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86 Quick & Easy Family Dinners

When you've got hungry mouths to feed, these quick and easy family dinners are here to save the day.

Artichoke Chicken Pasta

Here's a colorful, delicious chicken dish that's easy enough for weeknights, yet special enough for guests. Oregano, garlic and a light wine sauce add lovely flavor. —Cathy Dick, Roanoke, Virginia

Mushroom Asparagus Quiche

Loads of asparagus pieces add color and flavor to this hearty, creamy quiche. And its easy crescent roll crust means you'll have dinner ready in a snap! —Sharon A. Fujita, Fontana, California

Potato Kielbasa Skillet

No need to hunt through kielbasa recipes, this smokey take steals the show as a hearty home-style, all-in-one meal. It's especially perfect on those cold late fall and early winter nights. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Enchilada Casser-Ole!

My husband loves this casserole, but it never lasts too long. Packed with black beans, cheese, tomatoes and southwest flavor, it's an impressive-looking entree that's as simple as it is simply delicious. —Marsha Wills, Homosassa, Florida

Favorite Baked Spaghetti

This yummy baked spaghetti casserole will be requested again and again for potlucks and family gatherings. It's especially popular with my grandchildren, who just love all the cheese. —Louise Miller, Westminster, Maryland

Chicken Artichoke Skillet

This quick-to-fix chicken entree featuring artichokes and olives has a real Greek flair. Seasoned with lemon juice and oregano, the stovetop chicken turns out moist and tender. —Carol Latimore, Arvada, Colorado

Cumin Chicken

This zesty chicken dish comes together in a flash, so it's perfect for those busy weeknights. But it's so saucy and delicious, it's certainly good enough for company! —Margaret Allen, Abingdon, Virginia

 

Ravioli Lasagna

When you taste this casserole, you'll think it came from a complicated, from-scratch recipe. Really, though, it starts with frozen ravioli and has only three other ingredients. —Patricia Smith, Asheboro, North Carolina

Sweet Barbecued Pork Chops

I often prepare a double recipe of these tangy chops, then freeze half to keep on hand. They're so easy and taste so fresh, family and friends never guess this quick entree was frozen! —Susan Holderman, Fostoria, Ohio

Cheesy Cheddar Broccoli Casserole

People who don’t even like broccoli beg me to make this comforting broccoli cheese casserole recipe. It's similar to a classic green bean casserole, but the melted cheese just puts it over the top. —Elaine Hubbard, Pocono Lake, Pennsylvania

Baked Tilapia

I've decided to cook healthier for my family, and that includes having more fish at home. This is a great recipe for how to cook tilapia in the oven, and it's fast, too! —Hope Stewart, Raleigh, North Carolina

Shrimp Scampi

This shrimp scampi recipe looks like you fussed, but it’s easy to prepare. Lemon and herbs enhance the shrimp, and bread crumbs add a pleasing crunch. Served over pasta, this main dish is pretty enough for company. —Lori Packer, Omaha, Nebraska

Asparagus Shrimp Linguine

My family really enjoys asparagus and shrimp. We often have this on busy weeknights because its healthy and cooks quickly. —Ehnes Wannetta, Eagle Bend, Minnesota

Breaded Ranch Chicken

A coating containing cornflakes, Parmesan cheese and ranch dressing mix adds delectable flavor to the chicken pieces in this recipe and bakes to a pretty golden color. It's a mainstay main dish I can always count on. -Launa Shoemaker, Landrum, South Carolina

Salmon and Spud Salad

I headed straight for the kitchen when I decided to pick up a healthier lifestyle. This salmon with veggies proves that smart choices can be simple and satisfying. —Matthew Teixeira, Milton, Ontario

Cabbage Roll Casserole

I layer cabbage with tomato sauce and ground beef lasagna-style to create a hearty casserole that tastes like cabbage rolls but without all the work. —Doreen Martin, Kitimat, British Columbia

Garlic Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce

I have reduced grains and other starches in my diet due to health reasons, so I was looking for filling, comforting meals without pasta or potatoes. When I was tinkering with this recipe, I discovered that spaghetti squash is fun to experiment with as well as eat. —Becky Ruff, Mc Gregor, Iowa

