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55 Simple Dinners for When You’re Feeling Stressed

Skip fussing about in the kitchen and turn to these easy, yet satisfying, dinners when you're feeling anxious.

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Asian Chicken Rice Bowl

This super flavorful, nutrient-packed dish makes use of supermarket conveniences like coleslaw mix and rotisserie chicken. This recipe is easily doubled or tripled for large families. —Christianna Gozzi, Asteria, New York

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Skillet Chicken with Barbecue Onion

Barbecue chicken is a sure bet with guests, but it’s also messy at times. My stovetop BBQ chicken recipe lets you savor that flavor without a pile of napkins. —Evelyn Cleare, Miami, Florida
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One-Pan Tuscan Ravioli

Sometimes I use chickpeas instead of cannellini beans, grated Asiago or Provolone instead of Parmesan, and all zucchini if I don’t have eggplant. Very flexible! —Sonya Labbe, West Hollywood, California
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Orange Spiced Ham Steak

I turn orange marmalade, mustard and just a hint of ginger into a glaze for ham that comes together super quick but feels exceptional. And that makes it perfect for when I’m entertaining brunch guests! —Connie Moore, Medway, Ohio
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Weeknight Pasta Squiggles

This zesty pasta dish is ideal for busy weeknights. It's low on ingredients and easy to prep, and it tastes so comforting when the weather turns cool. A salad on the side makes this healthy pasta recipe a meal. —Stacey Brown, Spring, Texas
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Pistachio Salmon Exps Sddj17 191006 16 C08 04 5b 3

Pistachio Salmon

This simple salmon gets its crunch from a coating of crushed pistachios, panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Add steamed veggies and rice and it's dinnertime! —Anthony Oraczewski, Port St. Lucie, FL
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Sweet Orange Chicken

This orange chicken recipe with orange marmalade is a family favorite. It's sure to be a hit at your next get together!—Louise Gilbert, Quesnel, British Columbia
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Peas & Pasta Carbonara

Using cream cheese to fortify the sauce speeds up cooking time and will have you eating my take on this old-time classic carbonara recipe in about 30 minutes. —Celeste Brantolino, Lenoir, North Carolina
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Easy Sweet-and-Sour Meatballs

The already prepared meatballs make this a very easy and quick supper. You can use your own homemade meatballs or store-bought if you're in a pinch. —Ruth Andrewson, Leavenworth, Washington
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Creamy Chicken Thighs & Noodles

I love recipes that you can just throw into the slow cooker and let it do all the work. This easy chicken dinner is one of my favorites. —Christina Petri, Alexandria, Minnesota
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Ham & Broccoli Frittata

With just five ingredients, this cheesy frittata is a breeze to make. It’s sure to become a new family favorite. —Annie Rundle, Muskego, Wisconsin
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Italian-Style Chicken & Peppers

I found my mom's well-stained recipe card for chicken and green peppers and was flooded with memories. I'd forgot how good it was! Hope you enjoy. —Donna Miller, Grosse Pointe, Michigan
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Stir-Fried Scallops

Scallops meet mild tomato in this sublime stovetop supper. Try serving the saucy mixture over rice or angel hair pasta, and garnish with cilantro if you like. —Stephany Gocobacki, San Rafael, California
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Beef Teriyaki Noodles

At our house, we love to combine fresh ingredients with a pantry product. This version starts with beef, onions, peppers and mushrooms, since we always have them on hand, but make the dish your own—bring out your inner chef! —Richard Robinson, Park Forest, Illinois
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Cheesy Chile Casserole

A short list of ingredients packs full flavor in this easy-to-assemble casserole. Serve it as the star of your next southwestern meal. —Phyllis Bidwell, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Sloppy Joe Pizza Exps Gbbz19 17168 E11 28 6b 2

Sloppy Joe Pizza

If your kids like sloppy joes, they'll love this pizza. I came up with the six-ingredient recipe that's easy to assemble. —Brenda Rohlman, Kingman, Kansas
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Caesar Chicken with Feta

My tomatoey chicken is the perfect answer on those crazy days when supper has to be on the table in 30 minutes, tops (doesn't hurt that it's delicious, too). —Denise Chelpka, Phoenix, Arizona
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Pasta with Roasted Garlic & Tomatoes

