Some busy nights, I need a quick dinner for my family that is also healthy and delicious.
It’s tempting to just boil some hot dogs, or open a frozen dinner on those harried evenings spent driving back and forth from your kids’ gymnastics and soccer practice.
I’m sure you busy bees have felt the same way!
Sure, microwaving bowls of Cup o’ Noodles for dinner on these crazy nights is helpful every now and again.
But I don’t like giving my kids overly processed foods on a daily basis.
Dinners consisting of fast foods and convenience foods do happen, but if I have the ingredients on hand, I try to serve a home-cooked meal.
Sometimes all it takes is five extra minutes to whip up a meal you can feel good about feeding your family.
The key is choosing your ingredients wisely to create easy and nutritious dinners at home.
Shrimp is a great example of a healthy protein to have on hand for busy dinner nights, since it cooks very quickly.
My kids could probably exist on shrimp alone. If frozen shrimp is on sale at my local market, I like to pick up a bag to throw into a quick stir fry, or use it in this delicious recipe.
You’ll love our recipe for roasted cherry tomatoes with shrimp and feta cheese – it’s an incredibly easy shrimp dinner to make on any busy night.
Just by looking at it, you would never guess that it is so simple to make. And it’s a real crowd pleaser!
With parsley, garlic, and a squeeze of lemon juice, the flavors are fresh and vibrant – better than any prepackaged hot dog, I would say!
Serve over rice or thin spaghetti, or enjoy alone with a side of crusty bread.
Let’s not waste any more time – you’re on a tight schedule tonight! Read our recipe below now.
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prepare Your Mise en Place
Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Gather all of your ingredients. Defrost the shrimp immediately if it is frozen. Peel and devein the shrimp if necessary.
Wash all of the produce well. I like to wash the cherry tomatoes in a colander, so I don’t lose any down the drain!
Peel and finely mince the garlic, or pass it through a garlic press.
Measure out the olive oil, and coat the bottom and sides of a 9×13” baking dish, using a silicone brush or pastry brush.
Step 2 – Combine and Mix
Place the cherry tomatoes, garlic, salt, and pepper in the baking dish and mix well until evenly distributed.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Step 3 – Dice the Peppers
While the tomatoes are roasting, roughly dice the peppers into small squares.
Step 4 – Add the Shrimp and Peppers
Add the shrimp and diced red peppers to the baking dish and mix well. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the shrimp is fully cooked.
Note that the baking time will depend on how large your shrimp is. If these are jumbo shrimp, you will need to give your dish more time to bake.
I prefer to chop these into smaller pieces before adding to the baking dish, or use smaller shrimp to begin with.
Step 5 – Garnish and Serve
While the shrimp bake, prep the garnish.
Remove the stems from the parsley, and chop the leaves.
Remove any seeds from one half of a lemon. You can juice it now using a citrus reamer, or squeeze it over the dish as is.
Crumble the feta, if you did not buy it pre-crumbled.
Once the shrimp is cooked, remove the pan from the oven. Toss in the chopped fresh parsley and crumbled feta cheese, and mix well.
Squeeze some lemon on top, and serve with slices of crusty bread.
Surf’s Up for a Quick Dinner!
Even when you are juggling your kids’ hectic schedules along with your own madness, you can still get a healthy and flavorful dinner on the table in under an hour.
No hot dogs. No prepackaged frozen dinners.
This fresh, delicious meal of roasted tomatoes with shrimp and feta cheese is the right combo of ingredients that are easy and quick to prepare for a home-cooked meal.
Do you have a favorite shrimp dish that you like to make when you’re pressed for time? What are your own tips for making fast meals? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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Photos by Felicia Lim, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally posted July 21, 2015. Revised and updated March 20, 2017 with additional writing and editing by Felicia Lim and Allison Sidhu.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Jennifer Swartvagher
Jennifer is an experienced journalist and author. Her work has been featured on TODAY Parents, The New York Times Blog, BlogHer, Scary Mommy, and scores of other parenting and cooking publications.