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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

16 Fabulous, Reader-Generated, Quick and Easy Suppers

Here are 16 of your fellow readers' tried and true quick and easy supper ideas (from the survey two weeks ago):

Fried rice by Adonis Chen in Keelung, Taiwan
photo: By Adonis Chen from Keelung, Taiwan (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (],
via Wikimedia Commons, retrieved, 1 May 2017, from

Fried Rice

The key to quick and easy fried rice is to use leftover cooked rice, leftover meat (if any), and pre-chopped veggies, such as frozen,or previously chopped, by you or commercially.

Cherry tomatoes on pasta (14530170849)
photo: By jeffreyw (Mmm... cherry tomatoes on pasta) [CC BY 2.0 (],
via Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved, 1 May 2017, from
Spaghetti (any pasta) w/ tomato-based sauce
 (sausage, veggie, or ground meat)
Dried pasta is a quick cooking grain food. The key to a quick and easy pasta dish is to have ready-made (by yourself or commercial) marinara, adding pre-cooked meat or sausage if desired. Alternatively, make a simple tomato sauce from canned tomato paste or whole or chopped tomatoes, with additional seasonings, often just as good as a long-simmered sauce.

Chicken fettuccine alfredo
photo: By Dllu (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved
1 May 2017, from
Pasta with Alfredo, or a Simple Butter and Cheese
Alfredo sauce is butter, cream, Parmesan, garlic and parsley. Black pepper, salt, nutmeg optional. You can sub milk and cream cheese for the cream and part of the Parmesan. Add cooked chicken chunks for extra protein, and cooked broccoli to turn this into a one-dish supper. Simpler still -- cooked pasta, topped with olive oil/butter and grated Parmesan -- no cream needed.

Mmm... Tacos
photo: By jeffreyw [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved 1 May 2017, from
Soft-shelled (in flour tortillas) or in crispy corn tortillas. The key to quick and easy tacos is to have pre-cooked, pre-prepared fillings, such as pre-cooked meat kept in the freezer, pre-shredded cheese, pre-cooked rice/lentils or beans. Add some raw veggies and salsa, and you're done!

Quiche with carmelized onions
photo: By Bonbon from Brooklyn [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved 1 May 2017, from
Quiche, Crustless Quiche or Baked Frittata
Eggs, milk/cream, veggies, cooked meat, cheese, all stirred together and baked with or without a crust makes a simple dinner, that doesn't require standing at the stove. Go put your feet up while dinner bakes. The key to a quick and easy traditional, in-crust quiche is to keep ready-to-bake pie shells in the freezer (commercial or your own home-made).

photo: By Peteravivangel (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved 1 May 2017, from
Burritos -- Traditional, Breakfast, or Anything Goes
The key to quick and easy burritos is to have pre-cooked beans on hand (canned or your own frozen), pre-cooked rice, and pre-shredded cheese. Add any veggies that need using up, top with salsa and roll up. For breakfast burritos, wrap cooked eggs, veggies, rice, salsa and cheese in a flour tortilla. A lot of leftovers can be rolled in tortillas for "anything goes" burritos.

Dinner at Friendlys restaurant quesedillas
photo: By Tomwsulcer (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved 1 May 2017, from
Quesadillas are simply flour tortillas, grilled or fried with cheese, cooked meat, veggie fillings. Use traditional fillings like cooked chicken/beef and cheese, tuck in lettuce, tomato, avocado after grilling, or, use up leftover veggies, along with cheese and chili powder or other seasonings and grill. 

Grilled cheese sandwich with roasted tomato soup
photo: By jeffreyw [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved, 1 May 2017, from
Grilled Cheese Sandwich and a Bowl of Soup
Always a classic, grilled cheese and tomato soup, but any soup will suffice. The key to the simple soup and sandwich meal is to use a canned or homemade soup (big batch and freeze in meal portions). Grilled cheese sandwiches can be made with American, Cheddar, Swiss, or Mozzarella cheese, then either have them "plain" or tuck in cooked bacon, ham or sliced turkey or chicken.

photo: By Janine from Mililani, Hawaii, United States (breakfast!  Uploaded by Fæ) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved 1 May 2017, from!.jpg
Breakfast for Dinner
Breakfast for dinner can be as simple as a fried egg and toast, or stack of pancakes or waffles, or the full-on eggs, cottage cheese, potatoes, sausage, bacon, toast, waffles, and fruit. Add leftover cooked veggies to scrambled eggs for added nutrients. If you start with fried or scrambled eggs, then add whatever leftovers need using, and you'll have a quick, hearty and easy supper in a jiffy.

Chef Salad
photo: By Gesalbte (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved 1 May 2017, from
Main-Dish Salad
This can be in the form of a Chef's Salad (greens and raw veggies with boiled egg, cheese, cooked meat, cooked beans such as garbanzos, and/or nuts) or a Taco Salad (greens, raw veggies, taco meat and/or beans, cheese, and tortilla chips). A good, easy dressing for a taco salad is homemade 1000 Island, ketchup, pickle relish and mayo. For something spicier, sub salsa for the ketchup. 

Roasted Chicken, Butterflied, on Potatoes, Baking Pan 01
photo: By Michael J. Bennett (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved 1 May 2017, from
Roasted/Baked Chicken or Fish with Veggies and Potatoes on a Single Baking Sheet
Pop it all into the oven on one baking sheet and you are free to take a break while dinner cooks. Pair quick to cook chicken or fish, like chicken tenders, boneless, skinless thighs or breasts, with chunks of potatoes, thick slices of carrots, and whole green beans, for even cooking. For bone-in chicken pieces, use larger chunks of potatoes or veggies. 

