5 Junk Food-Inspired Weeknight Dinners That Definitely Aren't Junk Food

Everyone loves to indulge in a little junk food now and then, which is what makes these weeknight meals so great! Chow down on a dinner that hits the spot without all those empty calories that make you feel sluggish.
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Monday: Supreme Pizza Penne

supreme pizza penne

Let's face it: Unless you like your pizza covered with veggies, it's kind of a junk food. But if you take toppings like mozzarella, pepperoni, basil, and pizza sauce to the skillet, you can turn it into a pasta dish you (and the kids) will never forget!

Recipe: Try our Supreme Pizza Penne

Tuesday: Rachael Ray's Baja Beer-Battered Fish Tacos

baja beer battered fish tacos

Usually when you think "beer," you don't think of dinner. Rach is here to change that! You'll use beer to cook the fish in these tacos, but then you'll top it all with mouth-watering veggies, slaw, spices, and chipotle sauce.

Recipe: Try Rach's Baja Beer-Battered Fish Tacos

Wednesday: Onion Tart with Bacon & Mustard

onion tart with bacon and mustard served with mixed greens

Just because something is shaped like pie and topped with bacon doesn't mean you can't have it for dinner! This tart is packed with savory flavor thanks to herbs, spices, cayenne, and Dijon – and it'll keep you coming back for seconds (and thirds!).

Recipe: Try our Onion Tart with Bacon & Mustard

Thursday: Rachael Ray's Beef 'n' Bean Skillet Macho Nachos

beef 'n' bean skillet macho nachos

Sure, nachos may be your go-to game day snack, but if you reinvent 'em a bit, they just might become your new favorite dinner! Give your nachos a hearty spin by adding ground beef, pinto beans, avocados, and plenty of chopped veggies.

Recipe: Try Rach's Beef 'n' Bean Skillet Macho Nachos

Friday: Spicy Chocolate Wings

spicy chocolate wings

Craving chocolate? Have it for dinner! Whip up a spicy, smoky, chocolatey sauce (similar to traditional Mexican mole sauce) and let your chicken wings simmer in it. Talk about kicking your weekend off with something good!

Recipe: Try our Spicy Chocolate Wings

Shopping List

For the supreme pizza penne:

  • 8 oz. sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pizza sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped pepperoni, plus 12 slices
  • 12 oz. penne
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded mozzarella
  • Sliced fresh basil

For Rach's Baja beer-battered fish tacos:

  • 2 qt. safflower, vegetable, or canola oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chipotle hot sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 cups shredded jicama
  • 1 large shallot or 1/4 red onion
  • A handful (about 1/3 cup) of fresh cilantro
  • 2 Fresno chiles
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. each granulated garlic, granulated onion, and chili powder or smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 bottle (12 oz.) lager beer
  • 2 lb. skinless sustainable cod or halibut
  • Flaky sea salt
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Toppings (optional): sliced pickled jalapeño peppers, shredded green or red cabbage, and/or crumbled queso fresco

For the onion tart with bacon & mustard:

  • Flour
  • 1 store-bought rolled piecrust
  • 8 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced white onion
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves

For Rach's beef 'n' bean skillet macho nachos:

  • 2 tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 jalapeño chile
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • Yellow or blue corn tortilla chips
  • 1 cup shredded pepper Jack or Monterey Jack
  • 1 cup shredded Chihuahua cheese or mild cheddar
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 sprig fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • Pickled jalapeño slices
  • A small handful of fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime
  • 2 scallions

For the spicy chocolate wings:

  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 12 chicken wings
  • 3 garlic cloves 
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 3 oz. dark chocolate
  • 1 tsp. hot pepper sauce
  • Salt
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro

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