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30-Minute Dinners for Big Families

When there are a lot of people in your crew and you need a dinner that can feed EVERYONE, turn to these easy recipes.

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Beef Skillet Supper

Sometimes I'll make extra of this comforting, noodle-y supper to guarantee leftovers. It's a great take-along dish for work or school. Trim calories from the entree by substituting ground turkey for the beef and low-fat cheese for the full-fat cheddar. —Tabitha Allen, Cypress, Texas
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Meatball Pizza

I always keep meatballs and pizza crusts in the freezer to make this specialty on the spur of the moment. Add a tossed salad and you have a delicious dinner. —Mary Humeniuk-Smith, Perry Hall, Maryland
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Favorite Sloppy Joes

I've prepared these sandwiches for years. I've tried many sloppy joe recipes, but this one is the best by far. It also travels well for picnics or potlucks. —Eleanor Mielke, Snohomish, Washington
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Tangy Turkey Tostadas

I'm a health fitness specialist and personal trainer, so I know how important it is to make smart food choices to fuel my day. These fast and filling tostadas are packed with lean protein, fiber and a good dose of veggies. Have them any night of the week. —Julie Huntington, Memphis, Tennessee
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Haystack Supper

Served as the main dish at our family reunion buffet, this flavorful layered taco-style dish was a true crowd-pleaser. Folks were pleasantly surprised to find a rice layer, and everyone enjoys the creamy cheese sauce. —Jill Steiner, Hancock, Minnesota
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Fiesta Turkey Tortilla Soup

I'm always thankful when I can pull such a delicious soup together in under 30 minutes. —Amy McFadden, Chelsea, Alabama
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Pizza Ring

Mom made a ring with chicken and broccoli one night. I said I’d rather have pizza. That’s how this recipe was born! —Tricia Richardson, Springdale, Arkansas
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Barbecue Pork and Penne Skillet

I'm the proud mother of wonderful and active children. Simple, delicious and quick meals like this BBQ pork skillet are perfect for us to enjoy together after school activities, especially if I have leftover pulled pork. —Judy Armstrong, Prairieville, Louisiana
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Italian Joes on Texas Toast

This is toasty-good for a weeknight on the go. If you double the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, meat and wine, you'll have enough sauce to freeze. —Ashley Armstrong, Kingsland, Georgia
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Gingered Spaghetti Salad

We love this chilled chicken salad brimming with colorful veggies. Make it meatless by omitting the chicken and tossing in more edamame. —Cindy Heinbaugh, Aurora, Colorado
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Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup

A good friend made us this rich, comforting, creamy chicken noodle soup after the birth of our son. It was such a help to have dinner taken care of until I was back on my feet. This yummy dish is so simple to fix that now I give a pot of it (along with the recipe) to other new mothers. —Joanna Sargent, Sandy, Utah
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Bistro Mac & Cheese

I like to serve this mac & cheese with a salad and crusty bread. It's a satisfying meal that feels upscale, but will fit just about any budget. And because the Gorgonzola is so mild in this dish, even the kiddos will go for it. —Charlotte Giltner, Mesa, Arizona
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Herbed Artichoke Cheese Tortellini

This flavor-packed meatless recipe features tomatoes, black olives and artichoke hearts tossed with tender cheese tortellini. —Karen Anzelc, Peoria, Arizona
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Hay and Straw

This recipe is not only quick and easy to prepare, it's pretty, too. This colorful pasta dish combines julienned ham, Parmesan cheese, peas and linguine.—Priscilla Weaver, Hagerstown, Maryland
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Spicy Sausage Soup with Tortellini

This soup is such a family treasure, both my daughters asked for the recipe when they moved out on their own. I cook the tortellini separately, but you can let it plump up in the soup broth, too. —Cynthia Krakowiak, Langhorne, Pennsylvania
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Cilantro Shrimp & Rice

I created this dish especially for my son, who has the pickiest palate. The aroma of fresh herbs is so appetizing––even he can’t resist! —Nibedita Das, Fort Worth, Texas
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Steak with Chipotle-Lime Chimichurri

Steak gets a flavor kick from chimichurri. This piquant, all-purpose herb sauce is so versatile, it complements most any grilled meat, poultry or fish. —Laureen Pittman, Riverside, California
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Texas Tacos

I created this recipe by combining a bunch of taco ingredients that my kids like. Once it’s ready, I often keep the beef mixture warm in a slow cooker so the kids can quickly fill taco shells after an afternoon of rigorous soccer practice. —Susan Scully, Mason, Ohio
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Rosemary Garlic Shrimp

Delicate shrimp take on fabulous flavor when simmered in a chicken broth mixed with garlic and ripe olives. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Favorite Cheeseburger Pizza

My sister-in-law used to own a pizza restaurant and gave me this awesome recipe that features ground beef, cheddar and Thousand Island dressing. We like it on whole wheat crust. —Katie Buckley, Wyoming, Delaware
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Grilled Pork with Pear Salsa

My husband, Dave, and I have been in a dinner group with three other couples for a few years. We often share our recipes. This grilled pork was served by one of the couples, and I decided to "pear" it with this fabulous salsa. —Suzan Ward, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
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Wasabi Beef Fajitas

Beef fajitas get an Eastern spin with gingerroot, sesame oil and wasabi, a type of Japanese horseradish. You can find it in the Asian section at your supermarket. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Pear, Ham & Cheese Pastry Pockets

I came up with this simple recipe one night for a quick dinner. It's perfect with a cup of soup for a delicious weeknight meal. —Terri Crandall, Gardnerville, Nevada
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Feta Steak Tacos

