Two Quick 20-Minute Dinner Ideas: Cooking Under Time Restraints

Posted on November 12 2015

Make a Quick Chicken Parmesan or Steak Sandwhich with Tarragon Mayo 

Beat-The-Clock Dining: Quick 20-Minute Dinner IdeasIt’s so easy for the weeks to fly by, and without weekly meal planning, you might spend more money than you want by dining out at restaurants or settling for food from the drive-thru window.

Make meal planning easy by mapping out all the meals you’ll need for the week. Cooking at home can be an all-day event, but it certainly doesn’t have to be with the right menu choices.

So, preheat your oven and sharpen your knives, because these quick 20-minute dinner ideas will have your family fed in no time.

Steak And Tarragon Mayo Sandwich With Roasted Red Peppers

Sandwich ingredients:

  • 8 oz. room-temperature ribeye steak (Note: While ribeye is ideal for pan-frying, feel free to substitute your favorite cut or use leftover steak in this recipe.)

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

  • Ciabatta loaves

  • Tarragon mayonnaise

  • 1 jar roasted red peppers

  • Salt and pepper

Tarragon mayonnaise:

  • 1 large egg (fresh)

  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard

  • 1 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar

  • 2 tsp. fresh tarragon leaves, coarsely chopped

Preparation Directions:

Tarragon mayonnaise:

Bring all ingredients to room temperature before starting. Crack one egg into a food processor bowl affixed with the blade attachment, then add the mustard. Process the mixture until evenly combined.

Keep the food processor running and slowly add 1 cup of vegetable oil in a thin stream. Process until completely emulsified.

Turn off the food processor and add the vinegar and tarragon. Pulse the mixture about five times until evenly combined.

The tarragon mayonnaise may be refrigerated and stored in an airtight container for four days.

Steak sandwich:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, season both sides of the ribeye with salt. Pan-fry the steak on both sides until cooked to your liking, about four minutes per side for medium rare.

While the steak is frying, slice the ciabatta for sandwiches. Drizzle sliced halves with olive oil and place in the oven to toast.

Let the steak rest before slicing. While the steak is cooling, dress the toasted ciabatta with tarragon mayonnaise, roasted red peppers, and salt and pepper to taste. Cut the ribeye into slices and build the sandwich. Serve immediately.

Quick Chicken Parmesan


  • 4 skinless chicken breastspounded to ½-inch thickness

  • 1½ cups panko bread crumbs

  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 2 tbsp. canola oil

  • 4 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

  • 1½ cups store-bought marinara sauce

  • ¼ cup fresh chopped basil, plus more for garnish

  • Salt and pepper

Preparation Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Season pounded chicken breasts with salt and pepper.

Create a three-section workstation on the countertop. First, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Next to it, place a shallow bowl containing a mixture of panko, Parmesan, salt and pepper. The final section is another shallow bowl containing the beaten eggs.

Working from the eggs down to the baking sheet, bathe each chicken breast in the egg wash before coating with the panko and cheese mixture. Store breaded chicken breasts on the lined baking sheet.

In a large, ovenproof skillet, heat olive and canola oils over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry the chicken breasts until golden, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Use the baking sheet to store finished pieces as the others fry.

Return all fried chicken breasts to the ovenproof skillet and top each with sliced mozzarella. Place the skillet in the oven until mozzarella is melted and chicken is cooked throughout, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, warm the store-bought sauce on the stovetop and stir in basil. After chicken is out of the oven, spoon marinara sauce over chicken and garnish with fresh basil. Serve with a side of sautéed spinach or other vegetables.

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