4 Easy Dinners You Should Make This Week

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By Cooking Panda

The weekdays are upon us! Instead of being too tired at the end of the day to make dinner and going out every night, why not spend a few minutes making these totally doable dinners?

1. Thai Red Curry with Chicken and Mango

Make the most out of store-bought curry paste by using the tricks in this recipe. Plus, there’s a great hack to cut down the amount of fat in your coconut milk without sacrificing that gorgeously creamy texture.

2. The Best Steak Fajitas

Be the hero of Taco Tuesday with these super flavorful 30-minute steak fajitas.

3. Steak and Watermelon Salad

Watermelon prices are going down at the grocery store, so why not make the most of it by throwing a juicy melon into a deliciously salty salad? This recipe really doesn’t get much easier, especially if you have leftover steak from your fajitas.

4. Garlic Butter Baked Salmon in Foil

Throw some sauce on your salmon and wrap it in some foil. You can grill or roast it. It’s great with roasted asparagus, squash, or potatoes – if you want to keep things as easy as possible, throw some vegetables in the foil packet with your salmon.

Photo Credit: Steven Depolo/Flickr

Tags: dinner recipe, easy dinner, weeknight dinner
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5 Incredible Ways To Eat Pumpkin For Dinner (Recipes)

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By Cooking Panda

Pumpkin spice might be a polarizing flavor that most people either defend to the death or incessantly chirp to the heavens about how overrated it is. But do you know what’s a real crowd-pleaser that brings everyone together? Plain pumpkin.

Whether fresh or canned, the fall squash provides a rich, hearty deep flavor with a subtle hint of sweetness. Oh, and don’t forget the best part: The fiber-rich, nutrient-packed food is super healthy and incredibly easy to cook with.

Don’t have pumpkin on hand? You can totally switch it out for any similar type of squash, such as acorn or butternut. Let’s get cooking!

1. Pumpkin and Fried Sage Flatbread

If you’ve never had fried sage with pumpkin, you’re missing out on this powerhouse of a harmonious marriage. If you want, a light drizzle of balsamic vinegar will really bring out the flavors.

2. Curried Pumpkin Soup with Coconut

The fresh pumpkin that this recipe calls for is absolutely awesome, but if you’re looking for a lightning-fast meal, just swap out the fresh stuff for the canned variety and you can bypass the roasting, boiling and blending.

3. Kaddu Ki Sabzi (Indian Pumpkin Stew)

This thick stew is light and simple yet packed with spices for a main or side to keep you perfectly warm on a cool fall evening.

4. Pumpkin Chowder

This thick, chunky, spicy soup is fabulous if you’re looking for a healthy but satisfying way to fill up for dinner. The recipe does require a bit of chopping, so if you’re in a rush you can buy some pre-chopped butternut squash (cut up any big chunks) and save yourself a fair bit of time.

5. Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi

Gnocchi can be tricky to make from scratch, because starchy potatoes and glutinous flour can turn to goo if you knead the dough just a little too much, while the dumplings will disintegrate if you underdo it. But when you use pumpkin and ricotta instead of a white potato, you get a much more forgiving dough that stays light and fluffy with an added rich, savory taste, so you get a little more wiggle room.

Featured Image: Joy/Flickr

Tags: dinner recipe, fall recipe, pumpkin, pumpkin recipes, squash dinner recipe
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8 Mouthwatering Taco Recipes You Should Make Tonight

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By Cooking Panda

Taco Tuesday is upon us, and we’re here to keep your dinner easy and spectacular. From normal to wacky, here are some of our favorite taco recipes that we totally think you should try:

1. Barbacoa-Style Beef Tacos

Make the most tender, flavorful barbacoa-style beef in your slow cooker. Set it and forget it!

2. Dave’s Mocha Chicken Tacos

Make this coffee chicken in your slow cooker using any cut you want – just make sure to cook out your alcohol first. We recommend browning the chicken on the stove with a quick sear, putting it aside, and pouring the sherry (marsala wine or brandy would probably work just fine here too – if you use a drier alcohol, add a little more sugar later on) into your chicken pan.

Turn down the heat a little, and let the booze cook out for a couple minutes, until it doesn’t smell alcohol-y anymore. Then dump everything into the slow cooker and cook that sucker!

Shred it, toss it back in the sauce-filled slow cooker and let everything mingle for a few minutes, and you’ll have a super-awesome taco filling. Top with cilantro, onions, grilled chilies, cream – whatever floats your boat.

3. Dave’s Mexican Veggie Tacos

Is this the same Dave from the Mocha Chicken? We don’t know, and we’re full of questions! One thing’s for sure — people swear these are the best veggie tacos ever. You be the judge.

4. Chicken Mole Tacos

Mole always requires a lot of ingredients and a ton of work, but this slow cooker sauce really cuts down the amount of time you need to spend to get something super delicious and rich. Do your chopping, sauteeing and blending ahead of time (you can even make a double batch and freeze half), and the rest is just a matter of slow cooker magic.

5. Crispy Potato BLT Tacos #SP5

Have you ever tried stuffing your tacos with crispy potatoes and bacon? If not, you need to do this now! For a vegetarian twist, try these.

