15 Minute Meal Series for Back to School (or any time!)

15 Minute Meals for Back to School

 

I love to cook for my family, but on weeknights I’m often in a time crunch.  It’s not uncommon for me to be working away and look up at the clock and realize it’s already 5:30 or after.

But I’ve learned that by using a few tricks, it’s possible to get dinner on the table in just 15 minutes.  A few years ago, I wrote an ebook with 15 minute recipes.

Feast in 15 needs to be updated, but that doesn’t keep me from pulling it out and cooking those recipes.  They work and they’re fast.

Now I want to share some more quick recipes and tips with you.  You can get dinner fixed and ready in just 15 minutes!

Tomorrow I’ve got a brand new 15 minute recipe for you.  Then starting next week and running through September, I’ll be sharing new recipes that I’ve created, as well as highlighting some good ones that have already been published on the blog.

I’ll also be sharing tips for cooking fast.  There are some techniques that help you move through the prep process quickly.

You can do anything for 15 minutes, even if you hate cooking.  Or think you don’t have time.  Or your day has left you worn out.

In fact, I’m not sure you can even get through the drive-thru in much less time, especially if you factor in your travel time.  Save your money and eat at home!  15 minutes is all you need.

I’ll be gathering the links right here on this post as we move through the series.  So save this page, pin it, share it on Facebook!  You’ll want to come back here for recipes and tips!

I’ll see you tomorrow for an easy Mexican recipe.   I’ve also got a Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup that’s made from scratch and done in 15 minutes.  And there’s much more coming too!

Eat at Home Weekly Meal Plans often have 15 minute meal recipes included.  If you’d like to save time on your planning and get organized, give the plans a try!

 Get a FREE week of Weekly Meal Plans and Grocery Lists sent to you now!

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15 Minute Skillet Chicken Curry with Peach Chutney

Skillet Chicken Curry with Peach Chutney

 

When I got the idea to make Peach Chutney in the slow cooker, it was on a morning I was in the mood to create something.  I started the chutney, spray painted a giant fork and spoon to hang in the kitchen, and started painting an end table.

While all of that was happening, I pondered lunch.  I knew it needed to be quick.  And I wanted to use the chutney as part of the recipe.

This Skillet Chicken Curry is the result.  I had leftover rotisserie chicken in the fridge, so that made the recipe really easy.  If you don’t have chicken already cooked, you can use this Basic Chicken Skillet method to get this dish started.

I altered this recipe from Slow Cooker Chicken Curry.  Instead of coconut milk, I used the chutney to balance the spices in the dish. It turned out wonderful.  Everyone loved it!

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more...]

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Chipotle Chile Chicken Nachos with Chipotle Sour Cream – a 15 Minute Meal

Chipotle Chili Chicken Nachos

 

These nachos!  They didn’t last long.

A giant platter of nachos full of chicken, bell pepper, tomatoes, black beans and seasoned with McCormick Chipotle Pepper Chile is an automatic hit in my house.  Bonus points for topping it with Chipotle Sour Cream.  Oh. My. Goodness!

This is comfort food at it’s finest.  At least, in the opinion of my family.  We polished off this huge tray of nachos in no time.

Did I mention that this meal takes about 15 minutes to get on the table?

The key to that is having the chicken already cooked.  I love keeping cooked chicken in the freezer for fast recipes.

McCormick Chipotle Chile Pepper brings a hint of smokiness to the dish.  I like substituting Chipotle Chile Pepper for regular in some dishes.  It has a bit more heat, but the smokey flavor is extra special.

Have you ever tried it on watermelon?  It’s fantastic!

In fact, watermelon and this Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chipotle Honey Butter along with the nachos would make a fantastic summer meal.

Is your mouth watering yet?

Here’s what you’ll need to make the Chipotle Chile Chicken Nachos:   [Read more...]

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Cajun Chicken Skillet with Pasta – a take on Basic Chicken Skillet meal builder

Cajun Chicken Skillet with Pasta

 

My family loved this meal.  Give them pasta, chicken and lots of flavor and they are happy people!

This Cajun Chicken Skillet with Pasta is a take on the Basic Chicken Skillet I showed you a few weeks ago.

You start with the basics:

Basic Chicken Skillet

 

And then you accessorize to make it something special.

In this case, I added tomatoes, creamy half & half, linguine, a little Parmesan and plenty of Cajun Seasoning from McCormick.

Cajun seasoning McCormick

 

These simple ingredients come together to create a meal that’s worth gathering around the table to eat together.  Not only that, but it’s easy to fix.  And any leftovers can be reheated for the stragglers.  In our house, we never know if we’ll have 7 or 8 people at dinner or just 3!

American Homemade meals automatically call for family and friends to gather around the table.  This summer McCormick is celebrating American Homemade and giving you a chance to share your recipe stories.  There are many recipes from all around the country shared on the American Homemade site.  And you can upload your stories here.  Also, visit American Homemade on Facebook.

Back to the story of this pasta.  This is easy, family pleasing pasta dish.  The Cajun Seasoning adds bold flavor to the meal.  Pair this with a crisp, green salad for a complete dinner.  Here’s what you’ll need to make Cajun Chicken Skillet with Pasta:   [Read more...]

