Pasta, Chicken, Seafood or Beef in 15 Minutes

Here are four ways to turn a basic ingredient - pasta, chicken, seafood or beef - into a satisfying meal in 15 minutes. Tack these ideas up on your refrigerator to remind yourself that a home-cooked dinner really can be simple.

Pasta

Prepare one pound of pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, combine the following in a bowl:

  • 3 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 6 ounces skim mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Drain the pasta and add the marinade while the pasta is still hot. Toss and serve. Approximate time: 15 minutes. If you have time, serve with a tossed green salad, or sliced cucumbers in rice vinegar dressing. Add orange or apple slices for dessert.

Salsa Chicken

This chicken has a lovely south of the border taste that is easily achieved with your favorite commercial or homemade salsa.

  • 3 tablespoons chicken broth
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli florets and stems
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 6 plum tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 16 ounces drained canned kidney beans
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the broth, garlic, onion, and broccoli and saute for 3 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the bell peppers and saute for 2 more minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook the mixture over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 5-8 minutes, or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Taste the mixture and add additional salt and pepper if desired. Approximate time: 15 minutes. Added benefit: very low in fat and cholesterol. Served with rice, pasta, or baked potatoes, this dish makes a full meal.

Mediterranean Scallops

For a special touch add a small amount of crumbled feta cheese and olives to the dish, but watch how much you use of these high fat items. Two teaspoons crumbled dried basil and 1 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano can be used instead of the fresh herbs.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 8 large plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • juice and pulp of 2 lemons
  • hot pepper sauce to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds sea scallops
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the garlic and onion until soft. Add the tomatoes, lemon juice, lemon pulp, and hot pepper sauce. Saute for 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until the scallops are cooked through, about 4 minutes. Serve hot, with pasta and a green salad. Approximate time: 15 minutes.

Lean Ground Beef

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 6 ounces of salsa (use store-bought in a can or jar for fast preparation)
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • shredded lettuce and cheddar cheese to taste

Cook ground beef, with the onion, chili powder, salt and pepper for approximately 6 minutes. Drain off fat and add the salsa. Divide mixutre among the tortillas, top with lettuce and cheese; Roll and serve. Approximate time: 15 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes or tomato and cucumber slices to the plate; consider a cool melon or pineapple for dessert.

RESOURCES:

Get cooking with the Recipe Finder!

WATCH: Cooking Pasta Al Dente

Like this? Want more?
preview
Connect with Us
Follow Our Pins

Yummy recipes, DIY projects, home decor, fashion and more curated by iVillage staffers.

Follow Our Tweets

The very dirty truth about fashion internships... DUN DUN @srslytheshow http://t.co/wfewf

On Instagram

Behind-the-scenes pics from iVillage.

Best of the Web