Busy nights call for quick and easy dinners. As tempting as it may be to stop by a fast-food restaurant, there’s just something about a homemade meal that tastes so much better! You may have recipe book after recipe book of fabulous meals, but if they take longer than an hour, you’ll have a hungry family waiting for you to finish dinner.
Fortunately, with technology and chef geniuses, plenty of recipes out there use simple, fresh ingredients and only take about half an hour to prep and complete! Here are 12 quick and easy weeknight dinner ideas that you and your family will love.
1. Honey Garlic Glazed Salmon
You’ll be thankful you added this sweet salmon recipe to your dinner rotation. Home chefs may shy away from salmon because it’s a more delicate fish, but it’s so simple to either bake in the oven or fry on the stove! This recipe comes with wonderful aromas and flavors of garlic and honey. Add some green onion on top for a fresh garnish.
2. Pasta Bake with Sausage
Baked ziti is such a classic quick and easy dinner idea, but instead of using meatballs, this uses sausage — if you’re not a fan of sausage or want to make this vegan-friendly, you can use any other ground meat or meat alternative! Your home will be smelling like an Italian restaurant in no time, especially if you pair it with garlic bread.
3. Sheet Pan Fajitas
Taco Tuesday just got way easier! Sheet pan fajitas are always a good idea on super busy nights. All you need is one pan, some chicken, pork, steak, or other meat sliced thinly, and some cut-up peppers and onions, olive oil and spices, and boom — you have a meal. This makes clean-up super easy, too, because you only dirty one pan!
4. Easy Fried Rice
Ever wish you could get fried rice from your favorite Chinese restaurant every night? You could, but it’s just as simple to make your own. Kids and spouses alike will love this meal. Get some rice, your favorite veggies, eggs and soy sauce, and you have yourself a filling meal. You can even use leftover rice to make this meal even simpler and more delicious.
5. Grilled Glazed Drumettes
Who doesn’t love chicken wings? These wings take an Asian spin on the classic wing by adding soy sauce and some ground ginger. Plus, they’re grilled, which makes them perfect for summertime. These are ready in less than an hour and would pair perfectly with some cut-up veggies, like celery, carrots, and cucumbers.
6. Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese
Take a trip down memory lane with this childhood favorite — macaroni and cheese. This is just as easy as instant macaroni and cheese from a box, too. The Instant Pot has made it possible to make creamy and delicious mac and cheese that’s ready in less than 10 minutes! And would you believe it’s only five ingredients?
7. Pork Chops with Mushroom Cream Sauce
This one-pan dinner will make you think you’re eating at a restaurant. The pork chops become super tender as they soak up the creamy mushroom sauce. You probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry already, so grab some good pork chops and get cooking! You won’t regret it.
8. Shrimp Cobb Salad with Bacon Dressing
If you’re looking for something fresh and nutritious, the shrimp cobb salad is for you. This salad brings all sorts of colors to the plate, like red onion, bright red cherry tomatoes, avocado, and hard-boiled eggs. When you add the bacon and bacon dressing, this salad goes from a 10/10 to a 15/10.
9. Sloppy Joe Casserole
Another childhood favorite is the famous sloppy joe. However, this makes it even easier since it’s a one-dish recipe! Ready in just half an hour, this casserole layers a sloppy joe base with cheese and dinner rolls on top. You could even opt for crescent rolls or biscuits on top. Make it your own savory, cheesy and sweet dish.
10. Supreme Pizza
Did you think this list could go on without including pizza? It’s super easy to grab a pizza from your local pizza shop, but it’s even better when you can make your own from scratch. Plus, you can involve your kids and have them add the toppings! This recipe encompasses an authentic supreme pizza, topped with pepperoni, bell peppers, bacon, onion, olives, basil, and mozzarella.
11. Easy Pesto Pasta
Pesto and pasta were meant to be put together for this delicious vegan pasta dish. It’s quick and super simple. While a homemade pesto would be best, you can use a store-bought brand if you’re in a hurry. All you have to do is cook up your favorite pasta, add it to some pesto and reserved pasta water, toss it with arugula, and finish with some lemon, salt, pepper, red pepper, and pine nuts.
12. Cast-Iron Skillet Cheeseburgers
Though the summer is perfect for grilling, once you make burgers on a cast-iron skillet, you won’t want to go back! The cast-iron skillet adds so much extra flavor because it keeps all of the juices inside the pan. Add your favorite burger toppings and dig into the most flavorful burger you’ll ever have.
What’s for Dinner?
Which recipe will you try first? Test them all out this week since they’re quick and easy to make!
Photo by Max Ravier from Pexels