30-Minute Recipes That Will Save You Time In The Kitchen

Sometimes, you need to eat, but you just don't have the patience to spend an hour in the kitchen. After all, you have so many other things to think about. Whether it's work, taking care of your kids, doing your schoolwork, or just enjoying your evening, there are times when you just can't afford to whip up a big, elaborate dinner.

On nights like those, you may think that takeout is your best option. In some cases, that might be a good idea. But most of the time, you'll need to find something to make at home. Instead of spending tons of time cooking up a special recipe, though, you should just turn to these simple and easy recipe ideas from Mashed. The best part? They only take 30 minutes (or less), so you know you can get to chowing down in no time.

And don't assume that these dishes are going to be less than tasty just because they come together quickly. In fact, some of these recipes might just become go-to lunches or dinners in your home. Check out our list and make some of these delicious and filling recipes for yourself and your family tonight.

Coconut shrimp

You may expect to be able to make something like a pasta dish in 30 minutes, but coconut shrimp? Well, we're here to tell you that you can, in fact, make this coconut shrimp recipe in under 30 minutes. It may sound too good to be true, but this recipe proves that it can happen. You'll only need a few standard ingredients from your pantry in addition to the shrimp, which you then just combine and fry up. Just remember to watch them while cooking, lest you end up with the dreaded rubbery shrimp. This dish will have your mouth watering pretty quickly, and it's sure to be a hit with the entire family. Give it a try on a weeknight this week.

Chickpea curry

These days, more and more people are trying to eat meatless meals every once in a while, perhaps as part of a weekly Meatless Monday. You don't have to be vegetarian or vegan to see the benefits of this kind of practice. It will force you to eat more veggies, for one, it's better for the environment, and it will expand your culinary horizons in all-new ways. Looking for a veggie dish the whole family will love? Try making this chickpea curry. It may sound fancy, but you can make it in less than half an hour. Make extra if you want to take your leftovers to work the next day.

Chicken fried rice

There's something about fried rice that just about everyone loves. It's salty and savory, and it takes an already amazing ingredient — rice — and totally takes it to the next level. You may think you can only get good fried rice from your local Asian restaurant, but did you know that you can learn to make it well at home? Just try out this chicken fried rice recipe. You won't believe how simple it is to make. And since it comes together so quickly, you can whip some up at pretty much any time. Just be warned that your family is going to ask for it all the time.

Sloppy joes

When it comes to the ultimate quick and easy dinner, sloppy joes may just be at the head of the pack. This classic recipe may have gone out of style in the past, but it's now back with a vengeance. If you're looking for a recipe that's both easy and inexpensive (not to mention one that your family is almost guaranteed to love), then you simply have to turn to this recipe. There's a good chance you already have most of the stuff to make this recipe in your kitchen as we speak, so maybe you can even make it tonight without a trip to the grocery store.

Mozzarella sticks

Can you remember the last time you had mozzarella sticks? If you're like most people, we'll bet it was the last time you were at a restaurant that served them. Why? Well, that's because people don't make them at home that often. It seems like a difficult recipe to make, but that's actually far from the truth. Just consider our recipe for mozzarella sticks that come together in just 30 minutes. These things can compete with any restaurant's sticks and they may even be better, considering that you get to eat them in the comfort of your own home.

Po boy

If you've ever been to New Orleans, then you know about one of the most glorious sandwiches that have ever come out of these United States: the po boy. You can make po boys with a variety of ingredients, but we chose to go with shrimp for our version. This delectable sandwich may look like it takes hours to make, but that's just not true. Our version of the classic sandwich takes just 30 minutes, so you could even make it during a lunch break if you're working from home. This may just be our new favorite sandwich.

Egg drop soup

You know when you're just dying for delivery but you know you shouldn't pay for restaurant food? It's always hard to convince yourself that you'll cook at home, but when you consider that you can make this egg drop soup in the comfort of your own kitchen, you may forget about ordering delivery altogether. That's because this egg drop soup only takes half an hour to make. It may be hard to believe, but you could be tucking into a bowl of this savory soup in less time than it would take for the delivery driver to knock on your door.

Turkey meatballs

Meatballs are notorious for taking a long time to prepare. It's not just the cooking — you also have to prep all the ingredients, mix them together, and then shape the meatballs ... and that's even before you get to the best method for cooking them. Naturally, that means many people never try making their own meatballs. Well, if you're looking to start with a simple and easy recipe that won't take up much of your time, these turkey meatballs are the way to go. You won't believe how much flavor you can get into a meatball in just 25 minutes.

Easy fried zucchini

If you're the kind of person who has a hard time eating their vegetables, maybe you need to start small. Instead of eating a raw cucumber, for example, you could try making this easy fried zucchini instead. Frying zucchini makes it irresistibly crunchy and adds a flavor you won't be able to get enough of. This is an ideal side dish for a wide range of meals, so don't be afraid to pair it with whatever you were already planning for dinner. It won't take you long to make, so it's an easy last-minute addition to any menu.