6. Peanut Butter Steak Tacos

Sounds crazy, but savory peanut butter, cilantro and sriracha make for a totally awesome steak sauce. Trust us.

7. Taco-Filled Pasta Shells

Like many of these other recipes, labeling this pasta dish as a taco is a major stretch. But honestly these shells are just super delicious and we want you to be happy, so we’ll call them tacos, because they deserve your attention.

8. Curried Turkey Tacos

Curry powder, black beans and salsa go perfectly with the ground turkey and give it a unique flavor kick, especially when you’re tired of the same old ground meat with taco seasoning.

Featured Photo Credit: Dessert For Two

Tags: dinner recipe, easy weeknight dinner, recipe list, taco recipe, Taco Tuesday
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7 Budget-Friendly Dinners: Eat Like Royalty On The Cheap

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By Cooking Panda

On a budget? No problem. Just about everyone can benefit from cutting back on the costs of food, so we are here to help!

Here are some incredibly delicious recipes that will feed the family (or yourself, four times) for less than $10.

1. Lightened Up Turkey Meatballs

Mushrooms are usually cheaper than ground meat, and they are savory, delicious and full of vitamins.  They really help make your ground meat go a long way — beef will work equally well here, but turkey is usually cheaper.

You can also use dried or powdered garlic and onions. Serve these atop some spaghetti or on a sandwich, and you have yourself a cheap dinner! If you want to go full mushroom and nix the meat (even cheaper), here’s how to do it.

2. Chicken Shawarma

This comes out to around $2 per serving, so you have a pretty affordable meal here. If you already have some of this stuff on hand – plain yogurt or spices for instance – then it will cost you even less.

3. Lemon Butter Cod

You can make this with pretty much any white fish, or even salmon – maybe you already have something sitting in the freezer? This would be great with whatever vegetables you have on hand – you can probably roast them with the fish – and rice or any other grain you already have. Maybe some rice pilaf?

4. Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes

Chicken and potatoes are absolutely wonderful if you are on a budget – they are healthy and filling, and you can get a ton for a pretty cheap price. Why not make it easy on yourself and throw everything in the slow cooker?

5. Curried Chickpeas with Spinach

At just about $1 per serving, this is one of the cheapest, easiest and healthiest dinners you can make. Throw it over some rice or bread and you have a heavenly dinner.

6. Brown Rice Mujadarra with Mixed Herbs

This delicious and healthy Middle Eastern lentil and rice dish is way more affordable and healthy than it actually tastes. Top with a fried egg to make it a meal.

7. Crispy Cheddar Chicken

Turn chicken breasts, crackers and cream of mushroom soup into cheesy oven-baked nuggets on the cheap. If you already have some of the ingredients on hand, you can indulge your inner 6-year-old for next to nothing.

Featured Photo Credit: Jamie Cooks It Up

Tags: budget, cheap dinner, cheap recipe, dinner recipe, recipe list
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7 Easiest Ever Dinners To Make This Week

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By Cooking Panda

If you are anything like us, you love eating home cooked dinners during the week but don’t always have the time or energy to make something super elaborate when you come home from work exhausted. Never fear! We’ve put together some incredibly quick dishes that you can whip up in 20 minutes or less. You’re welcome.

1. Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce

This tangy, creamy sauce will really jazz up some plain chicken breasts or pork chops to give them a wonderful rich flavor.

2. 20 Minute Turkey Taco Nachos

Cut your cooking time in half by using whatever leftover protein you have lying around.

3. Easy Beef and Broccoli

In just 15 minutes, you can have a healthy and completely delicious version of your favorite take out dish.

4. 20 Minute Lemon, Garlic, and Herb Baked Cod

Eat this with a simple salad and hearty grains like brown rice, couscous or quinoa. Yum!

5. 5-Ingredient Black Bean Soup

It literally takes about two minutes to dump all your ingredients into a pot, making this just about the easiest soup recipe ever, and it’s way tastier than the pre-made stuff.

6. Shrimp Fried Rice

What do you do when you have leftover rice? Fry it, of course!

7. Roast Beef and Salad Crepe

Use a packaged crepe to keep things super simple. Unless you can spare five extra minutes, in which case you should absolutely consider making them from scratch (recipe here).

Featured Photo Credit: ayudiac/Instagram

Tags: 10 minute, 20 minute, dinner recipe, easy dinner, weeknight meal
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12 Satisfying Weeknight Salads

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By Cooking Panda

These filling, flavor-packed salads are so good, you’ll feel like you’re eating way more than just a bowl of greens. Pro-tip: if lettuce gets too soggy for your tastes, try mixing it up with some baby kale instead.

1. Big Steak Salad

Candied pecans, crispy onion strings and a slightly tart, slightly sweet dressing really bring this steak salad to a whole new level.

2. Potato Salad

What’s that? Potato salad is supposed to be a side dish? Try telling that to this hearty recipe. (But seriously, you can eat it as a side if you want.)

3. Spinach & Strawberry Salad With Poppy Seed Dressing

Add leftover chicken, steak or your favorite protein to get a meal out of this light and refreshing dish.

4. Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

You can’t go wrong with a classic. Of course, you can add packaged croutons and already cooked chicken if you want to save time, but freshly grilled chicken and homemade croutons are fabulous if you have a little extra time.

5. World’s Best Chicken Salad

It’s a little bit like a Cobb salad, but the fresh corn off the cob, cucumber, crumbled feta and honey lime vinegar dressing add a delicious twist for something a little different.

6. Tostada Salad

Put it on top of a crispy tortilla shell or one of those ready-made tostada bowl shells if you want a little extra crunch, and throw in any leftover protein you have. Sour cream, roasted peppers and squash are also great additions.

7. Grilled Chicken and Toasted Couscous Salad with Lemon-Buttermilk Dressing

Because salad doesn’t have to be just lettuce. This dish would also be great with a little seared salmon instead of chicken.

8. Skillet Steak and Wilted Kale

Sprinkle a little blue cheese over this restaurant-style steak salad to bring it to a whole new level of flavors.

9. Shrimp and Pesto Rice Salad

Shrimp, pesto and rice combine for a super easy, filling and flavorful non-lettuce change of pace.

10. Spicy Pork and Orange Chopped Salad

Have some leftover pork? Throw it into this fresh salad with coleslaw and chopped oranges.

11. Turkey Artichoke Pecan Salad

You wouldn’t think it, but artichokes and pecans are a winning combination.

12. Farmer’s Market Pasta Salad


You absolutely can and should make pasta salad your main dish. Add or subtract ingredients based on whatever delicious fresh fruits and vegetables you have.

Featured Photo Credit: The Kitchen Whisperer

Tags: best salad, dinner recipe, healthy recipe, salad recipes, salads
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7 Weeknight Dinners That Will Rock Your Socks Off

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By Cooking Panda

1. 20 Minute Thai Basil Beef and Lemongrass Rice Bowls

Got some extra ground meat and 20 minutes? Try this insanely fresh and warming dish that cooks up in a flash.

2. Brown Butter Scallops with Parmesan Risotto

Looking for something beyond quick? Go restaurant-status fancy with this deceptively simple meal. If you want to do even less work, make your risotto in a rice cooker like this. Seriously!

3. 30 Minute Sesame Mango Chicken Teriyaki

Craving a simple, sweet and savory dish to whip up that is more or less healthy? Give this a try. We bet it would be great with green beans and/or bell peppers too.

4. Lightened-Up Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

This might be The. Best. Recipe. Ever. Whether you are craving some Fettuccine Alfredo but don’t want something quite as heavy, or if you’ve been meaning to make some spaghetti squash but don’t know where to start, or if you simply need a delicious dinner, we love this recipe. Seriously. Try it.

5. Meatball Bake

This is a winning recipe, especially if you have frozen or leftover meatballs lying around. (If you don’t, they are really simple to make – check out this recipe. Feel free to use just ground beef if you don’t have veal and pork lying around.) Throw it all together with just a few ingredients for some classic comfort food.

6. Cold Peanut Sesame Noodles with Chicken

Cold noodles, hot chicken and fresh cucumbers. Yum!

7. Pasta with Yogurt and Caramelized Onions

You can and absolutely should use Greek yogurt as the base of your pasta sauce.

Featured Photo Credit: Pinch Of Yum

Tags: 20 minute, dinner recipe, quick dinner, recipe, weeknight meals
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Ridiculously Easy, Affordable Dinners To Make This Week

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By Cooking Panda

Looking for some quick dinners to make this week? We got you covered. We know you’re busy, so this week we have super simple recipes that don’t take a lot of time or cost much but taste like a million bucks. Most of these will only make you wash one or two dishes and a few can be prepped in advance in your slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

It doesn’t get any easier than this. Dump a bunch of ingredients in your slow cooker in the morning, and you’ll come home to a delicious, flavorful and filling soup.

Lemon Butter Cod

It tastes like you put a lot more work into this white fish dish than throwing some stuff in a pan and roasting it, but this primal recipe is so easy a caveman could make it. If you don’t want or have cod, use any fish you want.

Crock Pot Stuffed Bell Peppers

All you have to do is mix a bunch of stuff together in a bowl, stuff it into your bell peppers, and toss them into the slow cooker. Does it get easier?

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

If you want cheesy fried chicken without the hassle, try this impossibly easy baked version that uses only a few ingredients and is super inexpensive to make. Pro tip: prep the chicken in advance and freeze it beforehand. That way, all you have to do is defrost and bake.

One Pot Wonder Southwest Pasta

Fool your dinner guests into thinking you spent more than eight minutes getting this outstanding, simple dish ready. It is packed with both flavor and veggies, so it’s a win-win for everyone.

Shakshuka

Whether you’ve had shakshuka a ton of times and love it, or you’ve never even heard of it, you need to make this recipe. This hearty, healthy veggie and egg dish will leave you totally satisfied, and you’ll be pleased by the minimal cleanup involved with this one pan meal.

Photo Credit: Life In The Lofthouse

Tags: affordable dinner, dinner recipe, easy recipes, one pot meal, recipes
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