It’s definitely no surprise that most working moms are cramming as much into each minute of the day as they can. Typically, it’s a race to tie up loose ends at work, dealing with rush hour traffic, shuttling kids to their evening activities and walking the dog. After squeezing in some exercise, cooking dinner for the whole family is one extra thing that can take up a big chunk of time. But it doesn’t have to be. While the whole process may seem like a sprint to the end-of-the-day finish line, a little help like quick dinner recipes go a long way. Set your sights on relaxing evenings and nutritious meals everyone will enjoy with these quick dinner recipes for a working moms.
How about something a little adventurous, but still kid friendly? Try this Chicken Curry in a Hurry:
- 1 cup white rice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained (optional)
- meat from 1 rotisserie chicken, sliced or shredded
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- Cook the rice according to the package directions.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes.
- Sprinkle with the curry powder and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Add the yogurt and cream and simmer gently for 3 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper, and tomatoes (if desired). Remove from heat.
- Divide the rice and chicken among individual bowls, spoon the sauce over the top, and sprinkle with the cilantro.
- Warm and filling, but still packed with healthy greens, this Baked Pasta with Sausage and Spinach is easy to make ahead.
- olive oil spray
- 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
- 8 oz fat-free ricotta
- 8 oz part-skim mozzarella, shredded
- 14 oz uncooked sweet Italian chicken sausage, removed from casing
- 12 oz high-fiber or low carb rigatoni pasta
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 cloves smashed garlic, roughly chopped
- 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
- salt and fresh pepper to taste
- 4 cups Quick Marinara Sauce
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Spray a 9- x13-inch baking dish with olive oil spray.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, 6 tablespoons of the Pecorino Romano cheese and half of the mozzarella cheese.
- Meanwhile, in a large deep skillet, brown the sausage breaking up into small bits until cooked through; set aside. Add the oil to the skillet and sauté garlic about a minute, careful not to burn. Add spinach and season with a little salt and pepper and cook another minute. Return the sausage to the skillet and add the marinara sauce; cook on low about 2-3 minutes.
- When the pasta water comes to a boil, cook pasta according to instructions for al dente, but undercook them by 4 minutes less; drain and return to pot.
- Put half of the cooked pasta into the prepared baking dish and top with half of the meat sauce. Spoon the ricotta mixture on top of the sauce in an even layer. Cover with the remaining pasta and the remaining sauce. Top with the remaining mozzarella and Pecorino Romano cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 6-7 minutes or until the mozzarella is melted and the edges are lightly browned.
Easy and healthy, everything goes in one pot for this Apple Cider Baked Chicken:
- 1 large onion, peeled and cut into eighths
- 1 large lemon, sliced into thin rounds
- 2 cups apple cider, homemade or storebought
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
- 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 6-8 chicken legs or thighs
- 2 large apples, each sliced into eighths
- 1 lb. small, red or Yukon Gold potatoes, halved
- Place a gallon size heavy-duty zip-top bag into a large bowl. Place the onion and next 10 ingredients into the zip-top bag, combining well. Add the chicken to the marinade. Close the bag, place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the chicken pieces in a large roasting pan skin-side up. Pour all of the marinade, including onions and lemons over and around the pieces. Tuck the apples and potatoes around the chicken. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through to re-coat everything with the marinade.
- Arrange chicken and potatoes on a platter and sprinkle with chopped fresh thyme.
Enchiladas are always a hit, check out these Easy Beef Enchiladas for your next weeknight meal:
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 1/2 cups diced onion
- 1 1/2 cups (about 2 medium) finely diced zucchini
- 12 corn tortillas, heated or fried in oil to soften
- 2 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, canned or homemade
- 3 cups cheddar- jack shredded cheese
- Serve as desired with: shredded lettuce, avocado, cilantro, sour cream
- 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch pan with nonstick spray.
- 2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add ground beef; break apart with a spoon or spatula to crumble the meat. Saute the meat on medium heat until browned (about 5 minutes). Tilt the pan and spoon the fat out of the pan; discard. Remove cooked meat to a bowl.
- 3. Return pan to medium heat and add onion and zucchini. Saute until just softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pan and add to the meat mixture; set aside.
- 4. Add 1/2 cup of sauce to the prepared pan. Spread it around so it coats the entire bottom of the pan.
- 5. Assemble the enchiladas: Place tortilla on a work surface. Spoon 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the meat mixture down the middle. Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons of cheese on top of the meat. Drizzle 1 Tablespoon of sauce on top. Wrap the tortilla around the filling tightly and place it seam-side-down in the pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling until you have finished filling 12 tortillas. Place the tortillas side-by-side in the pan- it’s okay if they are all snuggled in there tightly.
- 6. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the stuffed enchiladas. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- 7. Remove pan from the oven and take off the foil. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top; return to the oven and let the cheese melt (about 5 minutes).
- 8. Serve immediately with desired condiments.
Got picky eaters? This Crockpot Mac and Cheese is a win in any house:
- 16 ounces cooked macaroni
- 16 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cubed
- 16 ounces Colby cheese, cubed
- 16 ounces Velvetta (cubed)
- 1 stick of butter, cut into slices
- 16 ounces milk
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Spray crockpot lightly with cooking spray. Layer 1/3 of the macaroni in bottom. Layer half of cheese, butter, salt & pepper. Repeat, ending with last 1/3 of macaroni on top. Pour milk over mixture.
- Cook on low for about 4 hours and stir about mid-way
Looking for something super light? Try this Garlic Shrimp that takes just minutes to prepare:
- 24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed, minced fine
- 2 tbsp cold butter
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- Make sure the shrimp are very well drained.
- Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Place a large skillet on high heat, and add the olive oil.
- When the oil is very hot, add the shrimp and sauté on high heat for 2 minutes, or until the shrimp are about halfway cooked.
- Add the garlic, and sauté for 1 minute. Add the cold butter, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for another minute, or until the shrimp are cooked.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley and lemon.
How about an easy favorite you simply throw in the oven? These Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas will work even on your busiest day:
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 large bell pepper, seeded and sliced (I use half a green and half a red)
- 12 flour tortillas
- Toppings such as cheese, sour cream, and guacamole – if desired
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken strips in a greased 13×9 baking dish.
- In a small bowl combine the oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, dried oregano, and salt
- Drizzle the spice mixture over the chicken and stir to coat.
- Next add the tomatoes, peppers, and onions to the dish and stir to combine.
- Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Serve on tortillas with desired toppings.
Do you have any favorite recipes perfect for a working mom? Please share!
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