Here’s a simple sauce with just four ingredients, and it's savory enough for a fancy party. I use bow tie pasta, but penne works, too. — Aysha Schurman, Ammon, Idaho
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Bratwurst Hash

Looking for something homey that’s stick-to-your-ribs good? This satisfying, delicious recipe is for you. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Southwest Smothered Chicken

There's a party in every bite of this fiesta chicken dish. Let it spice up dinner tonight! If you're worried about the heat, simply reduce the amount of jalapenos. —Debbie Schaefer, Durand, Michigan
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Deconstructed Pear Pork Chops

You’ll be tempted to eat this main dish right out of the pan but try to resist. These chops are sure to wow guests at the dinner table. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Fast Baked Fish

We always have a good supply of fresh fish, so I make fish recipes often. This recipe is my favorite because it is moist, tender and flavorful. —Judie Anglen, Riverton, Wyoming
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Pierogi Chicken Supper

Chicken, cheese and onion combine with frozen pierogi to give dinner a change of pace. Best part is, it takes just 30 minutes to get this satisfying skillet supper on the table. —Barbara Scott, Walkersville, Maryland
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Mediterranean Chicken

As special as it is simple to prepare, this flavorful skillet creation is dressed in tomatoes, olives and capers. It’s a knockout main dish at my house. —Mary Relyea, Canastota, New York
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Quick Chili Mac

This combines chili with one of my favorite pasta dishes. I often serve it for company or potlucks and occasionally add taco seasoning or use beanless chili and add black beans. —Lee Steinmetz, Lansing, Michigan
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Sausage Potato Supper

One Saturday night a few years ago, I came up with this dish on the spur of the moment. It was dinnertime, and I had to use what I had on hand. It's been a hit with my family ever since. —Nancy Russell, Englewood, Colorado
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Nacho Chicken

I have been serving this rich and zippy chicken casserole for years, and it's a favorite of my family and friends. It disappears quickly at bring-a-dish gatherings, too. —Thom Britton, Three Rivers, Michigan
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Super Quick Chicken Fried Rice

After my first child was born, I needed meals that were satisfying and fast. This fried rice is now part of our regular dinner rotation. — Alicia Gower, Auburn, New York
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Skillet Nachos

My mom gave me a fundraiser cookbook, and this is the recipe I’ve used most. My whole family is on board. For toppings, think sour cream, tomatoes, jalapeno and red onion. —Judy Hughes, Waverly, Kansas
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Salmon with Spinach & White Beans

My husband, Oscar, is a Southerner at heart. This salmon with garlicky beans and spinach won him over at first bite. —Mary Ellen Hofstetter, Brentwood, Tennessee
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Lazy Lasagna for 2

One day when I craved lasagna, I devised this simple recipe and it worked out beautifully. Celebrate weeknights, too! —Carol Mead, Los Alamos, New Mexico
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Simmered Turkey Enchiladas

I discovered a different way to serve economical turkey thighs. I simmer them in tomato sauce, green chiles and seasonings until they're tender and flavorful, then serve them in tortillas with our favorite fresh toppings. —Stella Schams, Tempe, Arizona
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Peanut Turkey Satay

I found this recipe years ago and immediately served it for a company dinner. It’s easy and fun and takes only minutes to cook, but it makes a fancy entree for special occasions. The peanut butter and soy sauce lend a nice Asian flavor. —Lisa Mahon Fluegeman, Cincinnati, Ohio
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Ham & Swiss Baked Penne

As a kid I loved to the hot ham and Swiss sandwiches from a local fast-food restaurant. With its melty, gooey goodness, this bake makes me think of them. —Ally Billhorn, Wilton, Iowa
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Slow-Cooker Chicken Bog

Chicken bog is a South Carolina tradition with lots of variations (think herbs, spices and fresh veggies), but the standard ingredients remain: sausage, chicken and rice. This slow-cooked rendition is a simple take on the classic. — Anna Hanson, Spanish Fork, Utah
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Root Beer Brats

Here's an easy recipe that's versatile, too. Serve the saucy brats over rice for one meal and have them on buns the next. For extra punch, add a splash of root beer concentrate to the sauce. —Pam Thompson, Girard, Illinois
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Spicy Chicken Enchiladas

