Easy Dinners to Cook When Thanksgiving Leaves You Exhausted
Bogged down from indulgent holiday eating? Try one of these fast and fresh dinners, all ready in 45 minutes or less.
You've just completed the culinary equivalent of the Boston Marathon. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, you've likely whisked, mashed, carved, and baked your way through nearly every part of the kitchen. But, despite probably perfectly prepping your turkey and following each one of Chef John's Thanksgiving tips, you've ended up exhausted and hesitant to return to your position behind the stovetop.
While the holiday may be over, daily life continues on and so does the need for dinners to feed your family. To make that transition a little easier (and tastier) we've rounded up 10 of our favorite fast and fresh meals. These are all relatively light dishes that take just 45 minutes (or less) from start to finish and are sure to keep your family satisfied, even long after the Thanksgiving leftovers have run out.
When your sink is overflowing with dishes, prepare this recipe that cooks the chicken, vegetables, and noodles all in the same pot! Kniterly's dish features intriguing Thai flavors like fish sauce, fresh ginger, and chile-garlic sauce. The rice noodle base won't leave you feeling bogged down like wheat pasta might.
Simple and satisfying, this quick Italian dinner is cooked in a single pan. Two types of onions (red and yellow) and two types of bell peppers (red and green) pack this recipe created by GIGI9801 with a variety of tastes and colors. For a bit of an extra kick, substitute hot sausage for half of the recipe's sweet sausage.
This unique spin on chicken tacos is sure to bring your family back for a round of second helpings. Caliboo's recipe features chicken cooked down in lemonade, lime juice, and spices until incredibly tender. Set up a DIY taco bar in your kitchen, and let everyone create their own tacos with fresh toppings like guacamole, lettuce, pico de gallo, or grilled veggies.
Pack in an extra punch of vegetables with this comforting recipe by Terry. Shredded zucchini is snuck into a creamy Alfredo sauce before baking with egg noodles. Looking to make it an even more veggie-forward dish? Add in some chopped spinach, diced tomatoes, or sautéed mushrooms.
With just six ingredients, many of which are pantry staples, you'll have this simple meal cooked in no time. In this recipe by Barbie, seasoned chicken is cooked down with a pan sauce before being placed atop freshly made mashed sweet potatoes. Balance out your plate with another veggie side and dinner is ready to be served.
Lighten up a takeout favorite by opting for cauliflower "rice" instead of the traditional grain. John Melinte's recipe features a wealth of vegetables, along with pork loin and beaten eggs to add some heartiness to the meal. Want to speed things up even more? Buy a bag of pre-made cauliflower rice instead of making it yourself.
If you're not over creative recipes even after Thanksgiving, then this dish by LMB27 might be just the thing to try. Chicken is browned before simmering in a sauce of tomatoes and artichokes. Sprinkle on a dash of mozzarella or Parmesan to make things even more delicious before serving the recipe with a side of couscous, quinoa, or crusty bread.
A real crowd-pleaser, quesadillas are an easy way to get dinner on the table while still adding in a dose of vegetables. This recipe by MSREGALE23 features spinach and mushrooms layered between cheddar cheese. The quesadillas are mild and kid-friendly, but feel free to spice things up by adding in some pickled jalapeños, splashing on hot sauce, serving with a side of salsa.
Enjoy the comfort of cabbage rolls without all the effort! This old world dish, by mtgraham2, layers on flavor with cabbage, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and more. If you're not a beef fan, some reviewers said ground turkey also works well in this recipe.
Turn your favorite tailgate appetizer into a meal the whole family can enjoy. Spicy shredded chicken is tucked into a tortilla before being topped with fresh pairings like lettuce, chopped celery, and tangy blue cheese dressing. If blue cheese has too much of an overwhelming flavor, ranch is a good substitute.