Quick Weeknight Family Meals

By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA

Weeknight dinners are hard, no doubt about it! Oh, you wanted to invite your family too? That feels near impossible. However, with just a few ingredients and a plan, you can have dinner on the table start to finish in just 30 minutes.

How you say?

  • Start with a few convenience staples like cooked shrimp, rotisserie chicken, pre-washed cut up veggies and even pre-prepped starches like rice, potatoes and pasta.
  • While it’s tough to get everyone to sit down at the same time, one-pot meals make it easy to reheat later in the evening, take along in a thermos or container and makes clean up that much easier
  • Don’t limit yourself to traditional dinner meals. Lunch meals like salads, sandwiches and soups work great as quick weeknight meals as well!
  • Breakfast for dinner? Yes!! My kids love egg sandwiches, waffles with peanut butter & banana or even pancakes and eggs. Just don’t forget to include a veggie or fruit to round out the meal.


Let’s get cooking with my super easy Shrimp & Spanish rice, there are lots of short cuts you can take with this meal, such as buying the onion and bell pepper already minced in the produce department, choosing cooked shrimp over raw shrimp and the ultimate time saver is having rice already prepped in the freezer or purchasing ready-made rice in the rice aisle.

There’s no right or wrong, do what feels right for your family!

Easy Shrimp & Spanish Rice

Spanish rice with shrimp in a bowl

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 25 minutes

Makes: 4 Servings



  • ½ cup minced onion
  • ½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pint Grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup long grain white or whole grain rice
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 5 pounds Green Way cooked Shrimp (26-30 count)



  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat, add onion, bell pepper and garlic. Saute for about 2 minutes or until onion is soft, (do not burn).
  2. Add in tomatoes, cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove tomatoes with a slotted spoon to a dish and reserve for the final step in recipe.
  3. Add in rice and 2 cups water, salt, red pepper flakes, saffron (if using) and paprika.
  4. Cover saucepan and turn heat to low, cook for 15 minutes. Add in shrimp and cook for remaining 5 minutes. NOTE: If rice becomes dry, add in ¼ cup water or to desired consistency.
  5. Stir in tomatoes before serving and enjoy!

Recipe by: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN