6 Quick and Impressive Dinners to Make Your Family


Many families struggle to enjoy even a weekly meal together. After all, life is busy and everyone’s schedules don’t always match up. When you do finally get an evening together, the last thing you want to do is spend all night making food. Luckily, you can cook up some crazy-impressive dinners without disappearing into the kitchen for hours on end.

Make these quick and beautiful dinners in a flash and get back to enjoying good company.

1. Sausage and Thyme Ragu

What kid doesn’t love spaghetti? Skip the frozen pasta bake and impress the entire family with this one-tray sausage and thyme ragu. The rich, meaty dish is as gorgeous as it is delicious. Plus, it takes less than an hour to make.

Add the tomatoes, garlic, thyme, chili, sausage, stock, and oil to a large pan and bake for 20 minutes. Then, roughly crush the tomatoes, stir in the tomato paste and add cherry tomatoes. Bake another 20 minutes before dishing it up with pasta and ricotta. Serve with garlic bread and salad for a three-course dinner that’ll leave everyone stuffed to the brim.

2. Quick Cauliflower Pasties

Serve a family of four with just 10 ingredients when you whip up a batch of cauliflower pasties. These beautiful puff pastries look like they belong in a fancy bakery, but they’re deceptively easy to make. Plus, your kids will get their fair share of cruciferous veggies without having to eat their “greens.”

First, steam the cauliflower until almost tender. Allow it to cool slightly before tossing it in a bowl with olive oil, cashews, spices, lemon, and currants. Divide the pastry into four squares and add a little paneer and cauli mixture to the center of each one. Bake for 15 minutes, scatter with curry leaves, and serve with Greek yogurt and tomato chili relish.

3. One-Pan Caprese Chicken

In many homes, Caprese chicken is a straightforward and flavorful family favorite. However, traditional recipes may call for more pots and pans than you’re willing to wash after dinner. Luckily, you can cook up a one-pan version that’s ready in a flash with this simple recipe.

Combine the shallot, garlic, oil, and basil in a bowl and season. Cook the chicken until browned and scatter tomatoes around each cutlet. Top the chicken with half the basil mixture, top with bocconcini, and spread on the remaining mix. Drizzle tomatoes with vinegar and sprinkle with sugar. Season and grill until the cheese melts and tomatoes blister. Serve with crunchy bread and watch your family ooh and ahh before digging in!

4. Ahi Tuna Poke Bowls

Most people think that higher-quality seafood is difficult to prepare. Yet, ahi tuna couldn’t be simpler to make. This fish has a similar taste and texture to bluefin tuna and is delicious in a variety of dishes like tacos and salads. It also makes an excellent addition to poke bowls.

Make your own poke bowls using cilantro-lime rice as a base. Marinate the tuna overnight. Then, sear each side for 30 seconds to two minutes. Thinly slice and add to your bowl. Top with avocado, sesame seeds, cilantro, radishes, and almond butter dressing before serving. Even the pickiest eaters won’t be able to resist this bright dish.

5. Glazed Salmon With Green Bean and Bulgur Salad

Simple and elegant, this dish is chock full of protein, greens, and healthy carbs. Fresh citrus flavors turn salmon fillets into a special meal that looks way fancier than it is. Plus, you can swap out the bulgur for rice, quinoa, or a similar grain of your choosing. The best part? It takes less than 30 minutes to throw together.

First, cook the bulgur according to the package’s instructions. Heat oil in a pan and sear the salmon fillets, stirring in the onions, lemon, honey, orange juice, and zest until bubbling. Meanwhile, boil the green beans until tender. Drain and stir in the bulgur, lemon zest, and a little bit of the sauce. Serve the salmon on a bed of bulgur and beans, spooning the rest of the sauce over the top.

6. Sweet Miso Steak With Ramen

Steak and mushrooms go together like mashed potatoes and gravy — you simply can’t go wrong with this delicious combo. Serve the classic pairing without spending a fortune on prime cuts of beef with this recipe for sweet miso steak with ramen. The kids are bound to love slurping up the noodles and sweet sauce that go with it!

Stir miso, mirin, and sugar in a bowl and use the mix to marinate your beef for 15 minutes. In the meantime, cook your mushrooms in a pan until soft and set aside. Add the steak to the pan until lightly browned and caramelized. Return the ‘shrooms to the pan with noodles and snow peas. Toss to combine and top with chopped spring onion.

Making Dinnertime Special

Dinnertime offers the perfect opportunity to catch up, connect, and communicate. Treat your family to something special by whipping up one of these recipes. Then, you can enjoy great food and even better company.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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