Weeknight Wonders: Quick and Easy Meals for Busy Days

After a long day of juggling work and errands, fast food, takeout, or a frozen meal might seem like your only options against the clock and a grumbling stomach. But do you want to sacrifice your health and budget for an unfulfilling, overpriced meal? And that, too, every other day? No way.

Introducing weeknight wonders – delicious, nutritious meals that can be whipped up in no time, require minimal ingredients, and make for a budget-friendly yet satisfying dinner option. Whether you’re a busy working professional, a parent with little ones to care for, or someone who doesn’t want to spend hours in the kitchen after a tiring day, these quick and easy meals will become your go-to recipes.

This traditional Italian recipe is stewed in a flavorful tomato sauce (sugo al pomodoro) and has a perfect blend of herbs and spices. It only requires a handful of ingredients and can be ready within an hour.

You need:

  • Lean ground beef
  • Stale bread
  • Milk
  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Egg
  • Fresh minced parsley
  • Optional: Fresh minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Extra parmigiano for serving
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh basil leaves

First, make Sugo. Brown onions in olive oil for about 7 minutes, then add canned tomatoes and simmer for 10-15 minutes with the lid covered.

Next, soak bread in milk for 2 minutes, and combine it with egg, ground meat, parsley, Parmigiano, salt, pepper (and garlic if desired) to prepare Polpette. Shape the mixture into one ½-inch meatball, coat them in breadcrumbs, and cook in the tomato sauce for 20 minutes. Follow this polpette (Italian meatballs) recipe for step-by-step instructions, tips for soft and tender meatballs, and different ways to serve them.

  • Korean Prawn Pan-Fried Noodles

Seafood lovers, this is the one meal you can’t afford to miss. It’s quick, flavorsome, and a winner for weeknight dinners. 

You need:

  • Noodles
  • Sesame oil
  • Garlic cloves
  • Spring onions
  • Prawns
  • Snow peas (optional)
  • Carrot (optional)
  • Soy sauce
  • Oyster sauce
  • Chicken stock or broth

In a large pan, heat sesame oil and add garlic, spring onions, and prawns. Cook for 2 minutes until the prawns turn pink. Add noodles (cooked according to package instructions), soy sauce, oyster sauce, and chicken stock or broth. Toss everything together and cook for another 3-5 minutes until the noodles are heated and coated in the sauce. You can add snow peas and carrots for extra crunch and color. Garnish with chopped spring onions before serving hot.

  • Thai Satay Chicken Wraps

Whether it’s Monday or Friday, this recipe is perfect for a quick and delicious lunch or dinner. 

You need:

  • Chicken breast
  • Red bell pepper
  • Onion
  • Cucumber
  • Tortilla wraps

For the marinade:

  • Coconut milk 
  • Red curry paste
  • Peanut butter
  • Soy sauce
  • Lime juice

Mix the marinade with coconut milk, red curry paste, peanut butter, soy sauce, and lime juice in a bowl. Add chicken breast (cut into strips) to the marinade and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. In a separate pan, sauté sliced red bell peppers and onions until slightly softened. Grill the marinated chicken on a grill pan or BBQ until cooked through. Assemble your wraps by layering the chicken, sautéed vegetables, and cucumber in a tortilla wrap. Roll it up tight and enjoy.

  • BBQ Chicken Sliders

Are you craving some restaurant-style sliders at home? Prep these easy and delicious chicken sliders and enjoy the goodness of a classic BBQ meal.

You need:

  • Ground chicken
  • BBQ sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Slider buns

Mix ground chicken, BBQ sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and onion powder in a bowl. Make small patties and grill on a pan or BBQ until cooked. Toast slider buns on the grill as well for added texture. Assemble your sliders by placing the chicken patty between two buns and top with additional BBQ sauce as desired. Serve with a side of coleslaw or potato chips for a complete meal. Add some avocado slices or crispy bacon to enhance the flavor profile. 

  • Hamburger Stew

You may think of hamburgers as fast food, but with this recipe, you can transform them into a hearty and comforting stew. 

You need:

  • Ground beef
  • Onion
  • Carrot
  • Potato
  • Tomato sauce
  • Beef broth

In a pot, brown ground beef with diced onion until fully cooked. Add diced carrot, potato, tomato sauce, and beef broth. Let the stew simmer for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Serve hot with crusty bread on the side for dipping, and enjoy a new twist on a classic burger dish. You can also add other veggies, such as corn or green beans, to amp up the nutritional value of this meal.  

  • Beef and Rice Enchiladas

You’d love the flavor combination of tender beef, rice, and gooey cheese wrapped in a tortilla and smothered in delicious enchilada sauce. 

You need:

  • Ground beef
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Tomato sauce
  • Enchilada sauce
  • Rice
  • Tortillas 
  • Cheese

In a pan, cook ground beef with diced onion and minced garlic. Add tomato sauce and enchilada sauce, along with cooked rice. Let the mixture simmer for a few minutes until all the flavors are combined. Warm tortillas on a skillet and spoon the beef and rice filling into each before rolling them up. Place the rolled tortillas in a baking dish, add enchilada sauce, and top with grated cheese. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. 


You spend the whole day running around and getting things done, so why not treat yourself to a delicious and easy dinner? These mouth-watering recipes are just a few options you can whip up using common ingredients in no time. So, prepare the Polpette to enjoy an authentic Italian dish full of flavor, or try the Beef and Rice Enchiladas for a flavorful twist on a Mexican favorite. Korean prawn pan-fried noodles and Thai satay chicken wraps are also great options for a quick and tasty meal. If you crave fast food, make BBQ chicken sliders and indulge in a healthier version of a classic burger. Lastly, hamburger stew is another flavorsome meal for busy weeknights.

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