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7 Easy But Hearty Meals to Make For Your Family

Feeding a family can be a joyous task, especially when you have a repertoire of easy, delicious, and hearty meals up your sleeve. These recipes are not only quick to make but are also sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. From comforting stews to flavorful pastas, here are 7 delightful meals that will have your family asking for seconds.

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1. Classic Beef Stew

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs stew beef, cubed
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
  • Salt, pepper, and herbs to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, brown the beef in some oil until seared on all sides.
  2. Add in the onions and garlic, cooking until fragrant.
  3. Pour in the beef broth and red wine, if using. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Add the carrots, potatoes, and tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper, and herbs.
  5. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until beef is tender.
  6. Serve hot with crusty bread or over mashed potatoes.
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2. Creamy Chicken Alfredo Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb fettuccine pasta
  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt, pepper, and parsley to taste

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the chicken until browned and cooked through. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  4. Pour in the heavy cream, stirring constantly until it starts to thicken.
  5. Add Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and parsley. Stir until cheese is melted.
  6. Add cooked pasta and chicken back to the skillet. Toss until everything is well coated.
  7. Serve hot with extra Parmesan on top.
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3. Vegetarian Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, sauté onion, bell pepper, and garlic until softened.
  2. Add in the beans, corn, diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  3. Stir well and bring to a simmer.
  4. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes, allowing flavors to meld.
  5. Serve hot with desired toppings.
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4. One-Pan Baked Salmon with Veggies

Ingredients:

  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 1 lb baby potatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, and dill to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Place salmon fillets in the center of a large baking sheet.
  3. In a bowl, toss potatoes, asparagus, lemon slices, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and dill until well coated.
  4. Arrange veggies around the salmon on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through and veggies are tender.
  6. Serve hot with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
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5. Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb flank steak, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • Sesame seeds and green onions for garnish
  • Cooked rice or noodles for serving

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch, and ginger.
  2. In a wok or large skillet, heat oil over high heat.
  3. Add sliced beef and cook until browned. Remove from skillet.
  4. In the same skillet, add a bit more oil if needed. Sauté garlic, broccoli, bell pepper, and onion until tender-crisp.
  5. Return beef to the skillet and pour in the sauce.
  6. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens and coats everything.
  7. Serve hot over rice or noodles, garnished with sesame seeds and green onions.
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6. Tomato Basil Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Instructions:

  1. Cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  3. Add diced tomatoes (with juices) to the skillet. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Stir in fresh basil and red pepper flakes, if using. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add cooked pasta to the skillet and toss until well combined.
  6. Serve hot with grated Parmesan cheese on top.

7. Baked Chicken and Rice Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped parsley for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a large baking dish, combine rice, chicken broth, onion, bell pepper, garlic, paprika, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  3. Nestle chicken thighs into the rice mixture, skin side up.
  4. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes.
  5. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender.
  6. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  7. Garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

These easy and hearty meals are perfect for those busy weeknights when you want something satisfying and delicious on the table without spending hours in the kitchen. Give them a try and watch your family gather around for a comforting and tasty meal!

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