Egg Roll Noodle Bowl

We love Asian egg rolls, but they can be challenging to make. Simplify everything with this deconstructed egg roll in a bowl made on the stovetop. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas

Mediterranean Chickpeas

Add this to your meatless Monday lineup. It's great with feta cheese on top. —Elaine Ober, Brookline, Massachusetts

Sweet 'n' Spicy Chicken

My husband and three children love this tender chicken that has a spicy sauce. Peach preserves add just a touch of sweetness, while taco seasoning and salsa give this dish some kick. This entree can be made even zippier yet by adding more taco seasoning and using spicier salsa. —Sheri White, Higley, Arizona

Italian Sausage with Bow Ties

We often have our favorite pasta when company comes over, and I’ve shared the recipe several times. Now many of my friends make it for their families, too. —Janelle Moore, Auburn, Washington

Breaded Ranch Chicken

A coating containing cornflakes, Parmesan cheese and ranch dressing mix adds delectable flavor to the chicken pieces in this recipe and bakes to a pretty golden color. It's a mainstay main dish I can always count on. -Launa Shoemaker, Landrum, South Carolina

Favorite Hamburger Stew

I got this recipe from a woman at our church, Lois Henry, when I needed a way to use up our bounty of home-canned tomatoes. My husband loves it, and I like that it's easy to warm up for a carefree dinner in the winter months. —Marcia Clay, Truman, Minnesota

Lasagna Casserole

Growing up, this was the meal I always wanted on my birthday. Mother made the sauce from scratch, but I use store-bought spaghetti sauce to save time. Replace the ground beef with Italian sausage if you want more spice. —Deb Morrison, Skiatook, Oklahoma

Creamy Italian Chicken

Italian salad dressing mix is like a secret weapon for adding flavor to this creamy chicken dish. Served over rice or pasta, it's rich, delicious and special enough for company. —Maura McGee, Tallahassee, Florida

Easy Beef Pies

We make a lot of French dips and always have leftover roast beef. Here's how I put it to good use. For these pies, use any vegetables you like. They're extra awesome drenched in cheese sauce. —Jennie Weber, Palmer, Alaska

Avocado Crab Boats

These boats are great with tortilla chips, beans or rice. You can also cover them, pack them on ice, and take them to a picnic or potluck. Straight from the oven or cold, they're always delicious. —Frances Benthin, Scio, Oregon

Sesame Turkey Stir-Fry

I really like the rich taste of sesame oil in this Thai-inspired dish. If you don't have it, canola oil does the trick, too. To get a similar nuttiness, toss in a handful sliced almonds before serving. —Kelli Whiting, Fortville, Indiana

Italian Sausage with Artichokes and Feta

To impress the guests, we serve Italian sausage and artichoke hearts with pasta. It tastes like a gourmet masterpiece and also works with rice or potatoes. —Aysha Schurman, Ammon, Idaho

Pan-Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

This one-dish meal tastes like it needs hours of hands-on time to put together, but it takes just minutes to prep the simple ingredients. The rosemary gives it a very rich flavor, and the meat juices cook the veggies to perfection. So easy! —Sherri Melotik, Oak Creek, Wisconsin

Chicken Quesadillas

This chicken quesadilla recipe has an impressive look and taste with little preparation. The leftover chicken gets Mexican flair from cumin in this fun main dish. —Linda Wetzel, Woodland Park, Colorado

Beef & Tater Bake

The entire family will enjoy this heartwarming, all-in-one dinner. Plus, it offers easy cleanup! —Mike Tchou, Pepper Pike, Ohio

One-Pot Unstuffed Cabbage

Here is one of my favorite ways to cook and enjoy cabbage. It has all the good flavor of regular cabbage rolls, but it's a lot less bother to make. In fact, it's a one-pot meal! —Mrs. Bernard Snow, Lewiston, Michigan

