Our 60 Most Delicious 20-Minute Dinners For Busy Weeknights

published Apr 28, 2024
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Overhead shot of four cooked pieces of salmon in a cast iron, topped with green onion.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: James Park

Planning weeknight dinners can be tough — especially when you’re pressed for time. Busy schedules often lead to trips through the drive-thru or eating out, but nothing compares to a delicious home-cooked meal with the family. The solution? Quick and easy dinners that you can cook in 20 minutes or less. 

Here you’ll find dinners that the whole family can enjoy, including five-ingredient honey-garlic salmon that’s made in one skillet, tender garlic-Parmesan chicken bites that cook in just 15 minutes, and a four-ingredient kielbasa and sauerkraut skillet that’s so tasty, you’ll definitely go back for seconds.

Weeknights can be hectic, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice a homemade dinner. With a 20-minute cook time, these recipes are quick and simple, yet super-flavorful. Here are 60 of our best 20-minute dinners to make your weeknights a little easier.

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5-Ingredient Honey Garlic Glazed Salmon

This saucy stovetop dinner is the ultimate weeknight win. Five ingredients and 20 minutes are all you need to make incredibly tender, flaky salmon fillets coated in a super-flavorful, sweet-and-savory sauce.

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Garlic Parmesan Chicken Bites

This is one of our most popular recipes so far this year! It features tender, bite-size pieces of chicken flavored with garlic and a generous shower of nutty Parmesan. Serve with roasted broccoli or lemony tortellini for a dinner the whole family will love.

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4-Ingredient Kielbasa and Sauerkraut Skillet

You only need four ingredients and 20 minutes to cook this easy one-skillet dinner.

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Chicken Teriyaki

Cook juicy chicken thighs in an easy homemade teriyaki sauce in just 15 minutes.

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Garlic Noodles

These easy garlic noodles get maximum umami flavor from oyster sauce, fish sauce, and soy sauce.

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Creamy Lemon-Dill Salmon

Seared salmon fillets take on maximum flavor in a lemon and fresh dill sauce.

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Egg Roll Skillet

When you need a quick one-pan dinner that has tons of veggies and protein, look no further than this egg roll skillet.

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Honey-Garlic Shrimp

Tender shrimp tossed with a sticky honey-garlic glaze can be on the table in 10 minutes. It’s perfect for serving over steamed rice or with a crisp cucumber salad.

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Kimchi Fried Rice

This classic Korean comfort food is made with kimchi, cold rice, and a perfect balance of spicy and salty seasonings.

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Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e pepe is all about the pasta, Pecorino Romano cheese, and the creamy sauce that binds them together.

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Harissa-Orange Glazed Salmon

A mix of orange zest, harissa paste, and honey make this glazed salmon super flavorful.

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One-Pot Creamy Tuscan Shrimp and Orzo

The orzo and shrimp cook right in the creamy sun-dried tomato and Parmesan sauce for a comforting and quick one-pot meal.

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Crispy Honey-Garlic Beef Stir-Fry

The sticky honey sauce ties it all together. Serve with fluffy white rice.

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3-Ingredient Corn Soup

This comforting soup uses canned corn to deliver a sweet-and-savory taste in a pinch. This recipe calls for only three pantry-friendly ingredients.

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Lemon-Soy Glazed Salmon

Lemony, umami-packed salmon is prepared in under 20 minutes, making for a perfect weeknight dinner.

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One-Pan Creamy Lemon-Dill Tortellini

Don't bother boiling a separate pot of water! This easy weeknight pasta with a creamy lemon sauce comes together in one pan from start to finish.

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Creamy One-Pot Beef Orzo

Everything you love about spaghetti and meatballs is made so much easier in this one-pot dinner.

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One-Pot Corn Pasta

This quick and easy pasta dinner is packed with vegetables and tossed with a light and creamy no-cook sauce.

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Shrimp with Lobster Sauce

Learn how to make the classic Chinese takeout dish at home. Serve it over a bed of freshly steamed jasmine rice, allowing the luscious sauce to coat each grain as you mix it all together.

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One-Pan Tortellini Piccata

With a buttery lemon-caper sauce, this weeknight pasta always wins.

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Salmon Piccata

Salmon fillets are cooked in a butter lemon-caper sauce in this easy-yet-elevated skillet dinner.

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Easy Fried Rice

Perfect for when you want to go classic or as a great starting point to a version of your own. You can add leftovers like braised pork belly, shrimp stir-fry, and even steamed dumplings to level it up.

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Sticky Chicken Salad

The best way to eat Buffalo-glazed chicken? On this salad.

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One-Pot Penne with Creamy Basil-Garlic Sauce

This creamy basil-garlic pasta with green vegetables and crispy breadcrumbs is a weeknight dinner crowd-pleaser.

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Salmon Bowls

The salmon for these easy customizable bowls cooks in less than 10 minutes. Pile them into a bowl with fluffy rice, a mix of toppings, and a drizzle of Sriracha yogurt sauce.

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Pork Fried Rice

A pan of savory pork fried rice is one of the most satisfying and quickest meals to make with leftover rice, ground pork, a couple of eggs, and frozen vegetables. It's a winning dinner the whole family will enjoy.

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Loco Moco

Loco moco is a hearty Hawaiian comfort dish consisting of fluffy steamed rice, savory brown gravy, seasoned beef patty, and sunny-side-up egg.

