Next Week's Meal Plan

10 Dinners That Take 20 Minutes or Less

updated Feb 10, 2020
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Some weeks, meal planning is the only defense we have against eating out or hitting a drive-thru every single night. When our schedules are super busy or we just have a lot of fun stuff on the calendar, selecting a week’s worth of super-fast and easy recipes is the only way to ensure that dinner at home happens.

Twenty minutes seems about the perfect amount of time for a speedy dinner that tastes better than takeout but still gets us at the table and out the door in under an hour. Here are the ten 20-minute, quick and easy dinners I love reaching for when time is tight.

1. One-Pot Creamy Broccoli Pasta

The secret to this creamy, dreamy one-pot dinner is yogurt. It may sound strange, but as it mingles with the starchy cooking water, it coats the pasta in a luxe sauce that’s more whole and arguably more delicious than heavy cream.

Get the recipe: One-Pot Creamy Broccoli Pasta

Credit: Joe Lingeman

2. Sheet Pan Crispy Salmon and Potatoes

Fish is one of those fast-cooking proteins that so many of us don’t take nearly enough advantage of, and these salmon filets are proof-positive of a speedy dinner that delivers on flavor far superior to takeout.

Get the recipe: Sheet Pan Crispy Salmon and Potatoes

Credit: Joe Lingeman

3. Easy One-Pot Chicken Taco Soup

The chicken here cooks in the soup, plus one pot means only one dish to clean after the table is cleared. Oh, and pro-tip: Make sure you’ve got plenty of chips on hand for dinner dipping.

Get the recipe: Easy One-Pot Chicken Taco Soup

Credit: Faith Durand

4. Gnocchi Skillet with Chicken Sausage & Tomatoes

Packaged gnocchi is surprisingly fast-cooking despite its heft, making it a smart pasta to keep on hand for busy weeknights. This recipe is sure to become a back-pocket recipe that ends up in your weekly repertoire, because you can use almost any sausage or vegetables you have on hand. If you get the pasta water started right away, you can cook the sausage and tomatoes while the gnocchi cooks and drains, and spend just 10 quick minutes at the stove.

Get the recipe: Gnocchi Skillet with Chicken Sausage & Tomatoes

5. Gingery Poached Egg Soup

This scrappy soup delivers so much flavor with just a few ingredients and is the perfect thing to make if you’re feel under the weather or you’ve just had a long day. You can easily swap in other greens like spinach or kale for the bok choy, if you prefer.

Get the recipe: Ginger Poached Egg Soup

Credit: Joe Lingeman

6. Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza

Buy yourself some extra time — literally — by grabbing pre-made pizza dough at the grocery store instead of making it yourself. Then you can throw these pizzas together, pour some wine, and sit down at the table in less time than it would take for pizza delivery.

Get the recipe: Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza

Credit: Joe Lingeman

7. Last Minute Spicy Coconut Wonton Soup

Keep a bag of frozen Asian dumplings in your freezer and you can whip together this comforting soup at a moment’s notice. Trust me: It’s much, much better than calling for takeout.

Get the recipe: Last Minute Spicy Coconut Wonton Soup

Credit: Lauren Volo

8. Naan Wraps with Homemade Cucumber Raita

You don’t even need utensils to enjoy these gyro-inspired wraps, which is totally half the fun. While ground beef or lamb is called for in this recipe, you can also swap in ground turkey or chicken, or even bulk Italian sausage.

Get the recipe: Naan Wraps with Homemade Cucumber Raita

9. Confetti Spaghetti

Tossing a bag of store-bought coleslaw into your pasta is an ingenious way to not only turn it into an almost-immediate dinner, it’s a way to sneak an extra serving or two of veggies into your meal.

Get the recipe: Confetti Spaghetti

Credit: Lauren Volo

10. Black Bean Tacos

If you can open and drain a can of black beans, warm up some tortilla, and chop up an avocado, you can make these dead-simple tacos. They’re the perfect choice when you’re looking for a meatless meal but don’t want to spend time chopping vegetables.

Get the recipe: Black Bean Tacos