Cooked chicken strips and canned enchilada sauce hurry along this zesty entree. I came up with this spicy chicken enchiladas recipe shortly after I got married. It's a delicious dinner for two that's easy to double for company. &mdashAmy Dando, Apalachin, New York
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Slow-Cooker Sweet Sour Meatballs

For a meal on busy days, I pop ready-made meatballs in the slow cooker to make this tantalizing Asian-style specialty. Nothing is more convenient than walking in the door to dinner. —Lisa Stepanski, Munnsville, New York
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Garlic Shrimp Spaghetti

Served with a salad and garlic bread toast, this garlic shrimp spaghetti makes a tasty dinner. —June Foote, Spring Hill, Florida
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Beef & Pepper Skillet

I love Mexican-inspired food. I also enjoy experimenting with recipes like this one and making them healthier—and downright good! —Jenny Dubinsky, Inwood, West Virginia
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Easy Caribbean Chicken

This is a very simple recipe that uses easy-to-find ingredients. Serve with some steamed vegetables for a complete meal. Use cubes of pork or even shrimp instead of the chicken. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas
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Tasty Turkey Skillet

I like using boxed rice and pasta mixes to jump-start quick meals. This colorful dish is simple to cook on the stovetop using fried rice mix, tender turkey and convenient frozen vegetables. —Betty Kleberger, Florissant, Missouri
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Nutty Cheese Tortellini

I like to plant Italian flat-leaf parsley in a long terra-cotta planter so I always have some on hand. It adds bright, fresh flavor to this pasta dish. —Barbara Penatzer, Vestal, New York
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Grilled Tilapia with Mango

Here's a new twist on tilapia that I created for my wife. She enjoys the combination of mango with Parmesan. Somehow it tastes even better outside on the deck with a cold glass of iced tea. —Gregg May, Columbus, Ohio
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Bacon Alfredo Pasta in a Jar

Frankly, this is just...yum. I captured my favorite summery pasta in a jar. So delicious. So simple. Tip it all into a bowl and enjoy!—Keri Whitney, Castro Valley, California
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Tex-Mex Chicken and Rice

Poultry and freezer basics inspired this deliciously healthy combo. I have a hard time getting my family to eat healthy, but they have no problem cleaning their plates when I serve this dish! —Tracy Long, Bellwood, Nebraska
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Zucchini & Sausage Stovetop Casserole

Gather zucchini from your garden or farmers market and start cooking. My family goes wild for this wholesome casserole. You can grate the zucchini if you'd like. —LeAnn Gray, Taylorsville, Utah
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Easy Jambalaya

I brought this easy jambalaya to a Sunday potluck and it was quickly gobbled up. When friends asked me for the recipe, they couldn't believe how easy it was! —Tami Kuehl, Loup City, Nebraska
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Salsa Steak Garlic Toasts

These open-faced steak sandwiches play up the popular combo of steak and garlic bread. The salsa, sour cream and garnish elevate it into quick, satisfying meal. Substitute chopped green onions or chives for the cilantro if desired. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois
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Hungry Man's Baked Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are topped with bacon, veggies, pulled pork and goat cheese for a unique take on a baked potato dinner.
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Sunshine Chicken

This recipe is great to serve for large groups because it can be easily doubled and takes little time or effort to prepare. Even my husband likes to make this chicken dish, and he usually hates to cook! —Karen Gardiner, Eutaw, Alabama
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Chicken Fajitas for Two

This is the best fajita recipe I've ever tried. It sounds complicated, but it really isn't. The servings are hearty, but this dish is so good that my husband and I never have a problem finishing it! —Kathleen Smith, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Chicken Francese

I grew up on this tender, lemony chicken Francese recipe that's a classic in Italian cooking. It's delicious as is, but we sometimes add sauteed mushrooms. Serve it with pasta or crusty bread to mop up all that delicious pan sauce. —Joe Losardo, Taste of Home Executive Marketing Manager
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Sweet 'n' Sour Sausage Stir-Fry

I am a product manager and home-school our two children. My family truly enjoys this quick meal. I can have it on the table in about 30 minutes with no thawing and no planning. —Wendy Wendler of Satellite Beach, Florida
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Asian Chicken Dinner

This quick microwave dish for two is perfect for a busy day. Soy sauce and chicken broth bring out flavors of the chicken and veggies. —Carolyn Zimmerman, Fairbury, Illinois

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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