Jennifer Segal is the chef and photographer behind Once Upon a Chef, a family-friendly recipe blog featuring tested and perfected recipes with step-by-step photos.
It’s that time of year again. Spice up your weeknight repertoire with quick and easy recipes that appeal to kids and adults alike.
Ginger, Garlic & Chili Shrimp (pictured) – In this quick and easy recipe—adapted from The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift—jumbo shrimp are flavored with chili powder, fresh ginger and garlic. It’s always a crowd pleaser.
Parmesan Crusted Chicken – This is a great chicken dish to add to your repertoire. It’s elegant, yet kids love it because it bears some semblance to chicken tenders.
Greek-Style Lamb Burgers – If you like Greek food, you’ll love these flavorful lamb patties topped with tzatziki, feta, tomatoes, red onions, and shredded lettuce. They have so much flavor, it’s hard to believe they come together so quickly.
Grilled Salmon with Creamy Cucumber Dill Salad – In this easy recipe, salmon is simply grilled and topped with a tangy and refreshing cucumber salad — hurry up and make it while the weather’s still warm!
Grilled Moroccan Chicken – Even small children love this grilled chicken spiced with cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, ginger, paprika and coriander.
Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Salsa – Shrimp tacos make a fun family dinner. You can prepare the avocado salsa and all the fixins’ ahead of time so all that’s left to do at dinnertime is quickly grill the shrimp and warm the tortillas.
English Muffin Pizzas – This is a childhood favorite, perfect for those nights when you have to hit the kitchen running. The best part is that kids can pitch in and make their own.
Mirin Glazed Salmon – Adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson, this is an elegant and remarkably easy dish. Most of the ingredients are right out of the pantry, and you can have it on the table in 20 minutes.
Perfectly Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lemon, Garlic & Herbs – This is my go-to grilled chicken recipe—perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or cookout—and so versatile. You can serve the fillets on their own (kids love them), topped with cheese on a toasted bun, chopped up in a quesadilla or, as I often do, sliced over a Greek or Caesar salad.
Thai Ginger & Sweet Red Chili Shrimp – This dish tastes like something you’d order at a Thai restaurant, yet it’s easy to make at home and you can find all the ingredients at most supermarkets.
Chicken Curry – In this Indian-style stir-fry, thinly sliced chicken breasts are quickly sautéed with curry powder, then simmered in an aromatic and slightly sweet curry sauce thickened with Greek yogurt. Serve with basmati rice for a quick yet elegant weeknight meal.
Grilled Flank Steak with Garlic and Rosemary – Marinated in garlic, rosemary, and olive oil and then grilled to perfection, this flank steak is juicy, flavorful, and deliciously charred. Make the marinade the night before, so all that’s left to do at dinnertime is fire up the grill.
New Orleans BBQ Shrimp – Popular in Louisiana, this dish refers to sautéed shrimp in a Worcestershire-spiked butter sauce. Kids love it!
Asian BBQ Chicken – This dish is great for entertaining, but it’s easy to make, inexpensive and kid-friendly, which also makes it a terrific weeknight meal. Think of it as Chicken Teriyaki with a South Asian flair.
Baja Fish Tacos – Made with crispy beer-battered cod, corn tortillas, cabbage slaw and a smoky chipotle sauce, these tacos are easier than they look. One bite and you will be transported to a sunny place south of the border.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders – Marinated in seasoned buttermilk and pan-fried to crunchy perfection, these chicken tenders are loved by kids and adults alike. Try them on their own, dipped in honey mustard, or perched on top of a salad.
Tender & Juicy Steakhouse Burgers – You can never go wrong with burgers. Thanks to a few extra ingredients, these are always tender and juicy, even if you cook them well-done.
Cashew Chicken – With tender chunks of stir-fried chicken, crispy roasted cashews and bright green scallions in an authentic brown garlic sauce, this one tastes just like take-out — only better.