51 Easy Weeknight Dinners You Can Throw Together in Minutes
So you set out to cook your dinners every night this week. But now that you're in the middle of the workday, thinking about how much work you have to do and what time you'll get home, the prospect of cooking a meal might seem daunting. Never fear: These easy weeknight dinners will come together in a flash. And for more, don't miss these 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback.
Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
For easy weeknight dinners, you can't beat sheet pan meals. These chicken fajitas are as fun to assemble as they are to eat, and your kids can help with the slicing and mixing.
Get our recipe for Easy Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas.
Chicken Salad Sandwich with Raisins and Curry Powder
Sandwiches are the easiest weeknight dinners to make, as they are for weekday lunches, and this chicken salad recipe definitely beats deli meat. The curry powder adds an extra kick of flavor, too.
Get our recipe for a Chicken Salad Sandwich with Raisins and Curry Powder.
Crispy Cod with Sweet Potato Fries
Whipping up this crispy fish at home is almost as easy as going to a bar and ordering fish and chips. Bread crumbs, thyme, and onion powder lend plenty of flavor to this comfort food dish.
Get our recipe for Crispy Cod with Sweet Potato Fries.
Creamy Ham and Broccoli Soup
This creamy soup will come together in just 15 minutes. It's perfect for leftover ham, and you can always substitute chicken instead, depending on what you have in the fridge.
Get our recipe for Creamy Ham and Broccoli Soup.
Another one-pan recipe, these tacos are sure to be a favorite among your family members. Flank steak perfectly complements the guacamole and pico de gallo for a filling and unforgettable meal.
Get our recipe for Steak Tacos.
Fig, Prosciutto, & Goat Cheese Salad
A recipe that takes absolutely no cooking? Sign us up. This salad recipe gets bonus points for making your easy weeknight dinners feel just a little bit fancier.
Get our recipe for a Fig, Prosciutto, & Goat Cheese Salad.
Sunny-Side Up Egg Pizza
There's so much you can do with pizza dough! Pizzas don't have to include tomato sauce if you don't want them to. And this egg pizza is just as good as its saucier counterparts.
Get our recipe for a Sunny-Side Up Egg Pizza.
Sheet-Pan Italian Pork Chops
Don't want to wash a bunch of dishes on a weeknight? Sheet pan easy weeknight dinners are the answer. This flavorful pork chop recipe is great for kids and adults alike, and it incorporates plenty of fresh veggies.
Get our recipe for Sheet-Pan Italian Pork Chops.
Quick and Easy Italian Tuna Melt
Using a can of tuna doesn't mean you can't have a fresh meal! This will be one of the best tuna melts you've tried, and it's sure to please even picky eaters. Plus, it only takes minutes to throw together, making it one of the fastest easy weeknight dinners for your busy schedule.
Get our recipe for a Quick and Easy Italian Tuna Melt.
Asian-Inspired Chicken Meatballs
Foods served on skewers are just more fun, right? These chicken meatballs cook in a grill pan, and you can serve them in lettuce cups for a fresh take on dinner.
Get our recipe for Asian-Inspired Chicken Meatballs.
Oven-Baked Chicken Fingers With Chipotle-Honey Mustard
Your kids will jump at the chance to help out in the kitchen if it means they get to have chicken fingers for dinner. And this homemade honey mustard is the perfect dip for kids of all ages.
Get our recipe for Oven-Baked Chicken Fingers With Chipotle-Honey Mustard.
Spicy Tuna and Avocado Fish Tacos
Not into meat-based tacos? Try these seafood ones instead! They're just as easy to prepare, and your family is sure to love the variety.
Get our recipe for Spicy Tuna and Avocado Fish Tacos.
5-Ingredient BBQ Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner
This recipe truly could not be easier—just put the ingredients on a sheet pan and toss it in the oven. The fact that chicken drumsticks are some of the most affordable meat options out there is just an added bonus.
Get our recipe for a 5-Ingredient BBQ Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner.
Skip the takeout and enjoy this homemade orange chicken recipe instead. Your kids will love helping mix the ingredients together and adding the orange zest on top.
Get our recipe for Orange Chicken.
