4 Delicious Protein-Packed Dinner Ideas Perfect for Your Family

Selecting what to cook for dinner is a task as complicated as being a parent. Even though pizza and burgers are simple choices and everybody likes them, you can’t eat them every day.

Choosing meals high in protein is wise, particularly in a home where there are children. Protein helps build muscle and improve digestion.

However, it’s not just about putting more protein on your plate; it’s about using protein to create enjoyable and tasty meals. If you’re looking for ideas for making dinners that have lots of protein and are delicious as well, the following suggestions could be helpful.

1.  Bring out the Instant Pot

One challenge of cooking meat is that it can take a while. Chicken is one of the simplest proteins to cook, but with an instant pot, most of the work is done for you. You just need to know what buttons to press.

So what pairs well with chicken? A side of fluffy rice.

Want to roll up a hearty yet beautiful meal? Try chicken and rice in the instant pot. The recipe is relatively easy to follow. You need to adjust your instant pot to the right setting, add oil, and allow it to heat up. In another bowl, stir your dried herbs, such as garlic, onion powder, and paprika. While marinating your chicken, cover it with a layer of oil and the prepared seasoning, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Your chicken will brown in about two minutes; make sure you give it an even glaze on both sides. When the chicken is ready, toss in some butter and garlic and add your rice.

Give it a quick stir and add your dried herbs and salt and pepper to taste. The last step is to add chicken broth and allow the rice to soak up the flavorful liquid until they’re fluffy.

Once the rice is soft, steam rack your chicken on top and adjust the setting on your Instant pot so they both cook slowly and to completion.

2.  Did Someone Say Curry Pot Pie?

You can’t deny the appeal of a delicious curry. The saucy gravy, coupled with the protein, makes for a great meal. But you can improve your dinner further and make this tasty curry into a delectable pot pie.

While it may seem tedious, the process is relatively simple. You will need to prepare the curry first and then move it into a nine-inch-deep pie pan. Start by melting 2 tbsp of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Next, chop up one onion and add it to the melted mixture, occasionally stirring for roughly five minutes until the vegetable softens.

After this step, you will need to add about two cloves of garlic finely minced and top it up with 1 tsp curry powder and 1/4th tsp salt, then cook the mixture for a minute. Add about 2 cups of chopped cauliflower along with a cup of peas and carrots when the mixture is simmering.

You may need to sprinkle about 1/4th cup of all-purpose flour so that the vegetables get coated and become a mirepoix. Once you’re sure the vegetable mixture is ready, add about 4 tbsp of heavy cream along with 2 cups of broth and 1 ½ cup of chicken. For three to five minutes, you must continue cooking until the mixture thickens.

At this point, transfer your mixture into your deep dish pan and let it cool for 10 minutes. For a more enhanced texture, brush the pie with a tablespoon of cream and allow it to bake for thirty to thirty-five minutes.

You finally have a delicious golden-brown pie ready for consumption.

3.  Go Vegan!

Rich lentils for dinner? Why not. Start by heating the oil and adding 3 cups of freshly chopped onions, carrots, and celery. Always cook your vegetables in layers, allow the mixture to soften before you add about four cloves of chopped garlic, and cook the mixture until it releases a strong fragrance.

Add about 4 cups of vegetable broth and 1 ½ cups of green or brown lentils at this stage. Pour a can of diced tomatoes and 2 tsp of chopped fresh thyme. Followed by ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp ground pepper, ½ tsp crushed red pepper, and ½ cup of grated parmesan.

Let the mixture boil over medium-high heat gradually, bringing it down to medium-low, stirring it occasionally. When you feel the lentils are almost tender, allow the mixture to simmer. Add 3 cups of chopped kale and roughly 1 ½ tbsp red wine vinegar. Upon completion, sprinkle it with parmesan and garnish it with parsley.

4.  Stick to the Classics!

Remember grandma’s house and the comforting essence of spaghetti in meat sauce? Start by heating about 2 tbsp of virgin olive oil. Add about 8 ounces of lean ground beef and 2 ounces of hot Italian-style turkey sausage when the oil is hot enough.

Don’t stir the meat; instead, let it brown at the bottom for 2 minutes, after which you can start working on breaking the beef with a wooden spoon and cooking it until the mixture is completely brown.

Add ½ cup of chopped yellow onion, 1/3 cup finely chopped carrot, and four thinly sliced garlic cloves. Stir the mixture and add about 2 tsp of dried Italian seasoning.

Once the garlic softens, add about 1/3rd cup dry white wine, stirring the mixture until the excess liquid evaporates. Then comes a 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes with basil and herbs; make sure you add about ½ tsp of ground pepper to the mix, too. Allow the sauce to simmer, and add 12 ounces of spaghetti, 2 cups of chicken broth, and, if needed, ½ cup of water.

Cook the sauce with the spaghetti until the pasta is soft, and mix it with the tomato sauce. The ideal texture of your pasta should be al dente. Once it hits this point, turn off the heat and add about ½ tsp salt. Your warm, saucy pasta is ready to serve.

Final Thoughts

You don’t need to struggle with protein. It blends really well with other ingredients to make for an amazing meal.

For instance, you can always whip up a chicken and rice recipe anytime you want without spending too much time. But, if you’re willing to put in more work, try a chicken curry pot pie. Want to try something green? Lentils it is!

Be creative and come up with a recipe of your own by combining your favorite protein with your choice of veggies.

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