Asian Beef and Noodles

This colorful, economical stir-fry dish takes only five ingredients—all of which you're likely to have on hand. Serve with a dash of soy sauce and a side of pineapple slices. Or try ground turkey instead of beef! —Laura Stenberg, Wyoming, Minnesota

Brown Sugar-Glazed Salmon

Pop these protein-packed salmon fillets in the oven before whipping up a sweet basting sauce. This tangy entree cooks up in minutes making it a perfect meal for busy families and unexpected weekend guests. —Debra Martin, Belleville, Michigan

Casablanca Chutney Chicken

If you enjoy Indian food, you'll love this dish. An array of spices and dried fruit slow cook with boneless chicken thighs for an aromatic and satisfying meal. To make it complete, serve over Jasmine or Basmati rice. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California

Momma’s Turkey Stew with Dumplings

I love my slow cooker, especially during the holidays. My mother used to make this turkey stew every year with our Thanksgiving leftovers. The recipe is simple and really celebrates the natural flavors of good, simple ingredients. To this day, it is one of my favorite meals. —Stephanie Rabbitt-Schapp, Cincinnati, Ohio

Ginger-Cashew Chicken Salad

I revamped an Asian-style chicken salad recipe to create this gingery, crunchy salad. Now it’s a huge success when I serve it at ladies luncheons. —Shelly Gramer, Long Beach, California

Penne and Smoked Sausage

My sausage pasta is a must-try dish. It just tastes so good when it’s hot and bubbly from the oven. The cheddar french-fried onions lend a cheesy, crunchy touch. —Margaret Wilson, Sun City, California

Chili Dog Pizza

My girls love it when I make this mash-up pizza with hot dogs and chili. It’s a marvelous way to use up leftover chili. —Jennifer Stowell, Smithville, Missouri

Quick Shrimp Creole

My mother made shrimp Creole when I was growing up, so I’ve carried on the family tradition. For extra kick, pass the Louisiana hot sauce. —Gina Norton, Wonder Lake, IL

Chicken Florentine Casserole

Creamy and comforting, this chicken and spinach bake is sure to be a hit at dinnertime. The toasty bread crumb topping delivers a bit of a crunch.—Dori Jackson, Gulf Breeze, Florida

Almond Chicken & Strawberry-Balsamic Sauce

Crispy chicken with a sweet-tart sauce is served alongside wilted spinach for this special meal. Virginia Anthony of Jacksonville, Florida says, “I created the recipe many years ago for a contest, and it won the Grand Prize! It’s easy to make and comes off as very elegant.”

Breaded Mustard & Sage Pork Cutlets

After attending my daughter's back to school night and receiving a complimentary package of instant potatoes, I had to make something with them. I created these pork cutlets and they were fantastic. —Carrie Farias, Oak Ridge, New Jersey

Turkey Ramen Noodle Salad

My husband and I make this awesome salad together—he does the chopping. When we bring it to potlucks, we pack the ramen and almonds separately and toss them in right before it's time to dish up. They stay nice and crunchy that way. —Kristen Pallant, Big Arm, Montana

Southwestern Casserole

I've been making this mild family-pleasing casserole for years. It tastes wonderful, fits nicely into our budget and, best of all, makes a second one to freeze and enjoy later. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

Salmon Veggie Packets

I feel the spirit of Julia Child when I make lemon-pepper salmon “en papillote” (in parchment). It’s my first French recipe and a family-friendly meal. —Renee Greene, New York, New York

Beef 'n' Rice Enchiladas

With a toddler in the house, I look for foods that are a snap to make. Loaded with beef, cheese and a flavorful rice mix, these enchiladas come together with out any fuss. But they're so good that guests think I spent hours in the kitchen. -Jennifer Smith Colona, Illinois

Sausage & Vegetable Skillet Dinner

I threw this together to use up produce before going out of town. Who knew it was going to be such a hit! It's great when you don’t have much time to cook or wash dishes. —Elizabeth Kelley, Chicago, Illinois

Almond Chicken Salad

My mother used to prepare this salad for an evening meal during the hot summer months. It also serves well as a delicious but quick luncheon or potluck dish. You can't beat the tasty combination of chicken, grapes and almonds. —Kathy Kittell, Lenexa, Kansas