One-Skillet Taco Pasta
Tacos and pasta in one recipe? This is one of our favorite easy weeknight dinners, and it's sure to please the entire family. Plus, the single skillet is perfect for easy cleanup, too.
Get our recipe for One-Skillet Taco Pasta.
Baked Turkey Wings
Move over, chicken wings! Turkey wings are here, and they're not just for watching the big game. These wings are perfect for a weeknight dinner—just pair them with mashed potatoes and gravy.
Get our recipe for Baked Turkey Wings.
Is chicken your go-to weeknight protein? Try switching things up with this Italian-inspired recipe. It only takes about a half-hour to make, so it's perfect for those busy evenings.
Get our recipe for Chicken Piccata.
Blackened Fish Sandwich With Avocado and Cabbage
Add a touch of the South to your dinner table with this blackened fish recipe. Frozen fish sticks can't hold a candle to this flavorful, easy-to-assemble meal.
Get our recipe for a Blackened Fish Sandwich With Avocado and Cabbage.
Copycat Cracker Barrel Meatloaf
Meatloaf is a staple at the American dinner table. Why not try this easy recipe, inspired by the classic Southern chain?
Get our recipe for Copycat Cracker Barrel Meatloaf.
Another spin on classic chicken, this recipe features garam masala and chili powder to kick things up a notch. Serve it with cauliflower florets for a filling meal.
Get our recipe for Tandoori Chicken.
Thai Beef Stir-Fry
This is another recipe that will make you swear off takeout for good. Kids will love slurping up these noodles, and adults will love the flavor packed into this dish.
Get our recipe for Thai Beef Stir-Fry.
With all of these chicken recipes, you'll never have a dried-out, unseasoned chicken breast for dinner again. This Italian dish takes just one pan to cook, making it one of the easiest weeknight recipes out there.
Get our recipe for Chicken Scaloppine.
Slow Cooker Beef Goulash
The saying "set it and forget it" is especially true with this slow-cooker recipe. Just combine all of the ingredients and let them cook—it's almost magic.
Get our recipe for Slow Cooker Beef Goulash.
Instant Pot Shrimp and Broccoli
Instant Pot meals are perfect easy weeknight dinners for you to make! Shrimp doesn't need a ton of time to cook, which is why this Instant Pot shrimp and broccoli recipe is the perfect recipe to whip up on a busy weeknight. Served on rice, or cauliflower rice to keep it low-carb, this recipe is one that you're going to want to make again and again.
Get our recipe for Instant Pot Shrimp and Broccoli.
Breaded Air Fryer Pork Chops
How do you make crispy breaded pork chops in a health-conscious way? Using an air fryer, of course! It will cut down on prep and cooking time as well as a substantial amount of calories and fat. Because the pork chop isn't fried in oil, it doesn't feel heavy and fatty like the one you're frying in pan.
Get our recipe for Breaded Air Fryer Pork Chops.
10-Minute Mediterranean Tofu Scramble
This quick scramble is packed with Mediterranean flavors from bell peppers, feta, parsley, and tomatoes, but if you're looking for an extra flavor boost, try adding sun-dried tomatoes in oil, capers, or even olives.
Get our recipe for 10-Minute Mediterranean Tofu Scramble.
Shredded BBQ-Rubbed Pork Shoulder With Creamy Slaw
There are many reasons why this recipe is perfect for a busy weeknight—the active cooking time is reduced to a minimum, you can use this versatile pork in many different ways, and it's one of the most delicious keto recipes we've ever tasted. You can wrap this pork with slaw in a low-carb tortilla and call it a keto taco, or simply enjoy it as a high-protein, low-carb bowl.
Get our recipe for Shredded BBQ-Rubbed Pork Shoulder With Creamy Slaw.
Butter-Baked Salmon and Asparagus
Salmon and asparagus are always great together grilled, but this baked salmon recipe is even more appropriate for keto diet followers because it adds more delicious fat to the omega-3 fatty acids found naturally in salmon. The hint of lemon in the mayo-based topping is delicious on the asparagus, too.
Get our recipe for Butter-Baked Salmon and Asparagus.
