Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes

single man cooking a nutritious meal at home

Picture this: You’re exhausted after a long day at work, and craving a satisfying dinner. You’re wondering if you should whip something up from the fridge, order the usual sushi, pick up a couple of pizza slices, or test out that new Chinese place at the corner. Most of us New Yorkers are pretty familiar with this scenario. However, there are healthier, tastier alternatives for your weeknight dinners; all you need is an hour per day (or less) and a weekly visit to the supermarket. Ultimately, you’ll have a satisfying meal and know how it was prepared.

In the recipes below, you can substitute your own favorite brands (or less expensive store brands) for some of the ingredients listed. And don’t be afraid to experiment… perhaps add sliced jalapenos or chipotle peppers to the Chicken Enchilada Bake. Can’t find bok choy, or not a fan? Try using Romaine lettuce or cabbage instead on the Chicken Flatbread (you could also substitute some already made focaccia for the crust, and save some time). Another time saver would be buying an already baked French Loaf for the French Dip Sandwiches… after all, NYC has a lot of great places to get bread!

Next time you’re hungry, use any of these quick and easy dinner recipes.

sweet and spicy chicken flatbread
Photo: courtesy Pillsbury

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Flatbread

Unsure if you’re in the mood for sweet, or sour? Problem solved! This 40-min recipe will get you 6 servings of cheesy, juicy goodness. It’s just like pizza, but much more sophisticated. Now you can watch the big game or your favorite show/movie while indulging in a guilt-free dish.


-1 large red onion, thinly sliced
-1 can Pillsbury™ refrigerated thin pizza crust
-1 cup sweet orange marmalade
-2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
-3 cups chopped deli rotisserie chicken
-1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 oz)
-1 cup firmly packed shredded bok choy


1. Heat oven to 400°F. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, mix onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, or until browned. Add 1/4 cup water; cook, stirring constantly, until water evaporates.

2. Meanwhile, unroll dough on dark or nonstick cookie sheet. Bake 6 minutes. Remove from oven; turn crust over on cookie sheet.

3. In small bowl, mix marmalade and Sriracha sauce. Spread mixture on crust to within 1/2 inch of edges. Top with chicken, cheese and onion. Bake 10 to 12 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and crust is deep golden brown.

4. Remove from oven; sprinkle with bok choy.

Lemon Chicken with Potatoes
Photo: courtesy Pillsbury

Lemon Chicken with Potatoes

We had a big bowl of this for our Christmas dinner, and boy is it delicious! The fresh lemon gives a zesty flavor to the baked potatoes and chicken, just in time for the Spring season! On the other hand, the brown sugar adds a golden-brown color and balances the lemon taste with a little bit of sweetness. Bring this dish to your next family dinner; we guarantee mother will be impressed.


-3 tablespoons butter
-2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
-1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 package (28 oz) boneless skinless chicken thighs
-1 lb baby red potatoes, quartered
-1/2 medium yellow onion, cut into large pieces
-1 lemon, sliced
-1/4 teaspoon pepper


1. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 13×9-inch (3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Meanwhile, in 10-inch nonstick skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. In small bowl, stir together brown sugar, Italian seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Sprinkle over chicken thighs.

3. Cook chicken thighs in skillet 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crispy.

4. Arrange chicken thighs, potatoes, onions and lemon slices in baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter, and drizzle over mixture.

5. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender and juice of chicken is clear when thickest part is cut (at least 165°F).

Honey Sriracha Chicken Tenders
Photo: courtesy Pillsbury

Honey Sriracha Chicken Tenders

Although Popeyes’ tenders are irresistible, preparing your own allows you to control the amount of oil used, and even add a touch of honey. If you have a strong craving for fried food, this should do the trick. Double the ingredients in case 4 servings don’t tame the hungry beast within.


-1/4 cup honey
-1/4 cup Sriracha sauce
-1 cup Progresso™ plain panko crispy bread crumbs
– 1 package (14 oz) uncooked chicken tenders (not breaded)
– Additional Sriracha sauce


1. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray large cookie sheet with cooking spray.

2. In small bowl, mix honey and 1/4 cup Sriracha sauce. In large resealable food-storage plastic bag, place bread crumbs. Coat chicken with Sriracha mixture. Place in bread crumb bag; seal and shake to coat. Place chicken on cookie sheet.

3. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until chicken is no longer pink in center and bread crumbs are golden brown. Serve with additional Sriracha sauce.

Blonde French Dip Turkey Sandwiches
Photo: courtesy Pillsbury

Blonde French Dip Sandwiches

Why head to a deli when you can make your own mouthwatering turkey sandwich (with a culinary twist)? You’ll have stars in your eyes and a happy tummy after gobbling down 4 servings. This also works as a light dinner if you go easy on the cheese. Dip each bite in chicken broth to make it juicy!


-1 can Pillsbury™ refrigerated crusty French loaf
-2 tablespoons Crisco® 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-1 large red onion, thinly sliced
-2 cups chicken broth
-1 lb thinly sliced or shaved deli turkey
-6 oz Brie cheese, sliced
-1 cup lightly packed fresh arugula


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray large cookie sheet with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. Place dough seam side down on cookie sheet. Using sharp or serrated knife, cut 4 or 5 diagonal 1/2-inch-deep slashes on top of loaf; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Bake 22 to 26 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat; add onion and cook 2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, turkey, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until onions are crisp-tender.

3. Cut bread crosswise into four rolls. Cut each roll in half horizontally. Using slotted spoon, fill each roll with turkey and onions; reserve broth. Top turkey with cheese, arugula and tops of rolls. Serve sandwiches with reserved broth for dipping.

Chicken Enchilada Bubble-Up Bake Casserole
Photo: courtesy Pillsbury

Chicken Enchilada Bubble-Up Bake

No need to order Mexican food, this scrumptious Chicken Enchilada Bubble-Up Bake casserole provides the whole package. Spicy food lover? Use hot red enchilada sauce. We also recommend you customize this easy bake with famous Mexican toppings, such as sour cream, diced tomatoes, and chopped fresh cilantro.


-2 cups shredded deli rotisserie chicken
-1 can (15 oz) Progresso™ black beans, drained, rinsed
-1 can (10 oz) Old El Paso™ red enchilada sauce
-1/2 cup Old El Paso™ Thick ‘n Chunky salsa
-1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury™ Grands!™ Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (8 biscuits)
-1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (4 oz)
-2 tablespoons sliced green onions (2 medium), if desired


1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 8-inch square (2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.

2. In 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook chicken, beans, enchilada sauce and salsa over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes or until hot. Spoon into baking dish.

3. Meanwhile, separate dough into 8 biscuits. Cut each into 8 pieces.

4. Add biscuit pieces to chicken mixture, stirring gently until pieces are coated.

5. Bake 25 to 28 minutes or until biscuits are deep golden brown and thoroughly baked. Sprinkle cheese evenly over top; bake 4 to 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with green onions. Serve with additional salsa, if desired.

Preparing each of those meals takes as much time as your delivery to arrive, so do your best not to take the easy way out. Got any more dinner recipes? Suggest them through Facebook or Twitter.

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