November 8, 2019

Five Easy Weeknight Dinners Everyone Will Love

Five Easy Weeknight Dinners Everyone Will Love

Between work, school, and everything in between, cooking dinner every night can seem like a daunting task. Luckily, the Food Network has got your back! Here are 5 super easy weeknight dinners for those nights where you don’t have the time to cook a big meal:

Tex-Mex Pulled Chicken


  • 2 medium quartered tomatoes
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, halved and seeded
  • 1 medium white onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 red bell pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, halved and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 pound thin chicken cutlets
  • 12 flour tortillas
  • 2 limes (1 juiced and 1 cut into 8 wedges – for serving)
  • 8 ounces salsa
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 8 ounces crumbled cotija cheese
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for serving


Preheat the broiler on high and position an oven rack 5 to 6 inches below the broiler element.

Add tomatoes, jalapenos, onion, and bell peppers to a baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil and then add the oregano, chili powder, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss everything together to get it coated with the oil and spices. Push mixture to one side of the baking sheet. Lay the chicken flat on the other side and season with salt and pepper.

Place in broiler for 5 minutes. Flip the chicken and vegetables and return to the broiler until the chicken is cooked through and vegetables are softened and charred, approximately 5 more minutes.

Wrap the tortillas in paper towels and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Remove tortillas from microwave, unwrap, and put on a platter.

Shred the chicken, then spoon the roasted vegetables into a blender with any juices from the baking sheet and blend until smooth. Toss 1 cup of the sauce with the chicken. Squeeze the juice of the lime over it, and put the remaining sauce in a bowl to serve on the side.

Serve with the warm tortillas, salsa, sour cream, crumbled cotija cheese, lime wedges, and cilantro. Tomato soup is so versatile, it can be enjoyed several ways for an easy weeknight dinner.

Grilled Cheese with Apple and Bacon, Easy Weeknight Dinner


Roasted Tomato Soup:

  • 2 1/2 pounds assorted tomatoes (heirloom, vine, and plum)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, for garnish (optional)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 small onions, sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1-quart chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Grilled Cheese:

  • Country white bread
  • Dijon mustard
  • Cheddar cheese (sliced)
  • Granny Smith Apple (sliced thin)
  • Butter
  • Cooked bacon


Grilled Cheese:

Spread the dijon mustard on 4 slices country white bread. Top with sliced cheddar cheese, cooked bacon and sliced Granny Smith apple, then top each sandwich with another slice of bread. Butter the outsides of the sandwiches, then cook in a skillet over medium-low heat until the cheese melts and the bread is golden, about 3 minutes per side.

Serve with Roasted Tomato Soup.

Roasted Tomato Soup:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Core and halve the tomatoes (leave the cherry tomatoes whole). Heat a flameproof roasting pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle pan with 1/2 cup olive oil, then spread all of the tomatoes, garlic, and onions in the pan.

Stirring gently, cook until the garlic is browned, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until the tomatoes are caramelized, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove the roasted tomatoes, garlic and onions from the oven and transfer to a large stockpot (set the cherry tomatoes aside for garnish). Add 3 cups of chicken stock, bay leaves, and butter. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the liquid is reduced by one-third, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove bay leaves.

Add the basil to the pot. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth (or puree in a regular blender and return to the pot). Reduce the heat to low, add the heavy cream and adjust the consistency with the remaining 1 cup chicken stock, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls and top with the roasted cherry tomatoes; drizzle with olive oil.

Serve with Grilled Cheese with Apple and Bacon.

Steakhouse Pasta for a Weeknight Dinner


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds pappardelle
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 12 ounces skirt steak
  • Heaped 1/2 cup grated fontina
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1/3 cup half-and-half, if needed, for thinning
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish


Brush the grill with vegetable oil and preheat to medium-high.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the olive oil is hot, add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Turn the heat off, then add brandy. Turn the heat back on and cook until the brandy is reduced by half (approx 1 minute). Add diced tomatoes, sugar, crushed red pepper, and a pinch of salt and black pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt, 1/4 teaspoon each black pepper and lemon pepper and a pinch of kosher salt over one side of the steak.

Put the steak on the hot grill, seasoned side down, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt, 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and a pinch salt on the top of the steak and then flip it. Cook it for a further 3 to 4 minutes until desired rarity. Remove and rest while the sauce is finished.

Reduce heat to low under the sauce. Stir in the fontina and 1 tablespoon of the blue cheese. Stir in cream and horseradish, then add in a little half-and-half if the sauce is too thick. Cook for a minute or two, tasting and adding more seasonings as needed.

Then, cut the steak into 1/2-inch strips.

At the last minute, add the spinach to the sauce and toss to coat. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Mix everything together.

Place the steak on top of the pasta. Garnish the dish with basil and the remaining 2 tablespoons blue cheese crumbles. Serve straight from the skillet.

Korean Grilled Beef


  • 1 pound boneless beef tenderloin
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced on diagonal
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 pounds snow peas


Wrap beef in plastic wrap and freeze until firm (not rock hard). Once firm, slice beef thinly, then place in baking dish. In a small skillet, toast sesame seeds. To create the marinade, in small bowl combine scallions, garlic, vinegar, water, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and pepper. Stir well. Pour marinade over beef. Let sit for 30 minutes

In separate skillet heat oil. Add ginger and garlic and cook until the aroma is released, then add carrots and 1/4 cup water. Simmer until carrots are tender, approximately 2 minutes. Add snow peas and simmer until tender (around 2 minutes).

Remove beef from baking dish and grill until brown around edges, about 30 seconds per side. Add vegetables to beef. Stir and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with boiled white rice to enjoy for one of your easy weeknight dinners.

Slow-Cooker Meatloaf, Weeknight Dinner


  • 2 1/4 pounds ground meatloaf mix (a combination of beef, pork, and veal)
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme (chopped)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 12 ounces small fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 3 carrots, sliced 1 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar


Combine the meatloaf mix, panko, eggs, 3/4 cup ketchup, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, the scallions, parsley, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl; mix with your hands until just combined. Form into a 5-by-9-inch loaf.

Transfer the meatloaf to a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the potatoes and carrots over and around the meatloaf, then pour in the chicken broth. Cover the slow cooker and cook 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.

When the meatloaf is done, skim off any excess fat from the juices in the slow cooker. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup ketchup, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce and the brown sugar in a small bowl, then whisk in 1/4 cup juices from the slow cooker. Brush the top of the meatloaf with the ketchup mixture. Cover the slow cooker and let the meatloaf rest, 10 minutes.

Remove the meatloaf from the slow cooker and slice in half. Serve with vegetables; top with more parsley.

For more delicious recipes, click here.

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