Scallops With Chimichurri
In this meal, you get to pour your chimichurri on scallops (and just so you know, we think scallops are the most underrated of all seafood). They're incredibly lean, but with a sweet, meaty taste that makes them feel indulgent. Plus, they cook effortlessly in about 5 minutes.
Get our recipe for Scallops With Chimichurri.
The mark of a great vegetarian dish is one that will be eagerly devoured by a diehard carnivore. This one fits the bill in spades: meaty slices of portobello sautéed with a thicket of peppers and onions, then tucked into a toasted roll and topped with a cap of melted provolone.
Get our recipe for Mushroom Cheesesteak.
Chicken Pot Stickers
Making these chicken pot stickers at home is a 10-minute project, and it allows you to cut calories and boost nutrition by spiking the dish with mushrooms and snap peas.
Get our recipe for Chicken Pot Stickers.
Ultimate BLT Sandwich
Is there any combination as rewarding and perfectly calibrated as a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich? With the crispy, smoky bacon playing off the cool crunch of the lettuce and the acidic sweetness of ripe tomato, it's a top contender for Last Meal on Earth status.
Get our recipe for Ultimate BLT Sandwich.
Chicken Mole Enchiladas
These enchiladas are not only easier to make than the Americanized versions served in most restaurants, but they're also tastier and contain just 30 percent of the calories.
Get our recipe for Chicken Mole Enchiladas.
It's a simple formula—noodles covered in red sauce, speckled with cheese, maybe a bit of meat—but Italian restaurants can so often get it so wrong by loading the meal with exorbitant amounts of saturated fat that nobody in their right mind should pay to eat. Save your cash—and your ticker—and eat our healthier version instead. You can easily make it at home, and it won't weigh you down. This is home-cooked comfort food at its finest.
Get our recipe for Baked Ziti.
10-Minute Baked Eggs With Mushroom and Spinach
The little ceramic vessels are perfect for housing eggs, meat, cheese, and vegetables and then tossing in the oven. What emerges 10 minutes later is a perfectly cooked egg—whites soft but firm, yolk gloriously runny—surrounded by a tasty and filling supporting cast.
Get our recipe for 10-Minute Baked Eggs With Mushroom and Spinach.
The pairing of creamy fresh mozzarella, juicy ripe tomatoes, and fat leaves of sweet basil is so good that you'd be crazy not to exploit it as often as possible to make yourself look like a culinary genius. This recipe requires absolutely no effort, save for about 2 minutes of slicing and 2 minutes of toasting.
Get our recipe for Caprese Sandwich.
Crispy Chipotle Shrimp Quesadilla
This quesadilla is plenty cheesy, but the abundance of spicy shrimp and caramelized vegetables teamed with the shattering crust of the tortilla means we can cut fat without sacrificing flavor in this recipe.
Get our recipe for Crispy Chipotle Shrimp Quesadilla.
Chicken Burger With Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli
We've gone ahead and helped you out by reinventing the chicken burger, using a lean grind of meat and a hugely flavorful—but surprisingly low-calorie—spiked mayo to deliver on the promise of a truly healthy burger you can happily indulge in.
Get our recipe for Chicken Burger With Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli.
Takeout-Level Chicken Fried Rice
Skip the takeout and make one of our favorite easy weeknight dinners instead! This recipe turns fried rice on its head, relying on a ton of fresh vegetables, considerably less rice, and a bit of oil for crisping it up.
Get our recipe for Takeout-Level Chicken Fried Rice.
Mini Pizzas, Three Ways
Personal pies are the bane of the pizza experience. Many pizza joints load individual pizzas with more than a day's worth of fat and sodium. English muffins, though, come with built-in portion control, so no matter how lavishly you adorn them, you won't break the 400-calorie barrier. And that's why they serve as the perfect base for our personal, mini-sized pizza recipe. We even have three different variations, so any and all pizza cravings you may have will be satisfied. (Yes, that includes Hawaiian, too!)
Get our recipe for Mini Pizzas, Three Ways.
Apple and Bacon Infused Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Grilled cheese is already one of our favorite easy weeknight dinners, so we take it up a notch. The curious combination of sweet apples, crispy smoked bacon, and sharp cheddar cheese in this sandwich recipe isn't just delicious. It also contains less than half the calories of most of the other grilled cheese sandwiches out there.
