Quick Weeknight Dinners for $3 or Less
Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons & Parsley Brown Butter
For this recipe, convenient store-bought potato gnocchi are tossed with delicate ribbons of zucchini, shallots and cherry tomatoes that have all been sautéed in nutty browned butter.
Pork Chop Suey
Chop suey is often made with bamboo shoots and water chestnuts--add them to this recipe if you wish. Serve with: Udon noodles.
Chicken with Sugar Snap Peas & Spring Herbs
Quick-cooking chicken cutlets are paired with an elegant but easy light sauce of sugar snap peas and artichoke hearts. This dish can be made without the sprouted beans, but is especially delicious with them--if you have extras, try them on a salad.
Paprika Shrimp & Green Bean Saute
Green beans add snap and color to the garlicky shrimp and butter beans in this Spanish-inspired sauté. Slightly pricier prepeeled shrimp are worth it, given the amount of time they save on a harried weeknight. Serve with quinoa or brown rice.
Here we take basic lasagna ingredients--ricotta cheese, pasta and tomatoes--and skip the layering and long baking time to make a super-quick and satisfying meal for the whole family. To cut down on prep time, look for presliced mushrooms. For meat lovers, brown some crumbled turkey sausage along with the onions and garlic. Serve with: Steamed broccoli and whole-grain baguette.
EatingWell Fish Sticks
You can make these homemade fish sticks in about the same amount of time it takes to bake a box of the frozen kind--with a fraction of the fat.
Orange marmalade and freshly grated orange zest make a deliciously tangy sauce for quick-cooking chicken tenders. Serve with brown rice.
Turkey & Balsamic Onion Quesadillas
Not your traditional quesadilla, these feature deli turkey and Cheddar cheese, along with onions quickly marinated in balsamic vinegar. Serve with sauteed vegetables or a tossed salad for a quick meal.
Stir-Fried Spicy Chicken Tenders
A bag of frozen peppers and onions can be a quick start to a stir-fry; here, it's combined with almost fat-free chicken tenders for a speedy dinner. Serve this dish with warm polenta rounds or brown rice.
BBQ Tofu Sandwich
Though vegetarian BBQ may be an oxymoron, once you take a bite of this delicious tofu sandwich topped with coleslaw and dill pickles you won't mind the contradiction. Serve with: Baked beans and corn on the cob.
Turkey Cutlets with Rhubarb Chutney
Try rhubarb in this tangy chutney with golden raisins and fresh ginger, served with turkey. You can also pair the sauce with grilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts or lean pork chops. Serve with: Whole-wheat couscous and steamed asparagus.
Black Bean & Salmon Tostadas
Pickled jalapeños, cilantro and avocado perk up convenient canned salmon for a quick tostada topping. Skip store-bought and make your own crispy shells in the oven. Serve with: Brown rice cooked with diced tomatoes and onions or salsa.
Stuffed Pork Sandwich
The classic Cuban sandwich inspired this recipe. The original is made with ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese and pickles pressed and griddled between two pieces of soft white bread. Our version cuts down on the meat and is served on a soft whole-wheat bun. Feel free to press it in a panini maker to make it crispy. Serve with vinegary coleslaw.
Grilled Eggplant & Portobello Sandwich
Looking for a vegetarian option for your next cookout? This grilled eggplant and portobello sandwich is our answer. For extra flavor, we top it with slices of garden-fresh tomato and spicy arugula. Serve with a mixed green salad.
Turkey & Tomato Panini
A creamy spread full of Parmesan and fresh basil cozies up to turkey and summer-ripe tomato slices for a savory hot sandwich that will quickly become a go-to mealtime solution.
Pork Chops au Poivre
Turn your dining room into a French bistro when you dress up pepper-crusted pork chops with a rich, creamy brandy sauce. Serve with roasted sweet potato slices and green beans.
Southwestern Corn & Black Bean Salad
Here's a great make-ahead dinner--and leftovers are welcome for lunch the next day. If you make it ahead, don't add the salt and pepper until just before serving. That way, the salt won't render the vegetables soggy and the pepper won't lose its bite. Make It a Meal: Scoop up this salad with warm corn tortillas.
Salmon with Pepita-Lime Butter
Lime juice, chili powder and pepitas give this salmon Mexican flair. Serve with wild rice and steamed vegetables.
Moo Shu Vegetables
This vegetarian version of the classic Chinese stir-fry, Moo Shu, uses already-shredded vegetables to cut down on the prep time. Serve with warm whole-wheat tortillas, Asian hot sauce and extra hoisin if desired.
A Mexican-style torta is just like a burrito, except the “wrapper” is a hollowed-out roll instead of a tortilla. Here it's filled with mashed spiced black beans and a quick guacamole. Take this vegetarian version to another level (and add calcium) by melting Monterey Jack cheese onto the bean side of the sandwich. Serve with: Grilled corn on the cob or Spanish rice.
Southwestern Beef & Bean Burger Wraps
Kids and adults alike will love these quick, zippy burgers. The beans make the burgers a little fragile, so be careful when taking them off the broiler pan. Make it a meal: serve a green salad and frozen mango slices for dessert.
No-Bake Macaroni & Cheese
Not only is this ultra-creamy version of mac-and-cheese nearly as fast as the boxed variety, but your family will be able to pronounce every ingredient. If they aren't broccoli fans, substitute a frozen vegetable of your choice.
Dijon Chicken Stew
This satisfying stew stars chunks of chicken and tender braised escarole in a flavorful Dijon wine sauce. Try it with boneless, skinless chicken thighs or pork tenderloin, if you prefer. It doubles easily in the same pot. Serve with rustic whole-grain bread.
Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes
Potatoes are one of the great comfort foods, especially when stuffed with a satisfying mixture of lean ground beef and broccoli florets plus reduced-fat sour cream and Cheddar cheese. Add a tossed salad and you have a healthy and hearty meal that will leave you feeling good.
Mozzarella, Basil & Zucchini Frittata
This vegetable-studded frittata recipe is one of the quickest meals you can make. Make it for breakfast, or serve for lunch or dinner with a tossed salad and a slice of olive oil-drizzled crusty baguette.