Cool mornings, busy days, and what the heck is for dinner?
Yeah, that’s us. Everyday. You’d think I would be on my home cooked dinner A-game since I stay home. Or at least I thought I would. It’s a good day when I can get more than one load of laundry done before Tim is home (and by done I do not mean folded). “Get up earlier” my head says. “Stay in bed” the same head says after the wee hour parties with my little Sweet Pea. Sigh.
Enter the quickest, easiest, one-potist dishes you will want to make this Fall. Here are some we’re going to try out or already love, every single one ready in less than 30 minutes from start to finish.
I’m on the hunt for non-pasta quick meals if you’ve got one. Share them in the comments!
One Pan Mexican Quinoa (our new favorite–try it!)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
- Juice of 1 lime (don’t skip this!)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and jalapeno, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Stir in quinoa, vegetable broth, beans, tomatoes, corn, chili powder and cumin; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
- Stir in avocado, lime juice and cilantro. Serve!
Adapted from Cook Like a Champion
Adapted from Quinoa Skillet with Pesto and Spinach
- 2 cups dry quinoa
- 4-6 cups fresh baby spinach
- 4 tablespoons basil pesto or spinach pesto (spinach+walnuts+bleu cheese+evoo=spinach pesto)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup Parmesan or Romano, grated
- Cook quinoa in broth or water, your choice. (2 parts water to 1 part quinoa, simmer for 20 minutes). Use a large enough pot to accomodate all the ingredients since you’ll be adding them to the quinoa pot.
- Once the quinoa is done, turn the heat up a bit and add in the rest of the ingredients.
- After spinach is wilted and cheese has melted, serve!
Mushroom Red Wine Ravioli (this is our FAVORITE pasta dish)
8 ounces mushrooms (shiitake, cremini, white button, or portobello)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tablespoons cold butter, separated
8 ounces pasta (farfalle, linguine, campanelle)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 cup red wine
fresh parsley, Parmesan for garnish
1/2-1 cup reserved pasta water
Cut or quarter your mushrooms into chunks about half an inch in size.
Meanwhile, heat a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the packaging directions. We use frozen or fresh ravioli, but we also used whole wheat linguine last time and loved it.
Begin to make the sauce when you drop the pasta in the boiling water by placing a large pan over high heat. Coat the pan with about one tablespoon of butter (or olive oil), and when it’s good and hot, add your mushrooms and sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. The high heat will allow the mushrooms to cook quickly so that the moisture they release is instantly evaporated, and they stay in a more substantial form, rather than become too soft.
After the mushrooms have released most of their moisture (about 4-5 minutes), turn the heat down to medium-low and add the garlic. Add a little extra oil, if needed, so that the garlic doesn’t burn, and cook for 2 minutes.
Push the mushrooms and garlic off to the side and add the tomato paste, stirring it for about 20-30 seconds – you want it to slightly cook, but not burn.
Next, mix together the mushrooms and the tomato paste, then stir in the red wine.
After the alcohol has evaporated and the liquid has reduced by at least one-half, turn the heat to low.
Add four tablespoons of cold butter in small amounts, one pat at a time, and simply swirl the pan to combine.
After the butter has melted, add about 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the sauce to thin it out, and remove it from the heat. Toss the sauce with the pasta, adding more pasta water, if needed, so that the pasta is coated, but not dry.
Salt to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley and freshly-grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
- 8 oz. mushrooms $1.99
- 1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts $2.50
- 4 cloves garlic $0.32
- 1 medium yellow onion $0.34
- 5 cups vegetable broth $0.65
- 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
- 12 oz. whole wheat fettuccine $1.33
- 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
- ½ tsp dried thyme $0.05
- freshly cracked pepper (15-20 cranks) $0.05
- 4 oz. frozen cut spinach $0.40
- Rinse the mushrooms to remove any dirt or debris. Slice the mushrooms thinly. Drain the can of artichoke hearts and roughly chop them into bite-sized pieces. Thinly slice the onion and garlic (you can mince the garlic if you don’t want large slices).
- Place the vegetable broth, olive oil, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, onions, and garlic in a large pot. Break the fettuccine in half and add it to the pot along with the oregano, thyme, and some freshly cracked pepper. Push the ingredients down under the broth as much as possible. Place a lid on the pot and bring it up to a rolling boil over high heat.
- As soon as it reaches a boil, stir the pot to evenly distribute the ingredients and prevent the pasta from sticking. Turn the heat down to low so that the pot is just simmering. Allow the pot to simmer, with the lid on, for 10-15 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Give the pot a stir every few minutes to prevent the pasta from sticking.
- Once the pasta is cooked through, add the frozen spinach. Allow the heat from the pasta to thaw the spinach. Stir the pot to help break up the clumps of spinach as they melt. Serve hot.
*Salt is your friend in this dish, don’t skimp! You need a big skillet, big enough for the linguine to lie flat across the bottom.
