7 Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

With the kids heading back to school, busy weeknights call for easy dinners with minimal cleanup. Here are some of our favorite one-pan and one-pot recipes to get you through the week.

1. Roasted Garlic-Parmesan Veggies with Turkey Sausage and Shrimp

Recipe courtesy of Portia Green

Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

5 small red potatoes
1 pound fresh green beans
1 large head broccoli
1 large bell pepper
7 – 8 sweet peppers
6 tablespoons grapeseed oil
12 ounces smoked turkey sausage
2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon sea salt or pink Himalayan salt 
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
fresh parsley and shredded Parmesan, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Chop potatoes, green beans, broccoli, bell pepper and sweet peppers to roughly the same size. Toss in grapeseed oil and arrange on a large baking sheet.
3. Add sausage and shrimp. Coat with paprika, garlic powder, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper. 
4. Roast for 35 minutes until vegetables are toasted and meat is cooked through.
5. Top with parsley and Parmesan. Serves 6

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Photo by Todd Douglas

2. Santa Fe Soup

2 pounds ground beef, turkey or chicken
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 package of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
2 packages of taco seasoning mix
1 (15-ounce) can black beans
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans
1 (10-ounce) can original Rotel diced tomatoes and chilies, undrained
1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
2 (11-ounce) cans shoepeg corn, drained
1 – 2 cups water

1. Brown ground beef, turkey or chicken in a big stockpot, drain off fat.
2. Add onions and sauté until translucent and beginning to brown. Stir in ranch dressing mix and taco seasoning mix. Then add remaining ingredients.
3. Best if simmered for about 2 hours, but can be served as soon as it is all heated through. Serves 6 – 8

3. Asparagus Tarte

Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

Recipe courtesy of Maggie Lacey

Flour, for work surface
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1 1/2 pounds medium asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly flour a work surface and roll the puff pastry to make a 16-by-10-inch rectangle.
2. Place the dough on a baking sheet and pierce with a fork repeatedly. Run a sharp knife around the dough 1 inch from the edge to make a border that will puff. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
3. Rinse the asparagus, dry and discard the tough ends. Remove pastry from oven and sprinkle with cheese. Arrange asparagus in a single layer over cheese. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until asparagus is tender, 20 – 25 minutes. Serves 8

4. Sheet Pan Fajitas

Recipe courtesy of Tracey Burdine

Chicken fajitas on a sheet pan
Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 each red, green and yellow bell peppers, cored and sliced into strips
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 1/2-inch strips
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons finely diced garlic
8 small corn or flour tortillas
sour cream, shredded cheese, cilantro for toppings, if desired

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a small bowl, combine dry seasonings. Set aside.
3. Place peppers, onion and chicken onto baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over pan and sprinkle garlic and seasoning mix over the top. Toss evenly to coat and then spread chicken and vegetables evenly across pan.
4. Roast, tossing once halfway through cooking, until veggies are tender and chicken has cooked through, about 18 – 25 minutes. Do not overcook or the chicken will become dry.
5. Wrap tortillas tightly in aluminum foil and warm in oven during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
6. Remove from oven and pile chicken and veggies on tortillas. Finish off with favorite toppings. Serves 4

5. BBQ Salmon & Potatoes

Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

Recipe courtesy of Leslie Buckley

1 1/2 – 2 pounds salmon fillets
1 small can pineapple juice
2 Idaho potatoes, chopped to 1-inch pieces
5 whole garlic cloves
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1/2 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives, for garnish
1 lemon, thinly sliced, for garnish

1. Add salmon fillets and pineapple juice to a large zip-top bag and marinate in refrigerator for at least one hour.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3. Place potatoes and whole garlic cloves on sheet pan and top with two tablespoons olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and rosemary. Toss to coat and spread in even layer across one half of sheet pan. Roast for 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, toss asparagus in 1 tablespoon olive oil and the lemon juice. Set aside.
5. Mix brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon sea salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil together in a small bowl.
6. Remove salmon from marinade and pat dry. Discard the juice. Place fillets on a small piece of foil and pull sides of foil up around salmon to create a “boat.” (This will prevent salmon juices from touching vegetables.) Spread sugar and seasoning mixture over the salmon.
7. Remove sheet pan from oven and add the salmon “boat” and asparagus. Return to oven and cook for an additional 15 minutes, until the salmon flakes.
8. Garnish with chives and lemon slices and serve. Serves 4

6. Chicken Pesto Pizza

1 can refrigerated pizza crust dough
1/4 cup store-bought basil pesto
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 Roma tomato, diced

1/4 cup roasted red pepper, diced
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Arugula, for topping
Balsamic Glaze, for topping

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Unroll pizza crust dough, stretching to about a 9-by-13-inch rectangle onto a baking sheet that has been lightly coated with cooking spray.
3. Bake for approximately 8 minutes.
4. Remove pizza crust from oven, spread with pesto, sprinkle with cooked chicken, tomatoes, red pepper and then top with cheese.
5. Bake for another 10 – 12 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.
6. Top with arugula and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Serves 4 – 6

7. Lima Beans & Rice

lima beans and rice
Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

Recipes courtesy of Caitlyn Waite

2 pounds Conecuh sausage, sliced into rounds
1 package center-cut bacon, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup flour
1 can seasoned lima beans, partially drained
1 can large butter beans, partially drained
1 can okra, corn and tomato mixture, drained
1 cup beef or chicken stock
1 teaspoon creole seasoning, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups white rice, cooked according to package directions
Cornbread or French bread, for serving

1. Preheat a large saucepan or pot over medium heat. Brown the sausage and transfer to a plate and cover. In the same pot, cook the bacon until crispy. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the grease in the pot.
2. Reduce the heat to low. Add bell pepper, onion and garlic, and saute in the bacon grease until translucent.
3. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, until flour is cooked.
4. Pour lima and butter beans, okra mix and stock over vegetable roux. Add creole seasoning and salt and stir to combine.
5. Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
6. Return sausage and bacon to the pot and stir to combine. Remove from heat and stir in cooked rice.
7. Serve warm with cornbread or French bread. Serves 6 – 8

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