Here are the top 20-minute dinners you all loved the most in 2021.
Bowl of Easy Italian Wedding Soup on a gray cloth background

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Somehow another year has flown by! It feels like we were only just kicking off 2021, yet here we are days away from the new year. In this week's meal plan, we're looking back on some of the most popular recipes from this past year, while still keeping it quick and easy. Here are the top 20-minute dinners you all loved the most in 2021.

Your Meal Plan

Chicken Cutlets with Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce

Quick-cooking chicken cutlets reigned supreme this year, which is really no surprise with tasty recipes like Sunday's 20-Minute Chicken Cutlets with Creamy Pesto Sauce and Friday's Chicken Cutlets with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce. They're both impressive yet easy enough to make for a special meal, and I'm looking forward to digging into the latter recipe on New Year's Eve. Because you probably don't want a whole week of chicken cutlet recipes, there are a few other favorites mixed in, like Monday's Easy Italian Wedding Soup. I use frozen meatballs rather than making some ahead of time, which helps cut the total time down to just 20 minutes.

Tuesday's 15-Minute Salmon & Creamy Orzo with Spinach & Mushrooms is another quick and easy favorite from this past year. I'm always amazed that it really only takes 15 minutes to make from start to finish. Two pasta dishes also made the list—Wednesday's 20-Minute Balsamic Mushroom & Spinach Pasta and Saturday's Spinach & Artichoke Dip Pasta. Surprisingly, I haven't tried the Balsamic Mushroom & Spinach Pasta yet, but I certainly will this week. As for the Spinach & Artichoke Dip Pasta, it's been in regular rotation in my kitchen all year. Last but not least is Thursday's Chhole (Chickpea Curry). This recipe has been at the top of the charts for years, and I know exactly why—it's incredibly flavorful and surprisingly easy, which is just the best combination.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!

Monday: Easy Italian Wedding Soup with 1 slice whole-wheat baguette

Thursday: Chhole (Chickpea Curry) over cooked brown rice. 

New Year's Eve: Chicken Cutlets with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce over riced cauliflower 

Choose a tasty appetizer, a fun cocktail (or mocktail) and dessert to round out your New Year's Eve meal.

Big Batch Breakfast

Baked Blueberry & Banana-Nut Oatmeal Cups
Credit: Jamie Vespa

A meal-prep recipe that doubles as a breakfast and a snack? Count me in! These tasty Baked Blueberry & Banana-Nut Oatmeal Cups are one of my favorite recipes to prep ahead of a busy week. I might even make a double batch, so I have plenty to freeze for a later week. They have satisfying fiber from oats and blueberries, and they get their sweetness from ripe bananas and just a little added sugar, which means they'll help you stay energized as you tackle the day ahead.

Treat Yourself

Elderberry Elixir Mocktail

For those of you looking to take a break from the booze (myself included), this Elderberry Elixir Mocktail is a tasty alternative. It uses elderberry syrup, which you can either buy or make at home, plus vitamin C-rich orange and lemon juice, to help support your immune system as we head into the new year. This delicious drink will help satisfy my craving for something to sip on as I unwind on the couch each evening. 

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ThePrep | Week of 12/25/21 to 1/31/2021