37 Easy Dinner Recipes That Take 30 Minutes or Less

sheet pan nachos are an easy dinner idea Maple + Mango

When it comes to weeknights, it’s all about finding the best easy dinner recipes for families

When it comes to trying to be creative in the kitchen these days, it’s always smart to have quick and easy dinner recipes up your sleeve. That’s why we’ve collected over 40 dynamite dishes that take very little prep work and guarantee to satisfy the whole family. Even better? Some of these quick meal ideas call for the slow cooker!

Cheesy Pasta

Cheese? Check. Pasta? Check. Sounds like a total kid-pleasing easy dinner. Throw some rotisserie chicken in at the end of this recipe from The Cozy Cook to make it a one-pot meal.

Shrimp Fried Rice

So maybe your kiddo hates peas. Or carrots. Or both. The good news is, this easy dinner recipe for Shrimp Fried Rice from The Cozy Cook is super adaptable, so you can throw in whatever the kids will actually eat.

Instant Pot Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala is one of the ultimate comfort foods. This easy dinner recipe from Easy Chicken Recipes uses an Instant Pot to get the meal done in under 30 minutes, so we’re huge fans.

Easy Dinner Recipe for Cashew Chicken

We’re always looking for recipes that taste just like (better?) our favorite take-out items. This recipe for Cashew Chicken fits the bill, and it’s made in one skillet. Get the recipe from Modern Honey.

Easy Whitefish with Burst Cherry Tomatoes and Basil

View from Great Island

This simple summer recipe only takes 15 minutes! Throw together cherry tomatoes, white fish, basil, and a few other pantry staples, and you're good to go! Get the recipe here

Ground Beef Stroganoff

ground beef stroganoff is an easy dinner recipe
Chelsea's Messy Apron

Beef stroganoff is a classic pasta dish, and this ground beef version from Chelsea's Messy Apron comes together quickly. It's a meal that even picky eaters can get behind. Get the recipe here

Crock Pot Chicken from Heaven

crock pot chicken recipe
Stock the Crock

It's right there in the title. This chicken is a little bit of heaven. It's also convenient, delicious, and can be adapted for Paleo diets! Grab the recipe by clicking here.

Chicken Fajitas

chicken fajitas are an easy dinner recipe
Weelicious

A classic easy dinner recipe that's perfect for picky eaters because they can build their own plates. Get the recipe from Weelicious

Ham and Swiss Pasta Roll Up

The View from Great Island

Ham and Swiss cheese nestled into pasta and baked to perfection? Yes, please! This surprisingly simple recipe can be made ahead of time and popped into the oven before dinner time. Get the recipe from The View from Great Island. 

Chicken Cordon Blue Sandwiches

You’ll be able to serve up warm, tangy sandwiches in no time with this 30-minute recipe for Chicken Cordon Blue from Sprinkles and the Smiths. Best of all, it can be made in an air fryer, which makes it (almost) healthy.

Sheet Pan Nachos

Sheet pan nachos are a good option for busy families because you can add what you want, divide it up into sections for picky eaters, and of course, they’re ready in under 30 minutes. Get the scoop from Maple + Mango.

Grilled Cheese with Apple and Jam

Garlic My Soul

Give your classic grilled cheese a major upgrade with two ingredients you probably have on hand: apples and jam! Get the tasty recipe here.

Carnitas Salad

Sara Olsher

Psst! If you toss together pre-cooked carnitas, cheese, avocado, salsa, cilantro salad dressing, sour cream, and a bag of romaine lettuce, you'll get a delicious dinner. Learn more here.

Honey Garlic Slow Cooker Chicken

A bowl of honey garlic chicken made in a slow cooker
Hello Spoonful

This chicken recipe is a keeper when it comes to weeknight dinner recipes! It only has a few ingredients, so you can get this into the Crock Pot in the morning in less than ten minutes! Get the recipe here.

Instant Pot Chili

The Bearded Hiker

Love your Instant Pot? Then you'll love this weeknight dinner recipe! Just sauté your beef, add veggies, beans, and spices and the pressure cooker will do the rest. Click here for the recipe.

Pulled Pork Tacos

Sara Olsher

This adds up: Make Trader Joe’s Pulled Pork in the microwave in three minutes and get a super-tasty taco base. Then just add your favorite toppings and salsa! Learn more here.

One-Pot Orecchiette, Sausage, and Broccoli Pasta

Chelsea's Messy Apron

The flavor of the sausage, parmesan cheese, and olive oil gives this dish all the seasoning it needs, which means there's no heavy sauce to make on the side. Get the recipe from Chelsea's Messy Apron

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Bites

Catherine McCord from Weelicious

These meatloaf bites from our friend Catherine McCord of Weelicious are petite versions of your favorite comfort food. And you can bet they're perfect for kids' taste buds!

