Weeknight Wonders: Quick and Easy Dishes You Can Try

October 11, 2023
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After a long day of work or school, the last thing you want to do is spend hours in the kitchen, chopping and simmering ingredients and waiting several minutes for a dish to cook. And the hour-long clean-up and the exhaustion following the cooking process. So, does this mean you have to settle for bland and boring meals during the week? Or rely on takeout or frozen dinners? Definitely not!

Some recipes make cooking during the week a breeze. These quick and easy recipes are perfect for busy individuals or families stuck in the “What should we have for dinner tonight?” dilemma or simply too tired to put much effort into cooking. The best part? They require minimal prep time, use simple ingredients, and deliver delicious and satisfying flavors.

Here are some weeknight wonder dishes you can try:

1.     Chicken and Cheese Stuffed Poblano Peppers

This hearty Mexican dish is everything you want in a weeknight meal – easy, flavorful, and comforting.

You need:

  • Poblano peppers
  • Cooked chicken
  • Cream cheese
  • Pepper jack cheese
  • Corn
  • Black beans
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced onion
  • Garlic cloves
  • Cumin
  • Smoked paprika
  • Salt
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Cooked white rice
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees. Rinse and dry the peppers, then cut the tops off and slice off the sides to remove the seeds. 

Mix the ingredients (except cheese and toppings) in a large bowl. Once well combined, stuff the mixture into the peppers and top with cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the peppers are soft and the cheese is melted.

Follow this recipe to ensure you are making these stuffed poblanos with chicken and cheese perfectly every time. 

2.     Baked Lemon Garlic Salmon

Seafood lovers rejoice! This simple yet mouthwatering salmon dish is the “It” meal for a busy weeknight.

You need:

  • Salmon fillets
  • Lemons
  • Garlic cloves
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Place the salmon fillets in a baking dish, squeeze fresh lemon juice over them, then sprinkle minced garlic on top. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through. Serve with your favorite side dishes for a delicious and healthy meal.

3.     Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken Skewers

What’s better than juicy grilled chicken? Juicy grilled chicken coated in a sweet and tangy honey mustard marinade. Everyone at the table will go crazy over this recipe.

You need:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Honey
  • Dijon mustard
  • Garlic cloves
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Skewers

Pour olive oil into a large bowl and add minced garlic, honey, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisk until well combined. Cut chicken breasts into cubes and place them in the marinade for at least 30 minutes (or overnight for maximum flavor).

When you’re ready to cook, preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Thread the marinated chicken pieces onto skewers, then place them on the grill. Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and has some grill marks. Or check the ideal internal temperature to ensure doneness.

Serve the skewers with your favorite dipping sauce or a bed of rice and vegetables for a more balanced meal.

4.     Baked Zucchini Fries

These crispy, flavorful zucchini fries will change your stance that “Fries only taste good when made from potatoes.”

You need:

  • Zucchini
  • Bread crumbs
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • Eggs

Preheat your oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use one shallow bowl to beat the eggs and another to mix the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.

Cut zucchini into thin slices or strips. Dip each slice into the beaten eggs, then coat them evenly with the breadcrumb mixture. Place them on the baking sheet in a single layer without any overlapping.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through to ensure even browning. Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce or as a tasty side dish.

5.     Chipotle Beef Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Looking for a hearty, flavorful meal that’s also low-carb? Prepare this recipe for a satisfying dinner option.

You need:

  • Portobello mushrooms
  • Ground beef
  • Diced onion and bell pepper
  • Garlic cloves, minced
  • Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
  • Shredded cheese (such as cheddar or Monterey Jack)

Preheat your oven to 375°F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the stems from the mushroom caps and gently scrape out the gills with a spoon. Place the caps on the baking sheet with the hollow side up.

Next, tenderize the beef and cook it in a skillet over medium heat until browned. Add the diced onion, bell pepper, garlic, and chipotle peppers to the skillet and cook until vegetables are tender. Spoon the beef mixture into the mushroom caps and top with shredded cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until the mushrooms are tender and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

6.     Shrimp Scampi Zoodles

Try this zoodle recipe for a lighter, healthier take on the classic shrimp scampi pasta dish.

You need:

  • Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic cloves, minced
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Zucchinis (spiralized into noodles)
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add minced garlic and red pepper flakes, and sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

Add shrimp to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until pink and cooked through. Remove shrimp from the skillet and set aside.

Add zucchini noodles to the skillet and sauté for 1-2 minutes until slightly softened. Add shrimp back into the skillet with the zucchini noodles and toss to combine.

Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until everything is heated through.


Weeknights can get hectic really quickly, especially when you have a busy schedule or a family to cater to. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy delicious and healthy meals on those busy weekdays.

Indulge in a delectable dinner with chicken and cheese stuffed poblano peppers, or enjoy a cozy movie night with baked zucchini fries. When craving a more satisfying meal, savor the flavors of grilled honey mustard chicken skewers or baked lemon garlic salmon. Short on time? Satisfy your hunger with shrimp scampi zoodles or chipotle beef stuffed portobello mushrooms.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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