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While there’s a time and a place for indulgent three-course feasts complete with slow-simmered sauces, stuffed meats and warm desserts, busy weekday evenings are not it. Often there’s barely enough time in the day to grocery shop let alone cook any food you may have managed to pick up, and when those days strike, it’s important to have an arsenal full of fuss-free recipes to rescue you from dinnertime stress. Known kid-approved picks and easy-to-make-and-eat classics will help you put a supper on the table that’s both deliciously simple and satisfying. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite quick recipes below, then tell us in the comments: What tried-and-true meal do you reach for on frenzied weeknights?
Perhaps the ultimate family-friendly meal, casseroles are one of easiest go-to dinners, as they boast the simplicity of an all-in-one supper and can often be made with whatever ingredients you happen to have on hand. Food Network Kitchens’ 30-minute recipe for Cheesy Gnocchi Casserole With Ham and Peas (pictured above) puts the fridge and freezer to work with deli ham and frozen peas. Laced with fresh thyme and rich heavy cream, this Swiss cheese-finished bake is a cinch to prepare thanks to store-bought potato gnocchi.
Think there’s no way to enjoy a seafood supper when time is tight? Think again. These five-star Salmon Cakes With Salad (pictured right) from Food Network Magazine take just minutes to cook and you don’t need to handle raw fish to prep them, as they’re made with canned salmon. Similar to crab cakes, these golden-brown bites are studded with roasted red peppers and tender corn and are mixed with an egg and breadcrumbs so they don’t fall apart. Serve with a side of tartar sauce and mixed greens to complete this no-stress meal.
Whether it’s because of kids’ after-school dentist appointments, evening sports practices or playground playdates, sometimes it’s simply more feasible to eat dinner out of the house than it is to come home and cook. But hectic weeknight schedules don’t mean that you have to forgo a homemade meal and settle for a drive-through supper. With just a little prep work, you can have ready-to-eat dinners on hand when you need them most. No longer just for lunch, sandwiches, wraps and pockets make convenient meals that are not only easy to enjoy on the run but are also plenty hearty and crave-worthy enough to count as a full supper. No ordinary chicken sandwiches, Guy’s Creole Chicken Wraps (pictured left) from Food Network Magazine are bold, full-flavored beauties that can be quickly packed in the morning and eaten on the go later. He coats lean chicken breasts with a mixture of paprika and chili powder, grills them and then adds them to bread that’s spread with spiced mayonnaise and stacked with mozzarella cheese. Finish each sandwich with fresh tomatoes, crunchy onions and cool lettuce for added texture and taste. When packing these wraps for the day, be sure to store them in a chilled environment like a cooler so that the meat remains safe to eat.