I love tacos, and came up with this version to make them with Mediterranean flavors as opposed to Mexican. They went over big with my family!—Debbie Reid, Clearwater, Florida
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Spicy Sweet Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa

I wanted to find a way to use pineapple salsa in a recipe. I came up with this super simple, delicious and quick dish! —Erin Schillo, Northfield, Ohio
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Best Ever Potato Soup

You'll be surprised at the taste of this rich and cheesy easy potato soup. It really is the best potato soup recipe, ever. I came up with it after enjoying baked potato soup at one of our favorite restaurants. I added bacon, and we think that makes it even better. —Coleen Morrissey, Sweet Valley, Pennsylvania
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Blushing Penne Pasta

I reworked this recipe from an original that called for vodka and heavy whipping cream. My friends and family had a hard time believing a sauce this rich, flavorful and creamy could be light. —Margaret Wilson, Hemet, California
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Ravioli with Snap Peas & Mushrooms

Topped with the toasty texture and flavor of hazelnuts, this pasta makes an easy, earthy weeknight dinner. I serve it with an herb and lettuce salad and white wine. —Charlene Chambers, Ormond Beach, Florida
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Chicken Cheese Strata

The spices in this simple strata with chicken, broccoli and cheese offer an extra special taste. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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One-Pot Chilighetti

Grab your stockpot for my meal-in-one chili and spaghetti. I’ve got a large family, and this hearty pasta takes care of everybody. —Jennifer Trenhaile, Emerson, Nebraska
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Shrimp Fried Rice

This delectable shrimp fried rice is filled with color and taste that makes it vanish fast. Our family of four can't get enough of it. Bacon adds crispness and a hint of heartiness. Consider it when you need a different main dish or brunch item. —Sandra Thompson, White Hall, Arkansas
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Chili Beef Noodle Skillet

A friend gave me this recipe. My husband likes the hearty blend of beef, onion and tomatoes. I like it because I can get it to the table so quickly. —Deborah Elliott, Ridge Spring, South Carolina
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Quick & Easy Turkey Sloppy Joes

When we were first married and poor college students, I found this sloppy joe recipe and tweaked it. The fresh bell peppers give it a wonderful flavor. —Kallee Twiner, Maryville, Tennessee
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Quick Pork Chili

A dear neighbor gave me a pot of this delicious chili, and I asked for the recipe. The pork sausage is a nice change from the ground beef many chili recipes call for. —Janice Westmoreland, Brooksville, Florida
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Chicken Pesto with Pasta

Prepared sauce accents this warm chicken pesto pasta. Keep pesto in the freezer for the next time you have leftover chicken. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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White Cheddar Mac & Cheese

My mac and cheese is simple and has lots of flavor from the cheeses and ground chipotle chile. I use conchiglie pasta because its shape allows more melted cheese to pool inside. Yum! —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Quinoa-Stuffed Squash Boats

My colorful “boats” with quinoa, garbanzo beans and pumpkin seeds use delicata squash, a winter squash with edible skin that’s cream-colored with green stripes. In a pinch, acorn squash will do—but don't eat the skin! —Lauren Knoelke, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Chili Dog Pizza

My girls love it when I make this mash-up pizza with hot dogs and chili. It’s a marvelous way to use up leftover chili. —Jennifer Stowell, Smithville, Missouri
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Corn, Rice & Bean Burritos

No one will miss the meat when you dish up these satisfying burritos bursting with a fresh-tasting filling. They’re fast to fix and won’t put a dent in your wallet. —Sharon W. Bickett, Chester, South Carolina
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Creamy Sausage-Mushroom Rigatoni

In Rome, we dined near the Pantheon. The amazing restaurant is now history, but its memory lives on in this tasty pasta with mushrooms and sausage. —Barbara Roozrokh, Brookfield, Wisconsin
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Muffuletta Pasta

A friend gave me this recipe when she learned that I love muffuletta sandwiches. Very rich and filling, this easy skillet supper goes together quickly on a busy weeknight. Serve with some cheesy garlic bread. —Jan Hollingsworth, Houston, Mississippi
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Quick Bean and Rice Burritos

These hearty and zippy burritos can be whipped up in a jiffy. —Kimberly Hardison, Maitland, Florida
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Fire-Roasted Ziti with Sausage

We punch up our pasta with smoked sausage and fire-roasted tomato sauce. It's an easy recipe to switch up—use whatever noodles and spaghetti sauce are in your pantry. —Jean Komlos, Plymouth, Michigan
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Veggie Fajitas

My husband prefers these to chicken or beef fajitas and I serve them for dinner often. —Sarah Mercer, Wichita, Kansas
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Pizza-Flavored Pasta Sauce

I’ve been cooking since I was 6 years old and I’m always watching for recipes my friends and family will love. So when I tasted an unforgettable spaghetti sauce at a local restaurant, I just had to make my own version. —Angelina Falzarano, Midlothian, Texas
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Chicken Parmesan Stuffed Shells

When chicken Parmesan meets stuffed shells, it's love at first bite. The texture of the chicken holds up in the deliciously creamy and cheesy mixture. —Cynthia Gerken, Naples, Florida
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Penne Gorgonzola with Chicken

This rich, creamy pasta dish is a snap to throw together for a weeknight meal but special enough for company. You can substitute another cheese for the Gorgonzola if you like. —George Schroeder, Port Murray, New Jersey
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Brief Burritos

With three children in school, evenings are often hectic and short on time—especially during the holiday season. I can put this dish together after school and still have time to run back to town for evening activities. Best of all, the kids love it. —Ginger Burow, Fredericksburg, Texas

Emily Racette Parulski
Emily Racette Parulski is a Senior Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in email newsletters. When she’s not writing about food, she’s baking something sweet to feed her chocolate obsession.

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