For years I’ve kept some notecards on a small binder ring. The front card said “10 Minute Dinner ideas!”. There is nothing I hate more than being so busy that you don’t get home until 5pm, and your family thinks dinner should be waiting! I have said numerous times, “What makes you think dinner will be ready? I’ve been in the car for the entire afternoon!” But that is when I take out our trusty notecards, and whip up a meal in 10 minutes! It is literally faster than heading to a drive-thru!
My 10 minute dinners have two criteria. One, they obviously have to take less than ten minutes. Second, they have to be meals with ingredients I keep in my pantry and freezer. I always have frozen veggies. I always have pasta, I always have potatoes, and tortillas, etc.
So, from my notecards, these are our favorite 10, ten minute meals!
1) Whole Wheat Pasta & Veggies
This is our #1. We generally make this dish 90% of the time.
- 1 package whole wheat noodles (we use Whole wheat angel hair! Only 5 minutes to boil it)
- 1 bag of frozen veggies.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Include the veggies while you cook the pasta in the pasta water for the entire cooking time. Drain pasta and veggies. Then add:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4-1/2 cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese. (the fresh stuff tastes the best, but we use whatever we have)
- Optional: If we have ANY leftover meat from previous dinners, I’ll heat up the meat (usually chicken) and then throw this in after noodles are drained.
There are so many things I like about this meal, but mostly, that my kids NEVER complain when we eat it. In fact, most nights they will ask for this meal. They usually ask for it by saying, “Can we have angel hairs tonight?” But this is the meal they are referring to. Any noodles with broccoli and parmesan cheese, they will eat!
- Any meat (ground beef, chicken, fish)
- Any bean (black beans, pinto beans, refried beans, black eyed peas)
- Any veggies (tomatoes, avocado, lettuce, peppers, salsa, etc)
Similar to taco’s, but you definitely want a tortilla here. We generally use this recipe for burritos, but it can be super flexible. We’ll add:
- Meat (optional)
- and sometimes rice!
If we want to spend a few extra minutes, I’ll wrap up the tortillas with the filling myself, and do quick pan-fry of the tortilla to seal the edge, and make the outside a bit crispy!
4) Anything breakfast (pancakes, waffles, etc.)
I have yet to meet a kid complain about breakfast for dinner! Whether your kids like waffles, pancakes, or egg dishes, 90% of our breakfasts take less than 10 minutes to make! The only thing you need on hand to make this happen is baking supplies (like flour, milk, salt, etc.) and eggs!
5) Sloppy Joe’s
We stock up on ground beef and ground turkey, so we always have the ingredients to make these sloppy joes. This recipe is only 10 minutes here, and is basically what we use!
Good old, go-to, always popular spaghetti! The way we make this a 10 minute dish, is this:
- First, start your water boiling and cook your pasta. (Again- Whole wheat angel hair is the fastest cooking pasta!)
- Second, chop any veggies you have on hand like bell peppers, mushrooms, or onions!
- Third, once veggies have just begun to wilt (about 3-5 minutes), heat up your spaghetti sauce in the same skillet. (you can jar your own or freeze your own to control the ingredients, or check labels to choose one low in sugar and sodium. Trader Joe’s has a pasta sauce that we keep on hand for emergencies like 10 minute meals!)
These CAN be healthy! We do grilled cheese with whole wheat bread, and we add spinach leaves. To make it even extra healthy and filling, we also add tomato soup for dipping (only if we have some in the freezer. Any time I make tomato soup, we double it and store half in the freezer for busy nights!)
We make quesadillas simply with veggies, beans, tortillas, and cheese! All items we have on hand. Check out our recipe for this one here.
9) Egg Frittatas with greens
This breakfast for dinner is very filling and very fast! Cooking for the whole family in one skillet is also fast clean up! We like both. Our Italian Frittata (pictured) is the one we make the most often. Recipe here!
10) Personal Pizza
Another dish that is so versatile, you can use what’s in your fridge. For a personal pizza, we will use:
- Whole wheat pitas
- French bread
- English muffins
- Flat bread
- Portabella mushrooms
- Or even zucchini!
And that is 10 of my cards! Do you have some? Share below!