5 Family Dinners You Can Make in 15 Minutes or Less (PHOTOS)

Adriana Velez | May 12, 2014 Food & Party
5 Family Dinners You Can Make in 15 Minutes or Less (PHOTOS)

chicken and broccoli stir-fry
I do this all the time because I don't have much choice: Make dinner in 15 minutes or less. You too? Gone are the days when I used to lovingly labor for 2 hours on a Turkish fish stew with pomegranates. Now I need to get something in front of my son pretty much the moment I walk into the door.

Here are 5 of my favorite go-to dinner recipes, things I can whip up in a jiffy but that are still definitely homemade.



15 minute dinners

What's your favorite fast weeknight dinner?

Image ©iStock.com/IngridHS

  • Homemade Pizza



    1 ball fresh pizza dough or 1 pre-baked pizza crust

    1 can pizza sauce

    1 ball fresh mozzarella

    Pepperoni, sausage, or any other toppings you want

    Basil leaves

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

    If using pizza dough, roll out dough as thin as possible. Sprinkle pan with cornmeal and lay dough over that. Bake 5 minutes. Skip this step if you're using a pre-baked crust.

    Remove crust from oven. Spread with sauce, slices of mozzarella, pepperoni, and basil leaves. Bake for another 15 minutes.

  • Black Bean Quesadillas



    1 can black beans

    2 cloves garlic

    1 T olive or coconut oil

    Salt to taste

    Corn or flour tortillas

    Shredded cheese

    Shredded red cabbage


    Drain black beans. Mince the garlic and soften in oil. Add beans and cook, stirring, until beans are heated completely through.

    Heat a cast iron griddle or a shallow non-stick pan. On each tortilla, spread black beans, and sprinkle cheese and cabbage on one half. Fold over and heat on one side until lightly toasted. Turn, and heat on the other side. Serve with salsa.

  • Broccoli & Chicken Stir Fry



    3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided

    1/2 cup water, plus

    2 tablespoons water, divided

    minced garlic

    1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breast, cut into thin 3-inch strips

    2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

    4 cups broccoli florets

    1/3 soy sauce

    hot cooked rice

    1. In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water until smooth.

    2. Add chicken and toss.

    3. In a large skillet or wok over medium high heat, stir-fry chicken and garlic in 1 tablespoon oil until chicken reaches desired done-ness.

    4. Stir-fry broccoli with chicken for 4-5 minutes.

    5. Combine soy sauce and remaining cornstarch and water until smooth; add to the pan.

    6. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.

    8. Serve over rice or noodles.

    Okay, the rice will take you more than 15 minute to steam. Start that before you start the stir fry! Or serve with cooked buckwheat noodles.

  • Microwave Baked Potatoes


    Janet Hudson/Flickr

    4 Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes

    Olive oil


    Sour cream

    Shredded cheese

    Chopped scallions or chives

    Carrot sticks

    Wash potatoes well, pierce all over, and rub with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and microwave together for 15 minutes.

    Meanwhile prepare garnishes. Serve topped with sour cream, cheese, scallions, and whatever else you like. Serve carrot sticks on the side.

  • Spaghetti Carbonara



    Via The Kitchn

    1 pound dry spaghetti

    4 fresh large eggs

    8 ounces guanciale, pancetta or slab bacon, cubed

    1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

    1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino

    Freshly cracked black pepper

    Sea salt

    Bring about 6 quarts of generously salted water (it should taste like the ocean) to a boil, add the spaghetti and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente.

    While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the guanciale and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until the meat is crispy and golden and has rendered its fat. Turn off the heat.

    In a small bowl whisk the eggs and the cheeses until well-combined.

    When the pasta is done, reserve 1/2 cup of the water, then drain.

    Return the guanciale pan to medium heat, and add half of the reserved pasta water to the pan. Toss in the spaghetti and agitate the pan over the heat for a few seconds until the bubbling subsides. Much of the water will evaporate

    Remove the pan from the heat and add the egg mixture and stirring quickly until the eggs thicken. The residual heat will cook the eggs but work quickly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. If the sauce seems too thick, thin it out with a little bit more of the reserved pasta water.

    Season liberally with freshly cracked black pepper. (Taste for seasoning: depending on the kind of pork used, it may not need any salt.)

    Divide the pasta into bowls and serve immediately.

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