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31 Quick Dinners for Your December Meal Plan

Getting dinner on the table has never been easier thanks to these quick dinner recipes! Check out this meal plan that includes 31 main and side dishes that are ready in 30 minutes or less.

1 / 31
Sausage And Swiss Chard Pasta Exps Sddj19 214848 B07 17 7b 1

Day 1: Sausage and Swiss Chard Pasta

I whipped up lunch with fresh produce from the farmers market and the result was amazing. —Kate Stiltner, Rockford, Michigan

Goes Great with: Shredded Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

2 / 31

Day 2: Easy Sweet and Spicy Chicken

Tangy pineapple and peppers, tender chicken and sweet marmalade make a delicious combo. The chili powder and picante sauce add zip. —Cassandra Corridon, Frederick, Maryland

Goes Great with: Mom’s Fried Rice

3 / 31
Chickpea Tortilla Soup Exps Opfrb19 216413 B07 19 3bc 14

Day 3: Chickpea Tortilla Soup

This vegan tortilla soup recipe is healthy, filling and family-friendly! We love how hearty and flavorful it is. We like to play around with the different toppings we add each time it's served. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland

Goes Great with: Quick Buttermilk Corn Bread

4 / 31
Smoky Spanish Chicken Exps Sddj18 166274 D08 01 3b 1

Day 4: Smoky Spanish Chicken

After enjoying a similar dish at a Spanish tapas restaurant, my husband and I were eager to make our own version of this saucy chicken at home. If I want to make it extra healthy, I remove the skin from the chicken after browning. —Ryan Haley, San Diego, California

Goes Great with: Colorful Couscous

5 / 31
Bavarian Apple Sausage Hash Exps Sdon18 195731 E06 13 3b 10

Day 5: Bavarian Apple-Sausage Hash

This awesome recipe reflects my German roots. In the cooler months, nothing is as comforting as a hearty hash. Serve this versatile recipe as a side dish at a holiday meal or as a brunch entree over cheddar grits or topped with a fried egg. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, CO

Goes Great with: Braised Dill Potatoes

6 / 31

Day 6: Po'Boy Tacos

I intended to make tostadas, but I misread a couple of ingredients and had to use what I had on hand. I put my own twist on a po'boy recipe and ended up with something even better. —Cynthia Nelson, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Goes Great with: Chili-Spiced Sweet Potato Wedges

7 / 31
Chicken Pesto Meatballs Exps Sddj18 174952 D08 09 2b 13

Day 7: Chicken Pesto Meatballs

These tender, pesto-stuffed meatballs get gobbled up in our house. They're short on ingredients, but packed with flavor. I always make a double batch, freezing the other half for a busy night. —Ally Billhorn, Wilton, Iowa

Goes Great with: Sweet Potato Panzanella

8 / 31

Day 8: Beef Barley Skillet

This versatile dish goes together fast since it's made with quick-cooking barley. You can make it with ground turkey or chicken and any color bell pepper that you have on hand. —Irene Tetreault, South Hadley, Massachusetts

Goes Great with: No-Fuss Rolls

9 / 31
Salmon With Tomato Goat Cheese Couscous Exps Sdjj18 199373 C02 09 2b 8

Day 9: Salmon with Tomato-Goat Cheese Couscous

Rich with goat cheese and tomato, this recipe works for a weeknight supper or an elegant company dinner—and is adjustable for number of people. —Toni Roberts, La Canada, California

Goes Great with: Mediterranean Cauliflower

10 / 31
Turkey Biscuit Skillet Exps Sdon18 58843 C06 15 3b 3

Day 10: Turkey Biscuit Skillet

My mother always made this while I was growing up. Now I make it for my husband and kids. I cut the biscuits into smaller pieces so they will brown nicely on top. I also sometimes add mushrooms to this recipe because my family likes them so much. —Keri Boffeli, Monticello, Iowa

Goes Great with: Swiss Cheese Bread

11 / 31

Chicken & Spanish Cauliflower "Rice"

I learned about the paleo diet from some friends who now have tons of energy and are super fit. Since then, I’ve changed my eating habits, too. Everyone from my dad to my little nephew loves this chicken in Spanish cauliflower rice. —Megan Schmoldt, Westminster, Colorado

Goes Great with: Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan

12 / 31

Day 12: Sausage-Topped White Pizza

I love cooking, and I learned from Nana and Mom. Pizza is easily one of my favorite dishes to prepare. I switched up this recipe to make it my own. —Tracy Brown, River Edge, New Jersey

Goes Great with: Garlic Bread

13 / 31
Cheesy Fiesta Beef Casserole Exps Sdas18 218105 D03 28  2b 6

Day 13: Cheesy Fiesta Beef Casserole

Over the years I’ve tweaked this recipe to end up with a wonderful, quick weeknight meal. Feel free to spice it up with jalapenos, if you prefer a little more heat. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

Goes Great with: Homemade Guacamole

14 / 31
Gnocchi With Spinach And Chicken Sausage Exps Sdon18 126406 B06 15 7b 24

Day 14: Gnocchi with Spinach and Chicken Sausage

Dinner is easy when I can use ingredients typically found in my fridge and pantry. —Laura Miller, Lake Ann, Michigan

Goes Great with: Balsamic Zucchini Saute

15 / 31
Turkey Sandwich With Raspberry Mustard Spread Exps Sddj19 214388 E07 17 7b 9

Day 15: Turkey Sandwich with Raspberry-Mustard Spread

My hearty sandwich has different yet complementary flavors and textures. It is filled with flavor and nutrients, without all the unhealthy fats, sodium and added sugar many other sandwiches have. And it’s absolutely delicious! —Sarah Savage, Buena Vista, Virginia

