5 Delicious 30-Minute Meals from the Country Kitchen

Want that made-from-scratch taste without spending hours in the kitchen? Try these five 30-minute meals!

Home-cooked meals are a treasured American tradition. However, in this day and age of two-income families and instant gratification, it’s hard to keep up with the demands of life and keep your family fed the way Mama did. Here are five delectable 30-minute meals that will keep your family happy, and won’t upset your schedule.

5. Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken And Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings is one of those stick-to-your-ribs kind of comfort foods. It’s not like other soups, and the dumplings and veggies make it even more filling than stew and rice. Give this recipe by Donna Elick a try.


  •             4 cups chicken broth
  •             1 cup water
  •             2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  •             2 tsp poultry seasoning
  •             1 tsp onion powder
  •             1 tsp garlic powder
  •             1 tsp kosher salt
  •             1 tsp dried parsley
  •             1 tsp dried basil
  •             ½ tsp black pepper
  •             1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  •             1 cup all-purpose flour
  •             3 cups milk
  •             2 cups frozen peas and carrots


  •             2 cups flour
  •             1 Tbsp baking powder
  •             ½ tsp kosher salt
  •             1 Tbsp butter (softened)
  •             1 cup milk


  1. Add chicken broth, butter, water and seasonings to a large stew pot, then cover and bring to a slow boil over medium-high heat.
  2. While waiting on broth to boil, cut up the (cooked) chicken breast and add it to the broth. Stir once and re-cover.
  3. Combine flour and milk in a mixing bowl, using a whisk or electric mixer. Slowly pour this mixture into the broth, stirring thoroughly to ensure proper thickening.
  4. Once the broth is thickened, add the frozen veggies and cover again.
  5. While the soup is simmering, you can make the dumplings. Combine all the dumpling ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix it carefully with a fork. (Make sure to continue stirring the soup occasionally).
  6. Once you have a dough-like consistency, roll it out until it is about ½ inch thick, then use a pizza slicer to cut it into squares.
  7. Drop the squares one by one into the boiling soup. Once the dumplings are all in, reduce the heat and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Skillet Lasagna

Flickr/Li TSin Soon

Lasagna is so delicious, but so time-consuming! This recipe from Samantha at Five Heart Home is a delicious and quick alternative to traditional lasagna.


  • 1 (28 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 Tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 Tbsp chopped fresh or dried Italian herbs (such as basil, oregano, thyme, parsley), combined and divided in half (NOTE: If using dried herbs, measure in teaspoons since dried herbs are more potent)
  • 1 8-ounce package bow-tie pasta (farfalle)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese


  1. Pour can of diced tomatoes (with juices) into a large mixing bowl. Add water and stir in tomato sauce and sugar, then set aside.
  2. Add olive oil to a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes to hot oil and stir. Add ground beef and cook until brown all the way through.
  3. Drain the grease and season meat with salt and pepper to taste, and stir in 3 tablespoons of Italian herbs.
  4. Scatter dry pasta over meat and pour tomato mixture on top, using a spoon, press down on any pasta that is not completely covered in liquid. Cover skillet and bring to a low boil.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, covered, stirring every 5 minutes, make certain all pasta is always submerged.
  6. Continue to cook for 20-25 minutes or until the pasta is tender.
  7. Remove skillet from heat and stir in mozzarella and 1/2 cup Parmesan. Taste test and, if necessary, add more seasonings, garlic salt, pepper, and/or sugar.
  8. Once it passes the taste test, dollop tablespoons of ricotta over surface of pasta mixture.
  9. Cover and allow to rest for five minutes. Sprinkle with remaining herbs and Parmesan.

3. Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole

Flickr/I Believe I Can Fry

This Southern favorite has been a crowd-pleaser for generations. This variation from Trish at Mom on Timeout uses a cornflake crust, which gives it a delicious crunch and makes an interesting twist on the homemade classic.


  • 2 cups of diced rotisserie chicken (or any other cooked chicken)
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½-3/4 cup crushed corn flakes
  • 2 Tbspn butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cook rice according to instructions on packaging
  3. Chop (cooked) chicken into bite-sized pieces
  4. Add all ingredients (except corn flakes and butter) in a large mixing bowl, and stir until combined
  5. Pour/mash mixture into a greased 9×13 baking dish. (You may also use an 8×8 or a 9×9)
  6. Sprinkle the crushed corn flakes over the top of the casserole
  7. Drizzle melted butter over the top
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until casserole is heated through

2. Shepherd’s Pie

Individual Shepherds Pie

Shepherd’s pie isa scrumptious and filling home-cooked meal. This version from Jessica at Four Generations One Roof saves time and tastes just like home!


  • 2 lbs lean beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can creamed style corn
  • 1 bag frozen corn
  • 2 cups (prepared) instant mashed potatoes
  • 1/4 cup light cream or milk
  • 2 Tbspn butter
  • Salt, pepper & paprika


  1. Prepare mashed potatoes according to instructions on package
  2. Stir in light cream and butter
  3. Sauté onions in a skillet until soft
  4. Add meat and cook until brown all the way through, season to taste
  5. In a 9×11 baking dish, layer each ingredient (meat, corn, potato) in continuous layers until you’re out of ingredients, end with a top layer of mashed potatoes
  6. Season top layer of mashed potatoes with salt, pepper and paprika
  7. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees

1. Creamy Honey Mustard Chicken

5 Honey Mustard Chicken
The Recipe Critic


If you’re not in the mood for a casserole-type dish but still have limited time to make dinner, try this easy meal from The Recipe Critic, with a few of your favorite sides. Canned veggies are a fast and nutritious addition to this yummy recipe!


  • 4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Tbspn Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbspn Butter
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1 cup White Wine
  • 1 Tbspn Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbspn Grainy Mustard
  • 3 Tbspn Honey
  • ½ cup Heavy Cream
  • ½ cup Chicken Broth
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste


  1. Add butter and oil to a large, deep skillet and heat until butter is melted
  2. Cut the chicken lengthwise into strips. Place them into the skillet and cook thoroughly on each side. Remove the chicken strips and set them aside on a plate
  3. In the hot skillet, sauté the garlic, then add the white wine.
  4. Continue to cook until reduced by half
  5. Add both kinds of mustard and stir into wine and garlic reduction
  6. Add the heavy cream, chicken broth and honey and stir again
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat
  8. Add the chicken back to the sauce and allow the chicken to soak in the sauce for a couple more minutes
  9. Add your favorite side dishes and serve!

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5 Delicious 30-Minute Meals from the Country Kitchen