We’ve all been there: you’re starving and you have to be out the door in under an hour. Having to throw together a last-minute meal can make you feel like a contestant on Chopped, only, sometimes the harshest judges are your own kin. When your fridge is a mystery basket of its own and the clock is ticking, these 30-minute meals will help you come out on top every time.
Creamy Mushroom Miso Pasta
Chopped mystery baskets are notorious for containing elements that are seemingly unrelated like, say, miso paste and Parmigiano Reggiano. Sound like your fridge? The addition of Greek yogurt gives this umami-forward pasta dish an extra bump of protein, but you can always add a pre-cooked protein like shrimp for extra protein in no time.
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Sweet and Spicy Kung Pao Shrimp
Wait! Before you completely give up and order Chinese takeout, try making one of your favourite dishes yourself. This spicy, savoury, sour and sweet dish is loaded with protein and healthy fats to power your busy life, and it’ll be ready in half the time of Chinese delivery.
Gochujang Sloppy Joes
An Asian-inspired twist on what could quite possibly be the ultimate quick meal: sloppy joes. The inclusion of gochujang gives the traditional tomato-based sauce an extra kick.
Viral Smash Burger Tacos With Secret Sauce
Nothing is easier or more fun to eat than burgers… except maybe tacos. This recipe combines two classic quick and easy dishes for a totally unique meal, reminiscent of the creative dishes that Chopped chefs come up with. The secret sauce really takes these smash burger tacos up a notch, and uses ingredients you’ll already have in your kitchen.
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Cheesy Baked White Bean and Kale Skillet
There’s nothing better than a meal that only requires dirtying one dish, and this one has the added benefit of being loaded with plant-based protein, healthy fiber and, of course, cheese (which is good for the soul).
Cottage Cheese Rigatoni Alla Vodka
A spin on the most popular pasta dish, this recipe uses cottage cheese in lieu of cream for an extra boost of protein that will warm you up from the inside out and keep you so satisfied, you won’t believe it only took 20 minutes to cook.
Related: Our Best Cottage Cheese Recipes
Jalapeno Popper Potato Soup
Everyone’s favourite appetizer in soup form? Sign us up! This meal combines all the spicy, cheesy goodness of a Jalapeno Popper with the convenience and ease of soup. Top it off or serve it with chips for an extra salty crunch.
Oven-Fried Honey Garlic Chicken Bites
Bread chunks of chicken and toss them in the way-too-easy sauce of this recipe, and you’ve got a game-day meal ready in 30 minutes. Hot tip: if you have a few extra minutes, stir fry some veggies in the leftover sauce and serve over rice for an Asian-inspired stir fry spin with wing night flavours.
Creamy Vegan Mac And Cheese
Whether you’re just beginning to experiment with plant-based cooking or you’re a seasoned veteran, vegan mac and cheese is one of the easiest and most satisfying dishes you can make. Just as creamy and cheesy as its dairy-filled counterpart, but perhaps even easier to make, this recipe is a perfect comfort food when you’ve only got a few minutes to cook.
Parmesan-Crusted Chimichurri Grilled Cheese
Grilled cheese is perhaps the ultimate go-to when you’re low on time and resources, but this recipe gives it a South American-inspired spin. Before you get intimidated, chimichurri is a blend of spices and herbs you probably already have, and may even be growing in your kitchen herb garden. The parmesan crust elevates the dish and gives it a restaurant-quality finish in only 15 minutes.