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The 10 Best Quick Recipes for Fuss-free Mid-week Dinners

The 10 Best Quick Recipes for Fuss-free Mid-week Dinners

Our favorites for serving up top-notch after-work dinners in no time at all

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Carolin Roitzheim

Carolin Roitzheim

Food Editor at Kitchen Stories

Kitchen Stories turns 10! To celebrate our birthday, we're launching a series of articles to bring you our Kitchen Stories Top 10: the most popular recipes, the best cooking tips, the quickest dinners for after work, the team's personal favorites, and the most controversial recipes. Are you ready for the best of the best? Let's go!

At the end of a hectic day, it can be a struggle to put in the time in the kitchen afterwards. And the cruelty is, often it’s a hot home-cooked meal we crave the most!

So here are our top 10 recipes for the end of a long day, which can be cooked with little time (under 30 minutes!) and effort. Read on and treat yourself to a delicious, comforting meal on the days you need it most. 

By the way… in our new Kitchen Stories cookbook Everyday Cooking, we’ve dedicated an entire chapter to the topic of express cooking. You'll find some of these recipe favorites and many more delicacies there starting October 2.
Pre-order now in our shop (available in German language only, shipping to Germany, Austria and Switzerland).

The 10 best recipes, for maximum enjoyment with little effort

Here are our 10 best after-work recipes for a delicious, quick and easy dinner, guaranteed to have you sitting down to eat in no time. 

1.

Quick, creamy tortellini alla panna

Quick, creamy tortellini alla panna

Having a pack of ready-made filled pasta in your cupboard is always a safe bet. Paired with this classic ham and cream sauce, it becomes an ultra quick after-work dinner! The sauce, made incredibly creamy by the egg yolk, is guaranteed to make this meal the highlight of your day. 

2.

vegetarian
Buttery kimchi fried rice

Buttery kimchi fried rice

Got some rice leftover from the day before? This recipe transforms it into an exciting new dish in no time: Using pantry ingredients like kimchi, gochujang paste, soy sauce and toasted sesame oil, together with butter and served with a fried egg, it becomes a spicy, umami-rich dream. All the more reason to always cook a little too much rice!

3.

vegetarian
Tomato and egg noodle soup

Tomato and egg noodle soup

This quick, rich noodle soup, inspired by the popular (especially in China) combo of tomato and egg, is the perfect comfort after a stressful day. Simple ingredients that you almost always have at home, and a wonderfully variable recipe (you might like to add extra vegetables, or substitute in rice or noodles of your choice) make it a reliable, rescue dinner (or lunch!).

4.

vegetarian
Devan makes fatteh (Crispy flatbread with chickpeas and yogurt)

Devan makes fatteh (Crispy flatbread with chickpeas and yogurt)

Although fatteh is actually a Levantine breakfast dish, it also makes a fabulous dinner. Quick and easy to prepare, it’s a winner with an abundance of different textures: crispy fried pita bread, creamy yogurt, and - in this version - buttery roasted cashews.

5.

Yaki udon (Japanese stir-fried udon noodles with chicken and vegetables)

Yaki udon (Japanese stir-fried udon noodles with chicken and vegetables)

Stir-fried udon noodles are a quick and easy Japanese-inspired dinner to remember! Not only is it delicious, it’s great for clearing out odds and ends in your fridge. Add veggies and protein to the noodles to suit your taste depending on what's at home. Versatile, adaptable, and always a hit!

6.

One-pot creamy Cajun chicken pasta

One-pot creamy Cajun chicken pasta

Pasta is a go-to for quick dinners. This easy, creamy one-pot pasta proves that it doesn't always have to be pasta with ready-made pesto. It’s spiced up with mildly hot Cajun spice from Louisiana. As a general express dinner tip, spice blends are a great trick to give your dishes more flavor in seconds and without much effort.

7.

Classic chicken piccata

Classic chicken piccata

Feeling "lazy" but still craving a meal that feels a little "fancy"? Treat yourself to a piccata. A simple and delicious Italian meat dish served in an intense, acidic and creamy caper sauce. The trick to a short preparation time: Use minute steaks or extra thinly sliced meat.

8.

Burst cherry tomato and miso pasta with sesame crunch

Burst cherry tomato and miso pasta with sesame crunch

Who would have thought this incredibly tasty looking pasta could be made in just 25 minutes? Miso and anchovies take this bursting tomato sauce to a new level. The crunchy sesame panko topping only adds a modest 2 minutes to the preparation time – so don't pass it up.

9.

vegetarian
Easy one-pot halloumi curry

Easy one-pot halloumi curry

Rich and creamy meets crunchy and salty. Inspired by Indian paneer masala, fried halloumi cubes are added to the vegetable curry here instead of paneer cheese. This dish makes great use of frozen peas and canned tomatoes – two handy ingredients that you should always have at home for quick dinners.

10.

Classic spaghetti carbonara

Classic spaghetti carbonara

An absolute classic that no Italian restaurant should be without. But did you know that you only need 20 minutes and just 4 or 5 ingredients to make creamy, flavorful spaghetti carbonara? That's right! With this pasta, you can bring the restaurant feeling and dolce vita home in no time at all. 

We hope our top 10 recipe favorites for quick dinners have you feeling well prepared and motivated to treat yourself to a home-cooked dinner even after intense days! You see, your well-deserved evening treat is less than 30 minutes away.

Which of our top 10 recipes are already part of your after-work dinner routine? And what's your absolute go-to recipe for quick dinner? Drop us a line in the comments!

Published on September 26, 2023

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