These 50 easy and delicious dinner ideas are the perfect dinner recipes to make any time you ask yourself, “What should I make for dinner tonight?”
50 Easy Dinner Ideas
Why is it figuring out tonight’s dinner can be one of the biggest challenges of the day? No more! The next time you find yourself limited on time and asking yourself, “What should we eat for dinner tonight?”, just look to this list of dinner ideas.
These all-in-one dinner ideas are ready to swoop in and save the day. Some are cooked on a sheet pan, made in the slow cooker or Instant Pot, or made in just one pot or skillet. And most all of these dinner ideas require 10 minutes of prep (yay less dishes) and are ready in 40 minutes or less!
This dinner idea recipe list provides the time Ito bust the boring dinner rut and slay busy weeknights by showing who’s the dinnertime boss now.
This chicken piccata pasta’s lemony white wine, butter and caper sauce makes a light and snappy coating for linguine with tomato bursts and mushrooms for an easy pasta dinner that won’t weigh you down.
Joyful Healthy Eats
Sheet pan meals are one of the greatest dinner ideas! This 30-minute sheet pan dinner is everything you want a weeknight meal to be. Loaded up with colorful root veggies and a dijon mustard chicken, it’s easy to make, healthy and filling, and requires minimal cleanup!
This simple tomato sauce gets tons of flavor from herbs steeped in olive oil that lusciously coats potato pillows of gnocchi, topped with fresh balls of mozzarella.
Sweet Peas and Saffron
30 minutes is all you need to make this flavorful, Thai Stir-Fry sizzle!
Fast dinners don’t come together much quicker than this garlic and herb rubbed pork tenderloin recipe that’s seared on the stove then finished in the oven for a lean and juicy main dish cooked in just 30 minutes.
Just add a side salad to this dish of golden brown chicken breasts with mushrooms and shallots in a lush, sweet and savory Marsala wine sauce makes THE BEST easy, 30-minute classic chicken skillet dinner.
This French pasta tastes like one of Julia Child’s dinner ideas that’s whipped up in minutes (only on a weeknight, because it comes together in just 30 minutes)—oui oui!
This easy taco soup recipe can be made in 30 minutes on the stove top, Instant Pot, or slow cooked in the Crock Pot for a healthy Mexican-inspired, make-ahead, one-bowl meal.
This creamy 4-step pasta dinner is teeming with flavor thanks to lots of garlic, and it only takes 15 minutes!
This easy Thai Coconut Chicken and Rice dinner has just the right amount of spice from jalapeño and ginger to flavor this creamy coconut sauce for a simple all-in-on meal.
Healthy Seasonal Recipes
Tacos make everything better, especially when they’re bursting with flavor, easy to make, and only take 20 minutes of work!
Perfectly juicy and super crispy chicken is gussied up with briny olives, zesty artichokes, garlic, and white wine, making this one sexy skillet homemade dinner! Though the flavors and presentation are sophisticated, this dish actually requires minimal prep, making it weeknight-friendly.
Traditional tandoori chicken is made in a clay oven, but this version of the classic Indian chicken dinner is baked on a sheet pan with Indian spiced vegetables for a complete meal any night of the week.
Pinch of Yum
Ditch the greasy takeout and make these addictive, no-frills noodles instead. They’re a healthier, tasty dinner idea made in one pan, and they’re ready in just 15 minutes!
If this mac and cheese-chili hybrid doesn’t scream “coziness,” then I don’t know what does! Smoked paprika and fire-roasted tomatoes are the magic ingredients that give this one pot chili a major punch of flavor, and leafy kale makes it extra hearty (and a tad virtuous).
Forget the drive-thru, this is how to make a beef tacos recipe that tastes just like Taco Bell tacos for an easy Taco Tuesday dinner at home any night of the week.
Spoonful of Flavor
This protein powerhouse is everything you love about a burrito, but without all of the calories. Also, it comes together in just one skillet, and is super healthy and satisfying.
Quick and easy to prep, these chicken fajita foil packet dinners with a simple homemade fajita seasoning mix are cooked on the grill or in the oven and ready to eat in just about 30 minutes.
Whisk it Real Gud
A creamy alfredo sauce, spicy cajun chicken breast, and tangles of linguini make this easy, 20-minute pasta dish a decadent weeknight win.
This version of the classic Chinese takeout dish is made healthier thanks to sautéed lean pork tenderloin instead of deep-fried, and a master stir fry sauce sweetened with balsamic vinegar and honey.
This 30-minute one pot fajita-inspired soup is chockfull of so many wonderful spices and flavors. Just don’t forget all the yummy fixings!
This sheet-pan dinner couldn’t be easier. Simply marinade the fish in a simple miso sauce then place in the oven for a fast and favorite meal.
Lean chicken and tons of fresh veggies make this aromatic, creamy curry healthy and satisfying. Plus, it it all comes together in just 20 minutes!
This incredibly easy but incredibly flavorful recipe for one of the most popular Chinese dishes can easily be made gluten-free or traditional style.
You can never go wrong with a one pot pasta during a busy workweek. This one only has two steps, and can be on your table in 30 minutes! The best part? The only dishes you’ll need to wash are a knife, cutting board, and pot!
n this chicken and broccoli pasta, a hint of stone ground mustard gives a bit of tang to creamy melted cheese mixed into whole wheat pasta, broccoli florets, and shredded chicken.
