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Meg is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. After going through high school thinking she “didn’t like to write,” she found her love for it her freshman year at college and it’s only deepened since then. Upon graduating from Rutgers University with a BA in Communication in 2013, she began working in online marketing for the hospitality industry. She currently splits her time between NYC, where she works, and NJ, where she lives—but hopes that one day she’ll be able to live & work in the same state (that’s the dream).

7 Quick Dinner Recipes for Your Busy Weeknights

There are times (read: every day) where you need to get dinner done and you need to get it done fast. Many different reasons could cause this — either the day crept up on you, you’re about to run out of the house, or you’re super hungry and need to put something into your stomach as soon as humanly possible. For these days it’s a smart idea to have some quick dinner recipes that you can whip out in a pinch. This will eliminate a fast food run or a junk food scramble and help to keep you on track eating wise. Here are seven of my quick and delicious dinner recipes:

Chicken Florentine Pasta {via the pioneer woman}
Chicken Florentine is a very popular chicken dish and here you get to turn it into what is sure to be a very popular pasta dish. There’s a high chance that once you make this, see how easy it is and how good it tastes, it will become part of your regular rotation of dinners. It has very simple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen and could not be any easier to make. I happen to like this better than the “regular” chicken dish, and it’s done in under 30 minutes. A win-win all around.

Image Credit: ree drummond

Crunchy Black Bean Tacos {via nick evans via thekitchn}
Tacos are always a fast meal but can be kind of boring if you either don’t have a lot of extras to put on top or really good meat to use. But not these tacos! They are actually a cross between a taco and a quesadilla — they pretty much look like a folded over quesadilla — but I’ve found them to be irresistible. They are always gone within minutes of serving so if you are planning on having a crowd don’t be scared to double or triple this recipe. What really sets these apart is the little bit of extra effort you put into the beans. By adding some red onion and seasoning you are giving the tacos some extra flavor with not a whole lot of extra time.

Shrimp Scampi {via tyler florence}
Shrimp Scampi is a very classic pasta dish that tastes like it takes a lot longer to make then it actually does. The hardest part about this has nothing to do with the recipe itself: there seems to be a lot of dishes that you go through while making it, so the cleanup might actually take you longer than making the dish. Scampi is extremely delicious for the few ingredients that it has and even though this recipe uses linguini, I’ve successfully made it with almost every kind of string pasta. Just use what you have and dinner will be ready in no time.

Mexican Quinoa {via annie’s eats}
Pulling together his meal takes little more time then the amount it takes to make a pot of quinoa. It’s my favorite kind of recipe — the kind when you are just opening a bunch of ingredients, pouring them in a pot, and waiting a short amount of time for dinner to cook itself. This Mexican quinoa is relatively healthy and filling so if you are looking for a quick dinner that is good for you, this is it. It’s also vegetarian (you get protein from the quinoa itself and black beans) and keeps really well, so you can enjoy leftovers for a few days afterward.

Chicken & Broccoli {via gimme some oven}
This chicken and broccoli can be done and on your table within 20 minutes: I have personally confirmed this many, many times and I tend to be on the slow side of cooking, so you might even get to eat yours before me. A totally home cooked meal does not really get quicker than that. It’s a healthy, delicious, and fast dinner that is made even better if you have some brown rice to serve it with. But even if you don’t the chicken and broccoli will fill you up on their own. It tastes very similar to the popular takeout version but because you are controlling all the ingredients you use, it’s much better for you all-around.

Image Credit: Jan Vašek

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio {via geoffrey zakarian}
Don’t be put off by this name that can be difficult to pronounce or even a tongue twister (at least in my brain it is). This is another popular Italian pasta dish that seems and sounds like it would be a lot harder to make than it is. All you need for this is pasta, olive oil, garlic, salt, and red chili flakes — that’s it. This meal is done within 30 minutes and you’ll be surprised at how flavorful pasta is even with a short ingredient list.

Cajun Shrimp with Rice {via bevcooks}
If you are looking for a quick shot of spice, this is the recipe here for you. Cajun dishes are heavy on the spice and this shrimp one is no exception. You can control the spice somewhat by picking out a mild andouille sausage and reducing the cajun seasoning if you need to but I think you’ll find that it’s really well-balanced. This is a very filling meal with shrimp, sausage, and rice and while cooking a few different things might seem like it’s time consuming, it’s nothing to worry about because they all come together really quickly.

Do you have a go-to quick dinner?

Featured image is from ree drummond.

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