Get our recipe for Apple and Bacon Infused Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
This Bolognese follows the same technique used for an authentic, velvety sauce, but subs in turkey for veal and lean sirloin for fattier beef. You can serve this over dried spaghetti or fettuccine, but fresh pasta really is best.
Get our recipe for Bolognese Sauce.
Buttery Red Pepper Fettuccine Alfredo
Pasta is already one of the easiest ingredients to cook, so why not use it to make one of our easy weeknight dinners? This version of the fettuccine Alfredo recipe starts with a béchamel sauce, then blends that with roasted red peppers to make for a lighter, brighter, better Alfredo—for a quarter of the calories.
Get our recipe for Buttery Red Pepper Fettuccine Alfredo.
Sesame Noodles With Chicken
Think of this meal as a salad, with the noodles standing in for lettuce. Add in some protein and as many—or as few—vegetables as you like, and toss the whole package with a light but powerful dressing, and there you have it: It's the culmination of four millennia of noodle knowledge! (Well, maybe not, but this sesame noodles recipe is awfully tasty.)
Get our recipe for Sesame Noodles With Chicken.
Gnocchi With Peas and Prosciutto
When you have prepackaged gnocchi, there are quite a few easy weeknight dinners you can make! Here, we take the classic Italian pasta pairing of peas and prosciutto, replace the noodles with dumplings, and throw in plenty of asparagus to round out the creation. You can make this gnocchi recipe richer with a drizzle of cream or half-and-half or a bit of butter, but this one is great as-is.
Get our recipe for Gnocchi With Peas and Prosciutto.
Barbecue Chicken Pizza
California Pizza Kitchen made its bones slinging unconventional pizzas topped with ingredients like pear and gorgonzola, Jamaican jerk chicken, and even a full-blown salad. But none is more famous, or strangely satisfying, than the Original BBQ Chicken Pizza, which launched CPK into the national conscience in the '80s. As good as theirs is, we're confident our barbecue chicken pizza recipe is even better. Plus, it's cheaper to make at home and has just a third of the calories.
Get our recipe for Barbecue Chicken Pizza.
Italian Meatball Soup
Though it's light in calories, this is still a potent bowl of goodness—served with a lightly dressed salad, it makes for an incredible weekday dinner. Also perfect for meal planning as it will keep great frozen in the fridge. Double the recipe and you'll be set for the week!
Get our recipe for Italian Meatball Soup.
Beef Lettuce Wraps
Wraps at places like P.F. Chang's and The Cheesecake Factory are overwrought affairs packing as many calories into an appetizer as you should have in an entire meal. Consider this version a blissful, healthy, flavor-packed return to the wrap's humble roots, and you'll save hundreds of calories in the process.
Get our recipe for Beef Lettuce Wraps.
Southwest Turkey Burger
A few years back, Carl's Jr. and Hardee's reached out to us and asked for help designing a new line of turkey burgers that would improve on an otherwise high-calorie menu. A lot of time and testing went into the burgers, during which we learned just how well turkey takes to intense, vibrant flavors that might not jibe as well with beef. In the end, this spicy-cool burger didn't make it on the menu, but it remains one of the best turkey burgers we've had. Now, with this turkey burger recipe, you can judge for yourself…
Get our recipe for Southwest Turkey Burger.
Chili-Mango Chicken Stir-Fry
Using healthier oils and a hearty serving of sugar snap peas, this dish is a perfect balance that will leave your palate feeling warmed and satisfied, with a caloric intake that will leave you feeling healthy and renewed.
Get our recipe for Chili-Mango Chicken Stir-Fry.
Moroccan Salmon with Quinoa Pilaf￼
This sweet and savory combination of spices could be rubbed on chicken or pork, but it takes especially well to the (healthy) fattiness of the salmon. The quinoa pilaf is a healthy, complex, and textured grain that gives this recipe a hearty, filling feel, too. It might become your new favorite salmon pairing!
Get our recipe for Moroccan Salmon with Quinoa Pilaf.
And when you're cooking at home, don't miss these 52 Life-Changing Kitchen Hacks That'll Make You Enjoy Cooking Again.