20 Quick and Fresh Dinners to Make on a School Night

20 Quick and Fresh Dinners to Make on a School Night

Kelli Foster
Sep 8, 2016

Now that school is back is session, leisurely summer evenings have been replaced with a hustle between soccer practice, band, and homework. When it feels like a dash to get dinner on the table, you want to have quick and satisfying meals on your side. With a short list of ingredients, minimal prep, and smart shortcuts, these 20 recipes are here to help make it possible to get dinner on the table, even on the most hectic of weeknights.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

1. Creamy Chicken Alfredo Lasagna Roll-Ups

Filled with shredded chicken, creamy Alfredo sauce, and cheese, these simple roll-ups are your weeknight solution to lasagna. (Minus the big pan and lengthy cook time.)

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

2. Maple-Mustard Chicken Thighs

This is the kind of meal you'll want to keep in your regular weeknight dinner rotation. Rich chicken thighs are paired with a maple and Dijon sauce that makes them pop.

(Image credit: Brie Passano)

3. Gorgonzola-Stuffed Steak Roll-Ups

Treat yourself for surviving Monday! Steak has a wonderful way of feeling fancy, but what you might love most is how quick and easy it is to get this meal on the table.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

4. 10-Minute Black Bean Tacos

Simple yet filling, these are the tacos you want to keep in your back pocket for the nights you need to get dinner on the table as soon as possible. Don't forget the salsa, sour cream, and guac for topping.

(Image credit: Brie Passano)

5. 10-Minute Garlicky Tomato Spaghetti

Filled with tomatoes and fresh basil, this seriously speedy weeknight dinner it excellent when you have the last of those summer tomatoes sitting on the counter.

(Image credit: Maria Midoes)

6. Fish in Crazy Water

This rustic Italian dinner poaches white fish, like flounder or tilapia, in aqua pazza, or crazy water, a tomato-based broth enhanced with garlic and herbs.

(Image credit: Maria Midoes)

7. Chili and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast

This hearty stuffed chicken breast leans on store-bought shortcuts, like canned chili and pre-shredded cheese, to help get a hearty dinner on the table fast.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

8. Rainbow Pizza

Treat yourself to pizza and get your fill of colorful veggies at the same time. It's a tasty way to put your farmers market haul to work or clear out the crisper.

(Image credit: Brie Passano)

9. Caramelized Figs and Ravioli with Rosemary Brown Butter & Crispy Prosciutto

This is the weeknight-worthy, fast and fancy dinner that gives a basic package of cheese ravioli a big upgrade.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

10. Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas

The beauty of this dish is that one baking sheet can make enough fajitas to feed the whole family.

(Image credit: Brie Passano)

11. Caesar Shrimp and Avocado Noodle Bowls

Get a jump on dinner by cooking the rice noodles and making the lemony, Caesar-inspired dressing that brings this noodle bowl topped with crispy shrimp together, a day or two in advance.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

12. Almond-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard

Honey-mustard plays double duty as both coating and dipping sauce for these crunchy almond-crusted chicken pieces.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

13. Grilled Meatball Kebabs

Purchased meatballs help bring this three-ingredient meal to the table in record time.

14. 30-Minute Sheet-Pan Potatoes and Chicken Sausage

A single sheet pan is the miracle tool that gets charred chicken sausage and crispy smashed potatoes on the table without a lot of dishes.

(Image credit: Karla Conrad)

15. 30-Minute Cacciatore Chicken

The pressure cooker is your best ally when you have nothing prepped for dinner. Use fresh, or even frozen, chicken for this dinnertime classic.

(Image credit: Andrea D'Agosto)

16. 30-Minute Green Curry Braised Salmon

Rich coconut milk and green curry paste are the pantry ingredients that give familiar salmon a flavorful new twist in this one-pot meal.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

17. Farfalle with Cauliflower and Toasted Breadcrumbs

Tossed with tender cauliflower, crispy breadcrumbs, and fresh herbs, this is the weeknight pasta dish that will break you out of your spaghetti and red sauce rut.

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

18. Creamy One-Pot Pumpkin Pasta

Embrace the chill in the air with the hearty one-pot pasta dinner that swaddles noodles with a rich and creamy pumpkin sauce.

(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

19. Jacques Pépin's Broiled Salmon with Miso Glaze

Red miso paste gives an ordinary maple-soy marinade a big boost of flavor in this weeknight meal that comes together in minutes with the help of the broiler.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

20. Easy Sausage & Peppers

Served over creamy polenta, rice, or pasta, quick-cooking crumbled sausage turns this classic duo into a easy dinner solution.

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