12 Recipes You'll Still Have Time To Make When You Get Home From Work

We all have one: The dish we've made up over the years (or our parents, friends, or family members passed along), that doesn't necessarily count as a real recipe, but we make it ALL the time anyway.
It's super simple to execute, especially during the week when the fridge is looking seriously scarce, plus you always have the ingredients on hand to whip it up. The problem is, whether it's pasta or grilled cheese, that go-to meal can get old fast. And it's often hard to find backups that are equally as simple.
We asked around at the office for our coworkers' super quick eats, so now we have plenty of fresh new ideas to add to our last-minute weeknight arsenal.
Ahead, check out 10 easy meals that Refinery29 staffers really, truly make when we are pressed for time and are probably hangry as f*ck.
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Photographed by Louise Palmberg; Food Styling by Lauren LaPenna
Patricia's Greek Chickpea Salad

"I like to do a "chickpea/bean salad" with whatever I have around."

1 can chickpeas
1/2 cucumber
1/2 red onion
1 handful small tomatoes
Olives, to taste
Feta, to taste,
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar, to taste
Lemon juice, to taste

Throw a can of chickpeas, cucumbers, onion, tomato, olives, feta cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice into a bowl. Mix and eat too fast because it's so good
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Photographed by Louise Palmberg; Food Styling by Lauren LaPenna
Jennifer's One-Pan Quinoa

"I like to make an even speedier version of a popular recipe on Pinterest, One Pan Mexican Quinoa. The original recipe calls for more chopping and fresh ingredient shopping than I'm willing to do on most weeknights, so I skip the prep for a number of the ingredients by just using a jar of good quality salsa. Bonus, the leftovers keep really well for future lunches and dinners — just skip the toppings (avocado, cheese, and cilantro) on the portions you want to save and add them fresh when you've reheated them."

1 jar mild or medium salsa (any kind you like)
1 (15-oz.) can black beans
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup dry quinoa
1 cup vegetable broth
1 ripe avocado
1/2 cup shredded cheddar (or similar type) cheese
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional but makes it extra delicious)

1. Put the first 5 ingredients in a medium size pot. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender (about 20 mins).

2. Top each serving with sliced avocado, shredded cheese, and cilantro.
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Photographed by Louise Palmberg; Food Styling by Lauren LaPenna
Sara's Veggie Tacos

"One fave of mine is tacos with vegetarian refried beans, cheese, tortillas, mushrooms, and cauliflower all put cold on a cookie sheet. Everything melts together perfectly and hardly any dishes are used!"

3-4 tortillas
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (or enough to fill tortillas)
1/2 cup cauliflower florets (or enough to fill tortillas)
Refried beans, to taste
Cheese, to taste
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Salsa, optional, for serving

1. Layer ingredients onto a cookie sheet with the tortillas on bottom.

2. Bake at 300 degrees F for 15-20 minutes until veggies are soft and cheese is melted.

3. Serve with salsa or additional additional toppings.
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Photographed by Ruben Chamorro.
Zoe's Avocado "Hummus" Rollups

"My dad taught me this trick once when I was home for a visit and needed lunch ASAP, but couldn't find anything good in the fridge. It will now forever be my fallback meal, and trust me, it's way better than turning to a PB&J."

1 avocado
1/2 can chickpeas, strained and rinsed
1/2 lemon (or more, to taste)
1 handful cilantro leaves
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Mini corn tortillas
Hot sauce (optional, I use Cholula)

1. In a bowl, mash together avocado and chickpeas with a fork. Mix in lemon juice, cilantro leaves, salt, and pepper.

2. Heat up corn tortillas in the microwave or in a pan.

3. To assemble: spread a spoonful or two of "hummus" mixture onto a tortilla and pour on some hot sauce. Then roll, eat, and repeat!
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Photographed by Ruben Chamorro.
Christina's Quick Curry

"Besides the rice, it takes all of 15 minutes to make. Perfect for when you are feeling lazy and have no time to cook, but still want something homemade and wholesome."

1-2 cups rice, cooked (you can use instant to speed things up, or prep some in advance in a rice cooker or slow cooker)
1/2-1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
1 onion sliced
1-2 bell peppers sliced (or use a frozen veggie mix)
1 packet curry mix

1. Brown your ground beef in a pan. Add onions, peppers, or frozen veggies.

2. When meat is done cooking, add the curry mix. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stir, and you're done! Serve over rice.
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Photographed by Ruben Chamorro.
Julie's Bacon Pasta

"I always keep onions, bacon, peppers, and pasta around. It's not the healthiest thing, but it's satisfying as hell and delicious."

1-3 slices bacon, chopped into pieces
1/2 small onion chopped (or however much you want)
1/2 bell pepper chopped (or however much you want)
Approximately 1 cup pasta, cooked
Parmesan cheese, for serving

1. Cook the bacon in a sauté pan. Remove the bacon and cook the onion and pepper in the bacon grease.

2. Then mix everything together with a serving of cooked pasta. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
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Photographed by Ruben Chamorro.
Piera's Tuna White Bean Salad

"My whole family makes this recipe...it's intergenerational. Nonna made it, my parents make it, my bro and I make it, and have passed the recipe to tons of friends. And now it's YOURS."

