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10 Must-Have Ingredients for Super Fast Dinners

With the right ingredients, weeknight dinners can be whipped up in 35 minutes or less.  Pantry staples like canned beans, tomato soup, and salsa can save you some time, and also give your dinners an instant flavor boost. Here are 10 of our favorite time-saving ingredients and some versatile recipes to make with them.

Shopping List

  • Rotisserie Chicken
  • Canned Beans 
  • Package of Mirepoix from Trader Joe's 
  • Frozen Naan Bread
  • Pesto
  • Tomato Soup
  • Package of Coleslaw Mix
  • Salsa
  • Frozen Peas
  • Canned Tuna

White Bean Chicken Chili | Ready in 35 mins

Canned beans and rotisserie chicken make a fast and tasty chili that couldn't be simpler to put together.

Chicken and White Bean Chili

Photo by bd.weld

Unsloppy Joes | Ready in 30 mins

Save yourself about 10 minutes of chopping by using store-bought mirepoix for this recipe. Kidney beans are also a quick way to add some protein to your family dinner.

Unsloppy Joes

Photo by Sj.

Mediterranean Pesto Pizza | Ready in 16 minutes

When you feel like homemade pizza, but just don't have the time to make one,  naan bread and store-bought pesto make a surprisingly quick and delicious pizza.

Mediterranean Pesto Pizza

Photo by mommyluvs2cook

Pesto Pasta Caprese Salad | Ready in 20 minutes

Pesto is such a great ingredient to have on hand. Stir it into pasta with some fresh tomatoes and mozzarella for a quick and tasty pasta dinner.

Pesto Pasta Caprese Salad

Photo by Molly

Pasta with Peas and Sausage | Ready in 25 minutes

Another great way to cook pasta is to add some quick cooking sausage meat and frozen peas. These little green gems are great to have on hand and add a touch of freshness to any meal.

Pasta with Peas and Sausage

Photo by Naples34102

American Chop Suey | Ready in 30 minutes

Instead of slaving over an elaborate marinara sauce, add some store-bought tomato soup to your ground beef for an instant flavorsome sauce.

American Chop Suey II

Photo by Diana Mac

Weeknight Crack Slaw | Ready in 25 minutes

This low-carb stir-fry comes together in minutes thanks to a package of coleslaw mix.

Cilantro Garlic Lime Sauteed Shrimp | Ready in 25 minutes

A few cups of salsa add a spicy kick to this Mexican-inspired shrimp dish.

Cilantro Garlic Lime Sauteed Shrimp

Photo by lutzflcat

Quick and Easy Tuna Casserole | Ready in 30 minutes

Canned tuna,  frozen peas, and a can of soup are just three little shortcuts to make this comfort food classic much easier to make.

Quick and Easy Tuna Casserole

Photo by Nancy Bendell


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About Vicky McDonald

Always looking for more cheese! I love to bake, potter about the garden, and drink lemony gin & tonics in the sun. I also blog at