Our 17 Best Easy Dinner Recipes of 2023

published Dec 27, 2023
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Overhead view of cooked chicken thighs in a white pan topped with herbs.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Rachel Perlmutter

When you want to get dinner on the table quickly, you need an easy recipe. But you also don’t want to eat a boring, bland meal just because you don’t have hours to prepare it. Thankfully, you don’t have to sacrifice any flavor with The Kitchn’s 17 most popular easy dinner recipes of 2023. 

Most of the meals on this list take under 40 minutes to make, including prep time. And some of the pastas are done in 15 to 20 minutes! The next time you don’t want to stress about dinner, pick from our readers’ favorite easy recipes.

1 / 17
Creamy White Bean and Kale Soup Recipe

This soup goes from zero to bowl in about 35 minutes and has a velvety-smooth, ultra-creamy texture. Plus, the smoky flavor with a little bit of heat makes this vegan soup taste almost meaty.

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2 / 17
Homemade Hamburger Helper Recipe

You only need one pot and 40 minutes to combine ground beef and pasta in a creamy cheddar cheese sauce. Thinking outside the box, fresh onion and cheddar cheese give this homemade version so much flavor.

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3 / 17
Chili Recipe

A classic recipe for a reason, this winter staple combines ground beef with beans, tomatoes, and warm spices. It also only requires 10 minutes of prep time.

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4 / 17
One-Pot Penne with Creamy Basil-Garlic Sauce Recipe

One of the quicker meals of the bunch, you can make this creamy basil garlic pasta in 20 minutes. With green vegetables and crispy breadcrumbs, it's a weeknight dinner crowd-pleaser.

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5 / 17
Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe

You only need 35 minutes to create this gooey, melty entrée. Elbow macaroni noodles are bathed in a creamy cheddar cheese sauce and then baked until the cheese is bubbling.

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6 / 17
Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

Pasta is a go-to for easy meals, and these baked meatballs level up the dish. You'll need about 30 minutes to prep, but it's so worth it.

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7 / 17
Carbonara Recipe

Just say "yes" to this rich and creamy four-ingredient Italian pasta that takes only 30 minutes to make.

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8 / 17
How to Cook Chicken Thighs Recipe

A quick garlicky rub is the secret to the easiest, most flavorful chicken thighs. With only five minutes of prep time, this dinner is a weeknight staple.

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9 / 17
Anchovy Carbonara Recipe

This ultra-creamy pasta carbonara swaps guanciale for tinned anchovies, and you can get it on the table in 25 minutes.

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10 / 17
Thai Meatball Noodle Soup Recipe

Cilantro-pork meatballs, Chinese wheat noodles, and a flavorful broth combine for a low-lift, high-reward 30-minute meal.

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11 / 17
Baked Chicken Parmesan Recipe

A relatively fast and light version of the beloved Italian classic, with 35 minutes of hands-on time. You'll be done with cleanup and ready to eat when these sauced cutlets come out of the oven with bubbling mozzarella.

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12 / 17
Gochujang Chicken Alfredo Recipe

Korean red pepper paste gives this classic pasta dinner a special twist, and you can make it from start to finish in 30 minutes.

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13 / 17
Creamy Spinach Chicken Recipe

This extra cozy one-pan chicken has major creamed spinach vibes, and garlic fans will want to put it in regular rotation. An added bonus: You can make it in 35 minutes.

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14 / 17
Tortellini Piccata Recipe

When you have absolutely no time to make dinner, this pasta with a buttery lemon-caper sauce always wins. You can make it in as little as 15 minutes.

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15 / 17
Brown Butter Za’atar Pasta Recipe

You only need 25 minutes to cook strands of spaghetti or bucatini tossed with brown butter that’s infused with za’atar, lemon juice, Parmesan, and a mix of fresh herbs.

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16 / 17
French Chicken Parmentier Recipe

Layer buttery mashed potatoes over French-inspired chicken pot pie filling for the ultimate comfort food. This dish takes about 90 minutes total, but you only need to be hands-on for half an hour.

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17 / 17
Chile Colorado Recipe

Dried chiles are rehydrated and blended with aromatics and broth to make a brick-red, smooth sauce that slowly cooks down with the braising liquid until the whole thing is just velvety. You need to cook it for two-and-a-half hours, but prep time is just 20 minutes.

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