Do weeknight dinners stress you out? When you’re running after your kids all day or working hard at the office, dinnertime has the tendency to sneak up you when you’re least expecting it. How many times have you glanced up at the clock thinking it was the middle of the afternoon, only to realize in shock that it’s already 5:30?
If you’re constantly scrambling to get dinner on the table, take a deep breath and slow down. There are plenty of ways to take shortcuts at dinnertime and still provide your family with healthy, nutritious and hearty meals. The following are easy ways to simplify your dinner prep and take the stress out of mealtime:
Make One Pot Meals
Some of the easiest meals to make on nights when you’re pressed for time are ones that cook up in one dish. Whether it’s a stew, soup or chili that can be made in one big pot or crockpot, a pasta bake or a casserole, one-dish meals reduce the amount of time you’ll have to spend cleaning up miscellaneous pots and pans and typically don’t involve excessive prep work.
Involve Your Family
Getting your kids involved in the kitchen can be beneficial to meal time in a couple of different ways. First of all, the more people you have helping you out with dinner, the more quickly it will get finished. Additionally, bringing your family into the kitchen with you can help teach kids basic cooking skills and can get them excited about the food in front of them. Spending time in the kitchen also allows you to catch up with your family without missing out on valuable cooking time.
Keep Your Pantry Stocked
Taking some time every couple weeks to make sure that your pantry is stocked and ready for the coming week can be an extremely valuable time saver when it comes to dinnertime. If you have the basics, such as canned or frozen veggies, chicken broth, beans or another protein, and some type of pasta, it can be easy to throw together dozens of different dinner ideas on short notice and you won’t be stuck with any last-minute grocery runs.
This recipe for Buffalo Chicken Chili is one of those quick and delicious dinner ideas that you’ll want to make over and over again. Make it for a weeknight dinner when you’re running a little behind, reheat the leftovers for lunch the next day (the flavors will be especially blended) or make a double batch when you have people over for the Super Bowl; nothing says “football” like a bubbling pot of chili!
Buffalo Chicken Chili from ReadySetEat®
Total Time: 30 min
· PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
· 1-1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
· 1-1/2 cups sliced celery
· 1 can (15 oz each) Rosarita® Premium Whole Black Beans, drained, rinsed
· 1 can (14.5 oz each) Hunt's® Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Garlic, undrained
· 1 can (8 oz each) Hunt's® Tomato Sauce
· 2 tablespoons red pepper sauce
· 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
Spray a large saucepan or a Dutch oven with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken and celery and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring occasionally.
Stir in beans, undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce and pepper sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook for 10 to 15 more minutes or until chicken is tender and the flavors are all blended. Top each serving with blue cheese and more pepper sauce, if desired.