Quick & Easy: 4 Speedy After-Work Suppers

These meals are so quick, you'll have them on the table before you can say "six o'clock."
Rebecca Kracke Gordon, Shannon Sliter Satterwhite

Don't surrender to expensive take-out food. Consider these fresh and speedy menu ideas instead. We offer four effortless entrées--complete with easy side dishes--that will change the way you think about fast food. Most can be prepared in 20 minutes or less, allowing you to walk away from the kitchen as they bake and simmer. Plus, our online shopping list provides everything you'll need for a week of scrumptious meals. (We've even included two bonus recipes so no ingredients go to waste.) With these family-approved favorites, your weeknight meals will practically prepare themselves. 

Tasty Recipes:

Take inventory of your pantry and refrigerator items before heading to the supermarket. Chances are you already have some of these ingredients, which will make grocery shopping from our list a breeze.

  

Shopping List:
Pantry and Refrigerator Staples

  • salt
  • pepper
  • Creole seasoning
  • dried Italian seasoning
  • dried basil
  • garlic powder
  • soy sauce
  • Creole mustard (optional)
  • Dijon mustard
  • honey (optional)
  • barbecue sauce
  • hot sauce
  • raspberry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth
  • 2 (1-cup) boxes chicken broth
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • milk
  • butter
  • mayonnaise (optional)
  • olive oil
  • vegetable oil
  • vegetable cooking spray
  • bottled balsamic vinaigrette or Italian salad dressing


 

Produce Section

  • 1 pound fresh green beans
  • 2 pounds baby carrots
  • 1 (8-ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 (5-ounce) bag mixed salad greens
  • 2 medium-size yellow squash
  • 2 medium-size zucchini
  • 3 small onions
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 pound fresh ginger
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley (optional garnish)


 

In a Jar or Can

  • 1 (10-ounce) jar apricot preserves
  • 1 (10-ounce) jar seedless raspberry preserves
  • 2 (26-ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
  • 1 (141/2-ounce) can reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 small jar cream-style horseradish (optional)
  • 1 (2.25-ounce) can sliced ripe black olives
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar mild salsa


 

Seasoning Mixes

  • 1 package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 (2.64-ounce) package country-style gravy mix


 

Breads, Grains, and Pasta

  • 1 (6-ounce) Italian bread loaf
  • 1 package burrito-size flour tortillas
  • 1 box boil-in-bag or microwave-ready white or brown rice
  • 1 (10-ounce) box plain couscous
  • 2 (1.5-ounce) bags microwave popcorn


 

Refrigerator and Freezer Sections

  • 1 (2-pound) package pork tenderloins
  • 6 (1/2-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops (optional)
  • 4 skinned and boned chicken breasts
  • 1 pound ground round
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound hot or mild ground pork sausage
  • 1 (22-ounce) package frozen mashed potatoes
  • 1 (20-ounce) package refrigerated four-cheese ravioli
  • 1 (8-ounce) package shredded Mexican four-cheese blend
  • 1 (8-ounce) package shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 (5-ounce) tub grated Parmesan cheese


 

"Quick & Easy: 4 Speedy After-Work Suppers" is from the September 2005 issue of Southern Living.

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