18 Quick Sunday Night Dinner Recipes
Sunday evenings are more than a time of day and a day of the week. Sunday evenings are a feeling; lots of feelings, usually. And when it comes to soothing our feelings, there's nothing quite as effective as a comforting dinner, like the Vegetarian Gumbo shown here. Once upon a time, Sunday dinners might have been cooked by mothers, grandmothers, or fathers who stayed home to cook while the rest of the family was out playing; this is not so true any more. Having a comforting Sunday dinner doesn't mean having to cook all day, though. Many of us find our own way of getting the dinner on the table so that we can spend less time cooking and more time gathering and regrouping before the week begins, and that's true even if it means cutting a few corners. There are no processed foods in these nutritious meals though, unless a can of beans or a bottle of Chinese black bean-garlic sauce count. That's because fresh ingredients are just as quick to cook when you know what to do with them.
When it comes to wrapping up the weekend with a good meal while saving some energy and time for the week to come, a little bit of forgiveness is a good idea. In that spirit, keep some easy recipes in your back pocket. These are the dinners you'll want to make when you're having a busy weekend but there are needs to be met. Whether they're less time consuming versions of Italian-American classics, simplified versions of your favorite takeout meals, or they use one pot instead of two, these are sure to become regular Sunday night favorites.
Pasta and spinach can be cooked together, and fish and vegetables easily baked in a parchment packet, and, of course, sausage and beans practically cook themselves. Add these recipes to the Sunday night repertoire; hanging onto what we've gained during a relaxing weekend, while preparing for the workweek ahead can be a hard balance to strike. If we give ourselves a meal that eases our minds while filling our bellies, we know that when Monday morning comes around, we'll be off to a good start.
Meatballs are the comfort food of choice for many of us. Mixing healthy grains and grated zucchini into these meatballs adds not just bulk and flavor, but also makes them a healthy option. Factor in the time to cook your grains or keep some pre-cooked in your freezer.
Creamy Lemon Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes
For those nights when you could use a rich, satisfying meal but you don't have a lot of time to give, there's this comforting dinner. You can make in about half an hour, and it all cooks in one skillet.
Add cooked barley, grated carrots, and ginger to a burger for their flavors and textures as well as their health benefits. It doesn't hurt that it makes these burgers an economical dinner, too.
Shrimp Chow Mein
Having a few specialty ingredients and condiments on hand can really help when it comes to pulling together a quick dinner—on Sunday or other nights. The Asian pantry staples needed for this meal can all be found in supermarket aisles, and keeping a bag of shrimp in your freezer is always a good idea.
One-Pot Penne with Spinach, Ricotta, and Pine Nuts
Stirred into cooked pasta and vegetables at the last minute, ricotta makes a simple, creamy sauce. Adding half a cup or so of the pasta-cooking water to the pot will help melt the ricotta and coat all the ingredients. Don't forget to reserve some water before you drain the pasta.
Lemon-Parsley Fish Cakes
Make this recipe for Sunday supper, but also consider making an extra batch of the fish cakes and storing them in the freezer for the next time you need a quick dinner solution. You could also make a different cod recipe for dinner one night, double the recipe, and save leftover cooked fish to turn into these fish cakes the next.
Baking chicken pieces instead of frying them saves time and clean-up; the chicken goes straight from a buttermilk dip to seasoned, crunchy coating before being popped into the oven.
Quick Pork Goulash
This version of goulash may be quicker to make than the traditional stew, but it doesn't sacrifice the sweet and warming flavors of peppers, carrots, and paprika.
Black Beans and Sausage
Cook this quick, simple dinner in one skillet and serve it over rice or with flatbread. You can adapt it using a favorite sausage instead of kielbasa or swapping sour cream or grated cheese in for the yogurt.
A creamy pot of chowder is a wonderful excuse to gather around the table. Serve with buttered, toasted rolls or a baguette, make a green salad, and a delicious dinner is done.
Turkey and White-Bean Chili
This white chili is seasoned with cumin, jalapeño, cilantro, and just a hint of tomato. Seek out dark-meat turkey instead of white for added richness.
Flounder in Parchment with Asparagus and Shiitakes
Not only does it result in a quick, restaurant quality dinner, but this recipe also teaches an essential technique. Once you get the hang of folding parchment into an airtight packet, you'll see that this way of cooking has many advantages; it's healthy, minimizes cleanup, and concentrates flavors.
Healthier Chicken Parmigiana
Here's a lighter, quicker version of the classic Chicken Parm. There's no frying, and a simple tomato-onion purée simmers in the oven with the chicken as it cooks.
Oh so versatile, a burrito can be what you want it to be; breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This one's got the meat and the potatoes; we call it a meal in one.
Beef and Broccoli with Black-Bean Garlic Sauce
General Tso's Chicken
The key to success with stir-frying is the concept of mise-en-place, the French term for having your ingredients ready to go. Once the ingredients are all lined up at the stove, give your full concentration to the wok and you'll turn out this delicious Chinese restaurant dish easily and in no time at all.
Turkey-Pesto Meatball Soup
Dark meat turkey and pesto give lots of flavor to this bowl of comfort. Whether you've made your own pesto and chicken broth and stored them in the freezer or they're store-bought, this is what we like to think of as convenience food.