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Slow Cooker Bacon Cheeseburgers

Burgers are a summer staple in our house – they’re so easy and versatile that they make an appearance at least once a week on our dinner plans. But, there are always those nights when it’s so humid and sticky and gross that standing over the grill sounds like the worst idea ever. And when it’s like that outside, who really wants to turn on the stove and heat up inside?

These are the perfect burgers for nights like that.

BurgersTitle

The slow cooker won’t heat up the house, but you can still get a really great burger out of it. The trick? Making sure the patties aren’t sitting in their own grease. I roll up foil and make a mini grill-grate on the bottom of my slow cooker to boost them up just enough.

Burgers1

Then, I just lay my burger patties on top. I can fit four quarter-pound burgers in my four-quart slow cooker. If you want to cook more, just make a second layer of foil and stack them up.   [Read more...]

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Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken Sandwiches with Cucumber Mango Salsa

There’s something about the warm weather that suddenly makes me feel like I’m living on some gorgeous, tropical island. As soon as summer hits, Caribbean-inspired meals end up making it into our dinner rotation a lot more often. Usually, this means lots of grilling – but some days the convenience of the slow cooker just wins out.

JerkChicken

This dish is inspired by a lunch we had on vacation in Honduras a few years ago. The combo of spicy jerk chicken paired with the cool cucumber mango salsa is perfect for summer. And, it couldn’t be easier. The chicken can be prepped in about five minutes before I walk out the door for work and the salsa only takes another ten minutes or so when I get home – which means more time to get outside and enjoy the summer sun!   [Read more...]

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Sweet and Sour Chicken Skillet – Basic Chicken Skillet Variation

Sweet and Sour Chicken Skillet

 

It’s amazing how many different ways you can accessorize chicken, onion, garlic and green pepper in a skillet.  It’s such a versatile and easy combination of food.  Everything I’ve made that started with Basic Chicken Skillet has tasted so different from the dish before it.

We love Sweet and Sour Chicken (old post, terrible photos) at our house.  The homemade recipe I use is a favorite, but it’s a bit of a pain to fix.  It’s just so messy.  The chicken gets marinated and then dusted in cornstarch and fried.  I make a huge mess doing it and it’s a little time consuming for an average weeknight.

This skillet version of sweet and sour chicken is really quick and easy though.  It skips the breading step, which saves a lot of mess and work.

Here’s what you’ll need for this simple version:   [Read more...]

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Mediterranean Chicken Skillet – A Variation of Basic Chicken Skillet

Mediterranean Chicken Skillet - Basic Chicken Skillet variation

 

This easy Mediterranean Chicken Skillet starts with the Basic Chicken Skillet:

Basic Chicken Skillet. Start here to create many meals.

 

To the basic skillet we add tomatoes, black olives and feta cheese.  Serve it over couscous cooked in chicken broth and you have a very easy weeknight dinner.

I took the idea for this dish from Mediterranean Chicken in the Slow Cooker.   This quick version is a little different.  Instead of the whole garlic cloves in the slow cooker version, the skillet method uses crushed garlic.  There are a few other differences too, the biggest being the cooking method and time.

I’ve made several variations on the Basic Chicken Skillet and I’m amazed at how different they all are.  It’s been fun and easy to “accessorize” the basic skillet in different ways.  And we really enjoyed this Mediterranean version.

Here’s what you’ll need (minus the onion, which didn’t make it into the photo):   [Read more...]

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Basic Chicken Skillet – The Foundation for Lots of Meal Possibilities

Basic Chicken Skillet. Start here to create many meals.

 

You know how you can create a lot of outfits if you start with a few basic pieces and add in accessories?

You can do the same thing with food.

If you start with a skillet of chicken, onions, garlic and green pepper you can create all kinds of fantastic meals.

Accessorize with tomatoes, basil, oregano and parmesan and have Italian chicken over pasta.

Embellish with Greek seasoning and serve it in a pita.

Accent with white wine, cream cheese, chicken broth and serve it over steamed spinach.

The possibilities are endless!  I’ve got several recipes ready to share that start with this skillet.  This is going to be a series of sorts, but I’m not going to tie it to one day of the week or give it a specific ending date.

I love the idea of starting with a few simple ingredients and creating meals from there.  And I’d love to hear your ideas too!  This is the kind of thing that you can start with the basics and add what you find in your kitchen.  No recipe needed.

Here’s what you’ll need for the Basic Chicken Skillet:   [Read more...]

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Asian Glazed Oven Fried Chicken

These sweet, savory Oven Fried Chicken breasts will become an instant family favorite! Packed full of delicious Asian flavors & easy to make, there will be no need to hang on to those take out menus!

Asian Glazed Oven Fried ChickenI absolutely love fried chicken. One of my all time favorite comfort foods! But I hate going through the process of frying it up. It’s time consuming, messy & normally ends up with me injured. Which is exactly why I have grown to love oven fried chicken. You get all of the breaded goodness you love from traditional fried chicken in a whole lot easier version.   [Read more...]

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