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Easy Weeknight Dinners and Side Dishes

Not sure what to make for dinner every night? The trick is to find quick and easy recipes for the week—bonus points if you can find some ideas that can carry your family through to the weekend. Just as important—having the right cooking tools on hand to cut down prep and cook time. Here are some easy weeknight recipes made even easier using time-saving kitchen tools.

Bruschetta Pasta

Calling all hungry people. This recipe is so delicious and full of flavor and can be made in less than one hour using our everyday pan or a Dutch oven. The six-step recipe is made even easier using many of our most popular products.

Guacamole may sound like it would take too much effort to make it homemade. Think again. Forget mashing avocados and chopping onions. A food processor can do almost all the work. Just add large chunks of peeled onion and jalapeno, pressed garlic, and two ripe avocados, pitted and cut in half lengthwise, and process to your preferred consistency.

This highly-rated recipe, which serves four, comes together fast using a pressure cooker and seasoned chicken breasts. While the chicken is cooking, cut a small onion into chunks and remove the seeds of one jalapeno before chopping in a food processor.

A splash of fresh lime juice and a burst of cilantro turn plain white rice into a side dish that’s anything but ordinary. Plus, it’s easy to make and goes great with any Mexican dish—like the Quick Cooker Salsa Chicken Lettuce Wraps (above). What’s even better is you can save time and clean up by making both dishes at the same time in the pressure cooker.

Make this classic Italian dish, with breaded chicken, melted cheese, and tomato sauce, any night of the week. It cooks fast using a pressure cooker —yielding the same delicious outcome as traditional chicken parmesan. It’s also convenient—cleanup is a breeze. Cook the chicken and pasta in the same pot, and you only need a microwave-safe dish to melt the butter.

Busy parents love this quick and easy recipe. Throw your spaghetti into a Dutch oven and while it’s cooking in the microwave, make the tomato sauce. Even the sauce is easy. You need four small plum tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, garlic, and olive oil and let a food processor do all the work.

Tomatoes, cucumbers, and feta—simple ingredients that are refreshing, flavorful, and nutritious. For the salad, prepare the ingredients using a food cutter. For the dressing, measure all the ingredients into a container and mix until blended.

What’s dinner without dessert? No one would ever guess these chocolate caramel treats come from a brownie mix. The secret to taking this dessert to the next level is a salted-nut topping, finely chopped in a food processor.

Lava cakes are not just for fancy restaurants. And this version is more decadent than chocolate cake and bakes in the microwave—so it can be ready when it’s time for dessert. Just combine a devil’s food cake mix, eggs, oil, and water in a Dutch oven, then add peanut butter, chocolate chips and stir before microwaving.

When you start your Pampered Chef business and select the Ultimate Kit—everything in the kit, like the top-selling Quick Cooker, helps to make these delicious dinners and sides.

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