Hachee 1
photo: By FotoosVanRobin from Netherlands [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved 1 May 2017, from
Cooked Meat (Ground or Chunks) with or without Gravy, Over Mashed Potatoes
This could also be served over cooked pasta or leftover rice. For speedy potatoes, use dehydrated potato flakes. Add a vegetable side dish and salad and supper is ready.

Costa Rican Gallo Pinto
photo: By Legendre17 (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved 1 May 2017, from
Rice and Beans Latino-Style
Mexican, Cuban, South American -- rice and beans can be quick and easy. The key to speed is to either use pre-cooked (by you or commercially) beans and rice, or use an instant pot/pressure cooker. Season with garlic, chopped onions, chili powder, cumin and salt. Add a salad and you have a complete meal.

Oval Crock Pot2
photo: By User:MECU (self) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved 1 May 2017, from
Crockpot Chicken Thighs in Honey/Soy Sauce
Reader suggestion -- "add hot rice and a veggie and I'm done." Sounds super easy and hearty.

photo: By Evan-Amos (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved 1 May 2017, from
Cast-Iron Skillet Chicken Dinner
Reader suggestion -- "turn heat on cast iron skillet, throw a chicken thigh in (about one per person depending on how big they are), as it cooks cut it into small pieces, toss in a sliced onion or two, add salt and pepper, deglaze with white wine. serve with quinoa or pasta and steamed (frozen) veggies (which have been cooking while the rest of this is going on)."
Fishcake on salad
photo:By phototram ( [CC BY 2.0 ( or CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved 1 May 2017, from
Crumbed Fish, Salad, and Kumara
I had to do a little research to uncover what this dish might be. I am guessing that "crumbed" fish is a fish fillet, breaded (hence the crumbs), and kumara I think is sweet potato. Kumara is a type of sweet potato sold in New Zealand and Australia. I hope I got this one correct. It sounds good, balanced, and filling.

I hope something in the list was inspiring to you, for your own quick and easy suppers. thank you all for participating!


  1. Great list and thanks to everyone who contributed. I'm going to pass it onto my son because as his workload gets bigger, he has less time to cook.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      Oh good. I hope there is something on the list that sound good. A person could run through the whole list and not repeat dinner for over two weeks, and never have to set up a menu plan. There's still the work of actual cooking, though.

      Have a great day, live and learn!

  2. What a great list! Good variety. Thanks for doing this for us, Lili. Here's another quick idea (closer to 45 minutes till it's on the table, but the actual assembly is fast) that I tried earlier this winter. We liked it:

    I'm starting to think ahead to meals we can eat on our vacation this summer. We will mostly be staying in cabins with a kitchen area, and I'm hoping to bring a lot of dried goods that we can use in conjunction with locally available refrigerator/freezer items. Breakfast and lunch will be easy, as they will be grab-and-go, but dinners are causing my brain to work harder. :) We may do a lot of breakfast-for-dinner meals. Feel free to send me your thoughts! I don't want to bring much in the way of cooler items due to the length of time we will spend traveling.

    1. Hi Kris,
      That supper idea does look good. I will remember that for this summer (it had small tomatoes and zucchini, I think). Thank you.

      For your trip, how many days will you spend driving there? When our family went to Southern California in 2013, we drove, and brought a cooler full of stuff, some of which was frozen. I packed homemade soup, frozen in a 3-lb Crisco container. I believe this is what thawed the slowest, and took about 3 or 4 days to thaw in the cooler, enroute, then in the motel fridge. I also brought a rice and bean casserole, frozen solid (also took a long time to thaw), and a pasta casserole, frozen (I think this thawed the fastest). The frozen meals served as the "ice packs" in the cooler to keep other foods cool.

      You can pick up hotdogs and buns in small markets, while there. Bring some canned baked beans to reheat with the hot dogs. What I did was make a menu plan for our 9 days, then went through my list and found foods that I could pack from home. It turned out to be quite a lot. The drive to So. Cal was 2 full days, one across a hot barren part of California. And everything came through fine. If you plan it out, you might be able to bring a lot in the way of canned foods, that you can pick up inexpensively from Aldi. Then supplement with fresh stuff from small markets. You could bring canned stuff for casseroles (veg, canned cream of soup), then add some chopped deli meat, like turkey or chicken, that you pick up in Yellowstone, and heat in the oven.

      On our trip in 2013, my priorities were that I had to keep to a really small budget (this was right after my husband's job situation changed and we were strapped), and everything I made had to be easy and not time-consuming, so that I felt I had a vacation, too.

      The planning part is a lot of fun, so enjoy your planning time!

      Have a great day, Kris! And just curious, as I was putting together the list for today's post, I had fun trying to imagine who suggested what. Did you suggest any of these ideas?

    2. Great travel ideas, thanks.

      The chicken with honey/soy sauce in the crockpot was mine. I was one of many with tacos/quesadillas/"brinner" (breakfast for dinner).

  3. I'm getting hungry just looking at these. LOL

    1. Hi Belinda,
      I know, right? It's past lunch time for me and I need to eat. These pictures are torture for me, right now!
      Have a great day!

  4. This is a fantastic list! Thanks so much for posting all of this. I think I see some tacos in my very near future! And since I don't have any prepared meat, I'm just gonna use canned chunk chicken with some chili pepper sprinkled on it, and canned refried beans! :-)

    1. Hi Cat,
      Chicken tacos sound delicious! Have a great dinner!


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