Quick and easy dinner recipes can be the saving grace when it comes to a busy work and school week. Whether you need a new take on an old favorite or inspiration for simple dinner ideas, we’ve got a months worth of easy options that will make evening meal prep a breeze.
1. Best Broccoli Casserole
Add this cheesy quinoa bake to your weekly arsenal for a quick and easy dinner that's high in nutrition. Even veggie-hating kids will admit broccoli tastes better roasted, and in this recipe from Cookie and Kate, it is topped with cheese and breadcrumbs for a comfort food that's hard to resist.
2. Gnocchi with Kale Pesto
Kale is still as popular as ever, and this gnocchi recipe combines a kale basil pesto with seasonal Brussel sprouts for a weeknight dinner that's comforting and full of flavor. Gimme Some Oven has the how-to.
3. Salmon Fish Cakes
These salmon cakes take no time to prep and can be cooked in less than ten minutes. The recipe in our archives gives tips on how to get kids helping—and soon enough cooking—in the kitchen. Serve with crunchy parboiled green beans.
4. Bacon and Pea Pasta
Pasta and bacon are a winning combo especially when they create a quick and easy family dinner. This version uses frozen peas to make a dinner that's ready in less than 30 minutes. Switch out peas for spinach or broccoli depending on the veggie preferences at home.
5. Tuna Roll Bowl
Here's an easy dinner—a deconstructed version of the spicy tuna roll! Protein-packed tuna, brown rice, and veggies all smothered in mayo sauce make this both light and filling (and a cinch to prepare!). Adjust the seasoning and ditch the spicy red pepper for kids. Show Me The Yummy has the recipe and video.
6. Quesadilla Pie
Quesadillas meet lasagne in this quick-prep weekend dinner fave. Layer up tortillas with cheese, chicken and spinach, and you have a recipe the kids will love. Click here for the details.
The fancy-sounding frittata is actually a quick and simple meal. Pile grated cheese, cubed deli meats and roasted veg into the mix, and you have an easy dinner full of protein. Two Peas & Their Pod have a sweet potato, kale and goat cheese version that's sure to become a staple.
8. Tuna Melt Sarnie
There's no shame in producing a toasty for dinner—this one uses pantry staples plus, it's so easy, soon enough the kids will be able to make their own! Serve with spiralized veggies or a bowl of soup, like this seasonal potato leek from Once Upon a Chef.
9. Chicken Enchilada Sweet Potato Fries
These Mexican enchilada fries might sound like a side dish but, topped with chicken, black beans and corn, they're likely to become a filling family favorite. The tray can be made a few hours ahead of time and reheated to crisp up when everyone's ready to eat. Get the recipe from Erin Clarke at Well Plated and skip the jalapeño if that's too spicy for kids.
10. Puff Pastry Pizza
Buttery puff pastry makes an alternative pizza base that will have dinner on the table in 30 minutes. Just brush with pesto, bake and top with fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella. Plated Cravings has the recipe.
11. Roasted Veg and Sweet Sausage
A one-pot dinner that hints of summer is the perfect mid-week pick-me-up. This version mixes sweet Italian sausage with potatoes, peppers and zucchini, and you can easily switch out the veggies your kids won't eat for ones they will.
12. Pork Medallions with Cheese Sauce
Tenderloin is easy to cook, and this medallion recipe makes a delicious one-pan weeknight dinner that’s on the table in 30 minutes. Swap out the blue cheese for a milder blend if necessary and watch the kids come back for seconds. Get the recipe from Plated Cravings.
13. Savory Pancakes
For a savory take on pancakes, try Borrowed Salt’s banh xeo. It’s a crispy crepe that’s filled with shrimp and bean sprouts, then topped off with fresh veggies and a tangy dipping sauce. Drooling yet? Click here for the recipe and here for a few other ways to turn pancakes into dinner.
14. Oven Baked Risotto
Craving a dinner that's easy to cook and full of creamy goodness? This risotto from My Little Larder will have the family hungry for more, and it requires just 10 minutes of prep then goes in the oven—so almost no stove-top stirring.
