Like so many other things in our lives, our regular weekly meal plans are hitting pause right now. We’re not running to the grocery every time we run out of something, we’re not seeking out exotic new ingredients from far-away markets, and above all, we’re trying to be really conscientious about using what’s in our pantry before we buy any more food.
At top: Balsamic Chicken Tortellini Pasta at Multiply Delicious
In other words, the idea of sharing 5 recipes each week — knowing you might not have those ingredients at home right now — doesn’t seem practical. And we like practical.
So we’re resetting a bit, trading our weekly meal plan for our some of our team’s best tips for making tasty meals the family will enjoy as we shift up how we meal plan during this strange time. And this week, because we’re feeling exhausted and wanting to order takeout every night, we’re revisiting some of our best 30 minute meals.
Getting dinner on the table in half an hour is crucial to our sanity now more than ever, because we are seriously struggling to come up with great meal ideas. We hope these help!
Some of my family’s favorite recipes are these 5 summery meals that cook in 30 minutes or less, including these Thai Meatball Lettuce Wraps at The Garlic Diaries. Make double (or triple) of these meatballs to freeze so you can pull them out for quick dinners later.
You can find the motherlode of quick recipes in our roundup of 15 recipes that are truly 30 minutes or less. Always be thinking of ways to make extra now so it’s easier later. I’d make a huge jar of this peach jalapeño salsa at The View from Great Island and use it on everything from pork tenderloin to tacos later in the month.
Also, think sheet pan dinners! Prep them in the afternoon when you’re not quite as exhausted as you are at dinnertime, then just stick them in the oven when it’s time to cook. I enlisted my son to help me chop sweet potatoes, peppers, Brussels sprouts and red onions for a “rainbow” veggie tray right after lunch, and it was ready to cook while we played outside in the evening. Another great option is this 10-minute (yes, just 10 minutes!) maple crusted salmon at FoodieCrush. You can’t beat that. Just search our archives: we have lots of awesome sheet pan and one-pot recipes to get you started.
Your meals will cook much faster if you plan your dinners with leftovers in mind. Because cooking meat is typically the longest process in my dinnertime routine, and when I have leftover chicken or pork that I just have to heat up, it’s that much faster. This whole meal plan is designed around dinners you can make from leftovers, to help you get some inspiration. (Above: slow cooker BBQ ribs at Butter and Baggage; pulled-pork nachos at Running to the Kitchen)