Skillet BBQ Beef Pot Pie

Beef pot pie is a classic comfort food, but who's got time to see it through? My crowd-pleaser is not only speedy; it uses up leftover stuffing. —Priscilla Yee, Concord, California

One Skillet Lasagna

This is hands-down one of the best skillet lasagna recipes our testing panel has ever tasted. With classic flavors and cheesy layers, it’s definitely kid-friendly. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Confetti Kielbasa Skillet

Here's one of my husband's favorite dishes. When it's in season, substitute fresh corn for frozen. Add a dash of cayenne pepper if you like a little heat. —Sheila Gomez, Shawnee, Kansas

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

This is an old Southern recipe that I've adapted. It's a classic, hearty breakfast that takes you on a trip to the South every time it's served. —Sue Baker, Jonesboro, Arkansas

Blackened Pork Caesar Salad

When I cook, the goal is to have enough leftovers for lunch the next day. This Caesar with pork has fantastic flavor even when the meat is chilled. —Penny Hedges, Dewdney, British Columbia

Asian Barbecue Chicken Slaw

When it’s springtime in the South, cabbage is plentiful and we use it. One of our favorite recipes is this combo of Asian slaw and barbecue chicken. Plus, it's easy to halve or double the servings as needed. —Paula Todora, Maple Valley, Washington

Bacon & Cheese Meatball Sliders

Homemade beef patties and DIY slider buns make these mini burgers the life of any party. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

BBQ Chicken Sliders

Brining the chicken overnight helps make it taste exceptionally good. Plus, it’s so tender, it melts in your mouth. —Rachel Kunkel, Schell City, Missouri

Tortilla Chicken Bean Soup

Tasty toppings jazz up this no-fuss soup that has Mexican flair. The recipe for this sure-to-please soup was given to me by a friend. I make it often for company, and everyone asks for the recipe. You can substitute pinto beans in red chili sauce for the regular pinto beans and cumin called for in the recipe. —Michelle Larson, Greentown, Indiana

Lemony Shrimp & Snow Pea Pasta

This pretty pasta is a family favorite —the kids love the light lemony flavor and I love that they devour the fresh veggies. You can use other types of pasta noodles for variety, like bow ties or corkscrews. —Jennifer Fisher, Austin, Texas

Meatball Submarine Casserole

We were hosting a bunch of friends, and after a comedy of errors, I had to come up with a plan B for dinner. Much-loved meatball subs are even better as a hearty casserole—so delicious! —Rick Friedman, Palm Springs, California

Chicken Enchiladas for Four

These chicken enchiladas put a little zip into any menu. The rolled tortillas are filled with a hearty mixture of cheese, chicken and green chilies and then topped with a creamy sauce and more cheese. I sometimes use leftover turkey instead of chicken. —Karen Bourne, Magrath, Alberta

Sausage-Stuffed Jalapenos

If you like foods that have a little kick, you'll love these zippy cheese-and-sausage-filled jalapenos. The recipe is one of my favorites for parties. —Rachel Oswald, Greenville, Michigan

Herb & Cheese-Stuffed Burgers

Tired of the same old ground beef burgers? This quick-fix alternative, with its creamy cheese filling, will wake up your taste buds. —Sherri Cox, Lucasville, Ohio

Tortellini Caesar Salad

This salad was served at a dear friend's baby shower by a health-conscious friend, who suggested the dressing be prepared with low-fat or fat-free ingredients. Either way, the creamy dressing has plenty of garlic flavor and coats the pasta, romaine and croutons nicely. —Tammy Steenbock, Sembach Air Base, Germany

Bucatini with Sausage & Kale

I was short on time, but wanted to make an elegant dinner for my husband and me. That night, we ate this simple pasta starring spicy sausage and our homegrown kale. —Angela Lemoine, Howell, New Jersery

Creamy Paprika Pork

When I was little, I would often ask my mom to make "favorite meat." She knew what I was really requesting was this homey pork recipe. It's been in my family for more than 30 years and is still a favorite! —Alexandra Barnett, Forest, Virginia

