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Sometimes it’s hard to tell just how tired you are after a long day of work, especially when your couch is doubling as your office. After spending the day answering emails, attending Zoom meetings, cleaning your overcrowded space, and sneaking in a home workout, it’s easy to resent cooking dinner. 

If you lack the energy or patience to prepare a meal between Monday and Friday, we don’t blame you. Use these eight weeknight dinner ideas to get filling food on the table in 30 minutes or less, whether you’re craving ramen carbonara or Korean beef and peppers. These recipes will help give you one last energy boost so you can actually enjoy your evening. 

Turmeric Vegetable Fried Rice

Food Heaven Made Easy’s take on traditional fried rice uses one magic ingredient: turmeric. Not only is it a great for your immune system, but it packs a flavorful punch sure to become a staple in your spice cabinet. Although rice takes a bit longer to make, if you use frozen veggies, everything else will come together in no time, leaving you with a satisfying meal with leftovers for tomorrow.

Ramen Carbonara 

Add this recipe from Half Baked Harvest to the list of meals you can depend on in a hurry. Ramen noodles, bacon, corn, garlic, eggs, and fresh herbs are combined to make a flavorful, colorful bowl in all of 20 minutes. In other words, you’ll likely eat this dish multiple times a week. 

Stuffed Chicken Breast

The thing about this bold recipe from The Modern Proper is that it looks much more difficult to accomplish than it is. After cutting a pocket into the side of chicken breasts, fill it with a mixture of pesto, garlic, cream cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach. Cook the chicken, and dinner is served in 30 minutes. 

Coconut Rice Noodle Soup

Courtesy of Food Heaven Made Easy

Sometimes a hearty soup is just what you need to turn a stressful day into a cozy evening. This coconut rice noodle soup is the perfect mix of sweet and savory. Once you combine onions, garlic, ginger, chili paste, and white beans, all you have to do is pop it in a food processor, add rice wine vinegar, and bring coconut milk and vegetable broth to a boil on the stove. Add the rice noodles and before you know it, you have yourself a restaurant-quality dinner.

Thin-Crust Arugula Pizza

It’s possible to make a restaurant-quality pizza from the comforts of your home (in all of 15 minutes) if you follow this recipe from Half Baked Harvest. A whole wheat tortilla is layered with fresh herbs, crushed tomatoes, artichoke hearts, shredded provolone, and pepperoni. It’s all cooked on the stovetop, broiled, and then served with hot honey. 

Steak and Potato Skewers

Get the grill fired up for this dish from How Sweet Eats, which features Yukon Gold potatoes, beef tenderloin, bell peppers, and onions that are set on skewers and cooked over an open flame. Serve them with a rosemary chimichurri to complement the rich flavors. 

Korean Beef and Peppers

If you’re craving another meat option, try this recipe from Half Baked Harvest, which is influenced by Korean flavors to make a colorful and textured bowl. Korean chili paste, honey, soy sauce, and garlic form a mixture for the steak and veggies to cook in, and everything is served on a bed of toasted sesame rice. Finish off the dish with fresh basil and green onions before taking a bite. 

Kale Caesar Salad 

Caesar salad can be a classic choice for dinner, and this recipe from The Modern Proper serves it up with a modern twist. Roughly chopped kale, six-minute eggs, bacon, and a vegan cheese mixture are tossed with the namesake dressing of anchovy paste, lemon juice, and garlic. Dress up the plate with more slices of lemon. 

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