10 Easy Dinner Ideas for Last-Minute Meals

updated May 19, 2023
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

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.

Easy Dinner Ideas for Last-Minute Meals

1 / 10
Pesto Tortellini with Roasted Vegetables
An easy 5 ingredient recipe for cheese tortellini with pesto and a mix of roasted vegetables.
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2 / 10
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.

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3 / 10
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.

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4 / 10
One-Pot 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.

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5 / 10
The Easiest Cheese and Vegetable Frittata
A frittata for your favorite summer produce. Or just the vegetables you forgot in the crisper.
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6 / 10
Easy Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowls
With cilantro-lime cauliflower rice at the helm, plus smoky black beans and corn, salsa and creamy avocado, this is wholesome indulgence at its finest.
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7 / 10
Cheesy Vegetable Melts
The familiar comfort of grilled cheese, with a big dose of veggies.
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8 / 10
Weeknight Vegetable Stir-Fry
This easy weeknight veggie stir-fry is more template than recipe. Make it once a week to clear out the crisper and ensure you're eating your veggies!
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9 / 10
One-Pot Pasta Puttanesca
This certainly isn't your Italian grandmother's pasta puttanesca, but it is one of the easiest versions you'll find.
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10 / 10
Tomato Chickpea Salad
Tomatoes and chickpeas are tossed in a simple vinaigrette for a light dinner or easy lunch.
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