5 Days of 15-Minute Meals

The key to getting through a takeout-free workweek: creating a menu and doing some prep work on Sunday. Check out these recipes from Sara Haas, registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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Sunday: Make-Ahead

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Sunday: Make-Ahead

Slow-cooker beans
Rinse 1 lb. dry beans under cold water. Place in a slow cooker with ½ onion (sliced), 1 bay leaf, fresh thyme, and several garlic cloves. Add water so it covers 2 inches above beans. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours. Season; remove onion and herbs.

Quinoa
Bring 3 cups quinoa and 6 cups water to a boil on medium high. Add ¾ tsp. salt and reduce heat to simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Drain excess liquid. Cool on cookie sheets. Makes 9 cups.

Mac 'n' cheese
Follow steps 2-5 in this recipe for butternut squash mac 'n' cheese. The assembled dish can be placed in the refrigerator for up to two days, until you're ready to cook it.

Corn chowder
Follow steps 1-2 in this recipe for make-ahead corn chowder. The base can be frozen for up to three months. 

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Monday: Butternut Squash Mac ’n’ Cheese

Jacob Fox

Monday: Butternut Squash Mac ’n’ Cheese

Assemble it on Sunday night. Serve with salad, even if it’s just cucumbers and dip for the kids. Send the leftovers in the kids’ lunch boxes. 

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Tuesday: Taco Night

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Tuesday: Taco Night

Place warm corn or whole-grain flour tortillas, grated cheeses, guac, the beans you cooked on Sunday, corn, peppers, chopped lettuce, and sliced tomatoes on the counter and let family members fill their own. 

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Wednesday: Breakfast for Dinner

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Wednesday: Breakfast for Dinner

 Scramble eggs with chopped peppers and other veggies you have on hand; serve with fruit salad and home fries.

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Thursday: Corn Chowder

Thursday: Corn Chowder

Make the base for a corn chowder on Sunday night; thaw a day ahead. Add milk and serve with stuffed pitas. Let each family member fill his own with cheese, hummus, veggies, and jarred roasted peppers. 

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Friday: Skillet Meal

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Friday: Skillet Meal

In a large pan, sauté beans, sliced peppers, and frozen corn with the quinoa you cooked on Sunday.