Whether you’re short on time, tired, or simply not in the mood to cook a big meal, these 30 Quick Dinner Ideas make it easy to enjoy a delicious meal on a busy weeknight. No more frozen pizza, ramen noodles, or restaurant take-out!
We’ve all felt the dilemma of not wanting to cook, but not wanting to splurge on a meal delivery service. On nights like these, it’s great to have a few simple, go-to recipes that can be made in thirty minutes or less. These quick and easy meals aren’t too daunting and taste like you’ve put a lot more effort into them than you actually did.
What is the Quickest Thing to Make for Dinner?
A simple mac and cheese may be one of the quickest and easiest things to make for dinner. Mac and cheese can be prepared in the microwave in minutes and you can make it even better by adding in proteins and veggies.
What to Eat When You Forgot to Cook Dinner?
Ever looked up at the clock and realized that you’re starving and forgot to cook dinner? Shrimp are great to keep in the freezer because they thaw and cook quickly, making them perfect for last minute meals. You can incorporate shrimp into pasta, tacos or other dishes.
What Can I Make Quickly for Dinner Tonight?
If you’re out of inspiration and just want something quick and low effort for dinner, try sheet pan fajitas. Add strips of seasoned chicken, bell peppers and onions to a sheet pan and bake. Serve with tortillas and toppings. As a bonus, cleanup is limited to your sheet pan.
Quick & Easy Dinner Ideas
- Teriyaki Chicken Bowls: Tender pieces of chicken breast are smothered in a sweet and savory Teriyaki sauce and served with rice and veggies. This Japanese-inspired dinner can be made in just 15 minutes!
- Easy Sirloin Steak: You won’t believe how quickly you can get this sirloin steak on the table. Serve with your favorite easy-to-prepare sides like rice, mashed potatoes or steamed vegetables.
- Sriracha Shrimp: Craving seafood? These sweet and spicy jumbo shrimp are ready in just a few minutes and tastes even better than the Applebee’s version.
- Easy Lemon Chicken: A one-pan recipe is a godsend at the end of an exhausting day. This lemon chicken recipe takes less than thirty minutes and cleanup is a breeze.
- Quick and Easy Taco Soup: Here’s a nourishing, comforting soup that you can make in just fifteen minutes. Serve with your favorite taco toppings like pico de Gallo, avocado or tortilla chips.
- Gigi Hadid Pasta: This mouth-watering spicy vodka pasta recipe was popularized by Gigi Hadid on her TikTok. Dinner will be on the table in less than thirty minutes.
- Easy Beef Stir Fry: Skip the takeout and make your own restaurant-quality beef stir fry in just twenty minutes! Serve with broccoli and your choice of rice or lo mein.
- Cheesy Taco Pasta: Can’t decide between Mexican and Italian? Get the best of both worlds with this super meaty, cheesy taco pasta.
Kid-Friendly Quick Dinner Meals
- Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes: We guarantee these will be the best sloppy joes you’ve every had! All you need is twenty minutes to prepare this kid-approved weeknight dinner.
- Microwave Mac and Cheese: You won’t be able to tell that this rich, creamy mac and cheese was cooked in the microwave. It’s ready in just fifteen minutes and you can add proteins and veggies to make it a more wholesome meal.
- 3 Ingredient Coca-Cola Chicken: If you’ve never tried coca-cola chicken, you’re really missing out! You only need three ingredients and twenty minutes to prepare this tasty recipe.
- Easy Chicken Lo Mein: After a busy day, a quick stir-fry makes an easy and delicious dinner. If you prefer, you can substitute the chicken with shrimp for even quicker cooking.
- Air Fryer Pizza Rolls: These bite-size pizzas are big on flavor! Best of all, you only need ten minutes to prepare them from scratch.
- Easy Fried Rice: This Benihana-style fried rice is loaded with veggies and scrambled eggs. You can even add your favorite proteins for a tasty twenty-minute meal.
- Air Fryer BBQ Ribs: These ribs are juicy, tender and full of flavor thanks to a garlic dry rub. Bet you didn’t know you could make ribs in thirty minutes!
Healthy Quick Dinner Ideas
- Baked Sockeye Salmon: Keep it light and healthy with this flavorful baked salmon. Serve with mashed potaties, quinoa or steamed veggies.
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas: Mexican-inspired chicken fajitas are ready in less than thirty minutes, with only a single pan to wash up. Serve with all your favorite toppings such as guacamole or shredded cheese.
- Shrimp Tacos: Tacos are always a good idea when you’re short on time. These flavorful shrimp tacos are served with a mango salsa and they’re ready in just fifteen minutes.
- 15 Minute Easy Boneless Pork Chops: These pork chops taste like you spent hours cooking them, but they’re ready in only fifteen minutes. They’re a simple and wholesome meal the entire family will enjoy.
Vegetarian Quick Dinner Ideas
- 15 Minute Avocado Pasta: Did you know that avocados can be used to make a creamy, plant-based pasta sauce? This quick meal is both healthy and comforting.
- Microwave Cauliflower Rice: Look no further for a keto-friendly alternative to fried rice! Cauliflower rice is a nutritious meal that’s ready in minutes.
- Pesto Pasta with Tomatoes and Mozzarella: This simple pasta is served with roasted tomatoes and a homemade basil sauce. Enjoy for Meatless Monday, or add your favorite proteins like shrimp or chicken.
- Greek Pita Pizza: All it takes is twenty minutes for you to prepare a freshly baked, Greek-inspired pizza. Make this meal your own by adding your preferred toppings.
Quick Dinner Ideas for Two
- Chicken Marsala for Two: This chicken marsala is perfect for a cozy night in. Juicy chicken thighs are cooked in a creamy mushroom sauce for a restaurant-worthy dinner at home.
- Easy Beef Stroganoff for Two: Use that pack of ground beef in your freezer to make this simple Beef Stroganoff. It’s absolutely delicious and it’s ready to eat in twenty-five minutes.
- Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Bake for Two: This cheesy skillet bake is a fun combination of pizza and pasta. This recipe serves two and it’s on the table in less than thirty minutes.
- Seared Scallops for Two: Seared scallops are an elegant seafood dish, perfect for Valentine’s day or any other special occasion. This impressive meal takes just fifteen minutes to prepare.
- Lemon Cilantro Shrimp For Two: Want to surprise your special someone? Plan a romantic at-home date night featuring flavorful lemon cilantro shrimp.
- One Pot Fettuccine Alfredo For Two: Here’s an indulgent Italian dish for two. Fettucine pasta is tossed in a rich, homemade Alfredo sauce for a timeless entree.
- Pad Thai For Two With Shrimp: This flavorful homemade Pad Thai may be even better than your favorite restaurant’s! Enjoy one serving tonight and have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
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30 Quick Dinner Ideas (Teriyaki Chicken Recipe & More)
- In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, garlic, and cornstarch.
- Add oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- When the oil is hot, add chicken breasts. Fry for about 3 minutes per side (5-6 in total) until golden brown.
- Add teriyaki sauce to chicken and stir until the sauce thickens.
- Remove from heat. Serve and enjoy!