Goes Great with: Homemade Barbecue Potato Chips

16 / 31

Day 16: Garlic Tilapia with Mushroom Risotto

Boxed risotto makes it quick; mushrooms, shallots and cheese make it tasty. Serve the risotto alongside seasoned fish for a weeknight supper in a hurry. —Lynn Moretti, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

Goes Great with: Roasted Carrots with Thyme

17 / 31
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Day 17: Hearty Turkey 'n' Rice Soup

Use the leftover cooked turkey in the fridge to speed up dinner. You'll be ladling up bowlfuls of goodness in only 30 minutes. —Maggie Brewer, Canandaigua, New York

Goes Great with: Best-Ever Breadsticks

18 / 31
Fig Glazed Pork Tenderloin Exps72882 Sd142780d08 13 4bc Rms 4

Day 18: Fig-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

I like to experiment with unique flavors and try to make the food look photo-worthy, too. But for my husband, the dish just has to taste good. Here's a supper that made us both happy. —Jean Gottfried, Upper Sandusky, Ohio

Goes Great with: Tarragon Asparagus

19 / 31
Spinach Feta Stuffed Chicken  Exps Sdon16 176968 A06 02 9b 8

Day 19: Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken

My chicken bundles are simple, clean and comforting. Serve them with wild rice and green beans for one of our favorite meals. —Jim Knepper, Mount Holly Springs, Pennsylvania

Goes Great with: Orzo Vegetable Salad

20 / 31
Chorizo Spaghetti Squash Skillet Exps Sddj18 188643 D08 09 4b 8

Day 20: Chorizo Spaghetti Squash Skillet

Get your noodle fix minus the pasta with this spicy one-dish meal. It's a fill-you-up dinner that's low in calories—which makes it a weeknight winner in my book! —Sherrill Oake, Springfield, Massachusetts

Goes Great with: Green Beans with Shallots

21 / 31

Day 21: Spicy Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet

I created this easy skillet dish to use up the boil-in-a-bag rice in my cabinet. The result packs a lot of flavor. —Sonali Ruder, New York, New York

Goes Great with: Broccoli Cauliflower Combo

22 / 31

Day 22: Ground Beef Veggie Stew

This is a wonderful, hearty stew to help use up all the late-summer veggies in your garden. I like that it's filling enough to make a meal, and it's good for you too! —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas

Goes Great with: Round Cheese Bread

23 / 31
Quick Moroccan Shrimp Skillet Exps Sdon17 182504 D07 06 6b 5

Day 23: Quick Moroccan Shrimp Skillet

When my niece was attending West Point, she was sent to Morocco for five months. I threw her a going-away party with Moroccan decorations, costumes and cuisine, including this saucy shrimp dish. Whenever I make it now, I think of her and I smile. —Barbara Lento, Houston, Pennsylvania

Goes Great with: Spiced Green Beans

24 / 31
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Day 24: Hash Brown-Topped Steak

My husband and I enjoy cooking together. One night we were craving grilled steak and cheese-stuffed baked potatoes but were feeling a little impatient. Here's the quicker meal-in-one idea we invented. —Judy Armstrong, Prairieville, Louisiana

Goes Great with: Brussels Sprouts and Grapes au Gratin

25 / 31
Spiced Salmon Exps Hrbz16 25408 D09 07 4b 6

Day 25: Spiced Salmon

This delicious, moist fish is very quick and easy to prepare. It gets a little sweetness from brown sugar, but overall the seasonings are mild and give this dish broad appeal. It's a wonderful way to enjoy healthy salmon.—Donna Reynolds, Innisfail, Alberta

Goes Great with: Pretty Duchess Potatoes

26 / 31
Pork Chops N Pierogies Exps Sddj19 25105 B07 17 6b 5

Day 26: Pork Chops 'n' Pierogies

The Polish dumplings are traditionally served as a meal, with applesauce or sour cream. This meal in one is a different way to use pierogi. —Greta Igl, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

Goes Great with: Dill & Chive Peas

27 / 31
Turkey A La King Exps Cimz17 2159 D07 20 4b 2

Day 27: Turkey a La King

This is a smart way to use up leftover turkey. You might want to make a double batch! —Mary Gaylord, Balsam Lake, Wisconsin

Goes Great with: Spicy Zucchini Corn Medley

28 / 31
Easy Stuffed Poblanos Exps Sdas18 174773 D03 29  1b 3

Day 28: Easy Stuffed Poblanos

My partner adores these saucy stuffed peppers—and I love how quickly they come together. Top with low-fat sour cream and your favorite salsa. —Jean Erhardt, Portland, Oregon

Goes Great with: Spicy Refried Beans

29 / 31

Day 29: Italian Sausage Veggie Skillet

We love Italian sausage sandwiches, but because the bread isn't diet-friendly for me, I created this recipe to satisfy my craving. If you like some heat, use hot peppers in place of the sweet peppers. —Tina Howells, Salem, Ohio

Goes Great with: Broccoli-Pasta Side Dish

30 / 31
Jalapeno Swiss Turkey Burgers Exps Sdon17 117810 C06 23 8b 2

Day 30: Jalapeno-Swiss Turkey Burgers

These easy turkey burgers are extra juicy and loaded with flavor. I think the spicy jalapenos give it just the right level of heat, but feel free to adjust the amount to amp it up or tone it down. —Wanda Allende, Orlando, Florida

Goes Great with: Eggplant Fries

31 / 31
Crab Egg Foo Yung Exps Thn18 33388 D05 23 7b 4

Day 31: Crab Egg Foo Yong

Enjoy a classic Chinese takeout without leaving your home. This makes a quick dinner and is as delicious as what you would get in any restaurant. —Beverly Preston, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

Goes Great with: Bok Choy and Radishes

Caroline Stanko
As Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.

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