After a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is have to cook a meal. Depending on what you are making, meal preparation can be a long, draw out process that leaves you with little time to relax before bed.
Fortunately, you do have some options when trying to meal plan throughout the week. One of these is to cook meals that take 20 minutes or less to make. This allows you to have delicious and healthy meals while spending a fraction of the time making them.
Many of these meals are made using healthy ingredients that not only taste great, but are good for you too. Here are some great meal ideas that take 20 minutes or less to make.
1) Low Carb Turkey and Pepper Dish
In addition to only taking 20 minutes to make, this turkey and pepper dish is low carb. Start by cooking the turkey in a large, non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Set the turkey aside. Next, cook onions and peppers in the skillet until soft.
Add in Italian seasoning, pepper, vinegar, and tomatoes, and bring to a simmer. Finally, add the turkey to the skillet, allowing the whole mixture to simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
2) Taco Tomatoes
Low in carbs, all you need for this taco tomato meal are large tomatoes, ground beef, taco seasoning, and your favorite taco toppings. The recipe suggests onion, shredded cheese, iceberg lettuce, and sour cream. Partially cut the tacos and fill them with the meat and ingredients. This recipe only takes 20-25 minutes to prepare.
3) Goat Cheese Mac and Cheese
Ready in only 20 minutes, this goat cheese Mac and cheese dish bakes right in the oven. Cook the broccoli separately while boiling the pasta. Mix butter, goat cheese and 1/2-cup of pasta water in a separate bowl to create the sauce. Pour over the cooked pasta and add the broccoli, mixing well.
4) Zucchini Noodle Salad
This healthy zucchini salad only takes about 25 minutes to prepare. Start by spiralizing the zucchini to get the noodles using a spiralizer. Next, toss the noodles, olive oil, and seasonings in a large bowl and allow to marinate. Finally add tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, with balsamic drizzled on top.
5) Zesty Salmon Cakes
These zesty salmon cakes only take 20 minutes to make. Start by cooking the salmon burgers in a large skillet until golden brown. Next, mix the ingredients for the lemon and asparagus sauce in a large frying pan. Finally, combine the ingredients for the magic green sauce in a food processer. Combine everything and serve.
6) Honey-Glazed Salmon with Garlic
Taking only an amazing 20 minutes to make, this honey-glazed salmon dish is topped with garlic, giving it an out-of-this-world flavor. After searing the salmon in a skillet, add in the garlic, honey-mixture, and sliced lemon until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
7) Kale and Fried Rice with Roasted Cashews
For those who like kale, this 20 minute kale and fried rice dish is the perfect treat. Start by wilting the kale and other veggies in a large skillet or wok. Next, add more oil and fry the rice in the same skillet or wok. Stir in the veggies from before and add roasted cashews.
8) Cobb Salad
Salads in general are easy to make. This delicious and healthy cobb salad only takes 20 minutes to prepare. In addition to the green romaine lettuce, the salad contains cut up hard-boiled eggs, diced chicken, crumbled bacon, sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes, and crumbled blue cheese. All of this is chopped with a red wine vinaigrette mixed with Dijon mustard and olive oil.
9) Chicken Piccata
Using pan-cooked chicken, this chicken piccata recipe only takes 20 minutes to make. Boil pasta while you are cooking your chicken piccata. Bread the chicken and cook it in a large skillet over medium heat. Next, create the caper sauce using lemon, chicken stock, and capers.
Simmer the cooked chicken breasts in the caper sauce before setting aside once again. When finished place a chicken breast atop a bed of spaghetti and spoon the caper sauce on top.
10) Fettuccine Alfredo
Adored by pasta lovers around the world, fettuccine Alfredo is relatively easy to make. This particular version of the popular dish only takes 20 minutes to prepare and contains heavy cream, butter, parmesan, black pepper, and parsley, in addition to the pasta.
11) Roasted Brussels Sprouts Flatbread and Steak Topped with Goat Cheese
This pizza-like flatbread recipe takes only 20 minutes to make from start to finish. Broil or grill your steak and place it aside. Place the Naan bread, topped with crumbled goat and shredded Italian cheese on a pan in the oven. Bake Brussels sprouts leaves on another pan alongside the steak, cheese and Naan bread. Add thin layers of the steak to the Naan bread along with the Brussels sprouts leaves. Drizzle a balsamic reduction atop everything.
12) Scampi Dish
Cook this pasta and scampi dish in only 18 minutes. To cut down on your prep time, buy shrimp that has already been peeled and deveined at the grocery store. Add the cooked shrimp to angel-hair pasta, lemon, and garlic for a tasty dish.
13) Creamy Ravioli with Pesto Sauce and Sausage
This creamy ravioli dish only takes about 17 minutes to make. Mix sausage, zucchini, and garlic to a skillet with olive oil. After cooking for 6 minutes, add in the ravioli, broth, and oregano, bringing the mixture to a swimmer. Finally, add sun dried tomato pesto, cream cheese, and parmesan, cooking for an additional 4 minutes. Top with sun dried tomatoes.
