12/02/2013 09:55 am ET Updated Mar 11, 2015

$10 Dinners You Can Make In 10 Minutes

By Lynn Andriani

These meals -- which can feed up to four people -- are so tasty, you'd make them even if you were a millionaire with all the time in the world.

  • An Affordable Street Food -- That's Even Cheaper At Home
    Jemma Watts
    The wondrous chickpea becomes the foundation for a delicious supper in this simple recipe from Sophie Wright's Cook on a Shoestring: Easy, Inspiring Recipes on a Budget. You just blend the chickpeas (or swap in kidney beans) with garlic, spices, herbs and flour in a blender; roll them in flour, egg and bread crumbs; and quickly pan-fry the patties. They're excellent over salad or tucked into pita pockets. Get the recipe: Chickpea Cakes (Falafel)
  • A Budget-Friendly Curry That's Faster Than Takeout
    Jaden Hair
    When you've got a pile of fresh bell peppers and sliced mushrooms and a rich sauce made with red curry paste and coconut milk, you don't need much protein to round out the meal. Jaden Hair, who writes the blog Steamy Kitchen, uses just a half-pound of shrimp in this stir-fry (which will run you about $4). Served on top of jasmine rice -- which cooks in the microwave -- it's a hearty dinner. Get the recipe: Thai Shrimp Curry and Rice
  • The Dorm-Room Classic, Made Over
    Banish the thought of pouring boiling water over a styrofoam cup full of powdered ingredients: homemade ramen noodles are so much tastier, better for you, surprisingly easy -- and still economical. You can adapt this recipe, from Cook on a Shoestring, based on whatever leftovers you have on hand, whether that's chicken, pork or beef (using chicken will keep your meal under $10). Get the recipe: Chili Beef Ramen
  • A Filling Italian Dinner Without an Extra Trip to the Store
    Lynn Andriani
    We admit this dish could take 12 minutes if you like your pasta a little softer, but al dente lovers will come in just under the wire -- and those extra two minutes of cooking time (if you need them) are well worth it. It's a classic Italian-American spaghetti standby, with just a few basic ingredients -- garlic, grated Parmesan, black pepper and chopped parsley -- coming together for a satisfying meal in which anyone can take comfort. Get the recipe: Spaghetti with Garlic and Olive Oil
  • A Nonboring Main-Course Salad
    This recipe had us at its wonderfully brief instructions ("Toss all ingredients together until fully coated with olive oil and lemon juice. Serve on a bed of romaine lettuce."). It combines chicken breast (or tofu), red onion, celery, sunflower seeds and ginger in a refreshing salad you can feel great about eating. Get the recipe: Ginger Chicken or Tofu Salad

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  • The Better-For-You Pizza
    Matt Armendariz © 2013
    Homemade pizza is delicious, but when you don't have time to make dough, try this creative recipe from The Washington Post food editor Joe Yonan, whose new book is Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook. He uses chickpea flour -- which is higher in protein than wheat-based flour -- to make a crispy-creamy pancake, and tops it with sliced broccoli florets, store-bought baba ghanoush, crumbled feta and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for a Middle East-inspired take on a classic weeknight supper. Get the recipe: Chickpea Pancake with Broccoli and Eggplant Puree
  • The Impressive, Insanely Easy Fish Dinner
    Gabriela Herman
    Cooking delicate flounder fillets in grape leaves may sound elaborate, but it's actually quite simple, says Ben Sargent, author of The Catch: Sea-to-Table Recipes, Stories & Secrets. Just wrap up the fish, along with some chopped tomatoes, garlic and capers, in the leaves (which you can find in Middle Eastern or Greek specialty stores) and throw them on the grill until the outside of the packets start to burn -- about 5 minutes. Inside, the flounder will be tender and infused with the sweet, salty flavor. Get the recipe: Flounder in Grape Leaves
  • A Creamy Soup You Can Slurp Without Guilt
    Ian McSpadden
    Smooth and creamy soups can contain loads of butter and heavy cream. Not this lighter dish from the new book Fifty Shades of Kale: 50 Fresh and Satisfying Recipes That Are Bound to Please, though: It only has a half-cup of heavy cream -- and no butter at all. And instead of the usual mushrooms or broccoli, it incorporates superfood kale -- a big, 10-ounce bunch of it, which you cook along with thin rings of red onion that are sweetened with a spoonful of brown sugar. Get the recipe: Cream of Kale Soup
  • The Shrimp Dish You Weren't Expecting
    Jennifer May
    A squirt of lemon or lime is pretty common with most grilled shrimp dishes, but chef Michael Symon puts a new spin on citrusy shellfish with this recipe from his new book Michael Symon's 5 in 5. He makes a salad with grapefruit segments, avocado, red onion, parsley and olive oil, and spoons it over charred shrimp. The grapefruit adds a uniquely sweet element to this meal that just might become your new favorite. Get the recipe: Grilled Shrimp and Grapefruit Salad
  • The Grilled Chicken You Can Make On Autopilot
    Elana Amsterdam
    Some marinade recipes have a superlong ingredients list, but this one relies on just a few items -- including lime juice and chili powder -- to deliver super flavor, and you can feel good about every one of them. Get the recipe: Mustard-Lime ChickenNext: Secret substitutions to make the foods you love even better