In Minutes: 15-Minute Meals

I have really good intentions at the beginning of the week. I order our groceries through Kroger ClickList (try it if you haven’t already. It’s awesome) with meal ideas in mind. Then somewhere around Wednesday night, I realize I didn’t actually allow myself enough time to prep AND cook the meal I had planned before running out to church, and my meal plan for the week falls through the tube. Oh, yeah. And then there are the weeks when I’m just flat lazy and don’t want to spend time cooking or thinking about what to cook, and we end up either snacking on random things or getting takeout. If you’re anything like me in that respect, today’s time saver is for you!

Yesterday, Amanda inspired us to get healthy and work out, even if it’s just for 4 minutes (if you missed that post, click here), and today, to keep the healthy train going, I’m sharing my top five 15-minute meal ideas. The recipes are pulled from some of our favorite recipe sites, so be sure to check them out! Now these are not prep for 3 hours then cook for 15 minutes meals. These are it-takes-you-15-maybe-20-minutes-tops-from-start-to-finish recipes. Easy, healthy, family-friendly and a huge time saver!

15-minute-meals

Chicken & Asparagus Stirfry

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This stir fry from Gimme Some Oven is the perfect easy and delicious meal! It’s healthy, and a winner in our house. We usually serve it with rice, but that’s optional, of course.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 1-inch)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • (optional) 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

 

DIRECTIONS:

In a small bowl or in a ziplock bag, combine soy sauce and honey. Add chicken, and stir to coat. Set in the refrigerator until ready.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus, and saute until cooked, about 5 minutes. Remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

Remove chicken from marinade, and add to skillet. Saute until nearly cooked through (with the insides still slightly pink), about 5 minutes. Then add garlic, scallions, and the reserved marinade to the pan. Saute for an additional 2 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the garlic is fragrant. Remove from heat and stir in sesame oil. Serve immediately with rice, garnished with toasted sesame seeds if desired.

Chicken & Avocado Ranch Burrito

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Need something that could double as lunch or dinner? Here you go! This quick and easy recipe is the perfect blend of sandwich and burrito. To make it healthier, make your own Paleo ranch dressing or use a lettuce wrap instead of a tortilla!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks*
  • 1 (1.25-ounce) package taco seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 burrito-size flour tortillas, 10 inches each
  • 2 avocados, halved, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup Ranch dressing
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season chicken thighs with taco seasoning. Add chicken to the skillet and cook until golden, about 3-4 minutes; set aside.
  2. Heat tortillas according to package instructions.
  3. Working one at a time, place chicken, avocado, cheese, sour cream, Ranch and cilantro in the center of each tortilla. Bring the bottom edge of the tortilla tightly over the filling, folding in the sides. Continue rolling until the top of the tortilla is reached. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  4. Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Add burritos and cook, pressing gently with a spatula, about 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and the cheese has melted.
  5. Serve immediately.

 

Strawberry Basil Chicken

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I love strawberry salad, so this makes a perfect dinner choice! It’s lighter, but can be paired with rice or lettuce depending on how hungry you are. It’s chock full of fresh herbs, healthy lean mean and fruit! Better enjoy it now, though! Those strawberries won’t be in season much longer. PS: This recipe is Paleo friendly!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 large chicken breasts
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Begin by heating a large skillet to medium heat. Add olive oil and garlic, cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
  2. Prepare your chicken breasts: you may need to pound the breast to make them a bit thinner, mine were approximately 1 inch. Salt and pepper each side, add to pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes per side (until golden brown, but cooked through). Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Toss together strawberries, basil, balsamic and 1 tbsp olive oil. Top each chicken breast with strawberry mixture, and salt and pepper to taste. Add additional balsamic glaze or balsamic if needed. Serve immediately.

 

Black Bean & Corn Quesadillas

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Don’t have 15 minutes? This one only takes 10! It’s another that could double as an easy lunch meal or as dinner. Just add some guacamole (our favorite recipe is here), sour cream and the side of your choice, and you’re set!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 (15 oz) can Black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup Corn
  • 1/3 cup Salsa
  • 2 tspTaco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup Fresh cilantro, chopped (or green onions)
  • 1 cup Shredded cheese of choice 
  • Low carb/high fiber wraps

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together beans, corn, salsa, taco seasoning and cilantro.
  2. Preheat a large skillet over medium low heat, sprayed with cooking spray. Place one tortilla in the skillet, and scoop 1/2 cup of the filling onto the tortilla in the pan. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over the bean mixture, and place second tortilla on top of the cheese. Press down on top tortilla lightly with the back of your spatula, so you can meld the tortillas together as the cheese melts. When the bottom tortilla begins to brown, flip the quesadilla over until both tortillas are lightly browned and crispy and the cheesy filling has melted. Cut into wedges if desired and enjoy!

 

Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Lime Sauce

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One of my favorite things about traveling is the tacos, especially when you go to the beach. Shrimp tacos, fish tacos, beef tacos, chicken tacos, really weird seafood ones that you might not be willing to try… there are so many to choose from, and really, they’re not time consuming to make! The cilantro lime sauce really makes this meal (and **spoiler alert** it’s just sour cream, cilantro and lime)!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Spicy Shrimp:
  • 20 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • squeeze of lime (optional)

 

  • Avocado Salsa:
  • 1 tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, from half a lime
  • ¼ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 6 small flour tortillas (corn tortillas can also be used)
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. To cook the shrimp: In a medium bowl whisk together olive oil, garlic, cumin, chili and onion powders, and salt. Add in shrimp and toss to coat completely. Cover and refrigerate for for at least 10 minutes or up to 24 hours. Heat a large heavy-duty or cast iron skillet on high heat for 2 minutes. Add the olive oil and shrimp. Cook shrimp in a skillet on medium-high heat until pink and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and finish with a squeeze of lime (optional).
  2. To make salsa: Combine tomato, avocado, jalapeno, salt, pepper, lime juice, and cilantro in a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside. (If not using right away, place a piece of plastic wrap inside the bowl and directly over salsa to prevent discoloration and refrigerate.)
  3. To assemble: Stir sour-cream with cilantro and lime juice in a small bowl; set aside. Grill tortillas on stovetop over flame until lightly charred (this step is optional). Spoon avocado salsa generously over warm tortillas, then top with 3 shrimp and drizzle with sour cream sauce. Serve tacos with lime wedges on the side. Enjoy!!

These are just five of the 15-minute meals available to you! My advice? Head over to Pinterest. We’ve got some great 15-minute meals pinned, and be sure to search for some others to find your favorites! Once you figure out what you love and what’s easy to make, you’ll never have to slave over meals for hours in the kitchen again (or even ever think about having to do that… well, except for Thanksgiving, but… you know what I mean). Bon appetit!

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