20 Spring Recipes That Take Less Than 20 Minutes

Jess Richardson | Mar 26, 2019 Food & Party
20 Spring Recipes That Take Less Than 20 Minutes
Image: iStock

20 Minute Cashew Chicken Zoodles
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We're so busy. While we love tapping through Pinterest and Instagram, looking at other people's amazingly lavish self-care routines while waiting in line for the bathroom, we don't actually have time to really do any of them. Sure, we'll save some ideas to do "later," but when does later actually come? It doesn't -- or at least, not often. 

Half the time, far from doing an amazing 12-step skin care routine, we end up falling asleep without even using the face wipes we keep in the bedside table just in case we're too tired to actually wash our faces. Let's just admit that we're almost always too tired to wash our faces because there are another 13 things that need doing and a kid who needs our attention at literally all times of the day and usually most of the night to boot.

And when it comes to cooking, it's not like the day suddenly slows down so we can come up with and then make some amazingly complex and elegant three-course meal. While we love the idea of doing a full day of meal prep every Sunday like a total boss, the truth is that sometimes weeks (OK, let's be honest with ourselves, sometimes months) go by without us finding the time to meal prep. 

That's where incredibly easy dinners dinners come in. We mean the kind where we can really slap some ingredients together and call it a dayWhen we say "20 minutes," we don't mean "20 minutes of prep, then six hours in the oven," or "20 minutes of prep, by which we really mean 45 minutes of prep unless we have the knife skills of a trained chef," we mean a legit, real 20 minutes from start to finish! A few of these recipes require some specialized equipment, like an Instant Pot, but honestly, a multi cooker is a smart investment in cheap, easy meals -- and many of these recipes just require regular equipment, like a skillet or a baking sheet.

  • 20-Minute Healthy Chicken Burritos

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    20 Minute-Healthy Chicken Burritos
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    Kids and parents alike are going to absolutely love it when it's time for these super simple 20-minute healthy chicken burritos. Change spiciness levels according to preferences in the household, and add a side of guac for good measure.

  • Easy Shrimp Scampi

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    Easy Shrimp Scampi Recipe
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    Talk about a total crowd-pleaser. This easy shrimp scampi recipe is garlicky, fresh-tasting, and delicious. We love it on its own as a complete meal, but it also works well with a quick Caesar salad.

  • 20-Minute Cashew Chicken Zoodles

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    20 Minute Cashew Chicken Zoodles
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    If it's hard to get the kids to eat their veggies, try these 20-minute cashew chicken zoodles. The delicious zoodles are covered in familiar flavors kids love (and they're healthier than traditional noodles, too).

  • Super Simple Tuna Fish Salad  

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    Super Simple Tuna Fish Salad
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    When it starts to warm up, this super simple tuna fish salad is the best no-cook solution for a fast, healthy dinner. Serve with bread (which can be turned into garlic bread if there's time). 

  • 15-Minute Miso Glazed Salmon

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    15-Minute Miso Glazed Salmon
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    This 15-minute miso glazed salmon is so healthy and yummy, and it's perfect served on top of a bed of rice (from the Instant Pot or not). Add some vegetables to the mix with fresh baby lettuce or poached asparagus.

  • 20-Minute Barbecue Chicken Quinoa Bowl

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    20 Minute BBQ Chicken Quinoa Bowl
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    Who doesn't love chicken barbecue night? With this 20-minute barbecue chicken quinoa bowl, it's not only super accessible and easy, it's also a lighter option that we feel good about having in the regular rotation.

  • Taco Lettuce Wraps

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    Taco Lettuce Wraps
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    All the flavor of tacos, all the goodness of a salad (plus a big boost of protein). These taco lettuce wraps are the best of all worlds. And if carbs are a must for some folks, they're great with cumin-scented rice or a big handful of tortilla chips.

  • 20-Minute Skillet Shepherd's Pie

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    20-Minute Skillet Shepherd's Pie
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    It's real: 20-minute skillet shepherd's pie is just as good as the kind that takes forever to cook in the oven, and it's so easy to make. We just love skillet meals -- they're so simple and when we cook in cast iron, all the edges get so crispy.

  • Grilled Pork Chops With Apricot-Mustard Glaze

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    Grilled Pork Chops with Apricot-Mustard Glaze
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    These grilled pork chops with apricot-mustard glaze are a gorgeous weeknight meal (although it's elegant enough to serve at a dinner party, to be honest), and perfect with some spring vegetable hash.

  • 15-Minute Pad Thai

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    15 Minute Pad Thai
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    How much do we love this 15-minute pad thai! It's simple, fresh, and easy, and it's way cheaper than takeout ... what could be better? Serve with a papaya or mango salad for a delicious meal.

  • Healthier 20-Minute Sesame Chicken Stir-Fry

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    Healthier 20 Minute Sesame Chicken Stir Fry
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    This healthier 20-minute sesame chicken stir-fry comes together in a snap, it's full of fresh vegetables, and it reheats perfectly the next day -- although it's also great cold. We're putting it in the heavy rotation.

  • Tuna Burgers With Sesame Mayo

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    Tuna Burgers with Sesame Mayo
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    Look, we'll be honest: these tuna burgers with sesame mayo are not going to reheat well. But the truth is, they don't need to -- everyone in the family is going to gobble these up about five minutes after they hit the table.

  • Cauliflower Fried Rice

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    Cauliflower Fried Rice
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    Cauliflower "fried rice" is such an incredibly versatile, low-carb, filling dish. It's also a great opportunity to clear out the fridge -- throw in some leftover shredded roast chicken, stir-fried shrimp, and whatever veggies look like they're about to turn.

  • Hawaiian Pita Pizzas

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    Hawaiian Pita Pizzas
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    How totally great are pita pizzas? They're fast, they're fun, they're relatively healthy, they're total crowd-pleasers. Kids adore these yummy, easy Hawaiian pita pizzas.

  • Oven-Broiled Steak

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    Oven-Broiled Steak
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    Oven-broiled steak is ready in just 10 minutes -- which is also exactly enough time to saute some green beans or poach a few handfuls of asparagus. Serve with a big hunk of baguette for an elegant dinner ready in less time than it takes to place a takeout order.

  • One Pan, No Bake 20-Minute Lasagna

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    One Pan, No Bake 20 Minute Lasagna
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    This one pan, no bake 20-minute lasagna is a total fan favorite, and we can absolutely see why -- a lasagna that's homemade, delish, and doesn't take hours to make and bake? Yes, please!

  • 20-Minute Chickpea Curry

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    20 Minute Chickpea Curry
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    We love Indian cuisine, but most dishes take a lot of time to make. But there's a way to make a really gorgeous Indian-inspired meal when we're short on time. Try this 20-minute chickpea curry for a tasty weeknight option.

  • Linguine With Clams

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    Linguine with Clams
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    Linguine with clams is a classic Italian dish that's perfect for a busy weeknight or an at-home date night. It's delicious, fast, and is absolutely perfect with some garlic bread and a side salad.

  • Steak Salad With A1 Vinaigrette

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    Steak Salad with A1 Vinaigrette
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    We love how quick a steak salad is on a weeknight, and this steak salad with A1 vinaigrette is no exception. The flavor of A1 is the best, so this gives us that nice boost of flavor -- plus some healthy greens!

  • Couscous 'Paella' With Chicken & Sausage

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    Couscous Paella With Chicken and Sausage
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    We love this play on a traditional Spanish paella: couscous "paella" with chicken and sausage. It's so flavorful and well-spiced, but it takes only a fraction of the time as its more classic older sister.

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