1 can tuna, drained (can be regular or fancy in oil kind)
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 red onion sliced into long thin pieces
Extra virgin olive oil (to taste)
Juice of a half lemon (approximately tbsp) or a few tbsp of red wine vinegar
Fresh Pepper
Fresh parsley and/or basil chopped (can also do chives)
Halved cherry tomatoes, optional
Chopped cucumber, optional
Arugula or lettuce, optional (you can serve as a salad or put in a sandwich, it's so versatile)

1. Mix all ingredients together.

2. Serve as is, over a bed of lettuce, or on a sandwich.
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Photographed by Ruben Chamorro.
Alex's Greek-Style Quinoa

"My go-to is quinoa with some cut up tomatoes, feta, and cucumber. If I'm lucky I have a can of black olives (whoa). I always have quinoa in my apartment and it goes a long way. Just add some olive oil, balsamic, and salt and pepper, and I'm set."

1 cup quinoa, cooked
Chopped tomatoes, to taste
Chopped cucumber, to taste
Crumbled feta, to taste
Canned, black olives, to taste
Olive oil, to taste
Balsamic vinegar, to taste

1. Prepare quinoa according to package instructions. Chop veggies and olives and add to quinoa. Add olive oil, balsamic, salt, and pepper, to taste.
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Photographed by Ruben Chamorro.
Marshall's Makeshift Nachos

"This is a go-to easy dinner for my roommate and me. Usually when we have one of the items required (some tomatoes that need using up, leftover cheese from a recipe) we’ll devise a plan over text: You grab some avocados from a produce cart, I’ll grab some chips from CVS. These are best served with beer, though, in the spirit of the dish, we’ll usually wind up drinking whatever we have around — a bottle of red wine someone gave us at a party or gin and tonics with the last little bit of tonic water about to go flat."

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 bag shredded cheese, to taste
Salsa, to taste
Sliced avocado, to taste
1 bag tortilla chips
Sour cream or Greek yogurt, to taste
Chopped onions, optional

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Sprinkle the chips on a cookie or baking sheet. Cover in beans and cheese, and bake for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese melts.

3. Remove from oven and add desired toppings. Devour.
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Photographed by Ruben Chamorro.
Erin's Easy Shakshuka

"It's warm, filling, fulfills that pasta craving, and requires basically no ingredients!"

1/2 onion, chopped
2-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
Fresh herbs (optional) or dried oregano and dried rosemary, to taste
4 eggs
Olive oil

1. Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Dump in a can of tomatoes and herbs, and salt and pepper, to taste.

2. Crack eggs on top and put cast iron skillet in the oven for 15-20 minutes until eggs are cooked to your liking. Serve with bread or just eat as is!
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Photographed by Ruben Chamorro.
Sara's Pita Pizzas

"I'm a very lazy vegetarian, so I'm always thinking of easy stuff to make. In college ,my sister taught me how to make pita pizzas with pita, pasta sauce, spinach, frozen pineapple, and cheese."

1-2 pitas
1/2 cup pizza or marinara sauce
1 handful frozen pineapple
1 handful frozen spinach
Shredded cheese, to taste

1. Spread marinara sauce onto pitas.

2. Top with spinach, pineapple, and cheese (or toppings of your choosing.)

2. Bake at 300 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.
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Photographed by Ruben Chamorro.
Maria's Quick-Cook Polenta

"On days when I just am LAZY but need some major comfort food, I whip up some Parmesan polenta with mushroom and egg. It's warm, delicious, has some protein from the egg, and perfect for those cold winter nights that you don't want to turn on your oven. What more could you want?"

1 cup instant polenta, cooked
1-2 cloves garlic, (or more, to taste)
3-4 chopped mushrooms (or more, to taste)
1 egg
Parmesan, to taste
Pesto, optional

1. Make some instant polenta. While that's boiling, sauté some mushrooms in garlic and oil, and season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan, and then cook a sunny side up egg (or any runny egg style you dig) in the same pan.

2. Grab a bowl, pile in the polenta, mix in the parmesan, top with the mushrooms, and then the egg. If you have pesto in the fridge, toss a dollop of that on top, too.
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Photographed by Ruben Chamorro.
Steve's Overnight Oatmeal

"I'm a big fan of the overnight oatmeal soak for a quick breakfast on the go. It's like a breakfast pudding. I've been putting on a scoop of super fruit jelly, peanut butter, and crushed nuts. It's my little take on a PB&J for breakfast."

1/2 cup (approximately, depending on the size of your jar) rolled oats (not the instant kind)
1/2 cup (approximately, depending on the size of your jar) almond milk (but any milk works)
1 hearty spoonful Greek yogurt
1 spoonful Chia Seeds
Fruit Jelly (optional)
Peanut Butter (optional)
Crushed Nuts (optional)

1. Fill a jar with equal parts rolled oats and any type of milk.

2. Add Greek yogurt and chia seeds. Let sit in the fridge overnight.

3. In the morning, add toppings of your choice.

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