One of the greatest joys of cooking is creating quick and easy dinner recipes in 30 minutes or less that save both time and money by eliminating takeout.
Here are our favorite healthy and budget-friendly recipes that are quick, easy, and budget-conscious; guaranteed to become weeknight dinner staples. Plus they’re freezer friendly for easy make-ahead meals.
1. Chicken Tacos
Chicken tacos are an easy and fast way to satisfy your Mexican food craving. All it takes is some marinating and grilling time – after which, your delicious taco filling can be ready and waiting in tortillas with all of its desired toppings!
Shredded chicken can be marinated in an irresistibly flavorful sauce made with homemade taco seasoning and then cooked on the grill. Make the marinade in advance and store it in your fridge to save time during grilling!
Choose soft flour tortillas or hard corn taco shells as your base, then toast your tortillas either in the oven or on a gas burner for extra smoky flavor.
Toppings: My go-to toppings for tacos include red onion, cilantro, avocado, store-bought pico de gallo and either sour cream or Greek yogurt – though you could add whatever toppings make your family happy!
These quick and easy grilled chicken street tacos make an enjoyable weeknight dinner! Get ahead by marinating the chicken before dinnertime arrives – so your dinner won’t take as long!
2. Instant Pot Soba Noodles
Soba noodles make an easy, delicious and fast meal that can be prepared quickly. Ideal as the basis of soups or noodle bowls; or just eaten alone as a quick side dish!
These noodles can be dressed with an irresistibly flavorful mix of soy, sesame oil and rice vinegar to give a burst of zesty taste! Or top them off with some crispy bacon strips or sauteed shrimp for the ideal meal!
Soba noodles offer an effective and nutritious way to improve your diet, with all nine amino acids that wheat flour does not provide, plus an abundance of thiamine.
Utilizing high-quality buckwheat noodles is of utmost importance if you are gluten free. When purchasing, make sure that no wheat flour has been added into the noodles’ production process.
After following the package instructions, cook your noodles as directed. After they’ve cooled off to room temperature, use running cold water to rinse away as much starch as possible before letting them come to room temperature again.
These noodles are so flavorful, they actually taste better cold! With homemade Asian salad dressing for added zing. Perfect as lunch, quick dinner or picnic snack!
Stir-frying is an approachable cooking technique that’s quick, healthy, and convenient – ideal for quick dinner preparation! Traditionally practiced by Chinese cuisine. This cooking method involves placing food in a wok over high heat before stirring frequently during preparation.
Your meals can become even more nutritionally rewarding when you add proteins and vegetables, particularly lean proteins such as chicken or fish, plus vegetables for their antioxidant phytochemicals, fiber content, vitamins, and minerals.
Just a few quick and simple tips can turn any stir fry into an absolute success:
Choose the appropriate oil. Look for oils that can withstand high heat without burning easily – canola, peanut, and vegetable oils may all work well as options.
Get all your ingredients prepared and organized before beginning to fry to reduce stress and ensure quick addition of ingredients without overcooking.
To keep your dish tasting fresh and vibrant, do not cook vegetables past their tender-crisp point. Otherwise, they’ll lose their crispiness and vibrant colors – diminishing its freshness and potential flavor!
Add a bit of water to your stir-fry to thin out its sauce, helping reduce sodium consumption at the same time. Finish it off by garnishing your meal with nuts or other healthy options!