Mini Course: How to Cook 7 Easy Meats for Everyday Dinner Ideas
New to cooking? We cover the basic cooking techniques you need to know to make healthy easy dinners for your family this week.
What Can I Cook With These Ingredients
With this mini course on cooking meats, you will learn to prepare a variety of common proteins to include in your easy weeknight dinner rotation making cooking dinners simple, convenient, and most importantly delicious.
Many of these preparations are included in our List of 50 Easy to Prep Healthy Dinner Ideas, simply mix and match your favorite proteins and sides to create well rounded, delicious, and affordable easy to cook dinners.
#1 Dinner Tonight Ground Beef
Ground beef is commonly used in a variety of easy weeknight dinner ideas including Tacos, Spaghetti, Dirty Rice, and Sloppy Joe's. The great thing is, the preparation is the same for each of these dishes making this ingredient a versatile must know preparation for home cooking.
How to Prepare Ground Beef
Add 1 pound of raw ground beef to a sauté pan over medium low heat
Add a light seasoning blend
Stir often to keep the ground beef from becoming over crisp
Drain grease once meat has browned
Add cooked ground beef mixture to complete a number of dish preparations
Seasoning Options: salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, cumin, or Italian
Home Cook Hint: try a ground turkey substitute for a leaner option with the exact same preparation.
It is really that simple. With this, all too simple preparation, be ready to whip up some classic home cooked dishes in no time with minimal effort.
What To Cook Tonight Tired of Everything
#2 Preparing Steak
Can never go wrong with a delicious Rib Eye.
Steak is a perfect cut of steak that retains a juicy flavorful taste with simple preparation for easy weeknight dinners.
This protein pairs perfectly with an assortment of side items including roasted vegetables, seasoned rice, or even a simple baked potato making it a go to protein for creating well rounded meals.
How to Prepare Rib Eye Steak
Season Rib Eye steak generously and drizzle olive oil on each side
Heat sauté pan over medium low - medium heat
Place steak into heated pan for 3 minutes then flip for a medium rare temperature
Cook an additional 2-3 minutes then allow to rest before slicing
Seasoning Options: Steak seasoning or a blend of salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, and cumin with a drizzle of Olive Oil
Cooking Time: Increase cook time by 1-3 minutes for medium to well done steak temperatures
What Can You Make For Dinner With Shrimp
#3 Preparing Shrimp
Shrimp is a lovely low fat high protein option that is an easy ingredient that can be added to easy weeknight dinners or stand on its own as a delicious and healthy dinner option.
How to Prepare Shrimp
Shrimp is a versatile ingredient because it can be cooked with a variety of methods including steamed, sautéed, grilled, or baked.
For each of these preparations the cooking method will vary slightly, however, the first step remains the same with simply washing and de-veining the shrimp making sure to remove the outer exoskeleton.
Steamed: Place shrimp in a steamer basket over low boiling water cook for 5 minutes until shrimp turn pink
Sautéed: Place shrimp in a pan with melted butter and seasoning cook over medium low heat till pink
Grilled: Place shrimp on the grill cooking for 2-3 minutes on each side till pink
Baked: Place shrimp on a covered sheet pan cook for 8 minutes at 375 degrees till pink
Seasoning Options: Lemon Garlic Butter, Spicy Cayenne, Italian Seasoning, Ginger Garlic Blend, Salt and Pepper
Shrimp offers an easy to prep solution for creating a protein rich easy healthy dinner idea that is quick to prep and easy to clean.
#4 Preparing Sausage
Sausages are one of the easiest meat proteins to prepare and pair to create simple weeknight dinner ideas like Sausage Shrimp Baked Broil, Pasta and Sausage, or Italian Subs with Grilled Vegetables.
