No time to cook? No problem

July 07, 2016
Credit: Photo: Jennifer Davick

The key to a quick and delicious meal is to let your garden-fresh ingredients shine. A simple combination that includes ripe seasonal fruit or veggies, juicy seafood, savory meats, or quick pasta will create a flavorful and satisfying dish in 30 minutes or less. Here are some favorites from Southern Living, plus extra tips to save you even more time.

1. Chicken with Ratatouille: 30 minutes
Chop your vegetables in the morning and store in zip-top bags in the fridge.

2. Peach and Pork Kabobs: 30 minutes
Save more time by cutting the pork loin, peaches, and peppers, and storing (separately) in zip-top bags until ready to cook the recipe.

3. Grilled Scallop Kabobs: 15 minutes
It doesn't get any easier than this one.

4. Crab Salad with Peaches and Avocados: 30 minute
Make the crab salad ahead and chill until you're ready to assemble the recipe to save time.

5. Chipotle-Cilantro Slaw: 15 minutes
For more time with the family make the dressing ahead of schedule and store in the fridge until you're ready to assemble the slaw.

6. Chicken Salad in Lettuce Cups: 25 minutes
Save more time by toasting the walnuts ahead. You can even toast a large amount of nuts and store in the freezer for whenever a recipe calls for them. Talk about being prepared.

7. Lemony Green Bean Pasta Salad: 30 Minutes
Prepare this dressing ahead of time and keep on hand in the fridge until you're ready for this salad.

    8. Cucumber-and-Sugar Snap Salad: 20 minutes
    Plan your time wisely and make the dressing and chop the vegetables beforehand and store in the fridge until you're ready to prepare the salad. To turn this into a hearty meal, simply add in shredded deli chicken.

    9. Korean Cabbage Wraps with Sweet-and-Sour Cucumber Salad: 25 minutes
    For even more time with the kids before dinner, assemble the Cucumber Salad in the morning.

    10. Brisket and Rice Noodles with Pineapple Salsa: 30 Minutes
    Pick up brisket from your favorite BBQ joint to toss this meal together in a flash. Save even more time by preparing the Pineapple Salsa in advance and storing in fridge.

    11. Sloppy Joe Carolina-Style Burgers: 25 minutes
    Before you even start thinking about grilling these burgers, mix the dressing and coleslaw in advance and chill in the fridge.

    12. BLT Salad with Olive Vinaigrette: 25 minutes
    Save more time by preparing the Kalamata Olive Vinaigrette in advance and storing in fridge.

    13. Late Night Pasta Chez Frank: 25 minutes
    It just can't get any simpler!

    14. Pasta with Heirloom Tomatoes, Goat Cheese and Basil: 30 Minutes
    Save more time by making the Herb Vinaigrette in advance and storing in the fridge.

    15. Mix ‘n' Match Spring Pasta Toss: 25 Minutes
    Cut time by adding pasta to leftover meat or raw veggie mix. Simply store leftovers in zip-top bags for a day or so until you have enough to use in this recipe.