30-Minute Dinners You Can Make on the Stovetop

updated Sep 23, 2019
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Thirty minutes seems to be the magic number when it comes to a dinner we can pull together and still feel good about. It leaves room for prep, cooking, and some cleanup if you approach the whole effort with some smart multitasking.

These recipes fall under the umbrella of things that can be made in 30 minutes (and some of them you can make in even less time). Even more, they are made exclusively on the stovetop — a boon for those nights when you’d rather stick to the stove. This batch of recipes relies on methods that specifically lend themselves to this kind of cooking, so you’ll find a handful of wok recipes, fast and fancy pantry pastas, and quick-simmered soups.

Quick Stir-Fries

Stir-fries are my personal MVP of quick stovetop suppers, and the recipes in this lineup will hit the table in under 30 minutes. Expect to spend the bulk of your time in the kitchen prepping the ingredients, then once you hit the stove, the cooking happens in a flash.


Trade that jar of sauce for a few pantry ingredients, like breadcrumbs, anchovies, or frozen veggies, and you will be so amazed by the results.

Garlicky Shrimp with Tequila and Lime (Image credit: Chronicle Books)

Fast and Fancy Seafood Suppers

These four recipes are proof that fish and seafood dinners do not have to be fussy and time-consuming. Each one comes together fast and has all the makings of a fast and fancy weeknight dinner.

Skillet Meals

Add these recipes to your meal plan ASAP. These skillet dinners are your answer to weeknight comfort food in a flash.

Soup and Chili

Yes, you can make a pot of soup or chili on a weeknight. This recipe lineup shows you how it’s done, and it all happens in 30 minutes or less.

Your turn! Tell us: What are your favorite 30-minute stovetop meals?