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5 Quick and Easy Meals to Make in Your Apartment

Quick and Easy Meals

Cooking at home allows you to experiment with flavors, control your portion size and avoid food allergies. There are also tons of recipes for quick meals, helping you to save valuable time each day. 

If you’re looking for some recipe inspiration, we’ve rounded up five easy meal ideas that you can quickly whip in your apartment kitchen. Discover the best culinary options for your lifestyle and budget!

Kitchen Basics for Quick Meals 

The key to quick and easy meals lies in your preparation. Learn how to prepare your kitchen for seamless cooking and experience the time-saving benefits.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Speedy Meals

By equipping your kitchen with some essential cooking gadgets, you minimize prep time significantly. Here are some culinary tools to add to your setup: 

  • Pots and pans for boiling pasta, cooking veggies and whipping up stir-fries
  • Sharp knives for efficient chopping 
  • Multiple cutting boards for increased foot safety
  • Slotted spoons, ladles, spatulas, tongs and whisks
  • Digital scales for increased accuracy and efficiency

Pantry Staples to Keep on Hand

Stocking your pantry with some common staples eliminates the need to go shopping every time you prepare a meal. Here are some things to keep on hand: 

  • Canned goods, such as tomatoes, corn and beans 
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Spices and dried herbs, such as salt, pepper, basil and garlic powder
  • Vegetable and meat stocks 
  • Pasta, rice and other grains

5 Quick and Easy Meals to Try

Between work and social commitments, you’re likely always on the go. Ensure you have the energy to power through the day by trying out these five quick and easy dishes. 

1. Super Fast Stir-Fry

Adding a stir-fry to your weekly meal plan helps you include more vegetables in your diet. By stir-frying your ingredients, you also preserve more vitamins and nutrients. Another benefit of a stir-fry is its versatility — you can keep it vegetarian or add some meat for added protein. Here’s how to make this easy dish: 

  1. Prep your veggies: Chop a variety of vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms. 
  2. Saute until tender: Place your ingredients in a wok or frying pan with a small amount of olive oil. Fry them for a few minutes. 
  3. Drizzle with sauce: Combine flavors like soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and cornstarch to make a sauce. Add it to the veggies and cook until the mixture thickens. 
  4. Add a garnish: Serve your stir-fry in a bowl and garnish it with sesame seeds, chopped green onion or cashew nuts. 

2. Hearty Pasta

After a long day, there’s nothing nicer than coming home to a big bowl of pasta. By keeping the ingredients simple, pasta also makes one of the best quick dinners on a budget. Here are some easy pasta recipes to try: 

  • Skillet mac and cheese: Once you’ve cooked your pasta, make a cheese sauce in a skillet. Stir the pasta through the sauce until it’s warm and ready to serve. 
  • Pesto pasta: After cooking your pasta, keep 1 cup of water and discard the rest. Combine this water with a healthy portion of pesto for a delicious dish. You can also add a sprinkle of Parmesan or some cooked veggies and meat for an extra touch. 
  • Pasta and sauce: Cook your favorite pasta according to the package instructions. When it’s ready, you can either drizzle it with melted butter or add a tomato pasta sauce.

3. On-the-Go Wraps and Sandwiches

On The Go Sandwiches

If you’re looking for quick lunches on a budget, a wrap or sandwich offers a solid option. There are also endless filling combinations, ensuring you always have something delicious to look forward to at midday. Some of our favorites include: 

  • Chicken Caesar salad: Fill a wrap or sandwich with shredded chicken, lettuce and the perfect amount of Caesar dressing.
  • Roasted veggies and hummus: Layer slices of bread with this creamy dip and top with roaster bell pepper, tomatoes and olives.
  • Cheese and sandwich meat: A few slices of cheese, a dollop of mayonnaise, and some salami or ham make an easy filling for sandwiches or wraps.

4. Effortless Egg Dishes

Many people associate eggs with breakfast, but you can eat these vitamin-packed foods at any time of the day. Some quick meal ideas with eggs include: 

  • Salads: Adding slices of boiled egg, artichokes and olives to your green salad makes it one of the most satisfying, easy dinner ideas. 
  • Quiche: By combining eggs with milk and cream, you can create a rich quiche. Another tip to save time is to use store-bought pastry for the base. 
  • Baked potatoes: Fill your baked potatoes with a mixture of salmon, egg, mayonnaise and Dijon mustard for a dinner packed with omega-3s. 

5. Five-Minute Vegan Delights

Restaurants often have limited vegan options on their menus — which is all the more reason to whip up meals in your apartment. Some vegan-friendly meals you can put together in just a few minutes include: 

  • Avocado on sourdough: This bread option contains no eggs or milk, making it a great choice to pair alongside creamy avocado. 
  • Fruity smoothies: By blending your favorite fruits with non-dairy milk for a few minutes, you have a nutrient-packed meal on the go. 
  • Tofu ricotta: You can make this delectable vegan recipe in advance and serve it with seed crackers for a simple snack.

Tips for Elevating Your Quick Meal Game

From searching for simple recipes to stocking up on nonperishables, there are multiple ways to make each meal quick and easy. Here are some meal prep tips to optimize your daily meals even further: 

  • Create a weekly meal plan: Choosing your meals in advance saves time when deciding what to eat each night. It also allows you to use the same ingredients in multiple meals, eliminating food waste. 
  • Make a double batch: By following the “cook once, eat twice” rule, you will have enough food for two weeknight dinners. You can spend time relaxing — instead of cooking — every second night. 
  • Repurpose leftovers: Instead of eating the same meal for lunch, you can use your leftovers to create new dishes. For example, you can use the leftovers from your roast chicken dinner to create chicken wraps. 
  • Prepare vegetables in advance: Set yourself up for success by chopping ingredients you can use in your meals at the beginning of the week. You retain freshness by sealing these food items in high-quality plastic containers. 
  • Record your favorite meals: If you make a meal that tastes good and meets time estimates, make a note of it. Keeping a log of quick and cheap meals inspires you when you’re not sure what to cook. 

Make Delicious Meals in Your Apartment Kitchen

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While it’s perfectly acceptable to treat yourself to takeout every now and again, cooking at home is often more cost- and time-efficient. The many quick and easy recipes available also make it possible to prepare breakfast, lunch or dinner in your apartment. 

If you’re looking to move into an apartment that offers the amenities you need for home-cooked meals, consider one of Triple Crown Corporation’s friendly rental communities. Our efficient team takes great pride in offering excellent real estate services, and we’re excited to help you find your new home. Complete our online form today for more information!