20 Quick Dinner Recipes for Busy Weeks

20 Quick Dinner Recipes for Busy Weeks

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Kelli Foster
Nov 30, 2016
(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Getting dinner on the table during the week can be a feat even in the best of times. Making that happen when you're juggling a busy schedule can feel almost impossible. You're certainly not alone on that one; we've been there, too.

Luckily there's a solid dinner solution, and it doesn't involve takeout, cereal, or random grazing through the pantry. These 20 meals are just what you need in your back pocket when you want a satisfying dinner, but are short on time and energy.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

1. Fish Tacos with Quick Cabbage Slaw

If you have never made fish tacos at home because you thought they'd be tricky to pull off, wait no longer. This meal is a keeper.

(Image credit: Michelle Peters-Jones)

2. Vegetarian Indo-Chinese Hakka Noodles

These Indo-Chinese Hakka noodles are a classic Indian street food and also make the perfect quick and easy midweek dinner — one that is equally child- and adult-friendly.

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

3. Spicy Chicken Skewers with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

This recipe is really all about the sun-dried tomato sauce; it's sweet and hot, and once it caramelizes on the grill, it's pretty much condiment perfection.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

4. Fried Cauliflower Rice

As a fried rice look-alike, this dish can hold its own. The cauliflower is chewy and nubbly in all the right rice-like ways. Bits of egg and tender vegetables also make it a satisfying meal on its own.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

5. Spaghetti with Turkey Bolognese

This dish is really a reminder that good food doesn't need to be complicated or use fancy ingredients. In fact, sometimes the most basic, everyday ingredients make the most satisfying meals.

(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

6. Foolproof Salmon Baked with Olive Oil & Herbs

This method of cooking salmon is the place to start for a cook intimidated by fish, because the process is truly foolproof; there's almost no way to mess it up.

(Image credit: Nick Evans)

7. Lemon Thyme Chicken Thighs

When cooked correctly (which isn't hard), chicken thighs will make the most succulent chicken you'll ever eat, with perfectly crispy skin.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

8. Braised Coconut Spinach & Chickpeas with Lemon

This stew gives you a comforting dinner and your daily dose of veggies all in one dish.

(Image credit: Karen Biton-Cohen)

9. Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Corn & Parsley Pesto

This whole-wheat spaghetti is coated in an herby pesto and speckled with the last of summer's sweet corn — exactly the right dish to carry you into fall.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

10. Sweet Potato, Ricotta & Arugula Flatbread

This flatbread is so good as a light weeknight dinner, and a fun way to revamp pizza night.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

11. Gnocchi Skillet with Chicken Sausage & Tomatoes

This skillet is the dish to make when you want a 15-minute meal with just a handful of ingredients, and one that tastes like summer.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

12. Joe Yonan's Sloppy Vegan Joe

This recipe is a saucy, savory, wholly vegan version of that classic childhood meal.

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

13. Crispy Paprika-Parmesan Fish Fillets with Sautéed Chard

Everyone needs a few go-to dinner recipes like this. Think: fresh, flavorful, and fast. It's a 10-minute meal that's mind-blowingly simple and mind-blowingly good.

(Image credit: Elizabeth Passarella)

14. Spaghetti with Mascarpone, Meyer Lemon, Spinach, and Hazelnuts

This pasta is simultaneously sophisticated and absurdly fast and easy. Toss the creamy sauce with freshly cooked pasta and wilted spinach, and it's ready!

(Image credit: Sara Kate Gillingham)

15. Easy Rosemary-Rubbed Pork Chops

One of the easiest and quickest meats to cook is a pork chop. Toss a few aromatics together and slather the mixture across the chops; once you get cooking, the meat is ready in minutes.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

16. Baked Black Bean and Avocado Burritos

These burritos remind me of a hybrid burrito and enchilada; they're really simple to make and great for vegetarians. For a meaty version, substitute ground beef or turkey for the beans.

(Image credit: Anjali Prasertong)

17. Thai Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry

This gingery chicken stir-fry is home cooking at its best: quick and simple to prepare, with a punch of flavor that manages to be both exciting and deeply comforting.

(Image credit: Michelle Peters-Jones)

18. Lentil Dal with Hearty Greens

There's a lot to love about the ease of this simple, rustic weeknight meal and the convenience of making and freezing rotis in advance.

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

19. Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup

While this soup just keeps getting better with time, all you need for a delicious meal is 30 minutes on the stove.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

20. Broiled Steak & Asparagus with Feta Cream Sauce

Meaty sirloin tip steaks cook oh-so-quickly on a wire rack under the broiler. And broiling the steak right over asparagus means the asparagus gets basted in some of the tasty meat juices.

With all of these quick dinner recipes, we've helped make your decision-making quicker with our recipe roulette. Pause the video whenever you'd like to determine what you'll be making for dinner tonight.

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