4 Quick and Easy Family Dinners

What can we do when we are short on time, but don’t want to hit the drive-thru again?  Fortunately, we have put together four quick and easy dinners that will have dinner on the table pronto.

4 Quick and Easy Family Dinners

Pepperoni Pizza

Pizza doesn’t have to be unhealthy.  Tomato sauce is a good source for fulfilling the daily requirement for vegetables and substituting turkey pepperoni for regular pepperoni reduces the fat and calorie count.

While you assemble your pizza, preheat the oven to 500 degrees and place 2 cups of thinly sliced cremini mushrooms in a skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and sauté over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.  Spread one jar of pizza sauce over a pre-made crust, leaving a ¼ inch at the edge.  Spread sautéed mushrooms evenly across the sauce, then top with 6 oz. low-fat mozzarella and 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan.  Add your pepperoni and bake for 10 minutes.

One Pot Stove-Top Lasagna

Italian food is filling and tastes great.  This dish it is quick to make – about 30 minutes from start to table – and offers easy clean up with only one pan to wash.

In a large frying pan, brown one pound of ground beef with 2 tbsp of minced garlic, 2 tsp. of Italian seasoning, and ½ tsp of salt.  Drain, and return the meat to your frying pan.  Add 14 oz. of your favorite pasta sauce, and a layer of oven-ready lasagna noodles broken into fourths.  Repeat layers, ending with sauce on top.  Add ½ cup of chicken broth and stir.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring periodically, until noodles are cooked, then remove the pan from the burner, and stir in 1 cup of ricotta cheese and ½ cup of mozzarella cheese, topping off with ½ cup of mozzarella. Then cover until the cheese melts.

Beef Nachos

Nachos can be more than an appetizer.  They are cheesy and satisfying and everyone loves them.  This recipe includes yummy black beans in addition to the usual items and takes just minutes to make.

Combine two to three cups of ground or shredded beef in a pan with one can of black beans and one cup of salsa (any kind you like) and heat through.  While your meat mixture is warming, spread a layer of tortilla chips on a large baking sheet and top with the meat mixture; sprinkle with 2 cups of shredded cheese, and bake at 350 for 7 to 10 minutes.  Top with sour cream and jalapenos and chopped green onions.

One Pot Macaroni & Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is a classic comfort food and inspires a lot of love for this creamy satisfying one pot meal.

Combine 1-½ cups of milk, ½ cup of heavy cream, 1 tbsp of butter, 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni, ½ tsp of dry mustard, and 1 tsp of salt and heat to simmering.  Turn the heat to low and simmer for approximately 20 to 25 minutes or until cooked down, stirring as you go.  Remove from heat and stir in 1-½ cups shredded cheese.  Cover and let sit for 5 minutes to allow cheese to melt.

There is a ton of great recipes online so there’s no excuse for not cooking.  One tip is to plan your recipes ahead and make sure you have the necessary ingredients on hand, because it is easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated trying to find a recipe you actually have all the ingredients for.  Planning ahead takes this stumbling block out of your way and you may find you actually enjoy cooking.



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