Lehmejun (Armenian Pizza)

This pizza-style recipe came from my friend Ruby's mom, who is a crazy-good cook. I added my own flair and tweaked it by using flour tortillas instead of making a dough. —Tamar Yacoubian, Ketchum, Idaho

Quick Nicoise Salad

Like the classic French salad Nicoise, I pack my salad with veggies, potato, tuna and eggs. Cooking the potato and beans together helps build it fast. —Valerie Belley, St. Louis, Missouri


Pierogi Quesadillas

When I had hungry children in the kitchen and nothing but leftovers, I invented Pierogi Quesadillas. Now it's how we always use up our potatoes, meats and sometimes veggies. —Andrea Dibble, Solon, Iowa

Fish Tacos with Berry Salsa

I dreamed up this dish while lying in bed one night. I wasn't sure how the recipe would turn out, but when I tried it, I was so proud to call it mine. Can’t find jicama? Swap in a tart apple. —Emily Rigsbee, Bloomington, Indiana

Warm Rice & Pintos Salad

During my undergrad years, my roommate taught me how to cook vegetarian dishes like brown rice with pintos. It's so versatile; you can turn it into a wrap or casserole. —Natalie Van Apeldoorn, Vancouver, British Columbia

Tuna Ciabatta Melts

Any good crusty bread can be used as the backbone for this delish tuna spread. Top with slices of crunchy cucumber for extra freshness. —Barb Templin, Norwood, Minnesota

Chicken Tostada Salad

If I don't have any tostada shells on hand for this speedy salad, I just heat taco shells, break them in half and lay them flat on the plates. It works just as well. Great Southwest flavor! —Edie DeSpain, Logan, Utah

Quick Tomato Soup

My family often requests my sweet homemade tomato soup on cold days. It's great with a sandwich and nearly as quick to fix as the canned variety. —Jane Ward, Churchville, Maryland

Asian Beef and Noodles

This colorful, economical stir-fry dish takes only five ingredients—all of which you're likely to have on hand. Serve with a dash of soy sauce and a side of pineapple slices. Or try ground turkey instead of beef! —Laura Stenberg, Wyoming, Minnesota

Tortellini Carbonara

Bacon, cream and Parmesan cheese make a classic pasta sauce that's absolutely heavenly. It's a great option for company! —Cathy Croyle, Davidsville, Pennsylvania

Chicken & Waffles

My first experience with chicken and waffles sent my taste buds into orbit. I first made the dish into appetizers, but we all love them as a main course, too. —Lisa Renshaw, Kansas City, Missouri

Sesame Cilantro Shrimp

On days when I don't feel like spending much time in the kitchen, I reach for shrimp. I can have a hot meal in the table in 10 minutes. —Tami Penunuri, League City, TX

Cheesy Turkey Meat Loaf

Nothing says comfort food better than meat loaf! Get this one started in the morning and you’ll have a delicious hot meal ready for Sunday dinner. —Deanna Laughinghouse, Raleigh, North Carolina

Glazed Smoked Chops with Pears

My husband would eat pork chops every day if he could. Luckily, they're good in all sorts of ways, including with pears. —Lynn Moretti, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

Oven-Baked Shrimp & Grits

On chilly days, I doctor up grits and top them with shrimp for a comfy meal. If you’re not a seafood lover, add chicken, ham or both. —Jerri Gradert, Lincoln, Nebraska

Thai-Style Cobb Salad

This veggie salad is like a mix of Cobb salad and my favorite summer rolls. If you have leftover chicken, toss it in. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah

Apple & Sweet Potato Quinoa

When feeding three hungry boys, I rely on quick, filling and tasty meals. The guys aren’t big quinoa fans, but the sweet potatoes and apples won them over. —Cheryl Beadle, Plymouth, Michigan



Greek Pasta Toss

I developed this bright pasta dish with my husband, tossing in our favorite Greek ingredients like olives, feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes. Try it with shrimp or chicken, too! —Terri Gilson, Calgary, Alberta

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