Food Faith Fitness
With just 10 ingredients and 10 minutes of prep, you can’t beat this easy weeknight meal that your whole family will love. Melt-in-your-mouth-tender pork and brown rice are brought together in the most irresistible honey-dijon sauce, resulting in the most comforting, yet healthy, and gluten-free dinner!
You’ve gotta love a meal you can make entirely in one skillet. This chili is everything chili should be: Hearty, comforting, and effortless.
Gimme Some Oven
Everyone loves a good stir-fry, and this one features a killer homemade sauce that you’ll want to use on everything! Plus, it’s quick and easy, and customizable with whatever veggies you have in your fridge.
hese better-than-P.F. Chang’s orange chicken lettuce wraps recipe is incredibly easy to make and does double duty as a self-serve, low-carb appetizer or as a healthy main meal that’s quick to make and even more fun to eat.
Love Grows Wild
We’ll never be too old for some mac and cheese! This dreamy (not too caloric) version only has three steps and you can make it in just minutes. Plus, it’s got some chicken thrown in for protein, and broccoli for good measure, so you get something green! Everybody wins.
This soup may be vegetarian, but it’s wonderfully hearty and filling. Flavors of cumin and adobo lend a nice smokiness to it, and once again, the slow cooker steps in to save the day!
This lemon chicken recipe makes juicy, bone-in chicken thighs with the Mediterranean flavors of white wine and artichokes for an easy chicken dinner ready in 30 minutes.
Chelsea’s Messy Apron
After a mini 2-ingredient marinade (that’s also used as a cooking sauce and dipping sauce) and 10 minutes of prep, you can sit down and relax with a glass of wine while this healthy sheet pan dinner cooks away! All weeknight dinners should be this easy.
Salmon recipes can be cooked many ways, but in my book, there’s nothing as easy as oven baked salmon in white wine and lemon for a healthy dinner, or to make and use for meal prep all week long.
Crunchy Creamy Sweet
Let’s be real, I’ll always be excited about any homemade dinner idea that involves penne, sausage, cheese and is made in one lil’ old pot.
Chicken quinoa bowls have staked their healthy claim on quick and easy meal-prep dinners that are flexible enough to mix and match ingredients for take-to-work lunches that never get boring, too.
Two Peas and Their Pod
A simple store-bought rotisserie chicken makes this comforting chili a breeze. You can prep everything in just 10 minutes, and it only needs 20 minutes to cook.
A tangy mustard sauce flavors this sheet-pan baked salmon recipe with caramelized asparagus and potatoes for a super simple dinner with minimal clean-up.
Iowa Girl Eats
This recipe makes a whole lot, so halve it if you’re cooking for one or two or make it part of your weekly meal plan to eat through the week, the leftovers are excellent reheated.
This creamy chicken and rice casserole is a fast and healthy 30-minute meal made right on the stove top, making it a favorite one-pot dinner that feeds a family of four for under $10.
The trick to this quick meal is in browning the chicken first, followed by a brief poaching in dry white wine with sautéed shallots that’ll keep the chicken juicy all week long.
Ramen noodles aren’t just for soup anymore. Here’s how to hack every college student’s favorite noodle recipe and give it an instant upgrade by turning it into an easy and healthy weeknight meal ready in just 30 minutes or less.
Bright pesto, Italian seasoning, and garlic breathe so much flavor into this light and easy dish. It comes together in just 30 minutes, and you can eat it straight from the skillet, or add to your favorite grain or pasta—mamma mia!
Looking for an easy ground turkey recipe? This one-pot pasta comes together in just 30 minutes and is packed with good-for-you ingredients like spinach, tomatoes, and ground turkey.
The Recipe Critic
Flaky salmon and veggies get tossed in the yummiest zesty Thai sauce and then cooked up on a sheet pan in this super easy 30-minute meal! Eat as is, or serve over some rice, then rejoice in the fact that you have practically zero dishes to wash!
Climbing Grier Mountain
Simple and quick, herbed baked chicken tops little pillows of heaven, GNOCCHI! for a dinner or lunch that will totally bowl you over. This yummy dish totally hits the spot.
This healthy recipe for pasta with turkey sausage and peas makes a fast Italian skillet dinner for any night of the week.
The Endless Meal
Want curry in a hurry? Let your crockpot do all of the work! This version is super creamy and flavorful, yet light and healthy. It’s naturally paleo and gluten-free.
You only need a handful of ingredients to make this beautiful and easy chicken. Serve over pasta, salad, or alongside your favorite veggies, and pretend it’s summer all year-long!
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
THE BEST Chicken Caprese Recipe
- 2 chicken breasts , skinless and boneless
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 6 oz. jar DeLallo Traditional Basil Simply Pesto
- 4-6 slices fresh mozzarella or 6 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
- 8 cocktail or small tomatoes sliced
- DeLallo balsamic glaze
- Fresh basil slivered
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Use a thin, sharp knife to slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Season both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a large oven-proof skillet over medium high heat with the olive oil and butter. Once the butter has melted into the olive oil, add the chicken breasts to the pan, being careful not to crowd. Cook on each side until lightly browned and easily release from the pan, about 3-4 minutes each.
- Slather the tops of each chicken breast with the basil pesto, about 1-2 tablespoons per chicken breast. Top each chicken breast with a slice of mozzarella and a few slices of tomato. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165° F. Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
More Dinner Ideas
- 20 One-Pot Wonder Meals—They’re What’s for Dinner
- 25 Great Ground Beef Recipes
- 30 Easy Comfort Food Casseroles
- 31 Quick Dinner Ideas for Easy Summer Nights
- 50 Favorite Mediterranean Diet Recipes
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