Top 10 Quick Dinners

If I didn’t know that September was here by the first-day-of-school butterflies, the sudden, almost primal urge to re-organize my bulletin board, or the to-do list spinning through my brain like a slot machine at 3am, I’d know it by looking at my DALS email inbox. Help! You all write. I need quick dinner ideas for the back-to-school scramble. I started replying one by one, but then I thought almost everyone out there would be interested in my suggestions. So here they are, in no particular order.

1. Pretzel Chicken Courtesy of City Bakery (pictured Below).
2. Chicken and Rice for Beginners. You’ll never go back.
3. Pork Chops with Kale A Bugiali favorite.
4. Angel Hair with Corn and Bacon Your window for sweet summer corn is about to shut — take advantage of the fresh ears as much as possible!
5. Sausage Stew with Kale and White Beans I’m making this tonight.
6. Avgolemeno Insane how creamy this lemony Greek soup tastes — without using any cream at all.
7. Salmon with Brussels Sprouts and Ginger-Scallion Sauce  Superfast, superhealthy.
8. Quick and Easy Pork Fried Rice Easily made veg by omitting the pork. It’s almost too easy!
9. Turkey Sloppy Joes with Melted Cheddar For nostalgia night.
10. Chicken with Artichokes in a Creamy Mustard Sauce This is in danger of becoming my new “Stairway to Heaven” of Dinners. It always makes whatever list I’m compiling. But I promise it’s more satisfying.

Quick Dinner #2.

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I LOVE this list. I cook dinner almost every day for my husband and son, and have made various meals from your blog more than any other. I love the emphasis on good food on a family schedule.

Melanie Rehak

I was just sitting here watching the rain thinking about how I didn’t want to go to the market because I didn’t know what to make for dinner, and my own spinning to-do list is making it hard to think. And now I only have to go to the fish–ie, shrimp–store! (Fortunately nan is a freezer staple at our house.) I’m making this tonight, too and will raise a bite to you. Thanks!

Jay Jay

Jenny – thanks for the list. I tried the link to the greek soup but there is no recipe –there is only commentary on how great the soup is! =(

shari brooks

the pretzel chicken is a hit! I love the idea of the list of quick dinners. It’s so crazy during back-to-school time, it makes complete sense to not have to spend hours in the kitchen dealing with meal prep.


Just tried the Trader Joe’s Autentico salsa yesterday per your suggestion. Wow, just wow. Jar is almost gone, need to buy this by the case. Best jar salsa I’ve ever had, thanks for the suggestion. I saw it mentioned in your peach salsa post on Babble from last summer. Miss you there!

Heather B

Awesome, awesome, awesome! Perfect post to help us all, perfect picture (looks great but captures a real moment), and perfect reminder (beans on toast, not just for breakfast anymore!). Also a good reminder that dinner not need be a perfectly balanced, food guide approved example every night. Yay!


I made the pasta dish, except I didn’t have spinach (mix-up at the Asian grocery–I have some variety of choi), so I had peas with whole wheat spaghetti, parmesan, onions, and a dollop of pesto (made with walnuts). It was delicious, light, and refreshing! Thanks for sharing this recipe and thank you, previous commenter, for suggesting peas, which I had in the freezer.


Thanks so much Jenny! The pretzel chicken is always a hit with my kids. They love it. Another super quick dinner i make often is chicken, broccoli pasta. I just sear up some super thin chicken breasts with salt, pepper,garlic powder, and red pepper flakes or dice up any leftover grilled/roasted chicken i have sitting in the fridge. Boil up a salted pot of pasta. add the brocoli to the pasta in the last few mins to blanch it. Then combine pasta,chicken, and broccoli with olive oil, tons of fresh garlic and a few pats of butter and sautee for a minute in a hot skillet. Yay, and there you’ve got dinner. Veggie, protein, and carbs all in one. If I have leftover chicken, which i normally do, this meal takes under 15 minutes…and on a busy school night thats awesome!


Another kitchen question…I love marble but have you ever (accidentally) stained it?


Thanks for the great suggestions! What I love is that most of these don’t have marinara sauce. I have one kiddo that won’t eat red sauce and finding quick dinners can be tricky. We will be trying some of these this week!


Help, I can’t remember where I got your recipe for turkey sloppy joes. It’s not in either book (both of which I love) and I can’t find it on the internet. And, it was a hit with both kids.