10 Easy Dinner Ideas for Last-Minute Meals

10 Easy Dinner Ideas for Last-Minute Meals

Kelli Foster
Sep 1, 2017
(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

In my meal plan arsenal, there's a roster of reliable recipes I keep on standby for nights I need to throw dinner together in a pinch. Whether I'm stuck at work late, decide to jump into a post-work yoga class, or my plans with friends fall through, I feel good knowing there's some tried-and-true dinner gems I can pull together with basics from the pantry, fridge, and freezer, and with minimal effort.

From pesto tortellini with vegetables to 10-minute tacos, here are 10 simple suppers that are easy to throw together at the last minute.

1. Pesto Tortellini with Roasted Vegetables

This is a dinner that sounds and looks a bit fancy, but it couldn't be easier. Grab a bag of tortellini from the freezer, a jar of pesto from the pantry (bonus if you have homemade pesto hanging out in the freezer), and any type of leftover roasted vegetables stashed in the fridge and dinner is ready.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

2. 10-Minute Black Bean Tacos

I know I can always count on having tortillas in the fridge and a can of beans in the pantry (if you don't have black beans, use whatever variety you do have), which means an easy taco dinner is only minutes away.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

3. Curried Chickpea & Spinach Baked Potato

If I don't already have a pre-cooked baked potato (white or sweet) in the fridge, it's easy enough to pop in the oven or microwave, while sautéing a quick batch of curry-spiced chickpeas and greens.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

4. One-Pot 30-Minute Zoodles and Meatballs

This is the number-one reason I keep meatballs in the freezer at all times. Toss them with a mess of zucchini noodles and some jarred sauce, and a simple, satisfying dinner awaits.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

5. The Easiest Cheese and Vegetable Frittata

Frittatas are so often my saving grace at dinnertime. I know I can always count on eggs in the fridge and some assortment of vegetables, herbs, cheese, and maybe even leftover pieces of meat, which are all fair game in this baked egg dinner.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

6. Easy Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowls

These weeknight burrito bowls have been on repeat in my meal plan since I first made them earlier this year. I typically top the heated cauliflower rice with a medley of chili-spiced beans and corn, avocado or a scoop of guac, salsa, a dollop of Greek yogurt, and any leftover meat or roasted veggies I have in the fridge.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

7. Cheesy Vegetable Melts

These veggie melts answer the call for easy comfort food after you've had one of those days. They bring the familiar comfort of grilled cheese, with a big dose of veggies and a tangy Dijonaise that brings it all together.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

8. Weeknight Vegetable Stir-Fry

Grab any veggies lingering in the fridge, whisk together a quick sauce, and in less than 20 minutes you'll be tucking into dinner. All veggies are fair game in my book, and I like to bulk this up with some cubed tofu or leftover meat.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

9. One-Pot Pasta Puttanesca

Spaghetti puttanesca is a meal that will make you feel like a real dinnertime superhero. With some pantry ingredients it comes together in about the same amount of time it takes to normally boil a pot of water and cook spaghetti.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

10. Tomato Chickpea Salad

This meal-worthy salad comes together at a moment's notice and always proves totally satisfying. I like to toss in a little feta if I have it handy, and serve a piece of crusty bread on the side.

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