinch of salt, 

5 tablespoons of taco seasoning (homemade or store-bought), 

1 tablespoon olive oil. 

In a slow cooker, combine the quinoa with 2 cups of water, salt and taco seasoning. 

Cook for about 15 minutes on high or until all the water is absorbed. 

Stir in the olive oil. Serve with salsa and avocado slices.

This recipe is simple to make but still tastes delicious!

3) The Easiest Minestrone Soup Ever

Soup is a great way to use up all the produce that’s about to go bad, so it’s perfect for fall. And this minestrone soup recipe is easy enough for any beginner chef. 

All you need are some simple ingredients like onion, celery, carrots, tomatoes, canned white beans, canned diced tomato with basil, olive oil and salt.

 Boil the water in a large pot then add in the vegetables one by one before adding in the tomatoes and beans with salt. 

After simmering for 15 minutes or so (any longer will make it too mushy), serve with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled over top.

4) 30-Minute Sesame Chicken Stir Fry

The best part of this stir fry is that it’s really easy 

– you can use pre-cut veggies, frozen chicken, or leftover chicken. 

Plus the sauce is a combination of hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and honey. 

The mixture creates a sweet and spicy sauce that will leave your mouth watering! 

A word of warning: if you try this recipe out yourself don’t be afraid to add more spice if you want it hotter. (But beware: too much spice can really give you a burning sensation!)

 * Tandoori Chicken with Rice: 

Brown rice goes great with Indian-inspired dishes, so feel free to switch up your grains depending on what else you’re serving for dinner.

 What makes tandoori chicken taste even better? 

Adding yogurt into the marinade. 

With such few ingredients in this dish, don’t forget about side dishes like peas sauteed in ghee for a little bit of extra flavor! 

* Garlic Soy Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry:

 Stir fry recipes are always fast and healthy. 

Cook some rice while your vegetables cook in the wok so they come together at the same time! 

You can also make this delicious meal with brown rice instead.

* Vegetable and Ricotta Cannelloni: 

Dinner doesn’t have to take long when you use store-bought pasta sheets and ground beef. 

All you need is some ricotta cheese, onion, zucchini, spinach leaves, eggplant, tomato puree, dried oregano and salt!

 Mix these ingredients with the ground beef and shape them into small balls that fit comfortably inside the cannelloni shells.

5) Baked Salmon with Lemon Dill Avocado Salsa

Salmon is a great dinner option because it’s high in protein and low in fat, so it won’t leave you feeling sluggish after eating. 

Plus, cooking salmon is pretty easy—you just need to know how long to cook it for depending on how thick the fillets are. 

For this recipe, we recommend baking the fish with a tangy lemon dill avocado salsa topping. 

We hope you enjoy our meal!

6) Tomato Basil Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Tomato Basil Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons is a filling, comforting meal that’s perfect for cold days. 

The soup uses canned tomatoes for convenience, but you can use fresh tomatoes if you prefer. It also requires only a few spices and seasonings, so it’s really easy to make. 

If you need more protein in your meal, serve the soup with grilled cheese croutons (see recipe below). 

These cheesy croutons are crispy, gooey and delicious!

7) Stuffed Peppers with Ground Beef, Brown Rice & Veggies

First, sauté the vegetables in a pan with a little bit of oil or butter. 

Mix in the rice, ground beef, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.

 Season with salt, pepper and cumin. 

Place the pepper into an ovenproof dish and fill it with the meat mixture until it’s tightly packed. 

Sprinkle grated cheese over top before placing it in the oven for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

8) Ham, Spinach & Cheese Omelet Rollups

We’ve all been there: you’re short on time, but still craving a hearty meal. These Ham, Spinach & Cheese Omelet Rollups are easy to make ahead of time, so you can have a healthy breakfast or lunch option at the ready! Plus, they taste delicious!

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