Dinner in 25 Minutes

Quick, delicious meals to make on nights when you're crazy-busy.

Shrimp Scampi Pasta

You can make the sauce while the water boils and the pasta cooks. We like a pinch of red pepper flakes on the adult portions -- it really ramps up the flavor.

Time: 20 minutes

Shrimp Scampi Pasta

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (14 ounces) chicken broth, divided
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 12 ounces linguine, cooked according to package directions
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)

  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cover and cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
  2. Pour 1 cup broth and the flour into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake to blend. Pour remaining broth and broth-flour mixture into saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp, and cook 3 minutes more. Stir in lemon juice, butter, and parsley. Pour over cooked pasta. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 563 cal; 36g protein; 13g fat; 74g carb; 91mg calcium; 3g fiber

Chicken-Noodle Bowls

We know your kids will love the crunchy topping on these hearty chicken-soup pies -- it's made with potato chips!

Time: 25 minutes

Chicken-Noodle Bowls

  • 2 cups wide egg noodles, uncooked
  • 1 package (32 ounces) chicken broth, divided
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of poultry seasoning
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) steam-to-cook frozen vegetables
  • 1 package (10 ounces) ready-to-serve sliced chicken breasts or 2 cups cooked, diced chicken
  • 2/3 cup instant potato flakes
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bag (5 1/2 ounces) baked potato chips, crushed

  1. Cook noodles in salted water until just done; drain and set aside. Pour 1 cup of broth, the flour, and poultry seasoning into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake to blend. In large saucepan, heat remaining 3 cups of broth to boiling over high heat; whisk in broth-flour mixture and continue to whisk while broth comes back to a boil. Lower heat and simmer mixture until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
  2. Cook vegetables in microwave as directed, about 4 minutes. Stir cooked vegetables, noodles, and chicken into broth. Divide mixture among 6 ramekins or ovenproof bowls.
  3. Heat broiler. In a bowl, combine potato flakes, milk, butter, salt, and 1/2 cup water. Cover and microwave 2 to 3 minutes, until thickened. Stir in crushed potato chips. Place ramekins in a baking pan. Divide and flatten potato mixture into 6 disks. Place on top of ramekins and broil 1 to 2 minutes or until topping is crispy. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 309 cal; 17g protein; 5g fat; 49g carb; 69mg calcium; 4g fiber

Chinese Beef and Broccoli

Beef that's sliced for stir-fry is widely available in the meat section of grocery stores.

Time: 25 minutes

Chinese Beef and Broccoli

  • 3 tablespoons teriyaki sauce, divided
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
  • 1 pound lean beef, such as top sirloin, sliced for stir-fry
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup sliced red peppers
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • Quick-cook brown rice, prepared according to package directions

  1. Combine 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, and the beef in a small bowl. Refrigerate 15 minutes, or up to 10 hours. Place broccoli and peppers in large bowl and cover tightly. Microwave on medium-high 5 minutes.
  2. In nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over high heat. Add half of beef and cook, stirring, until browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl with cooked vegetables. Repeat with remaining beef.
  3. Dissolve remaining cornstarch in 1 tablespoon water. Heat remaining oil in skillet; add ginger and garlic. Cook 30 seconds, then stir in broth and remaining teriyaki sauce; bring to a boil. Whisk in cornstarch mixture and boil 1 minute. Stir in beef, broccoli, and peppers; heat through. Serve over brown rice. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 346 cal; 32g protein; 9g fat; 35g carb; 88mg calcium; 6g fiber

Parmesan Chicken

Using superthin chicken tenders for this kiddie favorite cuts the cooking time. And we coated them in low-fat yogurt to reduce the fat.

Time: 22 minutes

Parmesan Chicken

  • 1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon each Italian herbs, paprika, and salt
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 1/2 cup tomato bruschetta topping
  • Green salad (optional)
  • Garlic toast (optional)

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking pan with foil and spray with olive-oil cooking spray. In a shallow bowl, combine wheat germ, Parmesan, Italian herbs, paprika, and salt. Place yogurt in a separate shallow bowl.
  2. Dip each chicken tender in yogurt, shaking off any excess. Dredge in Parmesan mixture, patting to coat thoroughly. Place on prepared pan.
  3. Spray tenders with olive-oil cooking spray and cook in oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until cooked through. Serve with bruschetta topping and salad and garlic toast if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 228 cal; 33g protein; 6g fat; 10g carb; 138mg calcium; 2g fiber

Next: Dinner, ASAP!

Dinner, ASAP!

Smart moms get supper on the table faster with these quick-cook secrets.

  • Buy meats and veggies that are already cut for soups, stews, or stir-fries. They're a little more expensive, but we think they're worth it because they save so much time.
  • Use angel-hair pasta when you can. It cooks in only 6 minutes.
  • Look for speedy side dishes at the grocery store: flavored rice in microwave pouches, flavored couscous (ready in 5 minutes), and prepared side dishes from the deli counter.
  • Microwave baked potatoes and sweet potatoes instead of using the oven: They take just 6 minutes each.

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