Best Ingredients to Have Available for a 20-Minute Meal


Life gets busy more often than we want. Instead of relying on fast-food options or pizza deliveries, some weekly planning in the kitchen can help you to have the ingredients available to make more meals at home.

When you shop strategically with the idea that you want to make a recipe in 20 minutes or less at home, then these are the best ingredients to have on your grocery list.

1. Fresh Fish
If you have fresh fish fillets in your refrigerator, then you can create an excellent meal quickly. Trout and salmon cook well with a quick sear and finish in the oven. Then you can use frozen vegetables that steam in the bag to hit all of the major food groups. A salad also pairs well with this ingredient.

2. Potatoes
This starchy root vegetable works with almost any protein – including vegetarian and vegan options. You can prepare it in a variety of ways in the 20-minute time frame, including mashed. If you want it to cook quickly, then peel and cut it into smaller pieces before placing them in boiling water.

3. Ramen
Although this ingredient isn’t the healthiest choice in your kitchen, you can create a noodle bowl in under 20 minutes that will still satisfy. Grab some radishes for your refrigerator’s crisper, keep some cabbage around, and add peas, carrots, and shrimp to reduce the amount of sodium that you’re consuming per serving.

4. Tortillas
You don’t need to focus on Mexican cuisine in your kitchen to explore the benefits of this ingredient. It works well for tacos, quesadillas, and burritos, but you can also make sandwiches with it. If you fry it, then you can make homemade chips. Fill it with all of your favorite options to create a fulfilling meal.

5. Tuna
Even though cans of tuna might not seem like an award-winning ingredient, its versatility is unmatched as a protein. You can put it into casseroles, sandwiches, and salads. Add some lemon juice, parsley, oregano, green onions, and Cannellini beans to have a fun take on a classic salad.

6. Rice
If you have a pressure cooker or an Instant Pot, then you can make perfect rice in about 15 minutes. That includes the healthier brown or wild varieties that don’t give you as much starch. Then you can make stir-fry dishes, focus on Cajun meals, or go in whatever direction that your imagination takes you.

7. Garlic
Although this ingredient has an order that puts some people off, it is a heart-healthy addition that adds tremendous depths of flavor to almost any recipe. If you need to start a dish with some oil, then heat your pan until it is hot without smoking before adding it. Then toss in a couple of cloves of this ingredient to infuse it.

Planning for a 20-minute meal requires some forethought and planning, but it can also be a rewarding experience. If you shop for these items regularly, then it can also save you a surprising amount of money on your food needs.

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