One-Pan Pasta (adapted slightly from Martha Stewart Living) The editors of MSL discovered the recipe while traveling in Puglia, so we have Italy to thank for another great pasta recipe!
- 12 ounces linguine (whole wheat, if you ask me)
- 12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
- 1 onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
- 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/2- 3/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- 2 sprigs basil, plus torn leaves for garnish
- 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 1/2 cups water
- Lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and water in a large straight-sided skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide among 4 bowls, and garnish with basil. Serve with oil and Parmesan.
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 8 ounces linguine, uncooked
- 1 small onion, halved and sliced thin
- 1 pound broccoli crowns, cut into large florets (about 2 cups)
- 1 1/2 pounds asparagus, ends snapped off and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 4 ounces sliced white button mushrooms (about 1 cup)
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (less for milder heat; more to increase heat)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 1 small handful fresh parsley, chopped (about 1/2 cup chopped)
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (or sub light cream cheese)
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
- Additional salt and pepper to taste
- Additional Parmesan cheese for serving, if desired
- Add the broth, linguine, onion, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to a large pot set over high heat. Drizzle the olive oil over the top.
- As soon as it comes to a boil, set the timer for 7 minutes and start tossing constantly with long-handled tongs.
- Continue boiling and tossing. As soon as the 7 minutes is up, add the peas, parsley, heavy whipping cream, Parmesan, and lemon zest and continue cooking, tossing constantly, for 1-2 more minutes, until the pasta and veggies appear tender. Remove from heat.
- Note that much of the liquid will have evaporated, but not all. And that’s okay! Let the pasta sit for a couple of minutes to cool; the sauce will continue to thicken during that time. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired.
12 ounces linguine, broken in half
1 cup packed basil leaves
1 cup coarsely chopped roasted red peppers
1/2 cup sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
3-4 large garlic cloves, pressed
4 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes (or regular olive oil)
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Pinch red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 ounces brie cheese, rind removed and torn into pieces
Grated parmesan, for serving
Good quality olive oil, for serving
Combine linguine, basil, roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic in a 3-quart straight-sided skillet.
Add the water, olive oil, salt, red pepper flakes, and a generous amount of black pepper and bring to a full rolling boil over high heat. Using tongs, stir and turn the pasta frequently to prevent sticking.
Cook until al dente, approximately 9 to 10 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat. (If there is still a little bit of cooking water pour some, but not all, into a separate bowl.)
Add the brie and toss with tongs until creamy and melted. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. The sauce will naturally thicken up after a couple of minutes.
Serve with grated Parmesan and a swirl of good olive oil. (If the pasta does seem to need liquid, add back a few splashes of reserved cooking liquid.)
Adapted from Pumpkin Leek Soup
Red Lentil Tacos
- 1 t. olive oil
- 1 c. minced onion
- ½ c. minced celery (I subbed peppers once. It wasn’t awful, but stick with the celery if you can)
- 2-4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 c. dry red lentils (Amazon or healthfood store sells them)
- 1 T. chili powder
- 2 t. ground cumin
- 1 t. dried oregano
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup salsa
- Whole wheat tortillas
- Fresh spinach, plain Greek yogurt, chopped tomatoes, salsa and shredded cheddar for topping
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onions, celery and garlic for 5 minutes or so.
- Stir in lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add the stock. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until lentils are tender.
- Remove the lid and cook, stirring often, until thickened – usually about 5 more minutes. Stir salsa into the lentils.
- Serve as you would traditional tacos.
Creamy Black Bean and Corn Chili
We made this crockpot version once, and ever after I omitted the chicken and made it a vegetarian stove top rendition of the same thing. Quick, super flavorful, not a legit clean recipe, but pretty good in a hurry, if you ask me. Ridiculously delicious for the time it takes to throw on the table.
- 2 cans black beans
- 2 cans corn, undrained
- 2 cans diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
- 1 package ranch dressing mix
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 2 Tbsp. chili powder
- 2 tsp. onion powder
- 4oz cream cheese, softened
- Place corn, diced tomatoes with green chiles, and black beans in a pot. Top with seasonings and ranch dressing mix. Stir together.
- Heat through and simmer for 15 minutes to let the flavors meld.
- Set aside a cup of soup and stir the cream cheese into the cup of hot soup. Add the mixture back into the pot of soup. Stir and serve.
- 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 zucchini, thinly sliced and quartered
- 2/3 cup peas
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 sprigs thyme
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (or light cream cheese)
- In a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium high heat, combine spaghetti, mushrooms, zucchini, peas, garlic, thyme and 4 1/2 cups water; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until pasta is cooked through and liquid has reduced, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in Parmesan and heavy cream or cream cheese.
- Serve immediately.
If you have time, share a favorite go-to recipe for busy nights in the comments. We’d love to expand the collection.