THE BLOG
09/14/2014 06:54 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Back to School: 10 Easy Weeknight Dinners Your Family Will Love

1. Broiled Asian-Style Flat Iron Steak

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Flat iron steak is one of my favorite cuts of beef for home cooking. It's similar to flank or skirt steak, only much more tender -- in fact, after the tenderloin, it's the second most tender cut. Plus, it's cheap. Here, I've broiled it and topped it with a rich Asian-style brown sauce. With buttered rice and a steamed vegetable, it's an easy and elegant dinner that you can have on the table in under 30 minutes. GET THE RECIPE

2. Easy Garlic Butter Shrimp

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This is one of my go-to recipes when I have to hit the kitchen running: it takes just twenty minutes to make, I always have all of the ingredients on hand, the kids love it as much as I do, and there's barely any clean-up! I like to serve it over pasta or with a lightly toasted baguette for mopping up all of the garlic-butter sauce. GET THE RECIPE

3. Broiled Spicy Chicken Thighs with Sweet & Tangy Honey Glaze

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Inspired by one of the most popular Cooking Light chicken recipes, this dish is family-friendly and incredibly easy to prepare. The chicken is seasoned with garlic powder, chili powder, cumin and smoked paprika and then broiled with a sweet and tangy honey glaze. GET THE RECIPE

4. Blackened Tilapia

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My kids, like most, can be particular about fish but they love this dish. It's easy to make: mild tilapia fillets are dusted with a bold Cajun spice rub, then sautéed in olive oil until crisp and flavorful on the exterior and tender and flaky within. GET THE RECIPE

5. Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Sauce

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Chicken tenderloins are great for weeknight dinners because they require no pounding or cutting and cook quickly. Here, they're breaded in a mixture of pecans and panko, pan-fried until crispy and golden and served with a creamy whole grain honey mustard sauce. Since the pecans are finely chopped, even kids who think they don't like nuts will try them, ask for seconds, and even sneak thirds when you're not looking! GET THE RECIPE

6. Southwestern Maple Glazed Salmon with Pineapple Salsa

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This recipe is easy enough for a busy weeknight but also elegant enough for company. The Southwestern spice rub creates a delicious top crust and adds a hint of heat and bitterness to balance out the sweetness of the syrup and richness of the salmon. The refreshing pineapple salsa completes the dish. GET THE RECIPE

7. Grilled Moroccan Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce

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In this easy recipe, inspired by a recipe in What's for Dinner? by Curtis Stone, ground beef is laced with warm spices, fresh herbs and garlic, and then grilled in meatball form until smoky and charred. I like to serve the meatballs over couscous with a cooling yogurt-cucumber sauce for a quick and easy meal that's big on flavor. GET THE RECIPE

8. Grilled Turkey Burgers

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Most turkey burgers are dry and tasteless and leave you yearning for the real deal. Not these! I've added Italian turkey sausage -- a trick often used with meatballs -- which amps up the flavor and makes them incredibly juicy. The best part is that you can throw them together in a matter of minutes; only five ingredients and no chopping, slicing or dicing required. GET THE RECIPE

9. Chicken Curry

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In this family-friendly Indian dish, thinly sliced chicken breasts are sautéed with curry powder and simmered in an aromatic, slightly sweet curry sauce thickened with Greek yogurt. You can have it on the table in 30 minutes -- or in the time it takes to make some basmati rice -- and the cooking method ensures that the chicken comes out reliably tender every time. GET THE RECIPE

10. Perfectly Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lemon, Garlic & Herbs

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This is my basic, go-to grilled chicken -- perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or cookout -- and so versatile. You can serve the fillets on their own (kids love them), topped with cheese on a toasted bun, chopped up in a quesadilla or, as I often do, sliced over a Greek or Caesar salad. The added bonus? They are quick and easy: you do all of the prep ahead of time and you won't even dirty a single bowl. GET THE RECIPE