Fast & Filling Meals

If you want to create filling meals that don’t take any time at all then I have just what you need. The recipes below are not only quick, tasty, and healthy, but they also won’t cost a lot to make. We all have days where you are in a crunch and need to have dinner on the table in minutes. If this were winter, I would start with a few sheet pan meals which has the complete meal in one pan. For me it is already summer hot here in Florida, and I will save sheet pan meals for fall and winter. I will, however, include Stuffed Peppers as they are a favorite of mine, but they do take a few more minutes to fix.

Stuffed Peppers 

Stuffed Peppers is a rice-based meal that is always going to be both filling and satisfying. It takes longer than most meals discuss today but can be prepared in about 30 minutes. I like brown rice, but you can use the traditional white rice, quinoa, barley, or bulgur. For those who are avoiding grain, try it with cauliflower rice. This dish is another example of making the most of leftovers. Have left over cooked rice, quinoa, or other grains? Have some spaghetti sauce left over? Add these to your ground meat and make a special stuffed pepper for an inexpensive and hearty meal. Lots of folks like to keep the lid on the pepper when serving. I like a cheese topping but it’s really up to you.

Now let’s look a fast meals for a crazy night. Most of these meals can be cooked in one pan and can be made in 10 to 20 minutes.

Stir Fry 

Stir fry is a great meal and it is so quick and easy. Not enough people know that stir fry can be rather delicious if it is done right. Last night I made a quick stir fry with a few fresh veggies and left over steak. The best thing about doing a stir fry is you can add anything to it you want. If you have leftover veggies or cooked meat, toss them in the pan with little olive oil, garlic, onion, spices, herbs – whatever you like. If you’ve ever eaten at a Japanese restaurant, you’ve probably watched a cook making meat, rice, veggies on a grill with oil and a little seasoning.

Check out a few recipes and learn what works for your family.

  1. The Recipe Critic has a recipe for The Easiest Vegetable Stir Fry. Like always, modify as necessary.

2. Spend With Pennies has an Easy Beef Stir Fry.

3. Mom on Time Out shares Easy Chicken Stir Fry.

Mac And Cheese

Mac and cheese is another fantastically simple delicious meal that the whole family can enjoy. It takes no time at all to prepare and it is one of those meals that can be prepared in the morning and then reheated in the evening. Take a look at an easy mac and cheese recipe at Sweet C’s Design if you are unsure how to make it. If you are wanting a low-fat healthier alternative then you can even accomplish this also. Switch out the pasta for wholewheat pasta and the cheese and milk for low fat versions. You will get the same end result and then pair it with some veggies for a filling meal. 

Broccoli Pasta Shells

If you’re looking for a healthy meal that’s fast and easy to prepare, then you might want to try broccoli pasta shells. Broccoli is a great addition to your diet and will certainly offer fantastic health benefits. It’s even has antioxidants so it will help fight back against various nasty problems that plague your body. This includes but is certainly not limited to dementia, cancer and various long term illnesses. There are several recipes online, but I like the one by RecipeTinEats. The recipe uses olive oil which I love to use and a little lemon juice, one of my favorite flavors. One of the best emergency quick dinner ideas with broccoli, pasta and not much else; it’s a little bit lemony, a little bit cheesy and a whole lot of yum. 

Noodle Recipes

If you’re a fan of your noodles in a packet that you can throw in the microwave then it’s time for the real thing. I promise you the ones that you prepare yourself taste even better and they won’t take up that much of your time at all. One point to consider about noodles is what you’re going to put with them. Similar to stir fry, you have countless options that are worth considering here. For instance, you can create some chicken noodles in about twenty minutes. Or, if you want a great vegetarian dish, just add some peppers and herbs for a delicious meal that you can easily get ready when you come in from work. Insanely Good has 27 Easy Noodle Recipes to consider.

Egg-Fried Rice 

If you are looking for a healthy meal choice, then you can try mixing some ingredients with egg fried rice. This can be as healthy as most meals in this list, if you avoid MSG and packets of ingredients with lots sodium or chemicals. The main consideration will be choosing and preparing the right protein. Fish can be a great choice here as well as chicken. They pair quite well together. Gimme Some Oven has a great basic recipe that takes 5 minute preparation and 10 minutes to cook it. Check it out at Fried Rice.

I hope this inspires you to create some fantastic meals that are easy to prepare when you only have a little time to spare. Keep a few ingredients in the pantry for an unexpected busy work day and you won’t be spending an age in the  kitchen preparing the family meal. 

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This is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own.


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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

16 thoughts to “Fast & Filling Meals”

  1. I love raw peppers but as soon as you heat them up (which usually happens with stuffed) they just don’t work for me anymore! It’s getting to be pasta salad time. If you make it with some protein (chicken is always good), it’s a nice cool main dish on a hot night!

    1. I have to say peppers turned on me too. I love stuffed peppers but I don’t eat them anymore. Sad. Pasta salad on a hot night sounds wonderful. What am I saying – it’s already hot here. I’ve been eating loads of salads.

  2. These are great meals. I hate spending lots of time in the kitchen during the warmer months so these are great for when it’s too hot. We love a stir fry, they’re great for using up leftover veggies in the fridge and so is egg fried rice.

  3. A wonderful selection of fast meals, Carol. I love my wok and use it often. Stir Fries are a wonderful way to stretch out smaller peices of chicken or beef and using up vegetables. With stir fry the focus is on a tasty sauce to bind it all together.

  4. All these dishes look amazing. I love stuffed peppers and my mum used to make them but I have never tried. Stir fry are a great way to use up veggies that might otherwise go to waste.

  5. Fab suggestions here! You really can’t go wrong with a stir fry.
    My boys love mac cheese too. I always add peas and sweetcorn in ours, it’s yummy!

  6. Thanks for sharing with us at the Thursdays Favorite Things party! I’m featuring your yummy recipes this week. Congrats! ~Theresa

  7. some really fab meal ideas here. I haven’t had egg fried rice for ages and really fancy it now

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