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101 Best Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas for Time-Crunched Weeknights

These 30-minute dinners are just the thing when time is of the essence!

Headshot of Christopher MichelBy Christopher Michel
preview for 6 Ingredients to Keep Stocked for Quick Dinners

If your weeknights are often so busy you're exhausted even trying to plan dinner (much less get it on the table) let us help.

Instead of relying on unhealthy takeout or tasteless freezer meals, scan these easy family-friendly dinner ideas. With dozens of recipes in our list, you're sure to find something you can make. And these yummy, easy recipes are healthy, and picky-eater approved, as well! Try a few, and we're sure you'll come back for more.

What's YOUR favorite easy dinner? Tell us in the comments, below!


Lasagna Soup

lasagna soup
Becky Luigart-Stayner

This easy, 25-minute recipe gives you all the flavor of the world's favorite casserole in the world's favorite comfort-food form!

Get the recipe for Lasagna Soup.


Gnocchi with Creamed Spinach

gnocchi with creamed spinach
Becky Luigart-Stayner

Got 10 minutes? Besides that, all you need for this 10-minute meal is a pack of gnocchi, frozen spinach, some cream, some cheese, and a few pantry spices.

Serve it with a glass of wine and you've got a fancy dinner for two that tastes like it took a lot more work than it actually did.

Get the recipe for Gnocchi with Creamed Spinach.


Fast Easy Chicken Marsala

chicken marsala
Ian Palmer

If you're looking for ways to make chicken a little less boring, put this recipe in your pocket. The classic creamy, savory sauce is easy to make and so good you'll want to drizzle it over everything.

Get the recipe for Chicken Marsala.

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Migas with Chorizo

migas with chorizo
Becky Luigart-Stayner

There's nothing for a fast dinner like making breakfast for dinner! This recipe goes all out—scrambled eggs with corn tortillas, spicy chorizo, and plenty of toppings—and still takes just 15 minutes to make.

Get the recipe for Migas with Chorizo.


Salmon and Creamed Spinach Fettuccini

salmon and creamed spinach fettuccini
Becky Luigart-Stayner

This may be one of our favorites. If you're craving a tasty pasta dish that's a little more grown-up than jarred red sauce, give this dish a whirl. We're pretty sure it'll become a regular part of your dinner plans.

Get the recipe for Salmon and Creamed Spinach Fettuccini.


Tuna Melt

tuna melt
Becky Luigart-Stayner

The underrated tuna melt, that staple of diners and lunch plates everywhere, deserves to be making a big time comeback. First, it's as tasty as can be. Second, it's easy to make, and third, you probably have most of the ingredients in your fridge right now. What are you waiting for?

Get the recipe for Tuna Melt.

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Easy Weeknight Salisbury Steak

salisbury steak
Ian Palmer

This well-loved dish has been popular for decades—and for good reason: Few simple meals are more satisfying.

Get the recipe for Salisbury Steak.

RELATED: Check out more ground beef dinner ideas here.


Chicken and Veggies Stir Fry

chicken and veggies stir fry
Becky Luigart-Stayner

If you're hungry for takeout, skip the wait (and the delivery fee) and just whip this up. It's got an easy sauce made mostly out of pantry ingredients, is packed with fresh veggies, and the whole thing comes together faster than take-out.

Get the recipe for Chicken and Veggies Stir Fry.


Air Fryer Fajitas

air fryer fajitas
Mike Garten

These still-sizzling fajitas will be a hit with the whole family. Cooking them in an air fryer makes the whole thing quicker, and cleanup's a breeze: No oil splatters on the stovetop!

Get the recipe for Air Fryer Fajitas.

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Crispy Gnocchi with Sausage and Sage Brown Butter

crispy gnocchi with sausage and sage brown butter
Hector M. Sanchez

Keep this four-ingredient dish in your back pocket for whenever you want a simple, filling meal in a flash.

Get the recipe for Crispy Gnocchi with Sausage.


Bagel Pizza

bagel pizza
Ian Palmer

Whether you're feeding kids, or just feeling young at heart, there's no denying that these fast, filling little pizzas are about as satisfying as they get. Plus, we've got a little trick to keep the sauce from spilling everywhere.

Get the recipe for Bagel Pizzas.


Asparagus Frittata

asparagus frittata
Becky Luigart-Stayner

Want a fast dinner that's still a little elegant? Consider a breakfast-for-dinner option! This delicious egg dish pairs well with quick-cooked bacon and a slice of toast. Serve it with a glass of wine!

Get the recipe for Asparagus Frittata.

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Air Fryer Salsa Verde Enchilada Pie

air fryer salsa verde enchilada pie
Mike Garten

An air fryer cuts the bake time for our traditional salsa verde enchiladas down from 20 to just 6 minutes. Store-bought shortcuts like rotisserie chicken make assembling these individual dishes even faster.

Get the recipe for Air Fryer Salsa Verde Enchilada Pie.


Vermouth Air Fried Shrimp

vermouth air fried shrimp
Mike Garten

These quick-marinated shrimp cook in just 10 minutes. Serve them on a salad, over pasta, or with some steamed veggies for a light, fast, tasty dinner!

Get the recipe for Vermouth Air Fried Shrimp.


Crispy Chicken Thighs with Garlic and Rosemary

crispy chicken thighs with garlic and rosemary
Brian Woodcock

Your whole family will fall in love with these crispy chicken thighs (emphasis on "crispy"). Garlic and rosemary make them as aromatic as they are delicious. Serve with a fresh salad for an extra touch of green.

Get the recipe for Crispy Chicken Thighs.

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Stovetop Cheeseburger

stovetop cheeseburger
Ian Palmer

You don't need to break out the grill to eat a good burger. And these cook very quickly! There's a reason they're a fast-food staple.

Get the recipe for Stovetop Cheeseburger.


Easy-Peasy Stovetop Mac 'n Cheesy

easypeasy stovetop mac 'n cheesy
Ian Palmer

A can of evaporated milk and fresh shredded cheese makes this no-drain pasta recipe (you read that right) even easier than the boxed stuff! It's tastier, too.

Get the recipe for Easy-Peasy Stovetop Mac 'n Cheesy.


Cornflake Crusted Fish and Chips

cornflake crusted fish and chips
Ian Palmer

Nothing beats fish sticks for that certain kind of kid—but that doesn't mean you need to fill your freezer with boxes of the stuff. This takes just 20 minutes from fridge to plate.

Get the recipe for Cornflake Crusted Fish and Chips.

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Grain Salad with Trout

grain salad with trout
Becky Luigart-Stayner

A light broil turns trout (or other white fish) into a delicate and tender topper for a tasty grain salad. It's perfect for a quick, filling dinner.

Get the recipe for Grain Salad with Trout.


Chicken-and-Spinach Tortellini Soup

easy dinner ideas chicken and spinach tortellini soup
Ian Palmer

Honestly, we could eat this soup for days. It's simple, it's tasty, and it's a great way to stretch a rotisserie chicken!

Get the recipe for Chicken-and-Spinach Tortellini Soup.

RELATED: Check out more inexpensive family-friendly dinner ideas here.

Dinner Recipes

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