Sausage choices can include an Italian Variety or Kielbasa
How to Prepare Sausages:
Sautéed: Simply add your sausage choice to a sauté pan over medium low heat cook till juices run clear turning occasionally
Oven Roasted: Simply add to a covered baking tray cook for 20 minutes at 375 degrees until juices run clear turning occasionally
Toppings: Sautéed Onions in Melted Butter and Chopped Peppers
#5 Preparing Pork Chops
Pork chops are a go to protein choice for easy weeknight dinners like Southern Cooking and Spanish dishes.
Pork chops can be easy to over cook, but with the right technique they make a great choice for home cooked easy dinners.
How to Prepare Pork Chops:
Sautéed: season chops generously and drizzle with Olive Oil. Place in a sauté pan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes then flip and continue to cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until juices run clear.
Oven Roasted: place seasoned pork chops on a lined cooking tray in an oven and roast at 375 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes. To maintain moisture cover the tray with aluminum foil while cooking.
Cooking Tip: Pork should be thoroughly cooked before serving, so cook till no longer pink.
Seasoning Options: salt pepper blend, cumin, garlic, and paprika. Add a ranch marinade for the oven roasted version to help maintain moisture and bit of tang (optional).
#6 Preparing Roasts
Preparing a pork roast has to be one of the easiest go to proteins for creating easy weeknight dinners including BBQ Sandwiches, Quick Stews, and Gourmet Pork Tacos.
How to Cook a Pork Roast
Simply begin by seasoning thoroughly
Place fat side down in roasting pan
Set oven to 350 degrees F for slowing cooking
Cover the roast in aluminum foil
Allow to cook for 1 1/2-2 hours
Pork is ready to serve once the internal temperature has reached 145 degree F
Allow pork to rest then slice, chop, and serve
Home Cook Hint: slow cooking a pork roast is the essential trick to maintaining a delicious moist product
Cooking Tip: You can cook a pork roast individually or combine with potatoes and carrots in a covered baking dish to create a quick served stew that can be easily served over rice or eaten as is.
#7 Preparing Chicken
Chicken is the most versatile cooking ingredient for easy weeknight dinners. This protein is one to master to whip up your favorite combinations including grilled chicken sandwiches, chicken wraps, classic chicken BBQ, chicken salad, and stir fry dishes.
How to Cook Chicken Breast
Season chicken breast and top with olive oil drizzle
Pan sear in a sauté pan for 3-4 minutes on each side over medium low heat until juices run clear
Allow to rest before slicing
How to Cook Chicken Whole Legs or Chicken Drumsticks
Season chicken generously
Place onto lined cooking tray
Place into the oven at 375 degree F for 40 minutes covered with aluminum foil
Add extra sauce before broiling (optional)
Remove foil and place under low broil for 3 minutes or until skin is crisp
Seasoning Options: a spice blend of salt, pepper, garlic, cumin, paprika, and BBQ sauce for BBQ version
How to Cook Chicken Drumsticks for Soup
Season chicken drumsticks
Add drumsticks to a pot over medium low heat for 2 minutes
Add water and bring to a low boil cooking for 40 minutes or until juices are clear and meat is tender
Remove chicken (optional) and shred then return meat to the pot
Potatoes and carrots make a perfect pairing for this simple Homemade Chicken Soup recipe that can be found here.
How to Cook Chicken Wings
Season wings thoroughly in your favorite spice blend
Place wings on a lined cooking tray and cover with aluminum foil
Cook wings for 25-30 minutes
Place under low broil for an additional 3 minutes or until skin is crisp
Toss chicken wings in your favorite wing sauce and serve
Simple Sauce Combinations: Garlic Butter, Spicy Buffalo, Teriyaki, or Sweet BBQ
This mini course on how to cook protein meats for everyday meals, is meant to equip you with the skills to create homemade healthy dinner ideas with easy prep and minimal clean up. With these quick cooking tips you will be ready to mix and match dinner ideas to create a simple dinner rotation meal plan for easy cooking at home.
5 Healthy Quick Prep Lunches for Kids
Discover What's for Dinner? 5 Quick Dinner Ideas for Feeding Kids and begin mastering these simple cooking techniques for creating delicious easy weeknight dinners for the family.