Kid-friendly Curry

Trader Joe's recipes that include Thai curry red sauce
Sara Olsher

It's easy to get a taste of Thai with this Trader Joe's hack that uses coconut cream TJ's Thai Red Curry Sauce, pre-cooked all-natural chicken breast, and three-minute rice. Don't forget the veggies! Learn more here.

Hawaiian Barbecue Pizza

Kim's Cravings

With BBQ sauce, pineapple, and rotisserie chicken, this pizza couldn't be more simple. Get the kids in on the cooking to make dinnertime extra fun! Click here for the recipe.

Island Soyaki Rice Bowl with Meatballs

Anna Doogan

Throw together a tropical-inspired rice bowl with Trader Joe's party-size frozen mini meatballs, Island Soyaki marinade, grilled pineapple chunks, and just a few other ingredients. Dinner is served! Learn more here.

Thai Chicken Pasta Salad

Thai chicken pasta salad recipe
I Wash You Dry

This pasta salad from calls for ramen noodles and rotisserie chicken—extra easy!—and sports crisp veggies and a flavorful sauce. Get the recipe here.

Next Level Ravioli

Sara Olsher

Trader Joe’s has a great selection of ravioli, and it's easy to change the usual marinara sauce. Instead, opt for things like spinach, peas, and Boursin cheese! Get inspired here.

Related: 18 Easy One-Pot Dinners Perfect for Busy Weeknights

One-Pot Tomato Basil Pasta

tomato basil pasta is an easy dinner idea
iStock

This pasta dish isn't too fancy, sports kid-friendly ingredients, and is sure to be a weeknight dinner recipe that you'll make again and again. Bonus: It only gets one pot dirty! Get the how-to here.

Air Fryer Pigs in a Blanket

Bake Me Some Sugar

Everyone's fave party app also makes a great dinner-in-a-pinch! And with just two ingredients and four steps, kids can help whip these up! Make your own with these instructions.

Fettuccine Alfredo

fettucine alfredo for 30 minute meals
Engin Akyurt via Unsplash

Creamy fettuccine Alfredo that's healthy, too? The secret to this recipe is sneaking spinach into the sauce and adding pre-cooked chicken. Get the recipe here.

Grilled Cheese Rollups

My Little Gourmet

Think outside the grilled cheese! These rollups have the classic taste kids love, with just a bit of a twist. And they only take 10 minutes to make! Find out how here.

Related: 31 Make Ahead Meals That Are Perfect for Busy Weeknights

BBQ Pork Sandwiches with Coleslaw

need a Trader Joe's dinner idea? Tried BBQ pulled pork sandwiches.
Anna Doogan

With a few shortcuts, you can serve up BBQ pork sandwiches PDQ! The key is pre-made shredded pork and a quick coleslaw mix. Learn more here.

Salmon with Chili-Lime Sauce

Savory Tooth

Three cheers for the Instant Pot, which cooks up this salmon in just five minutes. Plus, there's a tangy sauce, rice and a good dose of veggies. Find the recipe here.

Cheese Stuffed Meatballs

The Weary Chef

Try these creative meatballs as a quick lunch or pop ’em in a pot of pasta sauce. You can even use string cheese for the tasty middle! Check out the recipe here.

Steak Tacos

carne asada tacos are an easy dinner recipe
Anna Doogan

You can have Taco Tuesday any day of the week with TJ's prepped carne asada. Don't forget the avocado, cheese, sour cream and salsa!

Korean Beef Bowl

Ambs Loves Food

You can fulfill your Korean food cravings in 15-20 minutes with this beef bowl recipe. And you probably have the ingredient list in your pantry! Click here for the recipe.

Scallop Rolls

Scallop rolls are an easy dinner idea
Anna Doogan

Channel a seaside vacation with an easy weeknight meal! All you need to do is saute Trader Joe's scallops with butter and seasonings, add sandwich fixings, and enjoy! Learn more here.

Crispy Parmesan Crusted Fish

panko fish is tops for weeknight dinner recipes
iStock

Want to introduce the kiddos to delish fish? Try this mild white fish covered in a crunchy parmesan crust. The ingredients are simple, and the flavors are excellent! Get the recipe here.

One-Pot Chicken and Rice

chicken and rice is an easy dinner recipe
Scrummy Lane

Is there anything more comforting than chicken and rice? We don't think so, and love this quick one-pot version from Scrummy Lane. 

Easy Vegetarian Soft Tacos

Sara Olsher

Head's up! These tacos can be thrown together in less than five minutes. It starts with tortillas and refried beans and ends with toppings like salsa, cheese, guac, and greens. Learn more here.

Crock Pot Chicken Teriyaki

crock pot chicken teriyaki is an easy dinner recipe
iStock

Fact: Kids love teriyaki. Another fact? This recipe from Our Little Acre uses the slow cooker and is super simple to make. What's not to love? 

 

 

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