21 Go To Dinners When You Have Minimal Time To Cook

If you’re a busy person like me, you probably don’t have the time to make super elaborate meals every night. Here is a list of 20 quick go-to dinners you can make when you don’t have a lot of time to cook.

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Most of the items on the list are pretty self explanatory, but for some of the dinner ideas, I have provided links to my favorite bloggers and their recipes to give you some inspiration.

  1. Pineapple Kielbasa- a can of pineapple chunks sauteed with sliced Kielbasa until the pineapple liquid evaporates. Serve over rice drizzled with soy sauce.

  2. Black bean and cheese quesadillas

  3. Breakfast for dinner. Cook pancakes, eggs and bacon on the griddle so there is only one thing to clean

  4. Portabello Fajitas are easy for weeknights, especially if your vegetables are prepped in advance

  5. Stir fry vegetables over rice

  6. Chicken and cheese enchiladas

  7. Spaghetti with jarred sauce.

  8. Grille cheese sandwich with tomato soup

  9. Salad with BBQ covered chickpeas. Just simmer canned chickpeas in BBQ sauce until they are stick and delicious

  10. Bean and cheese tostadas

  11. Stovetop Mac and Cheese like this one from Simply Lakita

  12. Chicken Shwarma in the air fryer

  13. Rice and Bean Burritos

  14. Mac and cheese in the air fryer. Mix in some sliced smoked sausage for more flavor and add a fresh vegetable and you have a whole meal.

  15. Udon stir fry

  16. Trader Joes Mandarin Orange Chicken-a favorite freezer meal of mine to serve with jasmine rice and steamed broccoli.

  17. Toasted English Muffin with tuna salad tomato and Melted cheese on top

  18. Cacio e pepe from Smitten Kitchen

  19. Tortellini in Alfredo sauce

  20. Chicken Tacos made with rotisserie chicken

  21. Homemade Lunchables check out this video from Amiyrah at 4Hats and Frugal to see how it’s done.

How to Make Instant Pot Applesauce

Instapot Applesauce

Cinnamon pear applesauce in the instant Pot can be made with about 4 minutes of cooking time.

This instapot applesauce is perfect for fall and can be made and stored in meal prep containers or mason jars for grab and go snacks to take to school or work.

Tools for making applesauce in the Instant pot

All you need is your instapot, a stick blender or food processor, and containers to store your leftover applesauce.

Ingredients for Instant pot applesauce

4 large apples, cored and chopped
2 large pears, cored and chopped
¼ c. water or sugar-free apple juice
2 t. ground cinnamon
1 T. fresh lemon juice
Optional: 1-2 T. honey, preferably local

Directions for Instant pot applesauce

  1. Combine apples, pears, water, ground cinnamon, and fresh lemon juice in Instant Pot® and stir to combine. Add lid and lock into place. Switch the vent to “Sealing” and set the “Manual” setting to 4 minutes.

  2. When cook time is complete, allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure.

  3. Taste and add honey to sweeten, if desired. Carefully transfer mixture to a food processor or high-powered blender and blend until smooth. (For chunkier results, use an immersion blender instead).

  4. Serve immediately, or transfer to airtight containers and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. Enjoy!

Tips for making applesauce in the Instant pot

The biggest tip would be to not peel the apples. This way you get the fiber from leaving the skin on.

I love using a stick blender to puree the applesauce because I can control the chunkiness that way. It can be pureed right in the inner pot of your instapot so you can save time on cleanup.

Variations of Instant pot applesauce

  • Substituting the pears for mango or stone fruit like peaches or plums.

  • Add a few cinnamon flavored candies like red hots to the pot before you put the lid on. The candies will melt and color the applesauce a rosy pink shade and give it slightly spicy flavor.

  • Add chai spice, pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice to the applesauce instead of plain cinnamon.

Lemon Ricotta Scones

Lemon Ricotta Scones

Lemon ricotta scones are a delicious weekend baking project, but in all honesty, they’re easy enough to make during the week too!

The first thing you need is biscuit mix. You can buy biscuit mix from the grocery store, but if you prefer to make your own use the recipe below. You can also see a video of me making the biscuit mix here.