I know what you are thinking when you see my title but this is a little different. If I saw the title, "20 minute skillet dinner," I might think of sloppy joe or some other casserole-like concoction made on the stove. But this type of dinner is more delicious and easier to make!
The idea is to put everything in a skillet so it all comes out of the oven on time.
It is easy to keep all of these ingredients on hand:
Protein items like chicken breast, chicken thigh, fish, or pork or anything you can bake quickly. I have left beef off because I don't eat red meat and you can't really bake it the way you can for chicken or fish but if you want to use it by all means add that to your own list.
Vegetables that freeze well like corn, peas, succotash, carrots, lima beans
Potatoes such as red potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes or any small potatoes that cook quickly; however please keep them in a light-proof brown bag so they do not turn green. Sweet potatoes or yams can be included here and left out in the open.
Seasonal vegetables, slaws, and salad mixes.
It only takes 5 easy steps for this 20 minute meal:
- Defrost fish or chicken in the microwave.
- Season your protein and place it in a nonstick skillet that is oven proof (you can also use any non-stick baking dish or pan). Spray with a little oil for easy cleanup.
- Bake your protein in your skillet at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. It is a good idea to set the timer so you don't get distracted and overcook your dinner!
- Microwave potatoes or yams until fork tender (3 minutes per potato or use potato setting) and add them to the skillet so they crisp up while baking with the protein item. They will taste like you baked them for an hour!
- Vegetables can be added to the skillet based on cooking time or you can make a salad or steamed veggies at the last minute. Here I have added asparagus because it roasted just fine at this higher temperature. Also pictured is arctic char fish and baby Yukon gold potatoes. This fish was on sale in a local store but you can use any fish.
It is all so simple that you don't need a recipe and there is almost no attended cooking time. Cleanup is a snap. And the cost is always much lower than eating out.
To add more variety you can change seasonings or use sweet potatoes or a grain such as quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat cous cous, or pearled barley.
Frozen peas often take about the same time as the chicken.
Use a seasoning blend so you can season your food deliciously with one shake. Favorite blends include guacamole, Italian seasoning, or fines herbes. But Cajun or garlic herb is great, too. Baking a lemon along with the chicken or fish yields the most delicious flavor that can take the place of butter.
This is a great strategy for time-pressed weekdays.