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Getting dinner on the table during the week can be a feat even in the best of times. Making that happen when you’re juggling a busy schedule can feel almost impossible. To avoid ordering takeout, eating a bowl of cereal, or grazing through the pantry, I lean on a roster of reliably quick and easy weeknight dinner ideas.
From a lemony tortellini soup to sloppy joes to sheet pan salmon and much more, these 30 recipes are just what you need in your back pocket when you want a satisfying dinner but are short on time and energy.
Vegetarian Dinner Ideas
No meat, no problem! Pasta, tacos, soup, nachos, and stir-fries make all great ideas to put veggies and pantry staples to work for quick and easy dinners.
3 / 10
Loaded Black Bean Nachos
This hearty and wholesome take on nachos leans on smashed black beans, tangy Greek yogurt, and guac to make it satisfying enough for dinner time.Go to Recipe
4 / 10
Lemon Caper Pasta
The very best part of this dish might not be the actual pasta (although it’s garlicky and lemony and oh so good), but the crispy, crunchy breadcrumbs that are sprinkled with abandon over the top. Go to Recipe
8 / 10
Red Lentil Soup
This quick and easy recipe for lentil soup puts a hearty vegetarian dinner on the table in just about 30 minutes. Go to Recipe
Quick Dinner Ideas for Kids
With meals like pizza burgers, sticky glazed salmon, and quick-cooking chicken Parm, the whole table will love these family favorites, not just the kids.
5 / 10
Honey and soy sauce, combined with garlic and lime juice, create a sweet and savory glaze for simple pan-seared fillets that cook up in just 10 minutes.Go to Recipe
9 / 10
Inspired by the take-out classic, this easy chicken teriyaki is made with boneless chicken breast and a simple pantry sauce that comes together in 20 minutes.Go to Recipe
10 / 10
Open-Faced Pizza Burgers
If you grew up eating English muffin pizzas, these cheesy burgers will be right up your alley. They taste like a beefed-up version of the childhood favorite.Go to Recipe
Quick Dinners with Meat and Seafood
Meaty mains and seafood are not out of the question on busy nights — you just need to lean on recipes with quick cooking methods (like broiling) and smart ingredients (like thin chicken cutlets).
1 / 10
Chicken scallopini is simple, straightforward, and thanks to the bath of buttery lemon-white wine sauce, is far, far greater than the sum of its parts.Go to Recipe