15. 15-Minute Shrimp Scampi
Sometimes the kids just need noodles ... now! This quick-prep recipe does just that—puts noodly and nutritious food on the table, fast. Head to Pinch of Yum for the high-speed how-to.
16. Baked Pork Chops
Pork chops are easy on the wallet, and when they're coated in cheesy breadcrumbs, they are easy on the taste buds too. Baked in the oven for thirty minutes, this low maintenance meal from A Taste of Madness is quick to prep and good to eat.
17. Easy Fish Tacos
Fish tacos are a winning dinner option. The fish is lightly seasoned, sauteed and served with warm tortillas and fresh salsa. Head to Weelicious for the how-to, plus tips on replacing fish with tofu. The recipe comes from Lisa Leake's 100 Days of Real Food.
18. Veggie Fried Rice
Once you nail a version of veggie fried rice then you can really add any flavor combos you want. This kid-friendly kimchi fried rice is a versatile option or check out this simple version from our round-up of recipes designed to help you ring in the Lunar New Year.
19. Soba Noodles with Broccoli
This garlicky peanut dish is a great one to remember when you walk in the door late and everyone's hungry. It's ready in the time it takes to roast some broccoli florets. Soba noodles are combined with veggies in a tangy sauce for a quick weeknight dinner fix.
20. Spinach Leek Salami Quiche
We think Popeye himself would approve of this dish. The spinach contains tons of iron, which can provide a pick-me-up when you’re feeling tired, and the eggs offer a protein boost. (Psst! Use puff pastry dough to cut down on prep time.) Get the recipe here.
21. Pesto Pierogies Skillet
Dumplings get a makeover in this simple recipe with pesto, parmesan, fresh tomato, and olive oil. Mixed together in a skillet, this is an easy weeknight dinner that's super comforting.
22. Beef Stir Fry
The meat in this stir-fry is ready in minutes. Mix with veggies on a bowl of rice and you'll be serving a dish of happiness for dinner. This recipe is easy to customize to your own family's tastes —sub in broccoli or cauliflower instead of green beans.
23. Mexican Pork Soup
It's hard to beat a delicious bowl of warming soup and this recipe from My Fussy Eater produces a chunky broth full of Mexican flavor. This dish uses leftover cooked pork which can easily be substituted with deli meats.
24. One Pot Chicken Pasta
This one-pot pasta dish is comforting and familiar as well as easy to cook and packed with nutrition. For more one-pot dinner recipes, check out this round-up of meals that can be thrown together in one oven-friendly pan.
25. Mini Meatloaves
Great for a weeknight dinner, these mini meatloaves are simple to make, quick to get to the table and totally adorable! Roast chopped potatoes at the same time as you cook the meat and dinner's done. Head to Aggie's Kitchen for the recipe and how-to video.
26. Easy Shrimp and Grits
Make this southern staple a part of your dinner routine by adding fresh shrimp and veggies to a bowl of grits. Head to our archives for the recipe.
27. Scrambled Huevos Rancheros
Think scrambled eggs are just for breakfast? Think again! This simple recipe from Cookie and Kate combines protein-rich eggs with easy-to-flip tortillas to make scrambled huevos rancheros which you can make in minutes, top with anything you like and eat any time of day!
28. Tray Bake Hawaiian Chicken
This summer-inspired tray bake combines pineapples, peppers and sweet potatoes for a fresh, sweet roast of Hawaiian flavors. When you're looking for an easy one-pan dish to lift the family's spirits, this is it. Head to The Seasoned Mom for the recipe and here for other ideas for easy sheet pan dinners.
29. Farfalle with Salmon and Peas
This dinner from The View From Great Island comes together in the time it takes to cook the pasta. Not only is it quick to prepare, it's also a good way to stretch a small fillet of salmon to feed the whole family. The citrus flavors also make it a great recipe to introduce salmon to reluctant fish eaters.
30. Goat Cheese Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato
If you’re looking for a simple weeknight recipe, you’ve got to try out this kid-approved recipe. Baked sweet potatoes are stuffed with a healthy mixture of veggies, chicken and goat cheese. You can easily switch up the ingredients to fit your family’s preferences, too.
Which recipes are your weeknight dinner favorites? Let us know in the comments below.
— Emily Myers