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15-Minute Garlic Butter Tortellini

This quick tortellini is tossed in garlic butter and finished off with lemon, parsley, and Parmesan cheese.

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One-Pan Creamy Pepperoncini Chicken

Tangy pepperoncini peppers add bright flavor to this creamy skillet chicken dinner.

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Chicken Souvlaki

This platter of grilled chicken skewers, fresh vegetables, and warm pita is simple yet satisfying. Serve it with creamy tzatziki sauce.

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Creamy Ricotta Pasta with Broccoli

Combine lemon juice and ricotta in the food processor for an ultra-creamy and flavorful sauce perfect for pasta. If you’re not a broccoli person, swap in peas, arugula, or cherry tomatoes. Or try a protein — leftover rotisserie chicken or Italian sausage are good additions.

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Gochujang Chicken Alfredo

Gochujang, Korean red pepper paste, gives the classic pasta dinner a special twist.

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Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa

Spicy, smoky shrimp and a homemade tomatillo salsa combine in these flavor-packed tacos.

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One-Pot Lemon Caper Orzo with Tuna

This one-pot pasta is simple, comforting, bright, and flavorful.

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Easy Egg Roll in a Bowl

Bagged slaw makes this "egg roll in a bowl" a cinch to make. It comes together in just 15 minutes, making it a great alternative to takeout if you need dinner on the table ASAP.

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Pasta alla Norcina (Creamy Pasta with Sausage)

This hearty Italian pasta hails from the town of Norcia located in Umbria, and is loaded with homemade sausage and mushrooms in a creamy white wine sauce, then finished with a shower of grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

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Cheese Tortellini with Salami, Mozzarella, and Marinated Veggies

This quick and easy tortellini dinner is filled with all the flavors of a classic antipasto spread: roasted red peppers, marinated artichokes, salami, and, of course, cheese.

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Crispy Skillet Ravioli with Garlic-Butter Mushrooms

You don't even have to boil a pot of water to make this quick and easy, and totally satisfying, one-pan pasta dinner.

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One-Pot Pasta Puttanesca

This one-pot pasta certainly isn't your Italian grandmother's version, but it is one of the easiest you'll find.

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Chinese Sausage Fried Rice

Chinese sausage is the easiest way to amp up the flavors in fried rice. It’s a quick and easy weeknight meal — especially when paired with some stir-fried bok choy!

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5-Minute Garlic Butter Shrimp

You only need five minutes to make this easy weeknight skillet.

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One-Pot Lemon Shrimp Pasta

This one-pot pasta, made with protein-packed shrimp, creamy white beans, and nutrient-dense kale, is a complete meal all-in-one.

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Umami Tuna Stir-Fry

The versatile, oil-packed canned tuna makes the weeknight stir-fry extra delicious.

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Grilled Chicken Cutlets with Pistachio-Avocado Relish

A few nifty tricks and a flavorful relish help tenderize chicken breast and keep it succulent.

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One-Pot Spinach Artichoke Chicken Pasta

This all-in-one dinner, which starts with smart shortcuts like pre-cooked chicken sausage and marinated artichoke hearts, is ready in 15 minutes.

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20-Minute Steak Salad with Chile, Garlic, and Herbs

This easy steak salad gets an umami hit from fish sauce, sherry vinegar, and lime juice tossed through a mix of crunchy veg, and is finished with fresh herbs.

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One-Pot Creamy Zucchini Pasta

Whole-milk ricotta cheese is the secret to this extra-luxe and lemony zucchini pasta.

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Grilled Chicken Tacos

A quick and easy weeknight grilled chicken taco recipe.

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Tortellini with Asparagus, Peas & Crispy Bacon

An easy recipe for cheese tortellini with bacon, asparagus, and peas in a light cream sauce.

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One-Pot Pesto Tortellini with Broccoli

Here, a few smart cooking tricks elevate just three ingredients into a spectacular one-pot meal that really, truly wows.

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Grilled Steak Tacos

Flank steak is marinated with chipotle, citrus, cilantro, and onions for super-flavor tacos.

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Creamy Wild Mushroom One-Pot Pasta

In this creamy and delicious pasta, everything comes together in one pot.

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Grilled Chicken Salad

Packed with bright, fresh, bold flavors and juicy strips of chicken breast, this is the grilled chicken salad you'll eat on repeat.

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Mahi-Mahi Tacos with Avocado Sauce

Mild mahi-mahi is stuffed into warm tortillas with a creamy avocado and red cabbage slaw.

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One-Pot Smoky Cajun Shrimp Orzo

Plump orzo pasta and shrimp are cooked in a smoky tomato broth spiked with Cajun spices.

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Tortellini Salad with Marinated Artichokes and Feta

Cheesy tortellini pockets are tossed with marinated artichokes, fresh veggies, feta cheese, briny olives, and a bright lemon vinaigrette.

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Chile-Lime Salmon Tacos

The salmon is kissed with a punchy chile-lime coating, and stuffed in a warm tortilla with lime-tinged avocado, crunchy shredded cabbage, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro leaves.

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Creamy Tortellini Primavera

This veggie-packed weeknight pasta is a mix of asparagus, tomatoes, and peas (reminiscent of pasta primavera) that feels light, fresh, and perfect for spring and summer.

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