Weeknights can get a little crazy all year ’round, but the holidays can take busy to a whole new level. And even on those insanely busy nights, your family still needs to eat. If you need some food fast, but don’t want to resort to fast food, here are some great easy meals you can whip up in no time that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
Veggie-Egg Scramble. There really are few foods that are as easy to make and good for you as eggs. Add some veggies and you’ve got a nutrition powerhouse! I prefer to saute my veggies a bit first, then add in the eggs when cooking. That way the veggies are soft and flavorful.
Chop about 1/2 cup worth of veggies per person (adjust to your own taste). Saute in olive oil for 3-5 minutes. While the veggies are sauteing, whisk your eggs and season to taste. I’m a salt and pepper girl, but feel free to go wild with spices if you like. Turn down the heat on the pan to a low/ medium-low. Pour the eggs into the pan with the veggies and let them cook low and slow until they’re just a little under done. At this point I like to toss in some shredded cheese until the eggs are wet, but not runny, and the cheese melts in all gooey and delicious.
One-Pot Broccoli Pasta Alfredo. This is a family favorite and always disappears when I serve it. Using just one pot (and a strainer) also makes for easy cleanup!
Boil and salt water to taste, drop in 1 lb pasta and cook 6-8 minutes. Add 3 cups frozen broccoli florets to the pasta in the pot, boil an additional 4-6 minutes. (Cooking times will vary based on pasta choice.) Strain pasta and broccoli and return to pot. Add 1 15-oz jar Alfredo Sauce. Pour 1/2 cup (up to 1 cup) chicken or veggie stock into the empty sauce jar. Give it a good shake – this will help get all the remaining sauce off the sides of the jar – then add to the pot. Shake in some pepper if you like, and let the sauce warm up.
Terriyaki Rice with Vegetables. Another family favorite and very simple to make. It’s even easier if you have rice already made.
Cook 2 cups (dry) rice your usual way, but omit any salt. About 10 minutes before the rice is done, fry 3 eggs in a large skillet. Once the whites turn white, break the yolk and spread. When cooked through use your spatula to break up the egg into bite-sized pieces, toss in 2-3 cups of frozen mixed veggies (regular mix or the stir fry mix are both good) and mix them together. Let them warm up for a few minutes. At this point the rice should be done so add that to the skillet and combine with other ingredients. Pour in about 1 cup of terriyaki sauce (you can also do half terriyaki, half soy sauce) and stir until everything is coated. Serve hot!
Spaghetti with Slow Cooker Tomato Sauce. The best part about this, besides how easy it is to make homemade tomato sauce, is that you’ll have extra sauce to put away for the next time you need a quick dinner and you can simply double the batch if you need more.
In your slow cooker combine 1 28 oz can tomatoes (I like petite diced), 1 tbsp each of garlic and onion powders, 1 tsp salt, and 2 tbsp olive oil. Feel free to add any other spices you like, but the simplicity of this really brings out the flavor of the tomatoes. Use an immersion blender to smooth everything out. If you don’t have an immersion blender, just blend everything in a regular blender before you put it in the slow cooker. Cook on low for at least 6 hours.
One-Pot Cheesy Tortellini. This hearty dish is always a crowd pleaser and fills you up after a crazy day.
In a large skillet combine 2 cups chicken (or veggie) stock and 1 jar of tomato sauce and bring to a boil. The slow cooker sauce above works great! Add in 2 12-oz packages of your favorite flavor of tortellini and cook until they’re not quite done. Sprinkle on 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese and stir to combine. Cook another 2 minutes until cheese is melted in. You can find full instructions with pictures here.
For more tips on finding time to cook healthy meals when life gets crazy, check out this post.