5 Recipes to Spice up Dinner

This week’s meal plan makes the most of your spice drawer. Create simple, pantry meals that are packed full of flavor using what you have on hand.

This week, please welcome Rachel Knecht and her meal plans! Rachel is a recipe tester here on Simply Recipes and the blogger behind Baking with Rachel.

How are you finding joy this week? I find joy in the simple aspects of daily life, such as kneading dough or stirring pasta. I enjoy planning meals and thinking of different ways to use the ingredients I have on hand. It’s an opportunity to pull out a different spice or sauce and have a completely different dinner experience than the night before.

This week’s meal plan uses basics like canned tuna and pasta and adds a zing to each one. Olives brighten up the tuna in Tuna Pasta with Tomato and Olives. Ground paprika is added to chicken for Smoked Paprika Chicken and to vegetables in Quinoa Bowls with Sweet Potatoes, Black Beans, and Spinach for an exciting change of pace.

Aromatics like onions and ginger add flavor to Steak Teriyaki and Tomato Tortellini Soup with Italian Sausage. Another bonus with these recipes is their flexibility. You can easily swap ingredients in marinades, soups, grain bowls and pastas to make a flavorful meal whether or not you have the exact items at home.

One last thing: We wanted to highlight the ultimate way to save time in your week: having your groceries delivered right to your door. Click on the red “Add to Shopping List” button at the bottom of any recipe (or meal plan) and check it out! We call this feature “Relish” and we’re into it because, really, dinner can be simpler.

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Tuna Pasta with Tomatoes and Olives

This pasta dish takes our favorite canned fish and invites noodles and tomatoes to join in the fun. This is a very forgiving recipe. Any type of short noodle or black olive would be delicious. The fresh parsley can be omitted as well.

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Smoked Paprika Roast Chicken

Smoked paprika is a spice drawer powerhouse and this roast chicken is the perfect way to highlight its smoky, earthy flavor. With just a few pantry ingredients, you’ll have this tasty dinner ready and on the table. The combination of ground paprika, honey and lemon give the chicken a gorgeous color and sophisticated flavor. Serve with Rice Pilaf.

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One-Pot Tortellini Soup - white bowl with tomato soup, fresh basil and cheese filled tortellini

Cheesy tortellini is simmered along with Italian sausage and tomatoes for a robust weeknight meal. If Italian sausage isn’t available, then any type of sausage or ground meat would work in this recipe. Sub a 2 teaspoons of dried basil for the fresh, if needed. The spinach can also be left out or subbed with any hearty green, such as kale or chard.

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Steak Teriyaki

Teriyaki is a fan favorite around here and using quick cooking flank steak makes perfect sense. Only five ingredients for the marinade and then all that’s left is to sear the steak in a hot pan. Serve with rice and Baby Bok Choy with Yellow Bell Peppers for a tasty side.

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Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl - Bowl with sweet potatoes, black beans, quinoa, and spinach

Warm and toasty vegetarian quinoa bowls are packed full of flavor. Garlic, bay leaves, cumin and paprika make each bowl’s component tasty all on its own. Mix it together for a flavorful, nutritious weeknight meal. If spinach isn’t available, any dark, leafy would work in its place, such as kale or chard.

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Bonus Weekend Baking Project

Easy Lemon Pudding in three cups topped with berries

Homemade pudding is such a satisfying endeavor. I especially like that there are zero eggs that need tempering. The hardest part is letting it chill instead of eating it right out of the pan.

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Rachel Knecht

Rachel tests recipes for Simply Recipes, teaches a kid's cooking class, and develops the content for Baking with Rachel.

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No Image5 Recipes to Spice up Dinner

  1. Stevie

    Loving the recipes and it’s great they are easy to make. A thank you

  2. Anne

    The variety of recipes is wonderful. I especially appreciate the simple ingredients. Thank you for the concept and the way it is presented.