14) Mediterranean Rib Eye
This rib eye meal is cooked using a Greek spice rub and takes only 19 minutes to make. Top with feta cheese and chopped kalamata olives for an authentic Mediterranean flavor.
15) Chinese Noodle Soup
This Chinese vegetable noodle soup only takes 20 minutes to prepare. To make it, mix your favorite veggies in with your broth and noodles. Add ginger and green onions, along with a few drops of sesame oil and soy sauce to give it a nice, hearty taste.
16) Tuna Salad with White Beans
Taking only a mere 10 minutes to make, this tuna dish contains white, beans, lemon juice, oregano, parsley, and green onions, making for a very tasty dish. Serve the ingredients over crisp lettuce for a healthy meal.
17) Rib eye Steak with Garlic Mushrooms
With this butter and garlic mushroom rib eye steak recipe, you can be chowing down on tender steak within 20 minutes. To top it off, add some sautéed mushrooms cooked in garlic and butter. To get the perfect center, start by searing the rib eye in a skillet before transferring to the oven to finish cooking.
18) Ranch Noodles with Broccoli and Ham
You can enjoy this noodle dish in as little as 20 minutes. While cooking the noodles, chop the cooked ham and steaming the broccoli. Once finished, mix in all of the ingredients, including ranch dressing, for a hearty meal.
19) Risotto and Rice
This easy to make risotto and rice dish only takes 20 minutes to make, and best of all, it is made using leftovers. According to the recipe’s creator, leftover rice is of the perfect consistency and dryness for cooking. Simply cook in a vegetable broth, adding wine, cheese, salt, and pepper once the broth and cheese become gooey.
20) Chili-Rubbed Salmon
For this delicious salmon dish, cook the salmon fillets for 16 minutes until they flake with a fork. For the chili rub, mix chili powder, dill weed, and lemon pepper together before applying prior to cooking. Garnish with lemon and a fresh dill sprig.
21) Classic Greek Salad
This classic Greek salad only takes 15 minutes to make. Start by mixing the tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and red onions in a large bowl. Add in the feta cheese as you mix the ingredients together. For the dressing, mix vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, salt, and pepper. Drizzle over the salad.
22) Tuscan Pasta Topped with Tomato-Basil Cream
Requiring only 15 minutes of prep time, this Tuscan pasta is covered in a homemade cream sauce. To make the cream sauce simply chop up some tomatoes and fresh basil and add it to the semi-homemade cream sauce. Finish by topping the dish with Parmesan cheese.
23) Pasta e Fagioli
This pasta e fagioli recipe only takes 20 minutes to make. Ingredients in this healthy and hearty dish include Italian sausage, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, northern beans, diced tomatoes, and chicken broth. The dish also contains pasta, parmesan, and parsley.
24) Beef Fajitas Topped with Pico de Gallo
If you are a fan of pico de gallo, then this Mexican dish is for you. These zesty, Italian dressing and pico de gallo topped beef fajitas only take 20 minutes to make. You can either make your own pico de gallo or buy it from the store.
25) Pork Chops
With this recipe, you can have the perfect pork chops in only 20 minutes. Start by searing the pork chops in a preheated skillet before baking in the oven. For best results, serve with roasted potatoes.
26) Noodles with Snow Peas, Cabbage, and Shrimp
Taking a mere 15 minutes to prepare, this noodle bowl topped with snow, peas, cilantro, Napa cabbage, and boiled shrimp is a great dish if you are craving Asian food. It is also light on your pocket book.
27) Lemon baked Tilapia with Garlic
Taking only 20 minutes to make, this lemon baked tilapia is pretty simple to make. Start by seasoning the tilapia with salt and pepper before baking, making sure to add a sauce made of butter, garlic, red pepper flakes, and lemon juice. Finally, place lemon slices on top and around the tilapia before placing in the oven to bake for 12 minutes, or it flakes with a fork.
28) Pork Chops Topped with Herb-Mustard Butter
If you like pork, then this pork chop dish topped with herb-mustard butter only takes 20 minutes to make. For the ultimate in time savings, prepare the honey-mustard butter while the pork chops cook in the oven.
29) Cacio e Pepe
This buttery pasta dish is made using pasta, butter, ground black pepper, grated pecorino, and grated parmesan. Only taking around 20 minutes or so to prepare, start by preparing the pasta in boiling water. The trick is to take some of the pasta water once the pasta is finished cooking to make a delicious butter mixture to finish cooking the pasta, cheese, and other ingredients in.
30) Pan-Seared Trout Topped with Italian-Style Salsa
With a cooking time of only 9 minutes, this pan-seared trout has an Italian-style salsa topping giving it a taste. You can prepare your own salsa or use a salsa that you by at the store, either way the dish is delicious.
If you like this article, please SHARE it with your friends and family.
Follow your friends or be the first to join our group
These easy-to-make meals can leave you plenty of time to relax before bed, such as taking a hot bath or reading a book, and can even leave you time to prepare for the next day. So, the next time you need a meal in 20 minutes or less, check out these handy recipes.