The last thing you want to do after a long day at the office is cook a meal. We get it. But cooking doesn’t have to mean carving out hours every evening and doing your best Thomas Keller impression. A simple recipe is your friend, but too often that means a subpar meal. Not here. These are some insanely good dishes that take less than 15 minutes to make.
Asian Rice Salad
This one isn’t just quick and easy, it’s also light, full of flavor, and will give you enough energy to burn through the rest of you day. Extra virgin olive oil with some wine vinegar, a couple tablespoons of soy sauce, and a little sesame oil, mixed together with some pre-cooked brown rice, edamame, shiitake mushrooms, a little chicken breast, some ginger, and a couple other less complex ingredients make for an incredibly complex array of flavors that meld perfectly together without being overbearing. Recipe
Stir-Fried Steak Tacos
Solid steak tacos in under 15 minutes sounds like a tall order, but when it’s stir-fried and the skirt steak is sliced and cooked quickly on high heat, it makes a lot more sense. Skirt steak is the go-to for stir-fry, but the problem is that when it’s handled and cooked improperly, it can be tough as shoe leather. Sear the steak quickly on both sides, and when cutting it, make sure to cut against the grain.
This recipe works because it’s simple. A little dried oregano, some chili powder, a pinch of sugar for balance, red onion, and, of course, that delicious perfectly cooked and cut skirt steak… Boom! Quick, easy, and tasty steak tacos. Recipe
We know what you’re thinking: Meatloaf? Seriously?
Absolutely! These open-faced meatloaf melts are made old-school with egg, bread crumbs, kosher salt and ground pepper, and then broiled like hamburger patties and prepared open face with bacon, provolone, and a little bit of lettuce in order to make a meal (for up to four people!) that is as delicious as it is easy. If you’re not looking to sacrifice taste for speed, these are perfect. Recipe
Taco Dinner Skillet
Why make taco night difficult on yourself and your daily caloric intake? Outside of the one pound of grass fed beef (or ground turkey, if you want to keep things really clean), this taco skillet is packed with healthy ingredients that really pair well together. A dash of cumin with some garlic, fire-roasted green chilies, pinto and black beans, corn kernels, grape tomatoes, avocado, and green onion—all the stuff you need to put together an incredible meal. The best thing is that, all said and done, this meal—from kitchen to table—takes no longer than 15 minutes, can feed four to six people, and can be had with the traditional hard shells or flour tortillas, or can be scooped straight into a bowl and enjoyed without all those extra carbs. Recipe
Donuts From Scratch
Not everybody who stumbles across this article is going to be a health nut, and we hear ya. These 15-minute donuts from scratch are decedent, delicious, and incredibly simple to make. Believe it or not, outside of gathering some milk, flour, baking powder, sugar, melted butter, and some oil for frying, this recipe requires hardly any prep. In fact, you’ll spend more time heating your oil than you will throwing everything together. If you think that stuff from Dunkin’ Donuts is good, wait until you have some straight from your kitchen. These’ll blow your mind. Recipe
Garlic, Oil, and Anchovy Sauce Pasta
Probably the most simple meal on our list, this 15-minute garlic, oil, and anchovy pasta sauce over noodles isn’t labor intensive, requires only a few key ingredients (garlic, anchovy filets, olive oil, parsley, fresh Parmesan, and some optional pepper flakes for some heat), but hits the spot every single time. We love the addition of panko break crumbs for added texture—definitely something we would have never thought of. Recipe
Creamy Tomato Soup
Ask any seasoned chef why they love preparing soups and they’ll all tell you the same thing: Soups are meals that take more time than effort but offer a big payout if you’re patient. That said, it might seem weird that we decided to include a soup on a roundup of quick-and-easy meals, but this one is incredibly simple to make. Whole peeled tomatoes packed in their own juice, some dried oregano, a small finely sliced onion, and some optional red pepper flakes—tomato soup the way it was meant to be slurped. Recipe
This one is so good that even when we aren’t pressed for time, you’ll still find us throwing a pot together. Outside of your choice of vegetables or protein (shrimp or chicken will cook the fastest), there are only three ingredients: Soy sauce (the recipe calls for a light and dark sauce, and we agree), a little sesame oil to bring the noodles together, and a pinch of sugar to balance out some of the salty bitterness of the soy sauce. That’s seriously it. Toss your veggies/protein in a big saucepan, cook it all together and let it get “friendly.” Throw in the noodles, the soy sauce, and mix it all around.Couldn’t be more simple! Recipe