Five 30 minute meals to get you through the week plus some quick meal tips |For what it's worth

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Five 30 minute meals to get you through the week plus some quick meal tips

Most of us are not excited about spending a long time cooking the evening meal, especially if you are coming home from a long day at work.  No doubt, my favorite meals are the big ones with lots of family that takes hours to prepare.  But realistically, the ones I cook most often are easy, quick and ready to eat in about half an hour.  That is how I became a Short Cut Cook. Here is a weeks menu of easy, quick and stress free meals plus a few tricks to speed things up.
30 minute meals, quick meal tips, meal planning

Follow the rest of the story for menus & recipes after the page break.

Monday:  Deli Chicken Pita Pocket
  • Pita bread, cut in half
  • shredded deli roasted chicken
  • lettuce leaves
  • sliced cherry tomatoes
  • black beans, rinsed and drained
  • whole kernel corn, drained
  • chopped onion
  • Zesty Italian dressing
  • shredded cheddar cheese
    • Heat chicken in microwave.  Cut the Pita’s in half and gently open to expose the pocket.  Line with lettuce leaves, then stack chicken, tomatoes, beans, corn, and onion inside.  Drizzle with Zesty Italian dressing.  Top with shredded cheese. 
Tuesday: Creamy Butternut Vegetable Soup & Salmon Burger
    butternut squash soup
  • Purchased butternut squash soup (buy the carton in the soup isle)
  • frozen mixed vegetables
    • Pour soup and 2 cups frozen vegetables in sauce pan.  Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Serve with Salmon Burger.
  • Burger buns
  • 1 Can quality Pink Salmon
  • 1 egg, beaten slightly (or you can substitute 3/4 cup mayonnaise)
  • 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs or crushed crackers
  • 1/2  cup finely diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt, pepper
    • Remove salmon from can.  Gently remove skin and bones.  Crumble the meat into a bowl.
    • Stir in all the other ingredients and form mixture into burger size patties.
    • Put patties in a skillet and fry in about 1” hot oil 3-4 minutes on each side.
    • While you cook the patties, toast lightly buttered burger buns under the broiler. 
    • Add a little mayo or sandwich spread to buttered toasted buns.  Add cooked patty and lettuce.
Wednesday:  French Bread Pizza
  • Bakery French Bread
  • Pizza sauce
  • Pepperoni, cooked sausage, Canadian bacon, sliced tomato,sliced mushrooms, etc.
  • Shredded Italian cheese
    • Build a pizza on half of the French bread loaf.  Bake at 400° 10-15 minutes.
Thursday:   Ravioli Lasagna
  • Frozen ravioli
  • Thick, quality spaghetti sauce
  • Provolone cheese slices
  • Mozzarella cheese, shredded
    • Cover the bottom of a heavy skillet with about 2” sauce. Layer on some frozen ravioli, Provolone and end with more sauce.
    • Bring to a boil. The ravioli I purchase says to boil for 2 minutes.  At that point turn off the heat and add some Mozzarella.
    • Serve with a salad and bakery roll
Friday:  Chicken Quesadilla
  • Soft tortillas (2 per serving)
  • Shredded deli roasted chicken
  • Shredded Mexican or sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Bean dip (purchased or home made)
  • Salsa (purchased)
  • Avocado Guacamole (purchased)
  • Tortilla chips
    • Place a large skillet or griddle over medium high heat. Spray with olive oil or rub on a bit of butter.  Place one soft tortilla in the pan.  Layer on some shredded chicken and some shredded cheese. Add another tortilla for the top.   After a minute or two, flip the quesadilla over to brown the other side.  Keep an eye on the bottom by lifting up the edge with a spatula to make sure it isn’t burning.  If if cooks too fast, turn down the heat.
    • Serve with chips, salsa, bean dip, guacamole.
Here is a short list of some ways to speed up evening meals:
  • Use soup in cartons from the soup isle
  • Keep prepared broth (chicken, beef or vegetable) on hand
  • Buy deli roasted chicken, debone and shred it then freeze what you aren’t using today
  • Fry and crumble ground meat (beef, turkey, chicken, venison) up and freeze in smaller meal size containers
  • Bake bacon by the package in the oven and store in zip lock bags
  • Buy cabbage pre-shredded in the produce section
  • Boil extra eggs and keep handy in the fridge
  • Use bakery French Bread for pizza
  • Keep frozen meatballs in your freezer
  • Buy bags of flash frozen chicken breasts
  • Freeze leftover chopped onion and bell peppers or keep a purchased bag of frozen onions & peppers
  • Never let your pantry run out of pasta sauce
  • Make up zip lock bags with season packets for tacos, chili and Italian seasoning
  • Keep Zesty Italian dressing on hand
  • Keep a variety of spreads on hand (mustards, mayonnaise, relish, jalapeƱo)


  1. Thanks so much for these recipes!! I am all about quick cooking! lol

  2. You really do have amazing tips here!

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!

  3. I try to plan, but that doesn't always happen. Thanks for the great tips!

    1. I enjoy the planning, but that doesn't mean it always happens here either! We do what we can, don't we?

  4. I LOVE these ideas! At the end of a long day, I don't have much of an imagination....these will come in handy! Thank you for sharing them with us at Treasure Box Tuesday- pinned! :)


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