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11 Super Easy Weeknight Meals To Get You Through The Holidays

12/16/2017 07:39 EST | Updated 12/16/2017 10:17 EST

During the busy holiday season, getting weeknight dinners on the table can feel like a chore. Whether you’re planning your holiday travels, baking for a cookie swap, or wrapping presents, dinner might seem like the least important thing on your to-do list. But the family still needs to eat! From super-easy salmon cakes to sloppy Joes, these quick and easy recipes will help you survive the holidays.

1. Salmon Cakes

Made from fresh raw salmon and seasoned with Old Bay, these salmon cakes are as elegant as crab cakes but so much more affordable to make. I love them atop a green salad with a dollop of tartar sauce, but they’re also delicious alongside rice pilaf and a vegetable. GET THE RECIPE

2. Sloppy Joes

These smoky, spicy sloppy Joes — or “sloppy Jenns” as we call them around here — are made entirely from scratch (read: no ketchup or mystery seasoning packets). Pile the beef onto toasted buns and serve with my Sweet & Tangy Citrus Slaw. And feel free to double or triple the recipe for a crowd or to freeze for later. GET THE RECIPE

3. 30-Minutes Asian Beef Bowls

This dish is a MAJOR family-pleaser and can be made in just 30 minutes from ordinary supermarket ingredients. And the beauty of “bowls” is that everyone can create their own. GET THE RECIPE

4. Baked Penne with Spinach, Ricotta & Fontina

In this quick and easy riff on spinach and ricotta cannelloni, penne pasta is tossed in a creamy spinach, basil and ricotta sauce, topped with cheese, and then baked until gold brown. GET THE RECIPE

5. Cashew Chicken

This dish of tender stir-fried chicken and roasted cashews in garlic sauce tastes just like take-out, only better. You don’t need a wok — just a large nonstick skillet — and, aside from the chicken, the only chopping involves some garlic and scallions. The rest comes out of bottles and jars. GET THE RECIPE

6. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Sun-dried tomato pesto gives these grilled cheese sandwiches a gourmet twist. My son calls them “pizza paninis” since they taste like hot, crispy pizza sandwiches. GET THE RECIPE

7. Chinese Vegetable Stir-Fry

There is much to love about this Chinese stir-fry: meaty shiitake mushrooms, crunchy broccoli, sweet bell peppers, and a gingery, garlicky brown sauce. Go ahead and buy your veggies ready-cut to minimize prep time. And, as with any stir-fry, be sure to have all of your ingredients ready before you start cooking. GET THE RECIPE

8. Turkey, Spinach & Cheese Meatballs

There’s always excitement at my house when meatballs are on the menu. These are cooked under the broiler rather than in a frying pan — that means no stovetop splatters, and you can get the rest of dinner ready while the meatballs cook. GET THE RECIPE

9. Easy Garlic Butter Shrimp

This is one of my go-to recipes when I have to hit the kitchen running. It takes just twenty minutes to make, I always have the ingredients on hand, my kids love it as much as I do, and there’s barely any clean-up! I like to serve it over pasta or with a lightly toasted baguette for mopping up all of the garlic-butter sauce. GET THE RECIPE

10. Broiled Salmon with Thai Sweet Chili Glaze

Here’s a quick weeknight recipe your family will love. Salmon fillets are quickly marinated in Thai sweet chili sauce, soy sauce and ginger — and then broiled until caramelized on top. Main courses simply do not get any easier, more delicious, or elegant than this. GET THE RECIPE

11. Baked Ziti with Sausage

Loaded with Italian sausage, which packs a ton of flavor, this baked ziti is similar to meat lasagna but without the fuss. It’s easy enough for a weeknight but also special enough for a weekend family dinner, and it also makes a great prep-ahead potluck dish. While the ziti is in the oven, throw together a big Italian salad and warm some bread — and a comforting, make-everyone-happy dinner is served. GET THE RECIPE